On February 4, 2006 Dan Hargrave and Storm Porter were married at the LDS Church in Pine, Arizona. At the ceremony, Dan’s brother Robin gave the following story. It was written by Dan and Storm.
Dan and Storm have asked me to relate some stories about them so that you can know them better and understand their love for each other.
Throughout this story I will refer to the couple as “Dan and Storm” rather than “Storm and Dan” because “Storm ’n Dan” sounds too much like Dan is on a rampage.
From the onset it was obvious to both Dan and Storm that they shared the same sense of humor. This was demonstrated in both their emails and their phone conversations with each other.
Dan has a big mountain lion on his wall, with a funny Minnie Pearl hat on it. When Storm first saw it she laughed and asked Dan if that was his idea of “Cat in the Hat”; this is an email that Dan sent Storm about that cat;
“Just a note about something last night. Remember the hat on the cat (mountain lion)? When I first put the hat on the cat I thought everyone would get the joke. When no one did, I resolved that someday someone would, and that person would be very close to me – would understand me. You are the only person so far to get the joke and make any comment at all about it. Last night my date just stood there and looked at the cat for at least a minute and kept remarking how big it was – never a word about the hat or the joke. Storm, the connectivity that you and I have cannot be bested with kisses or touches or nuthin! It’s the best!!!”
There are too many humorous exchanges to mention here, and some of them should remain only between Dan and Storm, but suffice it to say that the shared sense of humor continues.
As many of you know, Dan has a strong musical background. It is not surprise then that music played a significant role in the courtship of Dan and Storm. As Dan composed songs, he would sing them to Storm over the phone. He also did some Karaoke for her. But the first song that Dan did especially for Storm was a karaoke version of “Walking After Midnight”. He knew that she loved that song and so did it for her on her birthday. Typical of Dan, he changed some of the words to fit the occasion.
SONG - Walking After Midnight
Storm eventually asked Dan to write a song for her. She gave him an idea of what kind of song to write and he came up with a song called simply Storm. The night he sang if for her was a very special night and she smiled through the whole song.
SONG - Storm
When Dan and Strom talked on the phone, they felt so reluctant to hang up, that sometimes they would deliberately fall asleep on the phone together. One such night when Dan could tell that Storm was almost asleep, he sang to Storm the song “When I Fall In Love” for the first time. Now, Dan had heard the song growing up, but never really learned it – yet when he went to sing it to Storm he got nearly all of the words right. When Storm woke up in the morning, she remembered that Dan had sung a special song, but couldn’t remember which one. She asked Dan and he told her. It immediately became a favorite of Storm’s, and Dan, of course, changed the words to fit his sweetheart.
SONG - When I Fall In Love
One of the things that drew Dan and Storm close together, were the coincidences that seemed to happen so often when they were together, either in person or on the phone. In fact, there were so many of them that one would conclude that they weren’t coincidences at all, but Dan and Storm were communicating spiritually, or telepathically if you will. Dan and Storm like to call these coincidences “co-inky-dinks”.
For example, on one occasion Dan and Storm were talking on the phone. Storm asked Dan what his favorite hymn was. Dan grabbed his hymnal as he told Storm that he had several, but couldn’t think of one just now. There was one hymn bookmarked in his hymnal. Dan flipped his hymnal open to the hymn just as Storm told him the name of her favorite hymn. It was the same hymn! Then, Dan randomly flipped open the hymnal to second hymn to see if he could find one that he liked. Just then Storm told Dan her second favorite hymn and it was the same hymn that he had just flipped to. Dan shared with Storm this amazing coincidence.
Other types of co-inky-dinks might happen several times in a day. One would call the other, only to find the phone busy because they were calling too. Many times one would deliver the straight line and the other would reply with the punch line. For example in a tender moment Dan said, “Storm I love you so much, you’re so precious to me. You’re worth your weight in gold.” To which Storm added, “And that’s a lot of gold!”
Sometimes Storm would ask Dan what she was thinking of, and Dan would reply with exactly what was on her mind. Late one evening when this happened, Storm wrote an email to Dan to commemorate the incident.
“… we experienced yet another coincidence of our minds matching at the exact same time. I asked if you would sing me a song and of course you agreed. I told you I had one in mind and you knew which one it was. In any case, I am far from being a poet, but below are a few words that came to my mind in regards to the experience.
I don't know why I think your thoughts
Or maybe you are thinking mine
But I find in many ways we are one
Even though we’ve been friends a short time
Friends at first, and then a flame
Someday, maybe lovers
But for the time, we keep it tame
Because we want forever
It started with just a like
And then turned into a love,
Verified by coincidence
Surely sent from up above
No one can know what the future holds
We cannot foretell the dream
The closest we can come;
Is to think the others thoughts, it seems
I am in you and you are in me
One in purpose, thought and deed
If this is true, please help me see
By giving me one more co-inky-dee.
Since Storm had stayed up late writing this poem, Dan responded with the following:
I love every inch of you, and every thought you think,
Every breath you take, and every drop you drink,
Now get to bed you pretty thing, before the night is past,
Or I may have to come over there, and kick your pretty ass DAN!!
When Dan was dating, he had several female friends that he talked to on the phone on a fairly regular basis. Some of these ladies lived so far away that he had not met them in person. One night as he was talking to one of these ladies, it occurred to him to have an evening prayer with her – sort of a family prayer. This went over very well and later Dan wrote a song about it. It was called “The Friend I Haven’t Met – Laurie’s Song”.
It then occurred to Dan that like him, Storm didn’t have any family living at home with her. He thought it would be a good idea if he and Storm had regular evening prayers and scriptures together, to fill the void that exists for singles that live alone. Storm thought that it would be a good idea, so they started the tradition of having prayers and scripture together in the evening.
In the course of studying scriptures together, Dan and Storm found out that they enjoyed the same things about scripture study. Many times when they opened the scriptures at random, they found scriptures that applied directly to topics that they had been talking about earlier in the evening. This is where Dan and Storm grew together spiritually.
Shortly after Dan and Storm started having evening prayer and scripture, Dan learned that Storm had a habit of getting to work a little late. Wanting to be helpful, Dan offered to give Storm a wakeup call in the morning to help her get to work on time. Storm gratefully accepted and soon Dan and Storm were having morning prayer as well as evening prayer. This pulled them together even more.
The first day that Dan gave Storm a wakeup call, his first words to her were a cheerful, “Good morning Sunshine!” Storm responded with some wakeup sounds. Then Dan started singing:
You are my Sunshine, my only Sunshine,
You make me happy, when skies are gray,
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you,
Please don’t take my Sunshine away.
The following day Dan decided to start a tradition. He started the call with “Good morning, Sunshine!” just like he did the morning before. But this time he thought that singing the same lyrics would be too boring. So he made up new words to the song, on the spot. That started the tradition of making up new lyrics to the song every morning for his Hunny. Soon they started writing down the lyrics and keeping them. Sometimes Storm would write new lyrics for Dan.
Here are some of the favorite verses:
SONG - You Are My Sunshine
The tradition of starting out each day with an original Sunshine song continues today. Dan usually doesn’t make them up on the spot like he used to. That would probably lead to duplicates. So he usually wakes up early to write the Sunshine song. They are all recorded or written down as part of Dan and Storm’s history. There are currently over 90 verses and counting. Eventually they will probably fill a book. Maybe a tradition like this could help other couples so that they never fall out of love.
Dan knew that he wanted to be best friends with the woman he married. In fact he stated this his in his profile: He wrote, “If I ever marry again it will be to my best friend.” Storm, on the other hand, had always compartmentalized friends and lovers separately and had a hard time with the idea that a friend could also be a romantic interest. To Storm, Dan and she were just friends – kissing friends to be sure, but friends nonetheless.
So, on their third date, Dan and Storm went to a special concert commemorating the 200th birthday of Joseph Smith. After the concert they purchased a CD of the performance and went to listen to it in the car. As the CD began to play Dan and Storm began to kiss. Then part way through the first song Storm began to cry. Dan had no idea why Storm was crying, but patiently held her and comforted her until she gathered her composure. Storm then explained that the reason she was crying was because she was confused about her feelings. She only wanted to be friends with Dan and have friendly feelings towards Dan, but whatever she was feeling was different than a “just friends” feeling and she didn’t like it. She was feeling very confused. Is Dan a friend or a lover? This confusion was causing Storm a great deal of stress. Dan suggested that Storm mentally put the relationship under abeyance. Abeyance? What’s abeyance. Dan explained that in accounting, if you don’t know how to categorize a transaction, you can temporarily put it in an abeyance account where it stays until it can be determined its proper classification.
This concept gave Storm a strong sense of peace. This seemed to resolve the issue in her mind for at least the time being. For the rest of that night and several days afterward, when she would think of their relationship, she would say, “… and Dan’s in abeyance.”
The song that was playing when Storm began to cry, will always be sacred in the hearts of Dan and Storm. In fact, Dan still wells up with tears when he even thinks of it. Author’s note; Dan cried too, which is ok, but we don’t need to tell anyone J
Here it is…
As the relationship continued to grow, the L word began to sneak into their vocabulary. Storm was the first to use it when she told Dan one night, “Dan, I love you like a friend.” When Dan heard that he thought to himself, “That ‘friend’ part has got to go.” But Dan was reluctant to be first to say, “I love you” so in their communications he would take the phrase that Storm used and alter it slightly. First it was, “I love you like a fiend” then “I love you like a fern” then “I love you like a Fred”. Neither wanted to be the first to say, “I love you” so they started saying, “I’m not saying it, but I’m thinking it.”
Finally they both began saying “I love you” and the eventual outcome of this relationship became apparent to both parties. During this time there were some interesting email exchanges about Like versus Love. Here is something that Dan wrote:
PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS AND FEELINGS
So often we think of love as an extension of “like”, but to me it’s not quite that way. For me, “Love” and “Like” are separate issues. The Savior gave us the commandment to love one another, so we know we can do that, but sometimes liking someone takes more effort.
If Like and Love are separate feelings, then saying “I like you” and saying “I love you” are saying separate and distinct things. So often couples miss this concept entirely. They think that once they start saying “I love you” that they no longer have to say “I like you”… that it is a given. I disagree. I think that people in a relationship should express both their Love and their Like for each other.
What does this have to do with Storm and Dan? To me, getting past the “I love you” barrier (if you will) was a significant milestone. I was very important, and the fact that we didn’t treat it trivially, speaks very nobly to our integrity as individuals. But I want to make sure that we don’t leave the Like behind – that we continue to like each other and that we express this Like. I will continue to do the things that I hope will keep the Like (or friendship) alive, and I will be watching it with hope and faith over the coming months.
I love you,
I like you,
Very much Storm,
Soon Dan and Storm decided to date each other exclusively. To commemorate this step, Dan created a Certificate of Exclusivity for Storm and himself. Here is one of the certificates. It reads “Certificate of Exclusivity - This is to certify that Sabra Storm Porter and Dan Winsor Hargrave have entered into an Exclusivity agreement. To forsake dating all others and to spend as much of their free time with each other as resources will allow.”
While they were in this exclusive relationship, Dan and Storm looked at several wedding rings. So one Friday night, on his way over to Kingman, Dan stopped in Flagstaff and picked up the ring that Storm seemed to like the best.. He didn’t tell Storm, but she had it pretty well figured out, because Dan said that he would be in charge of desert that night.
The dessert was strawberry shortcake. Dan baked the ring into the cake when Storm wasn’t looking. As they ate the strawberry shortcake, Dan carefully watched Storm to see if she found it. To tease Dan, Storm started eating all around the edges of the shortcake and complained that she was getting too full. Dan sat tight and watched. Finally he saw the ring on the fork as Storm put it in her mouth. Dan’s eyes got big as he said, “You’d better spit that out!” He was thinking, “What if she swallows that ring?!” Storm kept it in her mouth for a few seconds to tease Dan. “You’d better spit that out!” Dan repeated. Finally Storm took the ring out of her mouth and cleaned it up a bit. Then Dan took the ring and got down on one knee and said, “Sabra Storm Porter, because I love and adore you so much, because you are my best friend and because when I pray about this I get a warm glow in my heart—I want to be your husband and for you to be my wife for the rest of my life, and God willing, for time and all eternity. Storm will you please marry me?” Storm answered, “You know I will Dan, you know I will!”
Once Dan and Storm came to the realization that they cared for each other, it was hard to date other people. They tried, because at the time it seemed like the smart thing to do. But soon it became apparent that is was the wrong thing to do. One time Storm had traveled out of town to meet an Internet friend, but ended up talking to Dan on the phone for longer periods of time than she was spending with her date.
A couple of weeks later Dan had a date with an internet friend and kept watching his watch to see if the date would end early enough to call Storm. If should be noted that his date did not appreciate this very much.
One time Storm said to Dan, “How did we get so lucky to find each other”: and Dan replied “We didn’t find each other; love found us.” Storm thinks Dan’s next song should be titled “Love Found Us”