Me, A Mountain Lion, magic, and Tall Tales of Proposals

Funerals are funny things. The Loved Ones we buried this week have been part of the ENTIRE history of my husband and me.

If it hadn’t been for Carruth Gerault, I wouldn’t have met my husband. If it hadn’t been for Jack Klesel, I might not have married him.

If they had Camera Phones back then…..we would both be in big trouble! If only I had the shot of Carruth, Jimmy, and David in their black Resistol hats and Red foam Antlers the night I met them, red suspenders with every naughty Christmas button ever known to man…..The image is burned on my brain. But I regress.

Having been to the funerals of both Carruth and Jack…what story did my husband choose to tell at BOTH? The story of our engagement! What a Tall Tale did he come up with? He might as well been talking about Pecos Bill lassoing a Tornado.

In December 1993, David planned a ski trip to Lake Tahoe with some friends and asked if I would come along. It was an odd trip. I was the second girl, amongst 6 of my husband’s friends. Our host, had his girlfriend there too, but only a couple of our days total. Knowing that these were life-long friends of my husband, I made sure not to importune on their good times. They had 2 days to ski just guys, and 2 nights to hang out and tell their manly stories. I had fun going about the casinos, I took the Tahoe Tessie tour on the paddle boat, and did some site seeing.

We were there over New Year’s Eve, David wanted to get things prepared for the Celebration, and we took off to get the Black Eye’d Peas, and Cornbread fixings that Texans do, and take a little time to explore S. Lake Tahoe before we went to Midnight Rodeo, a Country Western Club our host managed.

David loves to tell how he wanted to propose, and drove me to a vista over the Heavenly Ski resort at Lake Tahoe to propose, and how I got back into the car before he could get the ring out. That he had to tap on the window to get to to come back out for the Big question. Oh how he plays it up. How he found the mountain lion, and that we had to take pictures. Blah, Blah, Blah.

After Carruth passed, we started going through pictures to offer up for the funeral home, and the photographic evidence of a different story started to appear.

The Mountain Lion.

We were doodling about Tahoe, grocery shopping etc, and passing one of the casinos there was a mountain lion on a leash and a guy offering pictures. I had to stop.

David took a picture too.

The mountain lion had a schnauzer in his sites, and was put up after his pic. 😂

He was whining so badly about not being able to hang out with his buddies for the 3rd of our 4 days, I threatened to punish him for the rest of his life and taking him to one of the local Wedding Chapels and marrying him on the spot. I really did! We drove up the mountain to get some photos of Lake Tahoe, and Heavenly. We stopped at one of the scenic overlooks to take some shots. I was so irritated with him for complaining, I really just wanted to go home.

I got out of the car, took pictures of him, two of the vista, and tapped my size 7 boot on the asphalt till I got soooo chilled I had to get back in the car. I was still wearing the jogging suit from the Mountain Lion Shot, I was cold on the mountain…Just saying. He wasn’t wearing a coat either, but he never does.

Next thing I know, he’s dragging me out of the car, a bit peeved at me and demanding that I marry him. He was waving the ring around…I couldn’t see it, let alone put it on my finger. He was on one knee on ice, and sliding down the mountain. It was really funny, and we both ended up laughing like crazy. I’m not sure why I said yes, but in hind site…..he looked really tense putting that lense on his camera. He must have been working up his nerve, and I ruined his moment…..or the moment he had in his mind that he struggled to make happen, in a really cool spot. I kinda love him for that. 😊

We will celebrate 25 years of Marriage in March. We brought Zach home with us from that trip. There was real magic at Lake Tahoe for us that year.

That’s my tall tale, with photographic evidence, of the vista of my proposal.

Thanks Carruth. Thanks Uncle Jack. You still inspire the romantic in my husband. I can’t believe he wanted to continue to tell the story that you helped him to create for us.

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