After meeting Thelma, everything started falling in place. We started talking more about getting married and what that would look like. The most important thing for Terry was that we had a house to live in, especially since our current living conditions would not make for a great start to our “new family”. (The boys and I lived with my parents. Terry lived with Thelma) Both of us knew that living with our parents along with 2 boys would not work. So Terry began the house search. Little did I know that almost every Sunday after lunch, we (Terry, myself, Ryan and Matt) would be riding around looking at houses! Sometimes it was fun, and other times it wasn’t. Just ask Ryan and Matthew how much they enjoy “house hunting”.
Finally, after much looking and frustration, Terry found a house he wanted to look at but he didn’t take me with him the first time. The funny thing about the house and the whole reason he wanted to go look at the house was because it had no washer and dryer hook-ups. In other words, curiosity got the best of him. When he previewed the house with our realtor, the homeowner just happened to be at home. Strangely enough, the homeowner requested to be present at all showings because they wanted to know who was potentially buying their home. Of course, Terry knew the homeowners, not only did they own Miller’s laundry (hence no washer/dryer hook-ups), but they knew me as well. As Terry was completing his preview of the home, Mrs. Miller looked at him and asked, “So are you going to marry Kelly? Is that why you are looking for a house?”
Caught a little off-guard, Terry replied, as only he can, “You never know.” (Oh my gosh, even writing this makes me chuckle, even after all these years.)
During some of our rather long conversations, we both realized we were carrying a lot of baggage from our previous relationships. Things that he did or said would sometimes just send me over the edge and cause me to fly off the handle. One of the things that irritated me the most was when I was trying to plan something and I would say, “So are you coming or not?” The response at least 95% of the time would be, “Well I might.” Which means “no” in Terry’s vocabulary. It took me months to realize that he was very non-committal especially when it was something he really didn’t want to do, and again I realized that he was so dang stubborn that I was not changing his mind. Believe me, I tried every trick I knew to try to guilt or persuade him to do what I wanted him to do…nothing doin’ his mind was made up and it wasn’t changing (guess that’s where our kids get their stubborn streak ) Dang it, even the crying didn’t phase him. (Revelation: You can’t put Terry on a guilt trip. It just doesn’t work. If anything, it makes him more stubborn and determined)
The problem with him being so non-committal worried me because I kept thinking, “Well, what makes me think he will commit to you and two boys.” However, there was something even deeper within my being that told me “This guy is completely trustworthy. He is faithful and he is committed.”
After another couple of looks at the house and a few others, Terry opted to make an offer on the Longview house. His offer was accepted and so now, he had a house. To this point, marriage had been a prominent subject, but there had still been no proposal, much less a wedding date. The closing on the house was scheduled to take place on December 7, 1994.