My new found interest in biking meant I needed new stuff for my old mountain bike. I knew someone who owned a bike shop, so I headed in for a new seat, pedals, and shoes. A few months later, I was back in the shop for a new helmet. While I was there, Theresa, the shop owner, invited me to do a group ride with her and some mutual friends. It sounded like fun, so I signed up.
We met up for the ride. We all started off together, but we eventually got separated because there were so many people on the ride and we never did see each other again that night! We did get together again the next weekend though, I invited her to join me and my nephew for ice cream and some Wii bowling.
Theresa knew about my dream of moving to the Flint Hills and that I was going back to school, quitting my full time job, and had not yet found a part time job. Despite all of this, or maybe because of it, she asked me on a date. I happily accepted. We went to an art supply store, a bookstore, ate Mexican food and shared a pitcher of margaritas, and then drove out of the city to see the Perseid Meteor shower. And, thus began a relationship completely different from any of my previous ones.
She has supported and encouraged my new career path, my dream of moving to the Flint Hills, and even plans trips to spend time in Chase County. We ride bikes on the quiet, mostly car free gravel roads and spend hours driving those same roads, with her graciously stopping at every “Oh, wait!” so I can take a picture of a windmill, or fence post, or pasture full of prairie grass. These back road photography drives are just one of the many reasons I love her!
Theresa doesn’t feel the connection to the area that I do, but she is learning to love it a little more with each visit. She has definitely been an integral part of my dream coming true. I often wonder if I could have done it without her!
Don’t they always say you’ll meet that special someone when you least expect it? In August of 2016, I was certainly not expecting it. Hopefully soon, she’ll dream of moving to Matfield Green, too!