It was second-grade recess and Steven Douglas made the casual introduction on the asphalt behind Brewster School. Paul asked Mackenzie if she wanted to play Ed, Edd, and Eddy with them, and the rest was history! School years passed, they shared classrooms and lunch tables, and their friendship grew all the while. In high school, they spent their lunches in Mrs. Wenzel’s art room, listening to music and working on their latest projects. By the fall of junior year, their feelings for each other had grown beyond friendship and Paul decided to pop the question… and by that, we mean “will you go out with me?” It was Sept. 15th under the maple tree outside Coginchaug Regional High School. Of course, she said yes. He asked right before one of her volleyball games, and while she can’t remember whether they won or lost that night, she does remember her cheeks hurt from smiling so much.
It was a sunny Friday after a very long and grey week when Paul asked Mackenzie if she wanted to go for a hike after work. She shut her laptop and agreed, ready for some fresh air. He grabbed her hand and the dog leash, and they let Solo pull them up Beseck mountain and across to a cliff overlooking Black Pond. Paul picked out a spot and suggested they sit. Mackenzie, completely oblivious, snuggled alongside him while Solo sniffed around. When Paul pulled her closer and started sharing how much he cared for her and what he thought of their future together, she thought he was just being extra sweet. She’s pretty sure she even interrupted him to chime in with her own thoughts and wishes for their future. It wasn’t until he was down on one knee that she realized what exactly was happening. This time, he popped a much bigger question and (you guessed it) she said yes.