My Parents Married 55 Years Ago

The Wrong Place at the Right Time

My Dad entered the Marine Corps as a young kid from a small town in Indiana.

dad at bootcamp

Boot camp was in California.

He was one of three brothers who went into the Marine Corps.

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On leave, one weekend, he and some other Marines went looking for a church service and ended up in the wrong church.

Wrong, because he was looking for The Church of God based out of Anderson, Indiana, and the church he visited that day was a totally different denomination, The Church of God out of Cleveland.

Now, you may not think that is a big deal, but those two denominations are WORLDS APART and you would quickly know upon entering the doors.

A person might even be a little overwhelmed by it all; especially, back in the 1960s.

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But, Dad saw a cute girl singing in the choir and ended up coming back. 😉

My Grandma then felt sorry for the young Marines (so far from home) and invited them over for lunch after church.

And, the story unfolds….

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Two Kids Got Married

They were married April 13, on a Friday.

They’ve always joked about it being Friday the 13th….the reference being bad luck. (for all my overseas friends/blog followers. 🙂 )

Mom wasn’t even finished with high school yet.

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Mom’s brother Donnie was the best man and her sister Mary, the Maid of honor.

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Mom’s colors were turquoise with yellow accents. And dad wore a sharp, white tux he had made, to perfect proportions, in Okinawa. (Interestingly, where my brother is now deployed as a Colonel with the Marine Corps.)

Dad said he had been paneling the reception area the day before the wedding. 🙂

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And another little tidbit Mom has always shared…her organ player got upset about being put behind some drapes and ruined the music on this day. HA

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Then they headed back to Indiana where my Mom met her in-laws. She would always relay the story of how she was so nervous; a timid, young girl meeting an entire family at the airport for the first time, and on her honeymoon none the less!

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Life Moves On

Dad was still in the Corps and Mom was now pregnant with me, the first child. She was carrying me while Dad was on board ship during the Cuban Crisis. Mom said she was so worried as she watched the news and heard talk of America possibly going to war with Russia. It was a very serious threat at the time.

Later, Dad returned to do some construction work and then became a policeman. He attended college, at night, majoring in criminal justice to earn an AA degree.

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Mom would go back to finish her GED and then become a stay at home mom. Later on, she attended night classes for secretarial work where she worked for a temporary agency from time to time. (I remember her taking notes, in shorthand, during church. Does anyone remember that? I always thought it looked so cool!)

Later, in 1966, my little brother would be born (the Col) and we would move back to Indiana in 1974 where dad had been raised. (He being the outdoorsman from a small town…yeah, he was SO OVER California by then.)

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There’s so much more to the story….

To be continued..

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to MOM AND DAD!

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Her First Wedding Anniversary

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Yesterday was our 29th wedding anniversary but today is my daughter and son-n-law’s FIRST.

My husband and I reflected on our first and thought of how many, many years have passed.

Some years seemed very slow. but as we age

and age…

THEY.SPEED.UP

Almost too fast!!

Sometimes, it seems sad.

We’re empty nesters now because our son just got married in August.

My advice to young people. (Yeah, you know you want to hear it. ha)

Barn wedding in Georgia

Yes, have fun.

Yes to adventure.

But don’t be going, doing, talking, moving so often that you don’t slow down.

You may just risk burning yourself out. And then, it’s too late.

Always take the time to be purposeful. Purposely slow down and take in the moment.

Be present.

Put your phone down.

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<script
Have meaningful conversations face to face.

You’ll never regret it.

I promise!

Someday, you’ll be right where I am thinking about how you could

have slowed down even more.

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Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Let things go.

Choose your battles.

Schedule in reflective time.

Make a memory.

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If you want to see more wedding pics,  I wrote about the wedding day here:

http://wp.me/p5ntHO-aZ


*all photos ©Haley Dawn Photography & property of this site thentherestwo.com

29 Years Ago, I Married

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Today I’ve been married 29 years.

October 23, 1987. The year of oversized shirts, big earrings, and mullets.

We met at church when I was home for the holidays; I was a junior in college, and

he was a sophomore.

He was attending school, here in Indiana, and I was in Missouri.

He studied business, and I was in education.

Can you believe an old boyfriend introduced us?

Fast forward…soon after we were engaged, I left to teach in China for a year.

I was 23 and he was 22.

Yep, an entire year.

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(me and a few students)

Some people thought I was nuts to do so, but it all worked out in the end. 🙂 Obviously.

We both knew I had to go. Felt it was my calling, and I knew we’d both regret it if I didn’t.

I think it made us stronger, actually.

Long before we were serious, I had planned to teach there; so, off I went.


Communication was tough.

Oh, I did try to make a call this ONE TIME.

I had to “make an appointment” to get help with getting a call out to the US, and it had to be done through the government officials’ office. Three men sat around STARING at me as I uncomfortably began to speak. I constantly was trying to hear my fiance over the multiple Chinese voices I heard coming across the line.

I grew increasingly frustrated. :/

They were all  trying to talk over me as I struggled to hear my fiance’s voice; it was a true Chinese, party line!

I don’t know what happened but in the midst of that chaotic, but short call, abruptly the phone went silent. Ended!

Later on, I found out my hubby/fiance thought I hung up on him. Whaaaa?!

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Yeah, right. I finally save up money to call you, clear around the world, and in the middle of our conversation decide I need to hang up?

Anyhow, I found out that he really couldn’t hear me, thought I was in the middle of a big party, with a bunch of Chinese friends 🙂 , AND… I hung up the phone.

Clearly, that process was never attempted again!!

(I wanted to stay engaged. HA)

Plus, it was so expensive.

So, the only way we could communicate was by cassette tape.

Late nights consisted of me lying on my cot, head on a bag of beans (pillow) surrounded by a mosquito net, talking very low, into my handheld tape recorder. (I didn’t want to  disrupt my roommates, nor have them hear my conversations.)

Now that we were engaged, I had more serious questions.

I mean, we WERE still getting to know one another…

“How many kids do you want? What are your thoughts on where we should live? What did you do today?” Then, I’d rehash the day usually adding all the funny cultural differences and stories in full detail.

(I like lots of details.)

Then I’d WAIT.

Wait for weeks.

And another tape would arrive with all my answers. 🙂

It was fun, and a daily diary of sorts. It helped the time pass.

It was a lifeline, and  it helped me get through the year.

One Christmas tape, had me and my roommate singing all the familiar carols while adding our own hysterical lyrics that reflected living abroad.

Our families really got a kick out of that one.

We worked really hard on those lyrics.


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So, we still have all those tapes.

LOTS of them.

We haven’t relistened to all of them, in full, but a few years back I started to play one for my teenaged kids, and hubby walked in very confused asking whose voice that was.

He couldn’t quite wrap his head around it.

It was a time warp, really.

Finally realizing that low, “mushy” sounding voice was his own, he quickly asked  demanded we turn it off. 😉

I think he felt somewhat embarrassed as our kids listened intently, hardly believing what they heard.

I don’t think the kids thought that was truly him! 🙂


I remember times while living in China, I’d go outside and look at the moon (thinking about life) wondering what he, or my family members, were doing clear across the other side of the planet.

And thinking…we look at that same moon just at different times.


So, here we are 29 years later.

Still together. We’ve seen a lot of life.

We’ve weathered some really tough storms, too.

But, together.

That’s KEY.

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WE honestly grew closer, not further apart.

Through some of the toughest times that LIFE’s curve balls could throw.

Many of them my health battles.


BEST of FRIENDS, STRONGER!

That year apart just may have taught us a whole host of things that would later keep us grounded, and working together.

I think I’m just now realizing this as I type.

Perhaps, that year apart solidified a firm foundation for the rest of our lives and getting us through many more years together!

God has surely been with us the whole way.

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NOTE: I dedicate these reflections to you, honey. I thank God for the gift he’s given me in YOU!