TERRE HAUTE —
Kaylee Edington says being outdoors gets you away from the turmoil in life and that is why they want to include it into the most important things in their lives.
Little did she know a marriage proposal was being planned for her while she was shooting sporting clays in the great outdoors.
Let us go back to the sixth grade with two youngsters sitting in class together not knowing they would become husband and wife.
As the years passed by, the out of doors drew them closer together from shooting and fishing or just hanging out with friends while in the sunshine., After all, Kaylee has harvested six deer in her life and I think Nathan Mafioli wanted to learn her deer-hunting secrets.
With shining pride, Kaylee said about 1 1/2 years ago she took Nathan to Brad Roush’s house to go target shooting and dad, Brad Edington, asked “Is this your boyfriend?” so she said “Ya, maybe so!” Well, nature took its course on that day of shooting and they started looking for more outdoor stuff to do.
In the last six months, Nathan realized this very pretty strawberry blonde would hopefully be his wife. Ironically in the back of Kaylee's mind she thought it would be easy to say “Yes” if he ever asked.
The last of October 2013, Nathan created a 3/4-carat diamond ring, special for his lady. Now the wheels are turning on when, where and how was he going to put this ring on her finger. Where could any better advice come from, other than another female which was, Ali Brown?
They came up with the T-shirt concept which proved to be very memorable and in the least expecting environment. Get this picture in your mind, Kaylee and Nathan go to Terre Haute Sporting Clays and start to shoot the 100-bird range.
After finishing at station No. 10, they came around the bend with the clubhouse in sight. As her thoughts were in slow motion trying to figure out why so many people were in a line wearing the same colored T-shirts. The light came on and the T-shirts spelled out “MARRY ME.”
As she squinted her eyes reading the message, Nathan is dumping out a box of shotgun shells looking for the ring he had hidden in them. Luckily, she was shooting a 20-gauge, so she had no reason to get into his 12-gauge shells.
When she turned around he was in motion going to one knee. Kaylee begins to cry and he said “Well, will ya?” She couldn’t talk from all the emotions and she shook her head “Yes.” Kind of like asking a kid if she wants some candy while standing in Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory.
They went to the T-shirt people, moms, dads, brothers, sisters and friends. After all the hugs and kisses, they went back to finish the last two stations.
Nathan proudly showed me a picture of him sporting a sign that said “She Said Yes!” while Kaylee was shooting in the background. Kaylee said her nerves were shot and a big rock on her finger was the only reason he outshot her. Nathan shot 76 out of 100 and Kaylee busted 54.
Once again, redneck romance of the outdoors prevails. I can see some young shooters with strawberry blond hair taking their first shots on the sporting-clay range someday.
Kaylee says dad Brad Edington acts tough and will jump on a grizzly bear for fun, but while walking her down the aisle he will have big crocodile tears rolling down his cheeks.
Sept. 20, 2014, will be a traditional wedding, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone will be toting a shotgun during the ceremony!
From Nov. 10, 2013, shooting sporting clays will have much more meaning than busting clay birds.
Kenny Bayless can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.