Keli Gwyn
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Romantic Proposals: The Firefighter and His Flame

I have a huge heart for firefighters. I’m the proud daughter of a retired firefighter, one who worked for the U.S. Forest Service and fought wildfires all over the West. My dad is one of my heroes.

Firefighters are heavy on my heart as a number of fires ravage the western U.S. One in particular has me watching the news reports with trepidation.

My agent, Rachelle Gardner, lives near Colorado Springs. Her husband is one of the firefighters on the front lines of the Waldo Canyon fire. Another of Rachelle’s clients, Beth Vogt, a dear friend of mine, lives in Colorado Springs and was evacuated from her home yesterday.

I ask you to join me in praying for those whose homes and businesses are threatened by the fires as well as for those battling the blazes.

In honor of the brave men and women fighting to contain the raging infernos, I’m sharing a special memory involving a firefighter in my post today.


One Valentine’s Day a number of years ago, my family and I went out to dinner at a favorite Mexican food restaurant in a small town nearby. As you might expect, the place was packed. We were led past a large table on one side of the entrance to one of the many tables on the other.

Halfway through our meal, the wail of sirens startled me. They were close and getting closer with each passing moment. When the town’s two fire engines, the fire chief, and the paramedics pulled up outside the plate glass windows with lights flashing, I was sure someone was having a heart attack or something, since there was no sign of a fire anywhere.

All eyes were on the door as the flood of firefighters burst into the restaurant in a florescent yellow flurry. Clearly I wasn’t the only one curious about what had brought the town’s entire fire department rushing to the place.

The firefighters congregated in the entry. None looked to be in a hurry. In fact, they appeared to be in a jovial mood.

I was seated facing the large table we’d passed on our way in. One of the firefighters approached the group as his colleagues watched from a distance.

When that firefighter dropped to one knee in front of a woman who seemed surprised to see him and took her hand in his, my mush meter went crazy. On that most romantic day of the year, the firefighter proposed to his flame.

An audible sigh filled the restaurant at the site. Can you say romantic? That proposal is one of the most memorable I’ve ever witnessed.

And what did the lady say? Judging by the number of smiles and hugs I saw, she said a very enthusiastic “yes.”


What’s the most romantic proposal you’ve witnessed–other than your own?


 Book Release Blog Tour Appearances

The official release of A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado ,California is July 1. Many wonderful bloggers have offered to help me get the word out by hosting me on their blogs. I’ll be sharing the links to those posts at the bottom of mine throughout the tour, which runs the last week of June and all of July.

June 27

Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot
Interview and Book Giveaway with Renee Chaw

Ruby Slippered Sisterhood ~ Guest Post and Book Giveaway

June 28

Along the Way ~ Guest Post and Book Giveaway with Janet Hovis

Susan Hollaway: Journeys of Love. . .Inspired by Faith
Interview and Book Giveaway

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Keli Gwyn


  • Beth K. Vogt says:

    Keli, my friend,
    I had no idea of the history of firefighters –heroes — in your family.
    Thank you for your prayers for my family.
    It’s a new day — and I know we can continue to trust God today, even as we did yesterday.
    And thank you for sharing that wonderfully romantic proposal story. You put a smile on my very tired face.

    • Keli Gwyn says:


      My heart aches for you and all the others affected by the many wildfires ravaging our western states. I’m so glad you’re safe, but I can’t begin to imagine the emotions you’re dealing with. I’ve been praying and will continue to do so.

      My prayers encompass the fire suppression crews as well. My dad hasn’t talked much about what he witnessed when he would travel throughout our state and into other states summer after summer, but what I did hear let me know that those men and women are heroes indeed.

      Here’s a story from my brother-in-law–whose house survived one of the Malibu fires–that shows the kind of stuff firefighters are made of. Sometimes the firefighters had to break into homes so they could get inside and protect them. One of my brother-in-law’s neighbors returned home after the fire. He found a note of apology saying the firefighters we sorry but that they had helped themselves to a couple of sodas. Beside the note were two dollar bills. That story chokes me up every time I recall it.

      Great big hugs to you, my dear friend.

      • Beth K. Vogt says:

        Oh, Keli,
        Coming back to your blog this evening … and reading yet another story that makes me smile and tear up at the same time.
        Thank you, friend. Thank you.

  • Okay – I’m DYING to write that story! What a romantic proposal!!!

  • Praying for Rachelle and all those residing in CO.

    Hmm…most romantic? I’m thinking on that. I’ve never witnessed a proposal other than my own. I was flushed and all a fizzle. 😀
    ~ Wendy

  • The only other proposals I’ve ever witnessed have been on the big screen at the Diamondbacks baseball games. They put a big heart on the screen and you see the guy (you can’t hear him, obviously) ask his girl to be his wife. It’s cool to hear the entire baseball stadium “Oooooo” at the same time. 🙂

  • I haven’t seen another real life proposal, other than my own. When my hubby and I were dating he used to write poetry for me and one poem was a bit cryptic, but he told me I’d understand it one day. It said something like, there will I meet you on the footbridge. Years later, on the night he proposed, he took my to my favorite place in the world, the park that runs along the Mississippi in our town, and he walked me to the footbridge in the park and asked me to marry him. After I said yes, he said: “Do you remember the poem I wrote. I wrote that the day I knew I would marry you.” We put that poem on the front of our wedding program.

    One other quick proposal I heard about was my cousin’s. When he boyfriend went to ask her dad for permission to marry her he said: “Can I have your daughter’s hand in marriage?” To which my smart uncle replied: “You can have her hand, but I hope you take the rest of her, too.” 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Oooh, Gabrielle, I love your proposal story. How incredibly romantic. Totally sigh worthy.

      Your uncle sounds like he has a ready wit. 🙂

  • Loree Huebner says:

    Praying for all those in Colorado – those fighting the fires, evacuating, and directly affected by the firestorm. Stay safe!

    Great story!

  • Susan Mason says:

    I agree, Keli. Firemen are dreamy! So heroic.

    What a great proposal. I saw something like that on the news once (or some sort of reality show). How romantic – although I would have been dying of embarrassment with all those people watching.

    My brother was going to propose in a hot air balloon on a date that he’d planned for his sweetie. But decided against it and opted for a favourite restaurant instead. He was glad since he had to hang on for dear life in that basket! Would’ve probably dropped the ring!

    Praying for everyone involved in those fires.


    • Keli Gwyn says:


      I doubt the firefighter’s gal was thinking about anyone but her romantic-minded fellow. I heard her say afterward that she’d finally figured out why all her girlfriends had been so eager to get her to join their Valentine’s dinner.

      A hot air balloon proposal sounds like it would be quite romantic–at least in theory. I’m glad your brother changed his mind, though, given the realities.

  • My husband is about as romantic as cod liver oil. But he did scam me and make me think the ring wasn’t ready. He “consolled me” by taking me to our favorite Latin Amercian restaurant. Oddly enough, the restaurant was always 90% empty, but stayed open for ages. I went to the ladies room and came back to find the ring box on top of a HUGE card on the table. He was so nervous, all I heard was “JenniferIloveyouwillyoumarryme?”
    My answer?
    “You LIAR!”
    Then I had garlic shrimp and made him slightly annoyed.;)
    Oh, and the restaurant?
    Was a drug smuggling operation. It got busted and shut down.

    • Keli Gwyn says:


      Yours is certainly a memorable proposal, one that made me chuckle. I find your husband’s nervousness quite endearing. He obviously put a lot of thought into making the moment special. Love that.

      • He did. He was so cute too. When we found out about the drug deals going on in the kitchen, we proudly told everyone that we got engaged smack in the middle of the HQ of a drug cartel. Not alot of people can say that.

    • Beth K. Vogt says:

      You crack me up, girl.
      And I needed a good laugh today.

      • Beth, I am quite happy to be able to make you smile, given the armageddon going on around you. Know that you are in my prayers.
        If you need another laugh, I could tell you a few more stories.

  • That is an incredible story! I love it! A friend of ours rallied a bunch together and had a scavenger hunt for his bride to be, sending her to places that they went, first date, where they met (LifeWay Christian!) etc…leaving clues behind and then to the park where he actually proposed. I thought that was pretty amazing and clever!

    I am praying for those in Colorado Springs and the brave firefighters.

    • Keli Gwyn says:


      Oooh! I love the scavenger hunt idea. Even more, I love that the guy put so much thought into the proposal. That’s sooo romantic.

  • Marji Laine says:

    I agree with some of the others. The more effort the fellow puts into the proposal, the more romantic it is.

    I got to witness one at Christmas. We were at a goofy gift exchange at a large family party. So big that everyone got to choose one from a choice of two gifts because there were too many to pick from. The bride-to-be (her gifts were rigged by the soon-to-be sis-in-law) chose a small ring-sized bag, but it held a ring pop. Everyone laughed and the sil offered her the other gift instead. A small shirt box that held a real ring box. Empty. Here came the groom-to-be, carrying a rose in one hand and a ring in the other. I think we all cried! Wedding in about a month! Woohoo!

    • Keli Gwyn says:


      Oooh! That story is soooo sweet and soooo romantic! I literally fanned myself after reading it. What a wonderful Christmas present And what a great guy to plan such a special proposal. How neat that the wedding is coming up soon. Enjoy!

  • Great story. When we were in Spain having dinner overlooking the sea, a young man got down on his knees and proposed to his girlfriend at the table right beside us. It was the last day of their holiday. She was overwhelmed and said yes. We started to clap and then the entire restuarant clapped. It was very touching.

    • Keli Gwyn says:


      Wow! What a memorable proposal. And how cool that you got to witness it. There’s something so special about watching a guy take that big step, especially when he puts so much thought into it, isn’t there?

  • I’ve been robbed of the joy of seeing a real life proposal. How sad…

    I didn’t even get to see my proposal…it came in a letter from Vietnam, followed by wedding rings. Of course, he is the best of the best so I don’t think I lost out on that much. After all, he sent me 242 letters and I still have them all. He grumbled at thinking of sending 52, so you can see they are a treasure.

    Definitely keeping good thoughts and saying prayers for all those brave firefighters and the people in the path of those terrible flames. I have several people in my life who also fight the fires, so have already been think the best for them as well.