Young love blooms during a pandemic

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At 85 and 83 years old, both had been married and widowed; raised children; and were content spending time with friends and taking part in the lives of their combined 10 grandchildren.

“I thought the time for romance was over for me,” said Carol.

But thanks to the matchmaking efforts of a mutual friend and Carol’s daughter, they met at a dinner party and had their first official date about a month later — appropriately, right before Valentine’s Day.

Now, almost one year later, John and Carol meet every morning for coffee and every evening for dinner.

“Life would be awful without each other. It would really be no life at all,” said John.

John and Carol have become the only one the other sees in person, with the exception of an occasional bonfire with nearby family, and they credit their newfound young love as their key to surviving COVID-19. Fortunately, they are both healthy enough to spend their days going on hikes, snowshoeing, eagle watching, and dancing.

“He’s a really great dancer! If good music comes on, he’ll stop what he’s doing and ask me to dance,” said Carol. “It just worked well. He’s a great man and it’s fun to be with him.”

While the pandemic has taken so much from so many people, it actually brought John and Carol together and they feel it has even brought their families closer, as well.

“Our families haven’t met in person and while we miss seeing them, they know we are both happy and that means a lot,” said Carol. “We talk with them more frequently on the phone and we all just realize how precious our times together and our phone and Zoom calls are.”

Being quick with a smile or a laugh, and being willing to take on new outdoor adventures has been key to John and Carol’s blossoming love story. (And a love for growing perfect roses doesn’t hurt either.) Once COVID passes, they hope to take on some bigger adventures, but for now, they will focus on finding love, laughter, and spontaneity every day.

“The good lord was looking after me and brought along this angel,” said John. “I told all my friends and buddies, ‘Don’t line me up with some 80 year old. Find me an active 60 or 70 year old.’ And here I am with this energetic, beautiful 83 year old and I’ve got all I can handle.”

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