Thursday, August 19, 2010

43 years ago...

Our first date was on a very cold, icy night, in January, 1967.
We went to a local high school play, "Oklahoma!".
I had new high heeled shoes & Bob had to almost carry
me across the parking lot because it was so slick!
Needless to say, that didn't do anything for my first date jitters!
Afterwards we drove down to the Plaza in his '62 Chevy (which we still have!)
& had a sandwich. I was so nervous that I still remember the knot in my stomach. I was hoping & praying that my food would stay down! I remember trying so hard to overcome my shyness & carry on a conversation, wanting this to be the beginning of something special. As the night wore on, conversation came easy & I knew that I wanted him to ask me out again.

I was a senior in high school & Bob was a freshman in college, both of us attending KCCBS in Overland Park. I was working for J.C. Penney's in their Regional Credit Office & Bob was working for Rock Island Railroad.

I guess it was love at first date as from that point on we were a steady couple. That summer found us together about every afternoon before either of us went to work. Saturday nights were ours to "cruise" the Plaza & we usually worked it out to be together on Sundays also.

School would be starting up in late August. A new rule had been made for our school that no marriages were allowed during the school year. It was during the Viet Nam War time. Some of the guys were getting their draft notices, & to avoid going to Viet Nam, several couples eloped. So, we...mostly me...decided we didn't want to take the chance of Uncle Sam sending for Bob, and we got married in August, a couple of weeks before he returned to college, instead of waiting until the next Spring. He went on to gradutate from KCCBS college in 1970 & my plans to go to nurses training never materialized.

My family had moved to Kansas from Central Missouri the previous summer. Mom & Dad never had a mortgage on any of their houses that I know of. A family friend always loaned the money to Dad & he would pay it back as quickly as he could in large lump sums. Much to my dismay, they had just paid off their loan & were pretty well broke! I couldn't have picked a worse time for them to plan a wedding.

But plans were made. My dress was borrowed, my veil was bought out of "The Shopper", Mom & Aunt Paulene made the bridesmaids dresses, along with their hats, candelabras were rented, & I made arrangements to pay for the flowers. When looking back at how we put it all together, Mom would remind me that she didn't even have money to buy herself a new girdle!

The guys wore dark suits...back in the days when tuxedos weren't necessary. The reception was held in the dining hall at the college, with the basic cake & punch. And one of Mom's rose bushes had a perfect bloom, just right for the cake table.

I didn't care that it wasn't elaborate. I thought it was beautiful. And it was the happiest day of my life. I married the guy that I had learned to love in 7 short months, the guy that I knew I couldn't live without.

We honeymooned in Branson, long before it was the vacation spot that it is today. I had been there just a few months earlier on my Senior trip, so thought I was quite the tour guide! We went to Rock Away Beach & rode across the lake in a paddle boat. We went to Silver Dollar City & toured Marvel Cave. We went to one of the country music shows that I had seen on my previous trip...maybe The Baldknobbers.

As a wedding gift to us, Bob's dad had told him that he would pay for our honeymoon. We stayed in a Best Western Motel, & ate out every meal. We were only gone for two nights, & our total expenses for food, motel & entertainment was $50.00!

And it has been 43 years. In my mind, sometimes we are still that young couple that only had eyes for each other. Then I look in the mirror & know that time is swiftly passing by. We have had wonderful times together. Like any other couple, we have had some very rough times together. We have had a family together, raised a daughter & son, & been blessed with six grandchildren. We have laughed. We have cried. We have lost my parents, Bob's mom & his oldest sister. We have gained material blessings. And we have learned that through the sickness that our parents went through, those material things really aren't very important anymore. We rebelled at how we were brought up. But by God's Grace, we returned to our Heritage & were saved in our twenties. We have served God for quite a few years now.

And today we will celebrate. I suggested going somewhere, perhaps antiquing. Bob suggested that he drop me off & he go to a car museum. I protested. We'll probably spend the day doing our own thing around the house & when late afternoon comes, we'll go someplace special for dinner.

And who our own way, we just might dance the night away!
(Bear card courtesy of Steve & Suzanne....wishing us a happy anniversary.)


Karen Walden said...

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad. I'm so glad you two found each other 43 years ago! Love you both very much! Be sure to go somewhere different than Cracker Barrel for supper! ;o)

Anonymous said...

Awww....sweet story. Stay in love.

Jenny said...

Happy Anniversary...and, I love Cracker Barrel! LOL! :) Kinda funny he wanted to drop you off...I would have protested too!

Peggy B. said...

Happy Anniversary. May you have many more!

A Peek Into My Life said...

Happy Anniversary! I loved reading your "story". I hope you are blessed with many, many more years together.

Linda S said...

I have enjoyed getting "acquainted" with you through your blog. Hope you had a happy anniversary.

Karen Walden said...

I love it too Jenny, but they need to branch out a bit!!! LOL....I told her to have him take her to Nashville, In for supper!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary, Bob and Sheila! I love reading your blogs. You write about things that are of great interest to me. Your wedding sounds a like ours. We had our first date on a cold November 19, 1960. That was 2 months before my 16th birthday! We went to a Christmas program at that church just down 31 from Bethel across the RR tracks. He had a 1957 Oldsmobile. He hired on at Eli Lilly in January, 1957, so was making good money at that time. He knew in 1959 that he could be drafted anytime, so he and his twin brother joined the Indiana National Guards and left for Ft. Leonardwood, Missouri for their 6 months training in November of 1959. He had been dating a nice looking blond for a couple years, she was his age. When he joined the Army she told him he had better set the wedding date or else. He was only 20 and was not ready for marriage. He told her if she wanted to get married to find somebody else to marry because he wasn't ready. She did. She was married in about 6 months. We dated for 2 years, 10 months. Afterall, I had to graduate from high school. Since my folks had 10 children to raise, they never did have much money because Dad worked as a farmer most of his life until the late 50's when he got a job at a factory in Indianapolis. He still didn't make much, but they were able to get by. So, when we decided to get married, we knew we had to pay for it ourselves. Mom did give me some money, bless her heart, I knew it was a sacrifice. I worked that summer after I graduated to pay for the dress I rented to get married in and and a lot of other things. Don paid for the reception with cake, punch, building & etc. and he paid for the live flowers. I think Don was making around $5,000 annual salary + what the Military paid him in 1963. I thought the wedding was beautiful. I was so happy, I just didn't let anything bother me long. Like my maid of honor let me know at rehearsal that she was too sick to be in our wedding. I ended up asking Don's twin brother's wife, Rosie, and she said she would. She was even able to wear the dress that my maid of honor had bought. We got married in Martinsville Trinity Nazarene Church. We loaded all of our gifts into his car and took them to where we were gonna live, his Dad's place in Brown County. His Dad had moved to Texas a month earlier and wanted us to take care of his place. On Sunday, I begged Don to go to some church in Nashville where no one knew us, but he didn't see any reason why we couldn't go to the Pilgrims at Franklin!! In fact, they were having a baptismal service that afternoon, and the pastor asked Don's Uncle Leo to help. I don't know what creek they used, but it must have been down our way because Uncle Leo ended up going home with us and going to the afternoon service, then back home with us and I fixed him supper! Monday morning we were ready to go on our honeymoon. We went to Florida. We stopped in Atlanta the first night. This was before the interstate was made.
We will be celebrating 47 years of happy married life on September 21. We have changed. His blond hair is now white, my hair is still about the same, maybe a little darker. We have both put on weight. We have 3 wonderful children that we are so thankful for. We have 8 beautiful grandchildren and one grandson in Heaven. We have so much to be thankful. Our desire is for them to have a great country to live in and the freedom to always serve God.
Sorry I have written so much, no one else will be able to post anything!
Love, Fayerene

Sheila said...

Fayrene....I'm printing out your comment to keep for the grandchildren that we share! Maybe you need to do your own blog. :) No telling what stories we might here. By the way...I somehow no longer have your email address--probably because I've had a couple of computer crashes. Thanks for the comments & story!

I guess we are the "mothers-in-law"!

Rural Rambler said...

Well, a very very Happy Anniversary to you both!!!

Sheila thank you so much for visiting my blog and following. I visited your blog last night and read for quite awhile and thoroughly enjoyed myself. When I read the first three sentences of your post I thought I was reading about CH and me. Our first date was in January, on a snowy slick night. We were just about 5 years behind you and in college at SMS!

Don't you just love Old St. Charles? You need to do that trip in Fall :) We picked a hot day this summer to go there and I couldn't take it. We will go back in Oct. or Nov.

Thanks again and I will be back to read some more. Your property is beautiful!

The Farmer's Daughter said...

Hello Sheila! I can't believe that I missed this post. I will sign up to be a follower so I won't miss any more. I really enjoyed reading this story and I hope your anniversary was a special day. My hubby and I are just a few years behind you and Bob. I met Hubby when he was just getting out of the army after a tour in Vietnam. You've inspired me to tell our story some time! Thanks for sharing this and have a wonderful weekend! Cheryl