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Saturday, November 1, 2008

33 Years

Thirty-three years ago today, my life took a major turn in the road. Today is our wedding anniversary. For November 1st, it was a gorgeous day, a little breezy, but we were able to have our pictures taken outside without coats. And our honeymoon in the Poconos was in the 70's. It was an absolutely perfect start to this long journey.

We met on January 31, 1975. I had just come back from a long road trip and the girlfriend who I usually went out with on Friday nights had anxiously waited for me to return so that we could go out as usual. I really did not want to and tried to beg out of it, but she convinced me. The moral is sometimes it is good to do something you don't want to do.

I met George at the Springtree Lounge in Torrington. It was a dance club and it's really too bad that there aren't more of these around now. It was a little fancier, as I remember it. I don't remember people wearing blue jeans. I gave him my number that first night and on Sunday we went for a ride and to visit a friend of his.

After that we went out every weekend and never saw anyone else. In February near to the 22nd, I was asked out by another guy and I told him I was seeing someone. I can't believe he asked who. When I told him "George Washington" I'm sure he thought I was lying.

I knew from the beginning that there was something different about this guy. He stole my heart when he bought me a lilac bush knowing it was my favorite flower. That was in May and soon after that he proposed in the parking lot of the Chart House restaurant where we often went to their lounge upstairs.

In his proposal he was building up how hard it was having a name like George Washington and he asked if I had ever thought about changing my name. Duh! I said, "no". I missed the point, but then pretty quickly got it and said, "yes". We went in and I still have the little bottle that the champagne came in that we celebrated with that night at the Chart House.

In those days most people did not live together before getting married. We knew we wanted to be together for the rest of our lives and so, we did not want a long engagement. So nine months after we met, we were married.

I would not recommend such a short engagement, but it did work for us and I would never "test the waters" by living together. I don't feel God approves of that. It is true that we did not know each other completely and learned more through our marriage and we grew together. Of course it has not been all roses (or lilacs). We've been through as Dickens said, "the best of times and the worst of times".

I always tell newlyweds that a sense of humor is a key to the relationship. We love to laugh together. I remember the time we were having a silly little confrontation. He was upset that I bought creamy peanut butter when he likes crunchy. I had just finished cooking breakfast and he emphasized the point by saying, "I like everything crunchy, crunchy peanut butter, crunchy cookies," and then I took his plate and said, "Fine. Let me make your eggs crunchy." He burst out laughing and the tension was gone. I get it now. He likes crunchy peanut butter, but I like creamy. I think in life we are that way too--I like to smooth things over, let things go and he likes the crunchy road and although it's bumpy, fight for justice and his beliefs. We don't see eye to eye on everything, but we do on a lot and that helps our relationship.

When you don't see eye to eye, it is a hard thing to convince the other to your side and if you can't, you have to find a middle ground that is acceptable to both. George would say that he was always the one to give in, don't believe it. The hardest part was agreeing in areas of raising the kids. We came from quite opposite backgrounds (he was one of thirteen and I was an only child). Becoming a parent is an on-the-job training position. You make mistakes and you have regrets, but you do your best and above all love them. I remember when I had my kids of being so happy that a part of George and I would always live on.

Looking back, I also believe having the same morals is of utmost importance. This makes a firm foundation for your life together. We are born-again Christians and therefore, have conservative values. George is a man of integrity, honesty, hardworking, intelligent and best of all, loves to laugh and does so easily. He thinks I'm funny which works out well. I love to hear him laugh.

Creamy and crunchy, I'm a chocoholic and he doesn't care for it, only child and one of thirteen, and the list goes on. We have our individuality in our relationship yet share the same foundational beliefs and love which has seen us through 33 years and another 33, God willing.

Happy Anniversary, hubby! Love you!

1 comment:

Lauren Yarger said...

What inspiring thoughts and a wonderful example about marriage. Congratulations!