As the end of the year approaches, Patch recaps the biggest stories of 2012—both in terms of pageviews and impact on the Inver Grove Heights community. The following article was posted Feb. 13, 2012.
After a few days of voting, 651 votes - or 64 percent of the 1,015 total votes, Andy and Rosie Olson win the prize of being named the greatest love story in Inver Grove Heights.
The are the winners of a free dozen rose arrangement from Glassing Florist and bragging rights.
With some entries from residents Patch is asking readers to vote for their favorite Inver Grove Heights love story.
Read the love stories they submitted and cast a vote in the poll at the bottom for who you think should win the prize.
Voting goes through Feb. 12 and the winners will be announced on Feb. 13.
Nicholas Goers and Melissa Paulus:
"How A Picnic Table Helped Develop Love," by Nicholas Goers
One day back in 2008, I was walking my dog when I received a phone call from a friend. She asked if I would be interested in donating an art piece I created for a fundraiser she was hosting to raise money for her Breast Cancer 3-Day Team. I sat down at a picnic table to discuss some ideas with her. Later that year, I met my fiancé Melissa who just happened to be a member of my friend’s 3-Day Team. As our friendship evolved, so did the feelings and there really wasn’t anything we didn’t do together.
We didn’t work far from each other so we used to go sit at a picnic table at a nearby park and share one of our favorite lunches, Jimmy Johns and just talk about how our days were going. As she was opening my eyes to traveling, trying new foods, experiencing things I never have prior to meeting her and getting to know me, I was doing the exact same thing for her! We wanted to know about each other, what each of us liked and disliked and a relationship started to form.
I had a feeling that she was falling in love with me first when we got to take part in a one-of-a-kind experience called, Concert In The Sky that involved local artists Tim Mahoney, Lori Line and Dan Wilson of Semisonic hosted by Sun Country Airlines at 25,000 feet in the sky. I wasn’t sure how to react to that feeling, but I knew I was feeling something as well.
At the beginning of our relationship I had to move back home for a short period of time because of a layoff from my job. A new picnic table became our new lunch spot along with a new place where we could just walk my pooch, and sit and chat about life. It was during one of our many park visits and at that same picnic table where I took my friend’s phone call that I knew I wanted to tell Melissa how much I loved her, but I just couldn’t! So much was consuming me at that moment, but I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Our relationship started to grow, started to evolve and with that, of course, some rough spots. The moment came where we knew we were going to spend the rest of our lives together and started to look at wedding rings.
The moment for me to propose came and I picked up our favorite Jimmy Johns sandwiches and told her we’re going on a picnic. I first thought of taking her to the park where we started having our lunches, but the picnic area was closed off. Now what do I do? Of Course! I decided to take her to our "other" picnic table, that same park where I wanted to tell her "I love you" for the first time. We stopped to grab my pooch and ate our subs and once we were finished eating I told her how I felt and that no one else could compare to her, then…….. Knees shaking, a nervous wreck, I asked her if she would marry me!
On April 22, 2012 I get to marry my best friend, love of my life and soul mate! It’s an honor and privilege and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her. Maybe I’m not the "perfect" guy every woman dreams about, but I’m perfect for her! Who knew that a picnic table could bring two people together and fall in love with each other…
Andy and Rosie Olson:
Andy and Rosie were matched on July 3, 2006 through www.eHarmony.com. We both were the only match either of us received through the site.
After emailing through the site for a few weeks, we met face-to-face at the Barnes & Noble café in Eagan on July 23, 2006. At the time, Andy was working an overnight shift, so we were only able to see each other on the weekends and communicate via phone calls or e-mails.
As the weeks went by, we began to realize that we were meant for each other and on December 23, 2006 Andy asked me to marry him.
We were married on November 3, 2007 and have been enjoying our life together ever since. We enjoy each other’s company most of all, whether we are having fun at a Twins game together or just taking a walk around our neighborhood.
We believe our love is a gift from God and we don’t take it for granted. It is our hope that others can find this kind of true love we have found. We are truly blessed.
We have been together for five years and six months and happily married for four years and two months.
Chuck and Bee via Diane Baum:
This story is not about me, although I suppose I should have put mine here instead. I had waited twenty five years to find my own hero and did: My knight in shining armor. However, the story of how my uncle and aunt found each other is by far, more romantic.
"The Story of Chuck and Bee"
Charles was a handsome man who, when called to service, joined the Army during WWII. He fought in France and it was during the Battle of the Bulge that he came into contact with a grenade. Half of his face was blown away and he was blinded. Life hung in the balance for him, but he survived and when he was strong enough, was sent to an Army hospital in San Francisco to continue his rehabilitation.
It was there that he was assigned a nurse named Beatrice. She was about five years older than him and just a tiny woman with a huge heart of gold. Over the days, weeks and months, as she nursed him back to health, something else also happened: they began to fall in love.
There was no real plastic surgery back then and Charles was quite a ghastly sight: he had a huge dent in the left side of his face and where an eye should have been, now was a deep scar with a glass eye sewn into place. His other eye, though it moved, couldn’t see.
He needed to learn to walk again, to speak again and do all the other things to care for himself.
Beatrice, or "Bee" as he called her, was right by his side and when he was finally able to, they walked down the aisle together as man and wife.
Now, to many, this was a true "Beauty and the Beast" moment. Bee was a beautiful woman, both inside and out. She could have had any man she wanted and indeed, was seeing someone else when Charles first came into her life, yet chose Charles instead. She was gracious toward all and had the patience of a saint. I am sure that Charles sensed this; though he couldn’t see her, he could feel the great intentions deep within her heart.
They raised two children and Bee continued her full time work as a registered nurse while Charles was able to learn Braille, then entered college and earned a degree in social services, where he worked for over thirty years. He had a seeing eye dog, which made all the difference in his independence. Though blind, he didn’t allow his disability to interfere with raising a family or work. He was loved and respected by many.
When his beloved Bee passed away after over fifty years of marriage, Charles pined for her. After just a few months, he too passed on, to spend eternity with the one true love of his life. He often had said without "his Bee," he couldn’t go on. She was the light in his life, the one who taught him that despite all obstacles, one just does not roll over and expect life to wait on you hand and foot. One needs to go out and meet life and embrace it, with all of its struggles and pain as well as its joys.
This story is written in memory of my Uncle Chuck and my aunt Bee…you will always have a special place in my own heart. When the struggles of life get to be too much for me, I remember your love and your grace and how they made each day so much better for you…as it does for me. Thank you for the life lesson I carry deep within my heart.