RACINE, Wis. — Melody Kloska and Matt Behrs take it as a sign they were meant to get married.
After tying the knot on a Lake Michigan beach on Aug. 18, they released a bottle containing their wedding vows. A few weeks later, the bottle was found by Fred and Lynnette Dubendorf, of Mears, Mich., who were also married on a beach — exactly 28 years before Kloska and Behrs.
"It was meant to be," Kloska said. "This was a sign to me."
Kloska, 46, and Behrs, 41, have been together for five years, but with several failed marriages between them, they had doubts about remarrying.
They finally did it in a sunrise ceremony near the Wind Point Lighthouse in Wind Point in southern Wisconsin. They invited a few guests, read their own vows and released two balloons.
When it was time to throw the bottle sealed with their name, address and wedding vows into the lake, Behrs went to the rock farthest out in the water.
He threw it underhand, but the bottle landed back on the sand where Kloska was standing.
"After laughing so hard, I tossed it back to him to release it again into the lake," she said. "It landed not too far from where he threw it. My thought was that with our luck, it would wind up in front of the house next-door to the lighthouse."
Instead, it floated across Lake Michigan and landed in the path of Lynnette Dubendorf, who was scanning the beach for trash to clean up while she walked her dogs. She spied the clear plastic bottle partially buried in the sand and noticed the note inside.
"I opened it and read it and said, `Oh, this is pretty cool, it's somebody's wedding vows,'" she said. "I thought, `Wow, how funny, we were married on the beach, too, and on the same day.'"
New lives together
She initially didn't plan to respond, thinking an answer would only encourage people to toss litter into the lake.
"Then I thought, `That's selfish, I really should respond,'" she said. So she wrote Kloska and Behrs to tell them of her discovery.
The letter read, "We thought you would want to know where your message in a bottle ended up! We picked it up on the beach between Pentwater and Silver Lake on Sept. 19. An ironic note, we were also married on the beach! Here in Michigan by Pentwater. Even more ironic, it was on August 18, 1979. We wish you both the best of luck in your new lives together."
Behrs and Kloska had to read the letter several times to believe it. Kloska was surprised the bottle made it across the lake.
"I took it to mean that there's hope yet," she said.
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