A torrential downpour on a chilly day in November left me stranded at my desk in the aircraft hangar where I worked. The hangar was nearly a half a mile from the parking lot and it was raining sideways.  It was the middle of a 12 hour day and I had not brought my lunch. Go figure. I couldn’t win the lotto if I had a time machine.

I was getting hungry to the point where I was about to attempt the rain when the electrical integrator that I worked for began teasing me for even considering that option. He was smiling at me in a way that he never had before.

He invited me to go with him to the break room and share his lunch with him. I remember looking at him almost in a new light. I had never seen him out of his typical hard-working boss routine, and this soft funny side of him was very appealing.

In the break room he cut his peanut butter and jelly sandwich in half and slid me half on a napkin. He split his chips the same way and then poured me half of his sweet tea. I felt a giddy 6-year-old crush slam itself through my veins in a tingly, anxious, sweetness. 

We laughed and talked throughout our picnic style lunch as the rain poured on the metal roofed building. When I walked out of that break room that day, there was a new spark in me that I thought was lost. I had written off the idea of having feelings for anyone because it seemed everything I touched fell apart.  I was scared to jump the gun, but my emotions never really seem to let me choose. They kind of annoyingly grab ahold of me and slam my face into a brick wall and make me conform to their will.

He was smart, successful and very much a country boy. He was always in a worn out, red Dale Jr. hat and a pair of Wrangler jeans, dipped Coppenhaggen and knew exactly when to say, “yes ma’am”.  He liked to play in the mud and watch NASCAR on Sundays, but he worked hard and didn’t give up on the things he wanted. A great balance of all the things that drove me crazy. 

Yes, I was looking at him in a whole new light. Oh Lord no… Someone please tell me to watch my heart. Isn’t anyone in charge of that thing?

I walked out of there full of hope. Hope is something that feels more incredible than any other emotion I have ever felt. It’s snuggly and promising… and it is what drives us. Hope. Hope of things better. Hope. What a beautiful thing to have running through your mind.