I guess you could say it all started with a Jeep.
As the cold north wind was about to blow Jacob to Canada in the summer of 2013, I, Carlotta, found myself the owner of his gently used (well, minus the blown out speaker), well-loved 1999 Jeep Cherokee. The sale of the Jeep was a last-minute deal before Jacob moved, and it was the most contact we’d ever had in Jacob's nine months in Tulsa, where he attended church with my family.
With a virtual handshake, the sale was final and Jacob disappeared over the Canadian border to—I was certain—definite marriage to a Canadian girl and a lifetime of long, snowy winters.
Back in Tulsa, time passed and seasons changed as I went about my life. While I did nothing about the silent speaker, I did, however, fix the broken trunk door by myself. In a moment of bravery and insanity and maybe a small bit of subtle flirtatiousness, I sent Jacob a picture of my savvy repair. He humored me, which, while flattering, did nothing to change the fact that he was a country away.
In 2014, I moved to Nairobi, Kenya for six months. A few weeks into my stay, I received a postcard from San Francisco in a neat and mostly unknown hand. With surprise, I realized it was from Jacob, spurring a rather intense round of intercontinental phone tag that lasted many moons.
By the time I arrived back in the States, Jacob was ready to sweep me off my feet with a Christmas romance and I was his willing counterpart, distance and border services be damned! Thus was the beginning of a beautiful, exciting journey, populated with a roadtrip along the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles to Seattle, snowy days in the mountains of Banff, Alberta, lazy weekends in Tulsa, myriad nights sleeping under the stars, and more FaceTime conversations than you can shake a stick at. (We are truly, truly sick of FaceTime.)
This past summer, I returned to Africa for a few weeks to work as a photographer for the LCMS. As I rode motorbikes down dusty roads in Mozambique, Jacob was settling into his post-Canadian life in Durango, Colorado. Little did I know that he was also spending his lunch breaks and evenings off ring shopping. I arrived back to the States on July 6th, 2016, completely oblivious that I’d be engaged to the love of my life just nine days later. At the summit of a hike to beautiful Ice Lake in the San Juan mountains of Colorado, Jacob asked me to be his permanent roommate/lover, and, as they say, the rest is history.
Oh, and the Jeep? Well, Jacob is getting it back, broken speaker, girl, and all.