There’s a curb on the left-hand side of our house underneath the widespread branches of the towering oak tree.

It’s unassuming.

It’s ordinary.

It’s so unimpressive that you might miss it if you walked by the house and blinked.

But truth?

None of this—this blog—this family—this life—this love would be possible without that curb.

It’s where every chapter of this story started.

Before there were ever Lee Press-On Nails and over-cooked pancakes and a little band called Rush and hearts that sing. And after all these years when I walk by that curb on my way to the mail or the sidewalk or the driveway or the backyard…

….I still get goosebumps.

Good goosebumps.

Wonderful goosebumps.

The kind of goosebumps that make me want to pinch myself and count my blessings and dance the Macarena and sing the Hallelujah Chorus on my tiptoes from the balcony of the Empire State Building.

Because that is where everything started.

Right there on the edge of an ordinary curb.

It was our first date.

I greeted him at the back door with red lipstick, an add-a-bead necklace, 4″ high bangs sprayed with Aqua Net hairspray, a prairie skirt, and a sweater vest covered in bows.

I think I might have even had on high-heeled shoes and socks with my name written on them with dotted letters scribed with a paint pen.

At the risk of stating the obvious……

…I looked amazing.

He wasn’t a big talker.

A man of very few words.

Maybe he was shy.

Maybe he was nervous.

Maybe he was intimidated by the socks.

I didn’t care.

He was cute with dimples and brown wavy hair and big brown eyes that kind of looked like Johnny Depp and he had his own car. You know. All the really important things in life.

And besides, I thought, I’m a talker. I could talk enough for both of us.

We went to church and then we drove around looking at Christmas lights.

And as we drove under the twinkling arches and swagged greenery, I talked.

And talked.

And talked.

I told him how cute the animated Santa Claus were with their lighted banjos as they danced next to the seven dwarfs.

He said nothing.

I exclaimed with enthusiastic joy over the teddy bears sitting in the train and how cute Kermit the Frog was as the conductor.

He said nothing.

I mentioned that it was amazing that a single yard could hold a merry-go-round, a nativity, Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer and a giant 7-foot Barney all at the exact same time.

He said nothing.

I laughed and talked and sang every Christmas carol I knew and took my mittens on and off and nervously stared out the window and kept up a one-way conversation for the entire drive while he sat stoically in the driver’s seat….. 

…..saying absolutely positively nothing.

I was done.

I thought he didn’t like me.

I thought I bored him.

I thought to myself despairingly, “when will this date ever be over?”

And when we pulled up to my parent’s house.

(total aside: right there at the exact house we bought back from my parents on the EXACT CURB I walk by every single day.)

But back then?

I had enough of my own conversation.

I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough.  I hurriedly mumbled something about what a great time that I had and turned to leave. And just as I started to open the door he reached for my hand.

I stopped and stared at him.

And he stared at me.

It was completely quiet in the car.  No one said a word.

And then in the hush of that moment, in the silence of the car, in the quietest of voices, he whispered, “What if I kissed you?”

Wide-eyed, I nodded.

And right there sitting in a car pulled up to an ordinary curb in front of my parent’s house wearing red lipstick and a prairie skirt and a sweater vest with bows…..

….I got the kiss of a lifetime.


I never looked back.

And even now, after all these years he can look at me from across the room with those twinkling eyes and smiling dimples—with that look that is just for me—-and I still get goosebumps.

And then I count my blessings that this sweet, wonderful, incredible, brown-eyed man…..

……finally found his voice. 🙂

PS Here’s the best picture I had of the sidewalk and the curb from the story. I read this post to my husband and he informed me that he didn’t really talk because I neglected to bring up something really interesting like “the unsolved mystery of Bigfoot.”

Of course.


Why didn’t I think of that? 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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  1. Image for laura laura

    love this! my husband said he knew when i did the air drum sequence to a U2 song that was on his car radio on our second date - I was the one!

  2. Image for Sue P. Sue P.

    Loved your Love Story! Wishing you at least 75 more years happily together...helping each other across the curbs of life.

  3. Image for Janette Deans Janette Deans

    Yours is a story to be shared and bring a smile to all who appreciate a true love story. It's heartwarming and I love the pictures you shared. Have a lovely valentines day .xx

  4. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    LOL. Love his Bigfoot comment. I am still laughing. Thanks for sharing your beautiful love story with us.

  5. Image for Kris Kris

    Funny and sweet story. My husband and I met via the internet back before it was a normal thing to do (such shocking behavior!). On our first date he showed up at the parking lot of the McDonald's we were meeting at with tape on his glasses--his broke right before he had to leave (it was a 1 1/2 hour drive to get to my town) and didn't have time to fix them properly. He was pretty shy but conversation suddenly bloomed when we both discovered a mutual love of The Simpsons. Our inauspicious beginning has led to 2 wonderful kids and 20+ years of marriage. 🥰

  6. Image for Va in NC Va in NC

    Love your Love Story. Made my heart sing and think back to the remembered magic moments that I shared with my late husband. Thank you for that, and I wish you many more magic moments as you share your life together. Hugs,

  7. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Ya'll are so cute! Love your story, first kiss, the photos- still the twinkling eyes looking at YOU! Happy Valentines Day!

  8. Image for Lisa Lisa

    That's the sweetest story, Karianne. And you two look just as cute together today as you did all those years ago. Your words bring your great love story to life in such a beautiful way. I've read this post several times already (smile). Continued good fortune in love, life and family. Happy day to you. -Lisa, xoxo

  9. Image for Missy Missy

    Wonderful story.. I had only one date with my husband. He too was not a talker, but I was. I never needed another date to know he was THE ONE. We had almost 45 years together. Valentine’s Day was our anniversary. I still miss him ever day. Treasure every moment.

  10. Image for DeMarie Ingraham DeMarie Ingraham

    Kismet. Pure and simple. (Or was it curb appeal??? 🤪) You two look as adorable today as you did on your wedding day. Here’s to a lifetime of goosebumps and Bigfoot exploration. Happy St. Valentine’s Day.

  11. Image for Barbara Barbara

    KeriAnn, You and your brown-eyed, dimpled, darling husband are such a cute example of a blessed marriage. Thanks for sharing your wedding pictures and the precious story. A true love story never ends!

  12. Image for Lori Lori

    Love the story! What a memory to have. Bigfoot!? That's just too funny! Your family walking in the field is just a wonderful photo! Happy Valentines Day!

  13. Image for Anna Anna

    That is the shortest romance novel ever. As a writer who has had 16 books published, I advise you to write one for real, I mean really you need one more thing to squeeze into your busy schedule, right?

  14. Image for Sharon Sharon

    I got goose bumps reading this! What a sweet story. My late husband and I talked by phone every night for two months before we actually met (he was traveling for work) and the instant we saw each other on our first date (6 days after Valentine's Day), we knew this was it! And it was until the day he died. He's still "it" for me!

  15. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Looks like the landscaping on that corner grew with love as yours did...beautifully. Happy Valentines Day to you both. Your writing is whimsical and fabulous as always. Thank you for being you!

  16. Image for Angela Angela

    Ditto the "write a book, please!" This Valentine's story is just lovely, and I got goosebumps - the good kind! THank you so much, and Happy Valentine's Day!!

  17. Image for Cristina Cristina

    I LOVE your love story, and I also agree with “please write a book”! Thank you for sharing your beautiful story! Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️

  18. Image for Tracey Tracey

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your forever sweetheart! I just loved reading your love story. I can see why you fell in love at first sight. He is so handsome. And you just have the brightest eyes, and cute little nose, I’m sure he was smitten!!! What maintains love through the years is friendship and respect and admiration, and it seems to me you have that in spades! Here’s to many many more Valentines days. PS I’ve always wanted an older home, and I think it’s so romantic that you now live in the beautiful home your grew up in, and are making it a perfect home for you and your own family now. 💕💕💕

  19. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I love this story! It melts my heart. It's funny I am the chatty one and Joh is quiet. But the best is he come out with these one-liners that make me laugh 30 years later. Still being best friends and truly liking each other is the best!

  20. Image for Lyn Lyn

    My husband of 51 years and I were just talking about the day we met. We both worked in an engineering office - and his cubicle was across from mine. He said he didn't think I would ever go out with him, and that I probably had a boyfriend. I thought he was cute, and one night I saw him walk out of work and get into a classic car he had restored. I had my eye on that car for a few weeks, and when I saw it belonged to him I said "wow". We started going out to lunch with a group from the office - and one day he asked just me to go to lunch. All these years later, I remember that day vividly. I wore a pink and white linen dress - with strappy pink high heels, and I weighed about 95 pounds. I am looking across the room at him right now and still feel the same way I did all those years ago.

  21. Image for marilyn ackerman marilyn ackerman

    wow the perfect story for this valentines day...brought happy tears to my eyes. you both are still amazing and full of joy


    HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO BOTH OF YOU! I just love your sweet story! And to think that you and your wonderful hubby are back in your beautiful home -- with that sidewalk and curb -- where it all began! How wonderful is this! God knew that you were meant for each other! May you be blessed with many more years and special Valentine Days together!

  23. Image for Alice Hanson Alice Hanson

    Happy Valentine’s Day❤️ I can not tell you how much you make me smile with each and every story! I love them all and this one especially! Hope you have a wonderful Valentines ! Smiles, Alice

  24. Image for Carol Anderson Carol Anderson

    Oh, my dear sweet KariAnn, thank you for your great story. My sweet, tall, blue eyed, first date honey gave me the kiss that I couldn't turn away from at the top of the Foshey Tower, Mpls, MN where as fabulous as I looked, the wind whipped my perfectly placed and Aqua Net sprayed hair piece over my face n ruined my oh-so-very-high up-do!! Only thing to do was to take it out before one of those bobby pins took somebody's eye out waaaaay down below. As my long, dark, straight hair fell into my back my now husband says that is when he fell in love with me! It will be 52 years ago April 4. We only look back to laugh a lot, to cry a little n mostly to enjoy the life we made happen. Your story stirred up those beautiful memories again. Thank you for this priceless Valentine!💝 Carol

  25. Image for Carole Carole

    I don’t know why but I never scrolled down to read the comments until today and these readers echoed my thought. Loved the story, loved the wedding dress, what a cute couple you made…Thank you for sharing your heartwarming story- you should submit it for publication in a magazine.

  26. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    Karianne Starting life out with a man you adore who has little words is kind of how we usually end our life too. I remember my departed mother and father in law sitting on the couch together after 50 years of marriage. They sat there for hours, didnt say a word. But they didnt have to. They loved each other all those years and beyond. Words were never necessary. You too have been graced with true love. Thank you for sharing your love with us.

  27. Image for Barb Ostrom Barb Ostrom

    Love, Love, Love your story! It reminds us all of how thankful we all should be of your courting days and how sweet it was. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  28. Image for Marie Casale Marie Casale

    Oh my gosh. I am a writer. And I am impatient. And I can sometimes be critical...but I read EVERY word of your story and LOVED LOVED LOVED it!!! Time to start your romance novel! Such a cute story.🥰

  29. Image for Laura Harrie Laura Harrie

    KariAnne, your love story is as amazing as you are! You two have been blessed with so many years and four wonderful children! Waiting for the next chapter in your lives!

  30. Image for Marie Denise Bertrand Marie Denise Bertrand

    thank you for sharing your first date with your then future husband it was beautiful and funny at the same time , you talking none stop through nerves and he not saying a word through nerves haha young and forever love . my husband like yours is not big with words but when he does speak ( or get a chance to say something), its from the heart and has always made me feel that I am the only person even after 45 years please write your book , we folks in Aussie Land love you

  31. Image for R R

    Love your story and so happy for you. When you have that special love and lose that person your life is forever changed and also very lonesome. I know there are other lonely people too which makes Valentine's Day hard, but you did bring lovely memories and a smile and a tear to my eyes......thanks and love your stories.......

  32. Image for Lynne Lynne

    I met my husband through friends on a blind date (which had been put off several months and then several weeks after that!). He told me he didn't talk much. I told him that was fine, I talk enough for both of us (and I do!). Afterwards, we sat on my patio for several hours. I told him not to touch me, my dog did not like men, and I didn't want my blind date a/k/a future husband to get bit. The dog had already bitten the plumber and meter reader. The dog totally ignored me and was all over my blind date, a/k/a future husband, for attention. (The little traitor made a liar out of me!). After leaving my house at 2:00 a.m. and promising to be back by 8:00 a.m. the next morning with a trailer to help my friend move (I truly did not think he'd show up), he was there right on time. Though I didn't want to, I really liked him, and falling in love (something I'd also sworn off) was so easy. I quickly forgot the vows never to fall in love again and took sweet vows of marriage! You just know, right?

  33. Image for Carol Tucker Carol Tucker

    Love your 1st date story. Precious..I know what you mean by goosebumps. Even when I'm mad enough to cuss..I recall our first kiss. That moment has brought me smiles 51 years later. It will be the same for you..I'm pretty sure. LOVE your writings💕

  34. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Karianne!!! I love this so much! What a sweet story. I can so relate! My late husband was a man of few words too. My NOW husband is also! But, boy, when they talk, it really means something doesn't it? Thanks for sharing your story!!

  35. Image for Linda Linda

    I enjoyed your story and your cute photos. Yes enjoy each other. Life is short. Miss my husband every day now for the last 8 years. But we were happy for the 44 years we had together. Take care of each other. Your sweet children and Ofcourse Buddy.

  36. Image for Kristy Kristy

    Such a beautiful love story! I love that you still get goosebumps when he flashes you that look that's meant for only you! I just shared on IG about my husband and I met...30yrs later and we're still together!

  37. Image for Teresa Teresa

    Seeing your wedding photo reminded me of a piece you wrote about your father. I can't remember the details now. Maybe on your wedding day? (Would love for you to republish it.) I realized then what an incredibly unique writer you are and this essay just emphasizes that gift. Thank you for sharing it. Brightest Blessings ALL-Ways!

  38. Image for Tammy Tammy

    Oh, my goodness...that story is so similar to my own 'kiss of a lifetime'! My husband is also not a talker and I definitely am (even after 36 years I haven't been able to change that about him), we met when I was 15 and he was 17 and yes, his look to me after all these years is amazing! Your reference to Bigfoot at the end made me literally laugh out loud as my hubby loves that show even though it is SO ridiculous and he knows it! I always tease him and say...'You know the show is not really real, right?!?'

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