As we walked into the arena, the dust was settling as another team of ropers had taken their turn. Paul, our friend from the department, met us at the gate. The roper we were supposed to be meeting was just getting ready to rope. The clatter of the chute opening brought our attention to the action. Out flew 700 pounds of wild ropin' steer, followed closely by two cowboys swinging their ropes and reaching full throttle in one stride. The steer was fast, but the horses were faster. The header threw his 30-foot lasso, caught both horns, took his dally and turned a hasty left. This aided the heeler in getting in position. He threw his loop, caught both back feet, and simultaneously the two ropers faced in, and stretched that animal out: a perfect execution! It was a very impressive first meeting. The header was Richard, the cowboy we were supposed to be meeting.
Two weeks later, I got a phone call from Richard asking me to go horseback riding with him. Needless to say, things were a little tense around the apartment for a few days. My roommate was holding a little bit of a grudge against me. (Can I help it if I'm so cute?)
We went riding up Spanish Fork Canyon. When we got up to the top of the mountain, the snow was pretty deep and our horses were sinking up to their bellies. Richard was in front of me. I got off my horse and was able to stand on the snow. Because the horses were lower than usual, I asked Richard if I could do a leapfrog jump up on his horse. He made room and I jumped up behind him. This is when my "Crowning Moment" occurred. When I landed, we were pretty much nose to nose. That left only one thing for Richard to do.... That was our first KISS.
As they say, the rest is history. Six kids later, one of my favorite places to kiss Richard is still on the back of a horse and it's still a "Crowning Moment"!
|Richard and Melanie |
Married March 7, 1997