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 Keith wasn't much for the big days like Valentine's Day, birthdays, and anniversaries, but Peggy loved special occasions and always managed to drop hints and reminders a week or two before so that Keith wouldn't forget.

 At least Keith could always be counted on to make reservations at their favorite restaurant, and this year for their anniversary was no different.  As they finished dressing for their evening out, Peggy handed Keith a box and said "Honey, I think I finally found you the perfect gift."

Keith sheepishly unwrapped the box and opened it to reveal the neatest multi-function watch he had ever seen.  Not only did it tell the time but it also gave the temperature, altitude, barometric pressure, had a directional compass, and had an alarm that could be set for everything imaginable.

Putting the watch on, Keith looked at Peggy and stammered, "Peg, honey, I um . .. "

"I know honey" she said, "It's all right.  I know you love me.  Let's go to dinner." 

After enjoying a superb meal, Keith ordered a bottle of champagne to celebrate their tenth anniversary.  Just as they were being served the champagne, a wandering magician who had been working the tables throughout the restaurant appeared at their table and asked, "Would you like to see a great feat of magic?"  to which they both answered "Yes."

With that, the magician picked up the champagne bottle and holding it three feet above the glasses proceeded to fill each glass without a single drop hitting the table.  Then he said, "Before you drink, might I borrow that ring you have on your finger sir?" gesturing to Keith's wedding band. 

But when he tried to remove the ring, Keith found that it wouldn't budge.  With a disappointed look on his face the magician turned to Peggy and said, "Ma'am, might I have that ring on your finger?" pointing to her diamond wedding ring. 

Somewhat reluctantly Peggy took the ring off and handed it to him.  Withdrawing a silk scarf from his pocket, the magician placed it over the ring in his hand and asked her if she would grab two ends of the scarf and gently pull it away from the ring.

Grabbing the scarf, Peggy did as she was instructed and was amazed to see that her ring had completely disappeared.  In its place was a small black box.  The magician said, "Ma'am, let me ask you a question . . . would you rather have the ring that was on your finger or take a chance on whatever's in this box?"

Peggy responded by saying, "Well, of course, I'd rather have my own ring back."  To which the magician replied, "Certainly.  I believe that's your ring in the bottom of your champagne glass."  She looked and was shocked to see that it was.

"But" the magician said, "As a token of my appreciation for your time, I'd like you to have this box, too" and handed it to her as he backed away from the table to disappear into the next room.

Opening the box Peggy found an emerald cut diamond surrounded by several smaller diamonds.  Keith took both of her hands and said "Peg, ten years ago when I asked you to marry me I could only afford a very, very small diamond.  I promised you that someday I would get you 'your' diamond . . . happy anniversary darling."

She took the ring from the box, slid it on her finger, and with a brilliant smile thanked Keith for making this a magical anniversary memory that would last a lifetime.



A young man boarded a plane for Dallas with a huge armful of beautiful red roses.  He was on his way to ask the love of his life to marry him.

As he walked down the airplane aisle, he handed each passenger a rose and showed them a picture of his fiancé-to-be who would be meeting him at the gate. 

At his request, as each passenger left the plane upon landing they walked up to the surprised and curious young woman and handed her a rose with a word or two of good wishes.  When her arms were full of roses the passengers began laying the rest of them around her feet.

With his fellow passengers gathered in a semi-circle around her, all beaming with pleasure, the young man walked up to his love, knelt on one knee, presented her with a beautiful diamond ring, and asked her to be his wife.



Singing in the choir at my church is a passion of mine made even more wonderful by the fact that my future husband is the choir director.  We met the first night I attended choir practice and had an enthusiastic discussion about music choices appropriate for our church and our large choir's capabilities.

Every week we meet to practice for the upcoming Sunday services.  We sing at three services on Sunday and are all very dedicated to the successful creation of a service filled with uplifting, well-executed music.  Peter and I had hit it off that very first night and not only enjoyed seeing each other at practice and church, but spent a lot of our spare time together as well.  Before we knew it we were considered "a couple".

Christmas at the church is especially exciting, but the behind-the-scenes work it takes to create a wonderful holiday celebration filled with joyous voices usually leaves us time for little else.  My second year in the choir found me running around like a maniac trying to squeeze in shopping, baking, and gift wrapping between all of the extra practices we were having. I knew, of course, that all of the practicing would be worth it in the end, but little did I know just how special it would turn out.

Christmas morning came and the choir was bustling around the dressing room decked out in crisp red and white robes.  Peter was rushing around like a red blur as he gave last minute instructions and reminded everyone of their cues for solos and bible readings.  I smiled as I watched him and wondered when we'd have enough time to celebrate Christmas ourselves, just he and I.

We filed solemnly into the church before many parishioners had arrived and began a beautiful rendition of Silent Night.  I lost myself in the wonderful Christmas music as we moved from one song to the next.  Peter stood at the front gently guiding us, a satisfied smile on his face.

The church was nearly full, Father had come to the side of the choir, and we all began to sing very softly.  Father nodded at Peter, but what happened next was not what anyone in that church was expecting.

Peter leaned toward the microphone at his left and said, "Before we begin this celebration today, I ask that you all join me in a celebration of my own."  As he said this, he was looking right up at me.  I felt butterflies in my stomach as he continued.

"On this special day, I want to share my joy in finding the woman I want to share my life with.  So, if Jean would come down here for a moment, I'd like to ask her to be my wife."  My knees were shaking as I walked down through the choir to join Peter at the front of the congregation.  He knelt before me and took my hand.

"Jean, in front of the people who care about us most, I ask you to be my wife," he said as he slid a fabulous diamond ring on my finger.  The whole congregation seemed to be leaning forward to hear my whispered "yes" as Peter rose to give me a hug.

I could barely walk back to my place in the choir and my voice was shaking so much I could only mouth the words for the rest of the service.  What an incredible Christmas gift!


The day my daughter Amber was born, seventeen years ago, was a proud and happy moment for Jimmy and me.  Like all new parents we were so proud we could burst, and Jimmy hovered anxiously over my bed all that first day as I held Amber in my arms.

Unlike today when a mother and child are typically out of the hospital in twenty-four to forty-eight hours, Amber and I spent four days there before being discharged.  Jimmy spent as much time with us as he possibly could.

Every morning Jimmy teased me about my thorough examination of Amber as though I thought they would bring her to me some morning with parts missing -- hands, arms, fingers, toes all present and accounted for.  But on our last morning in the hospital, as I performed my daily inspection, I was shocked to find a little envelope tucked into the front of Amber's diaper.  What on earth were these people doing?

I gently slid the envelope out of her diaper, finding that rather than paper, the envelope was made of the softest satin.  I carefully opened the envelope to find a note that read, "Look in the bottom drawer of your nightstand".  I handed Amber to Jimmy, who was looking on intently, and climbed out of bed to look in the nightstand.

There I found another note which read:

Our lives have changed forever
From now on it will only get better and better
 To remind you of this precious time
A special gift is yours to find

At the bottom of the poem it read, "When you're finished with this note, ring for the charge nurse."

I pushed the button and almost immediately the nurse walked in with her little pill tray in hand and handed it to me with a smile.  There was the familiar assortment of pills, but in the center was a little box wrapped in pink paper with a shimmering red bow on top.  "What's this?" I asked, to which the nurse just shrugged her shoulders.

I unwrapped the box and found a pair of tiny eighteen carat gold baby booties.

Just then Jimmy held out a beautiful gold charm bracelet.  "This is the single most special occasion in our lives, the birth of our first daughter.  Every year on Amber's birthday we'll add another gold charm significant of her life at that moment.  I love you Deb."  And then he held both Amber and I close in his big warm hug.



George had been a major league baseball fan all of his life.  Every opportunity to latch onto a few tickets found George in his favorite seat -- first seat, second row, right behind first base.

In the three years he had been seeing Mary he had never been able to interest her in going to one of the games.  She didn't like the traffic, she didn't like the crowds, and she was content with hearing about the excitement of the game from George when he got home.

Determined to share a game with Mary, George secured a pair of tickets, handed them to her with a bow, and said, "tomorrow afternoon, please be my guest at the game."  With a cute little "you won this time, buster" smile, she finally gave in. 

Mary was very taken by all the activity . . . the vendors, crowd reaction, airplanes flying overhead trailing colorful banners, and, of course, the athletes on the field.

As the seventh inning was drawing to a close, Mary glanced up to see what bright banner was flying overhead and was amazed to see "Mary, will you marry me?  I love you.  George," flying through the sky. 

Mary did a double take, turned to George with wide eyes, and saw him beside her on his knee, left hand extended and right hand poised to put a beautiful diamond engagement ring on her finger.

The inning had come to an end and behind George Mary was amazed to see the players on the field lined up on the first base line waving their hats as she told him "Yes, I'd love to be your wife".  The organist burst into "Here Comes the Bride" and George's baseball buddies who had all been seated nearby rushed up to congratulate both of them with beer & hot dog toasts!

A new baseball fan had just been born!



During the month of February we men start to get nervous.  There are expectations out there that we're just not sure we're equipped to handle.  The Valentine's Day thing is a bit scary!

My wife Sara starts dropping little hints in late January that she really enjoyed last year when I bought her the dozen roses or the special dinner out that we did the year before.  I start thinking, "How do I top myself year after year?"  But never fear, the romantic side of me usually wins out and this year was no exception.

On February 14th I gave her a quick peck on the cheek as I left for work, letting her think I hadn't remembered that it was Valentine's Day, then I high-tailed it out to the garage knowing she would be leaving shortly behind me. 

I drove down the street and parked my car around the corner then snuck back to watch the show.  I waved to my neighbor Tom as I crept around the side of his house and he just shook his head.

I waited right outside the garage to hear the door from the house into the garage close, then I peeked cautiously around the corner.

Sara was preoccupied and looked at her watch as she opened the door to her little car.  Whoosh!  Out came the helium balloons I had so carefully crammed in there after she went to sleep last night. 

She jumped back, startled, then looked around to see if I was hiding anywhere nearby.  "I know you're out there somewhere Tim! What are you up to?"

As I came out from my hiding place I pointed to the front seat of the car where one last balloon rested.  "I wonder why that one didn't fly out", I said.  "Better check it out."

Sara reached in and pulled the balloon out of the car, shaking it to hear the rattle inside.  I handed her the pin I had put on the shelf by the car and suggested she pop the balloon to get her real Valentine's Day surprise.

POP! went the balloon and out dropped a red velvet jewelry box that I caught in mid air and presented to Sara with a bow.  "Honey, you are my sweetheart, forever and ever.  Happy Valentine's Day."

The star sapphire earrings inside glistened like the tears in her eyes as she hugged me and said, "I love you Tim; you never disappoint me on Valentine's Day."


Walking through the Old Town district of Scottsdale, Arizona each year during our winter vacation is always a favorite activity of mine.  My husband David and I wander for hours, holding hands, window shopping and stopping for coffee at pretty little sidewalk cafes.  It's especially romantic in the early evenings as white Christmas lights come on all around us and fountains surrounded by beautifully sculpted stallions fill the air with the sound of rushing water.

We've been married a long, long time and I know I'm a lucky woman to have a husband who still holds my hand everywhere we go and truly enjoys our time together no matter what we're doing.

But, every year I ask David if we can go for a ride in one of the carriages that tours the streets, and that's been the one wish he hasn't granted me.  I really can't blame him because he's more than likely anticipating a sneezing attack from being in such close proximity to a horse, but I ask anyway just in case he changes his mind.

A horse-drawn carriage passed by and I smile sweetly up at him, "David dear, could we just do a short carriage ride this year.  It would be so romantic."  Imagine my surprise when this time he simply said, "Sure honey.  Next one that goes by we'll flag him down."

We strolled down the sidewalk slowly and, sure enough, when the next carriage passed David flagged him down.  I was more than a little surprised but I didn't say anything.

We climbed up into the carriage and David asked the driver if he could do a modified trip that would last just a short time -- and I laughed when David let out a great big sneeze as he finished his request to the driver!  "Honey, we don't have to do this if you're going to be miserable" I told him.

"No, we're on our way and I'll be just fine!" he replied, with another big sneeze.

I sat curled in the comfort of David's arm as we rode through the beautiful streets, content just to be close and warm with my husband.  David bent down and kissed my forehead, and when I looked up at him I saw that he was holding his hand toward me with something draped across it.  It was dark in the carriage so I bent close to look. 

In his hand was a heart-shaped diamond pendant that I had admired earlier in the evening while we were window shopping.  I didn't even know he'd gone back to the store!

"Honey, I want to give you this necklace as a reminder of how much I love being with you, no matter where we are or what we're doing.  I decided to give it to you on this carriage ride because I really want you to know that I'll go anywhere with you or for you."  And he ended with a great big sneeze!

I wear the necklace all of the time and because of the love he shared when he gave it to me it has a more special meaning to me than any other gift he has ever given me.



Sharon and Rosie had shared twenty-five years of marriage and in that time Sharon had never asked for much, but Rosie always knew she really wanted a pearl necklace.

Quietly slipping out of bed on the morning of their anniversary, she took the beautiful pearl necklace she had bought her and wrapped it around the neck of Daisy, the family cat.

Then she jumped back into bed and waited.

The alarm went off and that was the signal for Daisy to leap up onto the bed and remind his mistress by patting her gently on the cheek that it was time to get up. 

Sharon woke slowly and with her eyes closed began to affectionately stroke the cat.  She stopped at Daisy's neck, and with her eyes still closed felt the pearl necklace carefully.  She opened her eyes slowly to see if she was really touching what she thought she was touching, and as she exclaimed with delight over her wonderful surprise, her wife exclaimed, "Happy anniversary honey . . . I love you!"



Today was Susan's birthday and she hummed happily as she drove home from work.  She was really looking forward to dinner at her favorite restaurant with her husband Paul.  A neighbor had agreed to take care of the kids for the evening and Susan had nothing to do but get ready and have a fun evening. 

The telephone was ringing as she walked in the front door and she rushed to answer it.  It was Paul and he didn't even tell her happy birthday.  He just announced that his boss had assigned him an urgent project that needed to be completed by 8:00 the following morning. He followed up by saying that in the bedroom closet he had a briefcase full of documents he needed immediately to do the project.  His request, "Would you please do me a big favor and bring those to me at the office?" added to the disappointment that was now beginning to set in.  The evening she had looked forward to was not going to happen, and he hadn't even mentioned her birthday. 

Paul explained where the briefcase was in the closet and said he'd wait on the phone while she went to find it. 

Susan went to the bedroom closet and flipped the light switch . . . nothing happened.  "Great" she muttered, "what else can go wrong."  She moved cautiously into the closet, certain she knew where the briefcase was.  She stopped short when suddenly a match was struck and she saw a candle being lit, then another candle, then another.  She watched in surprise as candle by candle a birthday cake was illuminated by her husband who was sitting on the floor with the cake on a small table in front of him.  He was wearing a party hat and began singing 'happy birthday' as he continued to light candles.

This was too funny!  Paul was the most serious, business-like person in the world.  And there he sat on the closet floor wearing a goofy hat and singing happy birthday.  Susan couldn't believe it!

Paul invited her to sit on the floor across from him at the little table. "Honey, make a wish and blow out the candles."  She did as he instructed but had some difficulty because his surprise appearance had left her a bit giggly.  The next thing she heard was a distinct "pop" and Paul was pouring champagne into two glasses.

Touching his glass to hers, Paul became his serious self again and said, "Susan, you're the love of my life.  I love you with all my heart, and I am just so thankful that you're my wife.  Happy Birthday."  He opened a pretty little velvet-covered box to reveal a wonderful opal ring glittering in the candlelight. 

With tears in both of their eyes he carefully slipped it on her finger.


Every Saturday morning, without fail, my sister Joanne and I meet for coffee at our favorite cafe.  When the weather is nice we sit outside and the waitress who has been serving us for years brings us our order without even having to ask us what we want.  We have comfort food and girl talk, and it's the highlight of my week.

So, it was Saturday morning and we were re-hashing the week's events and I found myself voicing the same old lament . . . that my boyfriend of three years was never going to make a serious commitment to our relationship.  At 45, I was ready to settle into something more than just a steady weekend date.

Even though Joanne listened patiently I sensed that she was distracted, and I finally asked her what was so interesting behind me?  She leaned toward me and whispered, "Don't turn around, but there's a guy behind you with a hat and sunglasses that looks like he's trying to eavesdrop.   I wonder if he's delusional and thinks he's a spy!"   At that we giggled and continued our conversation in quieter tones.

A few seconds later I heard the chair behind me scrape the cement as our "spy" moved closer.  This guy was definitely a kook who was much too interested in what we were saying.  So I proceeded to launch into a tale of how I had met a fabulous bodybuilder earlier in the week and we were having a passionate affair.  I added that I was thinking about breaking up with Thomas to run off with this new guy.

CRASH!  In trying to strain to listen to what I was saying, the guy behind us actually fell over backwards, and I was so startled that I jumped up and managed to tip our whole table over -- coffee, toast and all.  What a mess and what a noise!  Everyone on the patio was looking at us!

I turned to give this guy a piece of my mind and absolutely could not believe the sight of my Thomas righting himself and his chair and trying to maintain some small semblance of dignity.  "What on earth do you think you're doing?"  I yelled.

"Well, believe it or not honey.  This was a well-planned attempt to propose in a very unique and romantic way.  It just didn't turn out exactly as I had planned!"  With that, he pulled a diamond ring out of his pocket and took my hand.

"Janet, don't you even think about running off with some other guy!  You're my girl, and I want you to be my wife!  Will you marry me?"

Trying to hold back a combination of laughter and tears, I held out my hand for Thomas to slip the diamond on my finger.  "Thomas, I'll call Fabio the minute I leave here and tell him the deal's off.  I would love to be your wife."


It was a beautiful day for a hike, the weather was perfect, but Peter seemed a little "out of it" today, a little aloof.  Wendy figured it was because the end of the quarter was near and Peter was still short of his sales quota.

As they walked she and Peter engaged in idle chit chat.  If she mentioned anything about work he quickly moved along to another subject. 

The sound of the waterfall in the distance meant that lunch break was just around the corner.  Her feet were tired and she was ready for a rest. The waterfall was Wendy's favorite place in the whole world and she looked forward to a peaceful half an hour enjoying its beauty.

Running to the edge of the pool, she pulled off her hiking boots and let her feet slowly sink into the cool blue water.  Peter joined her as they sat and shared a delicious lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Afterwards, dozing in the sun, Wendy tried to think of a way to cheer Peter up a bit.

As they prepared to leave, Wendy slid on her socks and grabbed her boots. After cooling her heels in the stream her boots always felt so much better on her feet.  Lacing up her second boot she noticed something strange about the shoelace.  There was something hanging from it . . . a diamond ring!  It was a diamond engagement ring!!

She turned to face Peter who had dropped to his knee beside her.  Taking the boot from her he removed the ring, looked lovingly into her eyes, and said, "My darling Wendy, I love you more than anything in this world.  I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  Will you marry me?"

Wendy's response was a great big "yes!" as she toppled Peter over into the grass to give him a kiss.



Michael and I met in a composition class in our sophomore year of college.  We struck up a conversation one afternoon as we were walking out of the classroom and continued talking until we reached my dorm.  He asked if he could take me out for coffee later and I told him I'd like that.

Our relationship just "felt right" from the very beginning, and we knew that we were meant to be together.

Michael and I had been dating for a little over a year when we began talking about moving in together.  I had discussed the idea with my parents and they weren't too crazy about it.  They hadn't said "absolutely not young lady" as I had expected though, so I moved forward with my plan to move in.

The Saturday we had chosen to move was a chilly Fall day with multi-colored leaves blowing everywhere.  Fall is my favorite time of year and I couldn't wait to get moved into our little apartment so we could decorate with all the seasonal colors.

As I trudged up the steps with a full armload of clothes I looked up to see that Michael had already hung a beautiful wreath made of red & gold leaves on our door.  It was big and thick and had pine cones scattered around it.  I wondered who had made it.

Pushing open the door with my foot I walked in and complimented Michael on the wreath as I dropped my pile of clothes on the couch.  "Who made that Michael? It's beautiful."

"Believe it or not, I did . . . with a little help from your Mom" was his reply. 

"My Mom?"  I walked back out to take a closer look with Michael on my heels.  The significance of the wreath on our door was much more apparent when I had a chance to look more closely.  Hanging from a red ribbon in the center was a diamond engagement ring with a note attached to it.

In my Mom's writing, the note read:  "Honey, do you think we would've let you move in there if we hadn't known Michael was going to propose.  Now, give the poor boy his answer!  Love, Mom"

Michael had a huge smile on his face as if he knew exactly what my answer would be, and he was right.  I gave him a great big "yes"!



My husband and I are avid fishermen; sometimes I think it's the only reason he married me!  On weekends we load up our fishing equipment, a picnic basket full of goodies, and head for our favorite "fishin' hole".

Now, this isn't a secluded spot, mind you.  We most often fish from the dock at a nearby bait & tackle shop. They say we're good advertising because we always catch fish.  We're often surrounded by bait shop patrons asking us how we're doing and what bait we're using.

As luck would have it on this particular day, I was catching fish right and left and my husband was having nothing but trouble with lost bait, snags, and fish that just "almost" got caught.  He seemed sort of off kilter, but I told him to try to relax and enjoy the day.

Finally, after fiddling with a snag for some time and then throwing down his pole in disgust, he grumbled something about getting a soda out of the cooler and stalked off. This was so unlike his usual even temperament that I decided to go after him, but first I stopped to pick up his pole so no one would trip over it.

Imagine my surprise as I lifted the pole and got clunked on the head by a diamond ring tied neatly in place of the sinker.  I had to look twice, and then started laughing when I realized that all of my husband's aggravation had been meant to lead me to exactly this point.  I turned and looked to see him standing in the doorway of the bait shop, employees, owner, and a few patrons all peeking around him with big grins on their faces.

"Hey honey!  Have I told you lately that I sure like fishin' with you?"  No special occasion, just a very fitting way to tell me how much he loves me.



It had taken a couple of weeks of negotiation but Joe finally got the deal he wanted and drove out of the dealership in his brand new Explorer.

His wife Mary had been a little skeptical with his reasoning that the purchase was because their kids who were now 14 and 16 would be taking long trips with them in the car and they needed more room.  He knew she was on to him . . . his real motivation for buying a utility vehicle was because he loved to go four-wheeling on Saturdays with his friends and felt a little conspicuous when he was always doing the "riding" and never the driving.

Joe arrived home and ran into the house as excited as a nine-year-old boy with his first bicycle.  Mary was working at her computer as Joe came up behind her, gave her a big kiss on the cheek and said, "C'mon, c'mon, let's go!  Let's go for a ride." 

They jumped into the Explorer and headed out of town.  After a few minutes, Joe pulled over to the side of the road and invited Mary to drive.  She got behind the wheel and found that she really enjoyed the sensation of sitting up so high with a great view of everything ahead of her.

Joe instructed, "Hang a left here" and as Mary followed his directions she found herself heading into the late afternoon sun.  To shield her eyes, she quickly reached up and pulled down the visor.  She felt something "plop" right into her lap and then roll onto the floor of the truck.  "What was that?" she exclaimed. 

"I don't know.  Better pull over and let's check it out".

Once they were pulled over on a side road, Mary found a little blue velvet box on the floor and looked over at Joe quizzically.  "What's this?" 

Sporting a foolish grin, Joe just shrugged his shoulders.  Mary opened the box to find an alligator pendant with ruby chips for its eyes.  "Oh my gosh!  What's this all about?" she exclaimed with great pleasure.

"Well, honey, I just wanted to say thank you for your understanding about me buying this vehicle.  We could've lived without it, but you knew how much it meant to me.  You're a wonderful wife and I don't tell you often enough how much I appreciate you.  Thank you."

Mary leaned over to hug Joe and said, "You're the best Joe.  I'm just happy you're happy!"