Sixty years of marriage! My grandparents have been married for more than half a century, exhibiting their love for one another (and their family) in more ways than I can even imagine or recount. Both of them have led some pretty amazing lives. Grampie's high school basketball team won the state championship his junior year; he was offered a basketball scholarship to Kansas State University, but since it wasn't a full ride, he joined the Navy instead. Back when computers were the size of a room, he wrote the software for the computer to calculate square roots. And if he wanted to, we all know he could still produce that terrifying tone in his voice which sends chills down your spine- no matter what your age. Grammie grew up in Iowa and still pronounces the word 'wash' with an 'r' sound; she insists that when she joined the Navy, she really was a hundred pounds...we always tell her that must have been her weight when she was soaking wet. She remained active in her WAVES unit for years and even served as the president...and yes, she did have a stint in the Red Hat Society as well. Before retirement, they were stationed in a few different places- the poor souls had to live in Hawaii for a while. After retirement, they owned an RV for years and would travel around the country, and let me tell you- my grandparents were some mighty fine square dancers too.
But it's not just all their accomplishments and experiences that make these two people so precious to me and to all who love them. The two of them have led an extraordinary life together- three children, six grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, and a great-grandson on the way. Though they both are from the Midwest, they met in San Fransisco, where they were both stationed at the time. One of my favourite things my grandmother has ever said was in reference to the first time she saw Grampie: "I looked up and I thought, 'Well that's a long tall drink of water from Texas!' I didn't have a darn idea who he was or if he was even from Texas, but that's sure enough what I thought." And Grampie's first impressions about Grammie: "Well, I thought she was a shrimp because she was so small, but I liked her and I helped her whenever I could."
I mean, how precious is that? I am so very thankful for my grandparents and the role they have played in my life. I pray that I will forever be my Grampie's little 'peanut' and that when I tease her about it, Grammie will always vehemently deny that she was dating "that darn Marine" while she was still dating my grandfather. I love my grandparents more than words can express, and I have to tell you- they are pretty much the most precious grandparents in the world.
So you may wonder, "What's the secret to sixty successful years of marriage?" Grampie shared the answer with me several years ago: "Marriage, my dear, is 50-50. You give fifty, she takes fifty." Of course, he said this with a chuckle and a wink in his eye. Grammie's answer might be a little different from her beloved husband's. One day, she was reliving the glory days of her youth, sharing her experiences with Sharon. She said, "...and then a bunch of us went down to Tijuana..." At this point in the conversation, she stops and turns to Grampie and says, "Vern, I haven't told you everything." I'll leave you to figure out what Grammie's actual answer to the successful marriage question might just be.
This past weekend, most of the family was able to get together for a small celebration for Grammie and Grampie, my beloved grandparents. One of my favourite snapshots from the evening:
Happy 60th anniversary to two of my most favourite people in the world. I love you both more than I could ever express!
The rest of the photos from the evening can be seen here.