A Hole-in-One Engagement
First, I should begin with who we are. My name is Jessica and my fiancé is Kurt. We both are from Ohio, and currently live in Vandalia. We are both avid amateur golfers, and our first date was actually on the links. Pipestone Golf Course, in Miamisburg, Ohio to be exact, back in 2009. Later that year, I moved to Columbus, Ohio for work but quickly moved back to be closer to family. And it wasn’t until I returned that we began to officially start dating on July 2, 2010. Again, we went golfing back in my hometown, at WeatherWax Golf Course, in Middletown, Ohio.
So appropriately enough, our engagement took place in our back yard, which happens to be Cassel Hills Golf Course in Vandalia, OH. Our summer and fall evenings for the past 2 years have typically consisted of playing as many holes as we can squeeze in during the week when they offer twilight hour rates. Then on the weekends we usually get together with friends and make up a foursome for even more golf! All in all we have unknowingly built a lot of great memories around the game of golf and around the beauties that each course holds. Needless to say we enjoy the game of golf, even if we aren’t the best at it.
I particularly enjoy the Christmas Holiday too. Maybe even more than most. I love to GIVE gifts to family and friends. My favorite gifts are ones that are handmade. And for Kurt’s family I was struggling for ideas on what to get them this year. I had mentioned this idea of painting pieces of a clock and writing a poem to tie it all together. He thought it was creative but I wasn’t ever sure how it would all turn out. I do remember the weekend before Christmas sharing with him my poem I had written about TIME. It brought a little tear to his eyes, although he will never admit it. But I thought in that moment: “Yesssss, I got it right” I knew then that the painting would work itself out but the poem would pull at the heart strings of his family which generally makes for a great gift!
But the greatest gift of all came before we even began to celebrate the Christmas Season. It was the gift Kurt gave to me.
I must prelude with a few important details that make the story so special to me. On Tuesday, December 23rd I went to the tanning salon for my usual spray tan that involves me not showering for at least 8 hours. I do this, around the holidays and for special events so that I feel good and have a warm glow around me! I also had not been feeling well the entire week leading up to Christmas so I had hoped a nice spray tan would just warm things up. I also was planning to run a few final errands on Christmas Eve, Wednesday the 24th of December, as I knew Kurt was going to be at work for at least half of the day.
Kurt’s job involves a unique type of work where he interacts with many different people and for all sorts of reasons. So he made me aware early in the morning that a park ranger stopped in and told him about this eagle’s nest out on hole #13 or #14. He really wanted to check it out before we had dinner with his family that evening. The weather too was surprisingly mild for a typical Christmas Eve in Ohio and although rain was expected, at the 12 o’clock hour in the afternoon, there was a definite break in the clouds and Kurt planned so precisely around this. Meteorologists had predicted a wet and dreary day.
Therefore, I took hold of the moment, saw his excitement in discovering this Eagle’s nest and I did not question his persistence. Despite my headache, my lack of showering, and the fact that I still had on the same clothes as the day prior. I took him up on the offer and realized quickly the moment we were in might be our last walk together on the course we have grown so fond of for the year of 2014.
Little did I know, he had so much more planned than the hunt for an eagle’s nest. He told me very slyly he had borrowed his brother’s GoPro to capture the moment. I began to walk like a kid searching for Easter eggs in an Easter egg hunt. After about 100 feet I noticed he wanted to video tape me and I said, “Kurt, please don’t record this, I look horrible. Then after another 100 feet as I was looking up in tall trees at other bird’s nests, I asked Kurt, “How are we going to be able to identify the difference between a bird’s nest and an Eagle’s nest?” His reply was quick, “Oh, Jess, it will be so much bigger!” And then went on to say, “Don’t worry we will be able to notice the difference.” Then after about 20 more steps, he said "I must blind fold you." I knew then, something was up, I kind of had been replaying this day in my head but never under these circumstances. I quickly said, “Kurt please don’t do this, not now. I am not ready. I haven’t showered, I look like an oompa loompa, please can we just wait?” He demanded otherwise and said we must continue on. Of course, by now I am so concerned that he is going to ask me to marry him and I look like a dirty old slob. I again resisted the pull and tug he was directing me towards, and desperately asked if we could just wait, if I could just run back home to shower, I pleaded but for him the show must go on. I do remember saying over and over again, “Kurt, I thought we were looking for an Eagle’s nest!”
However, he planted me perfectly center of a heart outlined with the most beautiful red rose petals you could ever find. I didn’t realize he also had the GoPro back to video mode and was recording every moment of this magical day. Finally situated as he had planned, he read to me a tiny speech he had prepared which included a heart touching mention of my deceased mother having the best view in the house! He asked for permission from my father and he spoke of highlights of our relationship. Kurt was perfect, he was sweet and romantic, and he had me face away from the hillside, where once he completed the speech, took off my blind fold, got on one knee and asked me to marry him. Once I turned to face the hillside of the 300 + yard hole of #11 that slightly doglegged to the left, there was a HUGE banner, which also read: “Jessica Shockley, Will You Marry Me?” It was like a fairy tale, and he surpassed all of the dreams I could ever think of. The ring was stunning on its own, it was better than anything I could have imagined. But it was the moment and how everything worked together, that pulled at my heart strings. My emotions were that of exhilaration and excitement, pure joy and elation, and an overwhelming feeling of being truly BLESSED.
To love and be loved in return in a manner like we share, is the greatest gift of all.
Kurt will never know exactly how special he made me feel in that moment, but I can guarantee it is a day that I will replay over and over again in my head because words just do not do it justice! By far, the best Christmas gift I have ever received!