SHELTON, Wash. -- George Alexander and Kelli McEachern seem very much in love.The two of them go way back. They dated some in high school, and a little bit more several years later. But the timing was never right, so they married other people and divorced.Unlucky in love, each wondered if they would ever truly be happy. George smiles about it now."But we never left each other forever," he said as he put his arm around Kelli."It's the last time, the final time," said Kelli, who was engaged to George at the time."It's been a long broken road getting here," said George.On their first Valentine's Day together, the two of them went to Port Townsend, wrote a sweet message and sealed it in a bottle. They walked out to the end of the pier, and Alexander heaved it for all he was worth.Three months went by. We'll never know what adventures the bottle experience along the way, but we know that on the west side of San Juan Island, by some twist of luck or fate, or whatever it is that makes wonderful things happen in the world, 8-year-old Blake Budwill found a vessel full of the adventure he was looking for."I was super-amazed," he said.The bottle was jammed in some rocks.
Who knew what was in that bottle? Blake probably didn't even consider that it could be a lesson about people and love and the art of giving.The note inside said this: "George and Kelli will be getting married in 97 days on May 21, 2011. We wish love and happiness to the person who finds this."It was an offer of joy with nothing asked in return."He came running back (and said,) 'Mom! I found a treasure! A real treasure!'" said Blake's mother, Lodi Budwill.Even though the note asked for nothing, the Budwills gave something in return anyway.Lodi wrote a lovely letter, saying, "So in return for the happiness you sent out across the sea, we wish you endless love and happiness."She also found a heart-shaped rock in the sand, and Blake found two barnacle shell rings on the beach. They sent their gifts right back to George and Kelli.Just like that, the most unlikely of friendships was formed.Holding the barnacle rings tied to a ribbon George says, "This couldn't… stuff like this couldn't even be written for a movie this good, honestly, you know?"Blake's Dad is Alan Budwill.
You may know him as the Alan half of "Kent and Alan" from Star 101.5 radio.Alan talked about the whole thing on the air, saying, "They just sound like the neatest people. So much in love. That's so cool."It was worth a drive, so the day before the big wedding, Alan, and Lodi and Blake showed up in Shelton. The five of them hugged and laughed and talked about paying it forward, about sharing happiness with strangers.What a lesson for young Blake.And so, on Saturday, more sure than ever that it was the right thing, George and Kelli finally got it right. With their friends and family watching, in the horse training arena in Shelton, the minister said the magic words: "You may kiss the bride."George kissed Kelli.
A country song started up. There was hooting and hollering and laughter.And right there above them was a reminder that good things happen, that people are kind, that love finds a way: two barnacle shell rings tied together with a green ribbon.by Eric JohnsonThe Original Message in a Bottle shop has many unique message in bottle gifts and invitations that have been making friends closer since 1998love, time souls, destiny, together, love and time The Original Message in a Bottle shop founded in 1998 offers message in a bottle gifts, invitations and kits for the do it yourselfer.Send a message in a bottle today and it will become a beacon of your emotions and a connection that can't be broken.