Timing is Everything

“If you stop looking for it, it will find you when you’re ready,” explained my friend, Ali, over and over . . . 

She was right.

Ready to give up and live fat and happy eating Kamas Chevron donuts with my dogs, I gave Match.com another try. By April, I knew I didn’t need to see another profile that was missing punctuation and filled with misspellings of commonly confused words and pictures of Harleys.

Clearly, the algorithm was not going to produce a match that met my criteria.

Over spring break, I gave it one more try and BOOSTED myself. Layne, in Kanab, saw my profile. I saw that he saw me and liked him first – a forward, bold and brazen move.

From the first messages on the site to exchanging numbers to our first 4-hour phone call to FaceTime . . . those firsts added up to Layne’s first trip to Francis. 

On the front porch, Houston, Honey, Heidi, Herman and I watched TACO, Layne’s orange Tacoma turn onto the street. When he pulled into the driveway, I stepped off the porch and melted into his chest. (Of course, I have to stand on my tiptoes to hug him.) 

I knew. 

Within an hour, I’d said it . . . I couldn’t not say it. 

A few days before we said goodnight on the phone, I whispered, “It’s hard not to say it.” That’s another thing – Layne knows how much it means to me to say goodnight and good morning and he never misses doing that with me.

When it’s right, it’s right.  

We choose each other every day . . . we choose to laugh, we choose to love, we choose to feel all the things together. Our in-joke file keeps expanding with Arby’s curly fries, Premium Creamies, and team sports.

For years I’d learned what it wasn’t and shouldn’t be, then, just like Ali said, it found me.  

Who is Layne?  Layne is my favorite person. His heart is full and big. He challenges me intellectually; he makes me think critically. After losing his beautiful wife, Sally, Layne moved to Kanab and started working for Best Friends Animal Society. Together, Sally and Layne vacationed in Kanab to volunteer at Best Friends.  They are good people.

Combined, we have eight dogs and three cats – and, yes – they are all welcome to sleep in bed and cuddle on the couches.

When Layne first came to Francis, he brought champagne glasses. We both had bottles of Veuve Clicquot to open. That became our thing – when one of us comes home, we drink bubbles whether in Francis or Kanab.

Last night, after carrying in my bags, Layne suggested, “I’ll open the champagne if you’ll get the glasses.” Instead, I smooched on the dogs and started putting things away. Finally, I reached for the glasses and found a box . . .

This happened.

We’re the Hooker-Dickers.  (That’s just fun to say.)

About Julie Hooker

I'm a teacher, writer, and editor. In addition, I'm an animal rescuer, yogi, and friend.
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