He Threw Down the Gauntlet on the Breckenridge River


Robb and I were in our twenties, and our children were merely a far-away-maybe-someday hope. It was just the two of us on a little tiny vacation to Breckenridge, our favorite mountain town. 

There is a mountain river that rushes through the town, with a bridge over it, grassy banks on either side, and stepping stones across for the brave and adventurous.  Robb waited near the river while I perused shops, and I came back to him with news that I’d found a sweatshirt I wanted to buy.

Now, there are all kinds of budgeting guidelines that say both halves of a couple should have jurisdiction over a certain amount of money so they can independently make purchases on their own.  There are also groups of women (and men, I suppose) who believe I should have just bought the sweatshirt because the money belonged to both of us.  While we weren’t a couple who closely monitored each other’s decisions, we also didn’t have a lot of money in excess and every purchase mattered.  Hence, I came to him and asked for the credit card.


That’s the actual river and the actual rock, but not the actual onlookers.

I remember that he raised his eyebrows at me, and then he poked his tongue inside his cheek so it looked like he was sucking a gumball, his forever look of mischief.  And then he stepped into the river, climbed across the stepping stones, and placed our credit card on the giant rock in the middle of the river.

He stood on the rock, king of his own little mountain, and he called back to me, “You want it?  Come and get it.”

The gauntlet was thereby thrown down.  I am, if nothing else, a girl who can recognize a playful challenge thinly disguised as a memory begging to be claimed.  Game.  On.

Even in my sundress and strappy sandals, and in the midst of the families on the banks of the river, I put my toe into the water to test the temperature, just in case this should all go horribly wrong.  I remember that it was cold, as mountain streams generally are.  Nonetheless, I stepped across the rushing waters, one stone at a time.  The word ‘undaunted’ comes to mind.

In a great stride of victory, I met him on the giant rock. I picked up the credit card. I held it over my head, and he kissed me.  And the crowd on the banks of the river cheered.

That was a good day.

Tricia Lott Williford

Comments are closed

  1. First I wanted to say if I have offended you at all I wanted to say would you please forgive me and secondly I wanted you to know
    that I am rootin for you and your boys.

    Evelyn Lambie Hamilton Ontario Canada

  2. Hi Tricia,

    Just wanted to say that you are a sweetheart. Love hearing your heart in your writings. I loved this recent blog about the gauntlet. And I am sorry that you had some “meanmail” sent to you.
    It is a spiritual warfare for sure and “the heart is evil and desparately wicked… ” Jer? And you know that there are just Jerks around us.
    In regards to a future husband …I had to ask God to save me from myself and only allow His will in my life…and it was a struggle believe me..a lot of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth! I got married for the first time just under 6 years ago at the age of 47. No I am not saying you have to wait that long, And my hubby is “the best” for me. I prayed for you and the boys this morning in regards to a husband and father. Leave room for the supernatural.
    This is a quote don’t know who wrote it….

    “Never think that God’s delays are God’s denials. Hold on, hold fast, hold out.
    Patience is genius.”

    Sincerely Evelyn Hamilton Ontario Canada.

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