It wasn’t long after we met, that Anthony and I began exchanging emails regularly. I was impressed by how intelligent he sounded and how well thought-out his emails were. When I came to Bakersfield for Christmas, he took me out to Coco’s restaurant and we talked in depth. I asked him what his “5-Year-Plan” was and it was around this time that he told me about his dream to build his own home on his parent’s property in Lake Isabella.
|Lake Isabella, CA Overlooking the family property.|
Unbeknownst to me, Anthony was actually going on a few dates with another girl around the same time, someone his sister had set him up with. He told me about her much, much later, and he says that dating the two of us made it clear who was the better choice for him.
The flurry of emails continued and whenever I visited my parents in Bakersfield (about once a month), I always made sure to squeeze in a date with Anthony. He also visited me at college, sent me the occasional care package at Cal-Baptist and my dorm mates got to hear about him all the time. Sometime that spring, I read one of his emails and ran down the hall to my friend Laci Dill’s room to announce that I was going to marry Anthony Hughes. Later I decided I was crazy to say such a thing with such little information, but the idea remained lodged in my mind.
For Valentine ’s Day that year, he sent me an anatomically correct solid chocolate heart. If I hadn’t already known that he was a huge nerd, that should have clued me in. I really liked how quirky he was and how many interesting facts about medicine and science he knew.
One of my favorite early dates with Anthony was a hike he took me on in the Kern Valley. He packed a great picnic lunch for us and I especially noticed how careful he was to walk on the side of the hill where the cliff edge was, keeping me safely on the path. We talked about God and His creation and how biologically complicated that world is. Anthony said that the more he learned about science and the way the world works, the more convinced he was of God’s existence and creativity.