Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Pride and Prejudice or How I Became Mrs. Martin - Part One

I could write much about our last weeks. We've been busy with summer picnics, home improvement projects, history tours, gardening, and hosting friends. Usually we were a good busy and happy tired by the end of the day. (I also know the not-good busy and the sad tired, though not the last weeks.) But last week was our wedding anniversary and I found that I couldn't think of it without a feeling of suffocation. 

So I'm going down memory lane. About five years ago a blogging friend asked me to write the story of how Ed and I met. I edited it a bit and am sharing it here.

(Photos of Ed and I seventeen years ago)

Pride and Prejudice 
 How I Became Mrs. Martin

Lightening flashed and thunder rumbled—but it was only an ordinary summer thunderstorm—not an indication that I had just met my future husband.

I was standing on the front porch when I first saw him. Around me swirled laughter and voices. My friend Teresa and her sisters had planned a picnic on July 4, 1998. They invited a wide variety of youth from among their acquaintances at church, school, and work. When two young men ambled up the walk, I guessed that they were Ed and Marlin, Teresa's co-workers who I had heard about often but never met.

The rest of the evening is a blurred memory. I know we at yummy food and played volleyball until the rain chased us indoors to play games. Marlin and Ed turned an empty soda bottle into an Amish soda rocket, but I was unaware of the other sparks that were kindled that evening.

Over the next several months, Ed and Marlin occasionally appeared at a church service or a volleyball game. It didn't take long to figure out that Marlin and Teresa were moving their relationship to a deeper level than co-worker. I assumed Ed was tagging along with Marlin to give him company in visiting Teresa’s church.

I was twenty-two years old and spending many Saturdays watching my friends marry. I had the normal young woman's dream of marriage, but I wasn’t interested in the marriage options available. A Mennonite young man, though interesting from a single girl's perspective, didn't count.

To an outsider, my long skirt and white head covering looked similar to a Mennonites. I was often asked by strangers if I was Mennonite. But I was from a Brethren church and had built a wall of prejudice against Mennonites. I had never specifically said that I would never marry a Mennonite (I didn't want to make a promise I’d regret), but I thought it.

In October one of my dear friends, who also worked with Ed, married. After the wedding some of us played volleyball, including Marlin and Ed. Eventually hunger sent us to the tiny local pizza shop named Romeos. A few of us girls quickly slid into a booth, hungry for some girl talk. While I don't have trouble talking (usually I talk far too much) I was more reserved around guys. I preferred catching up with some dear friends. But the guys started shoving tables together and obviously wanted us to stay in a group so I left my comfortable huddle.

One cold day in February, Teresa called to say her co-workers were organizing snow tubing excursion. “Will you go along?” That evening, Teresa and three of her Brethren girlfriends, met a few Mennonite guys, plus several couples to car pool together to snow tubing. The young men offered to drive, but already feeling awkward with this group, we girls refused to be separated and drove together to Teresa's disappointment. Whether any young men were disappointed, I never asked.

At the mountain, the snow tubing course was crowded and the lines were long. But the evening was cold, crisp, and lovely. At closing time, I lingered to the back of the line, enjoying the beauty of the West Virginian mountains before the last ride. Ed waited too and gave my tube a shove for a head start down the mountain. In thanks, I lingered at the bottom so Ed could catch up, and we briefly chatted as we walked over to join the group. Nothing memorable was discussed but it was, to my memory, our first real conversation just the two of us.

(To be continued)


  1. Now, I can't wait to read part two. You definitely left me wanting to know more:-)

  2. Oh this is the beginning of a lovely story . . . Please write more soon!!!

  3. Oh, me too! Please keep writing; you're a very good writer, Gina!

  4. Loved reading this, Gina! Thank you for sharing this.

  5. I remember reading this on another blog a few years ago - but I'm eager to reread it. What a special thing to do in honor of your anniversary!

    Mary Beth Martin

  6. I'm thankful you have so many good memories. I'm sorry I didn't remember your anniversary.

  7. Can't wait to hear the rest of your love story God bless

  8. Oh me to on can't wait to hear the rest. Happy Anniversary... I can only imagine how that was for you.

  9. I thought I had read most of your blog posts but I don't remember your story. I'm looking forward to reading more and will be praying for you as you share with us.

  10. I'm eager to read the rest of the story too. Thank you for sharing! I can only imagine the suffocating feeling you experience when you think of your present realities. Praying you continue to experience God's amazing grace and comfort.

  11. What are the differences between Brethren and Mennonites?

  12. looking forward to part two. Sue

  13. Oh fun! I’m going to like this story.
    My great grandparents were Brethren. My grandfather became a Pastor in the Holiness churches. I enjoy reading about the Brethren Church.

  14. Gina, the picture of you and Ed is so sweet. I know this is a hard time for you. Know you are in my prayers.

  15. I am praying for you, Gina. May you find rest and peace in His hands.

  16. My family also is a blended Brethren and Mennonite.


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