Dear Dad,
I am planning to give Donielle a ring this weekend when we visit Mackinac Island. My plan is to ply her with food and drink at the Grand Hotel and then “spring the ring” as we ride along in a carriage by the lakeshore. Sunsets are really romantic, don’t you think? I figured it was a good idea to let you and Barbara know in advance in case you wanted spirit her away, leave the country yourself or otherwise object to having me as a son-in-law. Another part of my Grand Plan is for everyone in the family to know except her so that it is a BIG surprise and we can have a really great celebration when everyone is together at the camp site to celebrate my joining the family..

I love Donielle, I think your family is terrific and I want to be part of it. Grandpa Dodde already said I fit right in. I think now is the time to make it official!

I was planning on telling you last weekend during your visit to Chicago, but you didn’t show up so I am doing it the easy way- on the internet (Come to think of it, that is how I met Donielle. At least I am consistent.) If you like my plans, please write back and say so and if you don’t be sure to tell me before I buy the ring.

Your future son-in-law (I hope),

Peter

DEAR PETER,
FIRST LET ME DROP ALL THE SUSPENSE AND SAY WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!!! I THINK YOU WILL MAKE A GREAT SON IN LAW, BUT I WOULD BE REMISS IF IDIDN'T LET YOU KNOW OF MY CONCERNS.

BARB AND I BELIEVE THAT WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO DO HAS GOT TO BE TAKEN AS A LIFE LONG COMMITMENT. THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE IS SOMETHING VERY BEAUTIFUL AND NOT ENTERED INTO LIGHTLY. I ALSO AM CONCERNED THAT YOU HAVE YOUR GREEN CARD AND THAT YOU DON'T SHIP
MY DAUGHTER OFF TO CHINA FOREVER. ONE LAST THING, YOU MUST LEARN HOW TO PLAY CRIBBAGE!!

PETER, I THINK YOU ARE A FINE YOUNG MAN AND THAT YOU WILL MAKE DONIELLE A GREAT LIFE TIME COMPANION. THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THE CHANCE TO TURN YOU DOWN BEFORE DONIELLE!! GOOD LUCK, GO BUY THE RING!!

LOVE & PEACE,

YOUR FUTURE DAD

So Peter bought the ring and brought it with us on our vacation to Mackinac Island. I was excited to share a place of happy memories with him and had no idea that it was about to become an even more significant place in my history. As we spent the few hours that we had on the Island, I was trying to be sure that we saw all of the important places. Peter says that I was dragging him around like a puppy dog. He didn't have a chance to suggest a romantic carriage ride because I was too busy making him eat fudge and look at the Fort!

We finally found a secluded spot on the lakefront to enjoy the picnic dinner that we had packed from the mainland. I thought it was odd that Peter was so insistent that we find a place away from all of the people, but it was beautiful as we looked out onto the lake to enjoy dinner. Peter pulled out his video camera and began to ask some rather suspicious questions...

He handed me a gift which I opened and discovered was a rosary. Later he explained that a priest had it blessed for us in Rome for our engagement. And then he sprung it on me, literally. He threw the camera bag at me and told me there was another gift inside. Sure enough, I found a small box wrapped very nicely. As I opened the box, I knew that the moment I had been waiting for was happening. After a few humorous moments of placing the video camera on a tripod and nervous excitement, Peter dropped on one knee and asked me to marry him. And I said yes.

It's all caught on candid camera, and we are happy to share it with anyone who wants to see!

We spent that night calling my parents and telling friends on the Island. I lost track of all the things I wanted to show Peter. I guess I was distracted by my surprise! We did end up having a wonderful celebration lunch at the Grand Hotel and a ride around the island on a bicycle built for two. Later the next afternoon we arrived at the campground in Traverse City to tell all the extended family in person our good news. It turns out they all knew before me! I couldn't have asked for a better way to start this journey.