The summer Anne Marie and Myles met was filled with greasy grilled cheese sandwiches, the Cupid Shuffle, sweet tea and late nights by the fire. Myles had accepted a programming internship with Camp Hope Haven, a free Christian camp for children in under-served communities, as part of his undergrad degree requirements. Anne Marie accepted a position as Kitchen Team Leader at the camp with the enthusiasm expected of someone whose best dish was Velvetta mac and cheese. She had searched long and hard for another position, but Camp Hope Haven seemed like the only available option.
During her interview with the camp’s head staff, Anne Marie found herself more than a little distracted by the handsome young man that walked in and casually took a seat by the door. After they were able to chat for a few minutes, she found that he made her laugh. And the idea that he had refilled his Starbucks cup from the day before with camp coffee was a little weird, but in a cute, charming way. She was intrigued.
As it turns out, Myles was intrigued as well. When he stepped through the front door of the camp office and saw her, in gym shorts and a t-shirt, his first thought was “Oh boy.” And it didn’t take long for him to know that he wasn’t going to let this girl get away. He found every opportunity to spend time with her, helping her enter endless amounts of camper information in to the computer system, showing her the best spots around the camp property, chatting late into the night next to the fire, and even shining her first pair of (fake-leather) cowboy boots. As long as the hot summer days were, they weren’t complete until he had spent time with her.
All too soon, fall and the start of a new semester loomed before them. Both had plans already in place for the future. Myles had plans to move to Colorado and attend Denver Seminary. Anne Marie was finishing her degree at ODU and wanted to teach high school English in Virginia. The timing was certainly not ideal. But neither one was ready to let go. So even though it meant being separated for most of the year, Anne Marie and Myles started dating, because nothing could keep them apart.
Each semester break, a plane ticket was purchased and every moment of time they had was spent together. And when hundreds of miles and two time zones separated them during long semesters, they started writing letters to each other, keeping their thoughts, hopes, and dreams in a small brown journal. Because nothing could keep them apart.
And two years later, when Anne Marie visited Myles in Colorado, they spent a beautiful July day hiking St. Mary’s Glacier in Idaho Springs. After skipping rocks on the lake, hiking to the summit, and enjoying a picnic lunch, Myles knelt down on the rocks and asked Anne Marie to spend the rest of her life with him. Although he could barely get the words out before she was pulling him to his feet, saying “Yes!”