It's February 1st and today is our 40th Wedding Anniversary! Where did the time go? Walking to our favorite coffee shop we watched a bright rainbow fade as the morning sunshine appeared brighter and brighter. What a lovely day to reminisce and remember what the past 40 years were like.
We were young, Vince 21 and I was just 19! It really was love at first sight. We both were on the deck of race boats floating slowly to the docks for fuel when we locked eyes. Vince was guiding the front of the boat to the dock when his uncle told him, “It would help if you put the paddle in the water!” I remember he had shoulder length wavy black hair and very nice set of sculpted shoulders! I was lounging in the sun wearing a white bikini! We knew in that instant we had found our soul mate and the excitement was crackling in the air. We could hear each other thinking, “There you are!”
We have lived in 15 different places in 3 different states, including a 12 foot travel trailer, a condominium on a golf course, a house in the redwoods and a WW2 pre-fab little cracker box house. Three of them we owned and the last one was a duplex with our son and daughter-in-law on 5 acres. We have many memories of each, some not so good and some that bring up much laughter.
Four years later we had a son who turned out to be kind, caring, brilliant, loving, serious and funny. I think we did pretty well. We grew up in the 50's and 60's and if we heard of a classmate with divorced parents it was shocking. Our son grew up in the 80's and 90's where divorced families were the norm and having original parents was something his classmates could not relate to. I feel we gave him a foundation for his future happy marriage when we would tell each other “I Love You” every day. We would tease, laugh, play jokes, cook together, and have vacations. We helped him understand the seriousness of managing money and he actually asked us when he was a teenager. “Can I have $20.00?” “You have $1,500 in the bank!” “I know, but that's my money!” He now has a beautiful wife and a lovely marriage with a bright future.
We would go camping at the ocean, mountains and redwoods. Once we found ourselves in Big Foot Country at a deserted campground and shortly after we set up our tent trailer we smelled a horrendous stinky giant wet dog kind of smell and felt like we were being watched.......we promptly packed up and drove through the dark of night for hours until we found a town and a motel! We even had a golf vacation at the famous Sea Ranch Golf Course in California. We went to Disneyland where Lin was hugged a little to tight by the Big Bad Wolf as he copped a feel! And much later Vince and I became addicted to taking cruises to the Western Caribbean, Hawaii, Alaska, Panama Canal and hopefully someday in the near future around Asia.
We owned 9 cars and two small trucks. I think my favorites were a cute little red Toyota Corolla and the old Volkswagen Beetle that we had to make sure to park on a slight hill because it had to be push started every time!
You know when people ask if you are a cat person or a dog person? I really never knew for sure until I counted. We have had 2 dogs and 10 cats so I guess we are cat people! My first experience with cats was when Vince came to my work and held out his hands in front of him. Sound asleep in the palm of his hands were brother and sister Siamese Kittens! We named them Biscuit and Raisin. Others we named Soon, Later and After.....you get the drift.
As the computer age was exploding our son Steven guided us along and helped us navigate the swiftly moving changes. One year he was adding more RAM to a fairly new computer and it seemed the next week he was building a new machine from the ground up. We are so glad he did and we embraced learning a brand new language because it helped us have an internet business when eBay was just a baby. We were able to make a good living for several years but then eBay went public with their stock and soon our competition was large corporations like Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret.
Like other families, we have had our share of illnesses, childhood diseases, surgeries and broken bones. We nurtured and cared for each other as families do and learned along the way that no matter what happens we will always do what is necessary.
While living in the duplex with our son and daughter-in-law she called me in a panic to come over because there was a raccoon in the bathroom! Slapstick comedy ensued when we decided to throw shoes and poke a broom toward it while yelling, “Get OUT!” Poor thing, it finally gave up on the bowl of cat food and ran out the door!
Our jobs in the 40 years have consisted of for Vince: Working in a jewelry store, a shoe store, driving a laundry truck and working as grounds maintenance in two states and irrigation specialist for the University of Oregon.
As for Lin: I worked for a Wedding and Party shop, in boutique clothing stores, and fast food restaurants. I drove a large commercial truck and worked for a city Waste Water Department and cleaned out sewer man holes......(Yep, a woman has to do what a woman has to do)....thankfully it was only for a year! I also work for the University of Oregon as I like to call my job.... Office Monkey!
We know several young couples preparing to be married this year and our advice to them would be: Keep your sense of humor, respect each other, never go to bed angry and do go to bed at the same time if at all possible. Be flexible, or as Vince says, “If we have a disagreement, Lin tells me what she would like to do, I tell her what I'd like to do, and then we compromise and do it her way!” ...LOL Problem Avoided!
Decisions when choosing important purchases: If one of us doesn't like it we must start over and both agree. It helped a lot when we built our house.
What is better than looking forward to the next adventure with your best friend!