It was a soft sort of day, with temperatures in the 70s and low humidity, when grouchy asked me for lunch. He hasn’t asked me for a date in a long time, so I was really happy to say yes.

We arrived in Nevada and looked for the food truck with the sushi rolls and other oriental delicacies; an umbrella-covered table and benches was a compliment to the atmosphere. 

Our children had mentioned this food truck several times and insisted we should stop and taste their food, so we did. We placed our order and sat down by the tent-covered bench waiting for our food to arrive. It was as if we had never left Honolulu — there was the food truck, the umbrella-covered benches, the wonderful food including the rice and sushi rolls, the grouchy who, to my surprise, looked younger than his 70+ years, and the perfect weather for a Hawaiian afternoon with the breeze gently touching our faces. All it was missing was the sound of the waves on the shore and the smell of the plumeria. I was transfixed. Of course, Hawaii 5-0 was lurking in the back of my mind.

And they say you can’t go home again! For a fleeting moment, we were transported to our magical island of Oahu where we met almost 40 years ago. For a moment, we were young again, sharing our meal with chopsticks — him getting the better part of the sushi rolls and me getting most of the rice. How can you not love this man of mine?

Sooner than later, we laughed and talked about our courtship, which only lasted a very short 5 days.  After spending 5 days on the island, he returned to the west coast and continued his job with the U.S. Navy Department and I continued my job — which I loved — as a sales rep with the better restaurants on Kalakawa Blvd. in Honolulu ‚ with the fear he would forget me and never return to the lovely island. 

I was wrong. His mother, after finding out I am a Catholic woman, sent all the paper work needed for marriage, and he was ready to marry me within 30 days of our meeting. The priest of our church, a friend of mine, arranged all the proper setting and we married after his arrival back on the island when he presented me with a gold butterfly necklace as an engagement gift. It was Valentine’s day.

Of course, my girlfriends were appalled at my decision to marry him after just 30 days, but I did not want to let him go. Remember: when you meet the one, don’t let him go. Even my priest said, “If you don’t marry him now, you will always think ‘What If I had?’”  

The girls, thinking only of an excuse, had arranged for a bachelorette party at the local watering hole which presented the male cabaret show of the season, I think about 1981 – nothing like today. Of course, being a good Catholic decent woman, I did not attend. Later I found out they had a great time and never even noticed I was not there.  

This afternoon sitting on the umbrella-covered bench, I knew after 40 years, I had made the right decision. His mother would be proud. 

Weber, a former Cedar County Republican reporter, is an active local business professional and occasionally contributes columns. 

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