At Home With Lee Ann: Big Bangs & Amish Britches

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I ruled the 80’s big bangs. I teased, fluffed and used that blow dryer like nobody’s business. I had big bangs & my hair was a masterpiece, at least from my perspective.

My husband, raised in a strong, amazing Amish home, was working hard & wearing holes in the knees of his Amish britches in the 80’s. We had no idea of one another and how our paths would cross in the early 90’s. This is part I of Big Bangs & Amish Britches.

I went to college in south Florida. I had spent several years growing up in Virginia and when we moved back to Holmes County my senior year of High School, I was sure God was punishing me.

I had little affection for the pace of life, the small town atmosphere of the mashed potatoes and gravy.

Oh, the irony and lovely way that life can turn and change a person. I left for college the fall of 1986 and with a suitcase full of dreams and admirable hair, I hopped on a plane to Palm Beach Atlantic University.

My husband, on the other hand, was working a man’s job, laying bricks, mixing mud and partying like most teenage Amish boys. We had yet to lay eyes on each other.

College flew by; I graduated, landed a job in Orlando, Florida and began the slow move North. Meanwhile, Daryl was still working hard in masonry, ironically working in Florida just 2 hours away from where I was in Orlando. Even then we were getting closer and gravitating toward one each other. Life is really miraculous in so many ways.

I moved back to Walnut Creek the summer of 1991. I wanted to spend time with family, slow down a bit and just waitress my days away and plot the next season in my life. By fall, I was sending resumes from Atlanta, Georgia to Miami, Florida, ready to move on to a City with bright lights, big buildings and lots of shopping.

November 1991 blew in with its winter wind and my Mom desperately wanted a fireplace for our family home. She knew of a crew of young, hard working Amish guys and sent my Dad to their house to see if they could build a fireplace in quick time. None of us realized how a fireplace would change the course of our lives; much less start a roaring flame in two hearts.

The day Daryl showed up with his Dad to bid that job will be stamped in my memory forever. He was already prematurely graying and sported a toothpick in each side of his mouth. He wore those button fly Amish britches and was quiet, strong and the cutest person I had ever seen. When he and his Dad left that evening, my girlfriend and I giggled- and okay, maybe even screamed, and I said, “I think I’m gonna marry that man.”

My girlfriend Naomi looked at me laughing and said, “you just wait, he will be here tomorrow morning to start on this job.” I went to bed that night with countless butterflies in my tummy, ready to greet the boy in the Amish Britches the next morning.

Next week’s blog will be part two of my love story.

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