Ronnie and I "met" online on a site called Plenty of Fish. I'd been on and off the site for several years, not really finding any fish that were worth keeping, but it was different with Ronnie. There was an instant connection. We flirted for several weeks, eventually exchanged phone numbers and flirted some more. Finally, we decided to meet for lunch at a restaurant on the outskirts of Houston.
I remember he was waiting just outside the door. He had on sunglasses, jeans and a collared shirt. The hostess seated us and we both ordered steak salads. I did most of the talking, but God only knows what I said. First meetings are so flustering.
I left for Dallas afterwards and was gone a week. He called me every night.
I returned home the first week of July and he asked me out. Our first official date was July 4, 2011.
Ronnie rode to The Woodlands where I was living, picked me up on his Harley-Davidson trike and brought me back to Houston. We watched the fireworks flashing magnificently across the Houston skyline from the freeway.
Since moving to Navasota, we've celebrated in College Station on the grounds of the George Bush memorial library at Texas A&M University. We ride the trike with camp chairs tied to the back. I play patriotic music on my iPhone and we watch the children chase fireflies, and each other, in the twilight before the show begins.
Tomorrow will mark the fifth year since our first date. We are in St. Jo, Texas, visiting my brother Mark and his wife at their ranch, so we're in Ronnie's BMW, not on his Harley.
We plan to drive into town for the fireworks. St. Jo is a small town, so the fireworks show will not be as bold as the ones we've seen elsewhere, but flags will wave proudly and the rockets' red glare will fill the sky and we will celebrate. Oh how we will celebrate.