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Happily Ever After

Last evening, just as we were settling in for a Downton Abbey marathon, Matt and Angela came over, claiming they wanted us to be the first to know that they have a cash buyer. Good news and bad news. Naturally I'm happy for them to sell their home in six days, but on the other hand, I don't want them to move! Anyway, just this morning I discovered that we are partially to blame for the quick sale. Remember when I took Lynn over there to see it before it was listed? Yup--she's the realtor with the buyers! Small world we live in...

Whilst they were visiting, I got out our wedding album, only to discover that after forty years, the pictures are deteriorating, as are the album pages. :(

We married at a time when weddings were not that big of a deal. I graduated x-ray school in early July, and about six weeks later, we married at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, the church where we spent time together in youth group. Our minister, Don DeBevoise, insisted we have some sessions with him before marrying, focusing on how to be a good husband and wife. As you may remember, his son, Dan, is one of the pastors of the church that owns FAVO! Then too, the family lived down the street from Bruce's family on Nancy Street. Orlando was a small town in those days!
The color in the photo doesn't really do it justice--my dress has a pale pink overlay of flocked daisies--very daring at the time, as the accepted colors for a wedding gown were white, or what they called candlelight, a pale ivory. I found the dress hanging in the dressing room at Jordan Marsh, a now-closed department store. I fell in love with it, despite the now unheard of price tag of $200! To put that into perspective, after graduating I was hired at the hospital where I trained, earning $3.25/hr. Bruce, as a carpenter's apprentice made about $6.50/hr. Sadly, wages for those types of jobs are now reversed with an x-ray tech making more than a carpenter, but that's a story for another day.

August 18, 1973, it rained about 3 in the afternoon, stopping just in time for our 4:00 ceremony. I remember someone, can't remember who, telling me then, that it was good luck to have rain on your wedding day. Perhaps it was the rain, but I suspect it was more that we were really in love, after all, by this time we'd been dating six years, long enough to know that we were pretty much made for each other.
You can't see much of my hair, but I think our hair was pretty much the same length after Bruce cut his for the wedding. You can imagine what our fathers felt about his long hair! It was the 70's you know...
Speaking of which, while we were dating "our song" was "Happy Together" by the Turtles; the lyrics still ring true.

Holding the reception in the church fellowship hall, we served our guests, cake, punch, and I'm thinking mints and nuts. The gifts were things like a wooden salad bowl, which I still have, cutlery, china and crystal, and an occasional cash gift. One we will never forget was a $50 bill in a 25th anniversary card from Dr. Culbert, one of the radiologists I worked with. That was some big money in those days! How did he know we would stay together forever?

Because Bruce's Mom and Dad lived just down the street, we went there to change before our drive to St. Augustine for the weekend. If you've heard this story before please forgive me, if not, you might find it sweet, or amusing, depending on how you look at it! Florida was not very big in those days; Disney World had only just opened, and the Florida, as we knew it, would take some years to completely change. That means all sorts of things, but for this conversation it means that restaurants were few and far between, particularly in the tiny city of St. Augustine. Arriving around 9 at night, we could not find a nice place to eat, and as you can imagine, we were starving! Sitting there eating our food at McDonalds, the only open restaurant, I looked at my ring, looked at Bruce, and asked him if he thought anyone there could tell it was our wedding day? :)

All that to say that one reason I believe we've had such a marvelous life together is because we started life without debt, focusing instead on our marriage, rather than the wedding day, something perhaps couples today might do well to consider.

So that was then, and this is now: forty years later, four fantastic sons, grown and doing well, all with loves in their lives. We so hope they all live happily ever after, as we have. :)
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