by Linda L. Esterson
He was the cute trumpet player and she was the adorable flutist.
Jaime Bowling and Josh Patterson met at Mount Airy Middle School in Mount Airy, Maryland, in 1989 at age 11 in the school band. Jaime noticed Josh, and even told her mother about him. Aleta Bowling encouraged her daughter to ask Josh out, but she declined.
During their sophomore year at South Carroll High School in Sykesville, Maryland, they found themselves together for classes, marching band and regular band practices. That’s when they got to know each other.
By then, Jaime was dating a friend of Josh’s, but that ended prior to their senior year. A mutual friend played matchmaker. Jaime thought Josh was out of her league, but agreed to a first date at Piney Run Park in August 1995. They walked trails for hours, sharing their hopes and dreams for the future. Both realized they were interested in each other, and wanted to see where their relationship could go.
A week later they shared their first kiss in the driveway of the Bowling home in Mount Airy. From that moment, Jaime knew there was something different about Josh.
“Looking back now, I can still remember the feeling of him kissing me the first time,” says Jaime, now 37. “I don’t remember walking in the house or up the stairs, but I do remember lying on my bed with a silly grin on my face.”
Josh officially asked Jaime to be his girlfriend on September 2, and asked her to homecoming that day as well. They dated throughout the year, enjoyed movies, hanging out, playing in the snow and going to prom.
After graduation, Josh left for Virginia Tech to study computer science, and Jaime went north to York College. They maintained a long distance relationship the first year, but then broke it off after growing apart. They chose to remain friends, and were on-again, off-again through their college years.
They were back together for good in 2000, and Jaime put many miles on her car as she trekked to Blacksburg on weekends.
Despite having professed their love in high school, they learned how to love and knew it was real when it was enhanced as adults.
In late 2001, Josh knew Jaime was the one, after a particularly fun and silly weekend together in Blacksburg.
“I realized nobody else would be like this with me but her,” says Josh.
Jaime headed to Blacksburg to help Josh pack up his apartment in early July 2003. They made a weekend out of it and walked around campus. They headed to the duck pond, a tranquil, iconic area at Tech. Wanting to be alone, they sat at a bench nearby, but waited for a man and his grandson to finish fishing. About a half hour later, Josh dropped to his knee and proposed.
“Tech was a big part of our lives,” notes Josh. “It made sense to do it there.”
They married June 5, 2004, but it was not without some sour notes. Two days earlier, as Jaime relaxed with friends from Scotland, the phone rang. It was the mother of their ring bearer. She had driven past St. Peter’s Catholic Church, the site of their nuptials, and the roads were blocked off and smoke filled the air. The church was on fire.
Five minutes later, the pianist called and confirmed. Jaime called Josh at work in a panic. He left the office, was joined by their moms, and several bridal attendants. They found availability at St. Joseph Parish in Eldersburg, and they divided the guest list and tried to reach all 100 of them.
Because there were two other weddings scheduled for that day, they were married at 10 a.m. Their reception went on as planned at the South Carroll Swim Club.
After quick thinking by Aleta Bowling, some desperate calls and special dispensation from the judge, they secured a marriage license from Carroll County, instead of Frederick County where the original church was located.
Following a honeymoon in Sanibel Island, Fla., the young couple settled in Westminster, Maryland. Aidan joined them in December 2005. Seeking space for their growing family, they settled in Hanover, Pennsylvania., in November 2006. They had Lily in October 2008, and Gwyneth rounded out their quintet in April 2011.
Josh commutes to his job as a software developer in Millersville and Jaime works as director of marketing and client management for EducationCloset.
Today, they describe life as both loud and crazy, with non-stop activity. Aidan takes Tae Kwan Do and plays trumpet (like his dad), Lily takes tennis lessons and plays the flute (like her mom). They enjoy summer trips to Ocean City, Colorado, South Carolina and a trip to Disney World is on the horizon.
They relish their sparse moments together, usually over a meal. On Sundays during the year, they steal away to Merlin’s, a coffee shop down the street, while the kids attend Sunday school. The owner knows their names and orders.
As they celebrate their 11th anniversary, they look back to their realization that they understand each other and were meant to be together.
“My parents are still married after 45 years and I wanted that for me,” says Jaime. “Somebody to grow old with … somebody who was going to take care of us, take care of me, that I could depend on until the end of time.”