My boyfriend Chris and I had been together for six years. We were both active military and had perfected the long distance relationship. That summer, I was in the Florida Panhandle, training to be a Coast Guard Diver, and he had just taken command of a patrol boat in northern California. I had planned to fly out to see him for Labor Day weekend. It had been a couple of months since we’d seen each other and I couldn’t wait to see him.
The week before I was supposed to fly up, we had talked over the phone and Chris had told me all about the river behind his house. He’d heard from a neighbor about an old hermit that lived up-river who used to throw old stuff in the river, all kinds of trinkets and things. Chris decided to dive in the river and see if he could find anything. He told me he’d come across an old ashtray and a couple of small jars. He suggested I bring some dive gear and we could explore while I visited. Since I was in dive school, I was all about spending lots of time underwater.
I arrived on Thursday afternoon, dead-tired and jet lagged. Chris wanted to dive that evening, but I pleaded to wait until the following day. He insisted we go that day and I got caught up in his excitement over the "artifacts" he showed me and relented. He took pictures throughout the whole thing, as we often did when we were together. We did some exploring, but didn’t find anything and I signaled to him that I was getting cold. He signaled "five more minutes" and I agreed. Then he directed me to a sandy area at the base of a large rock. We started digging around and came across a buried boat propeller tied to a rope. I couldn’t believe it; it was like finding buried treasure! Chris untied the attached line, but I was hooked. I followed the rope around the rock, pulling it out of the sand as I went. When I got around the corner, the rope was attached to an old flour tin. I showed it to Chris, he gave me a thumb’s up and we came to the surface.
I was so excited, I felt like Nicholas Cage in National Treasure, finding real treasure! Once on the beach, I tore into the bread tin, sifted through the sand and pulled out an old glass jar. Inside was some kind of letter and something wrapped in foil. I handed the foil to Chris and told him to open it while I read the old wartime postcard. When I turned the postcard over it said, "Will you marry me?" Love, Chris. I was shocked. I had absolutely no idea! The beautiful diamond necklace he gave me was inside the foil, which he had held onto for me to open. I finally squeaked out an emphatic "YES!"
Chris had strung me along with the story of the hermit and finding things in the river. He had gone to an antiques store and found all the stuff that he buried, even the postcards! It all looked so authentic, I was clueless. He got pictures of the whole thing, and I was none the wiser to his plan. The rest of dive school flew by in a breeze and we were married on the beach the following summer and spent our honeymoon doing our new favorite activity, diving!
Proposal Story By:
Bainbridge Island, WA