Love in Madera Canyon: Giving hearts a second chance

A couple gives love a second chance

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Sometimes, it can take a few tries to find love. But when you do find it, it can be solid as a rock.

“It started with five or six, and next thing I knew, I was seeing them everywhere,” Michelle Frayley, a matchmaker and love expert, said about heart-shaped rocks.

For years, she’s been collecting the symbols of love.

“I like heart shaped things in nature because they’re usually not perfect,” she said.

(Source: KOLD News 13)

She has an eye for hearts, an undeniable intuition for love.

About four years ago, she visited the Santa Rita Lodge in Madera Canyon. Having coffee in the birding area, she struck up a conversation with the owner Steve Holt.

“Ten minutes into our conversation, it just kind of hit me. He needs to meet Jen,” Frayley said.

Jennifer Rischard is one of her best friends so Frayley called Rischard so she could to tell her about the man she just met.

“She immediately called me and (said she) felt like there was a reason I needed to meet Steve,” Rischard said.

Steve Holt and Jennifer Rischard gave love a second chance after being burned several times before.
Steve Holt and Jennifer Rischard gave love a second chance after being burned several times before. (Source: KOLD News 13)

Like she often does, Frayley had spotted a heart, an imperfect and bruised one. With her encouraging, Rischard eventually messaged Holt on Facebook, which led to nightly phone calls lasting hours.

“My arm would go to sleep. I remember that,” Holt said.

Eventually, those long phone calls lead to a hike in Madera Canyon. Both Holt and Rischard were divorced, their hearts, chiseled and scarred.

Ironically, by some with the same name. Both had dated two other Jens and Steves. The saying is, third time’s a charm. Their relationship grew over the next few years. Frayley likened it to a boulder on the top of a mountain.

“All I did was give it a littlest tap, and it gained momentum so quickly,” she said.

Steve Holt and Jennifer Rischard gave love a second chance after being burned several times before.
Steve Holt and Jennifer Rischard gave love a second chance after being burned several times before. (Source: KOLD News 13)

The rocks just fell into place, and about four years later, the couple married at Madera Canyon, the spot they first met.

As fate should have it, the canyon is shaped like a heart.

“Love isn’t perfect. It’s perfectly imperfect … and if you have your eye tuned, and you’re looking for a heart, you’ll probably find one,” Frayley said.

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.