Today Randy and I have been married for 35 years! It is strange to look back and remember and to realize how quickly that time has passed. (How young we were!) During those years, we have raised and home schooled three sons, raised three cats (though I suspect one does not raise cats), and created a lot of wonderful memories. We have traveled to most of the U.S. and parts of Canada and Israel, and still enjoy exploring new places. Hawaii and Israel were two of my favorites, though our trip through the national parks on a westward trip (Badlands, Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Painted Desert) was equally splendid. We met at a youth social at church years ago, attended a Bible study together, and went drag racing in Randy's Mustang on a couple of our dates. He took me riding on the back of his motorcycle (we weren't as wild as it sounds!) and spent some summer weeks as camp counselors, staying in rustic cabins in northwestern Michigan. In later years, we took all three of our boys to a science camp during homeschool week and stayed in a cabin that shared space with a mouse. (My guys did not tell me this that first night, but when I wasn't looking quietly plugged every hole they could find to keep it out!) You may not be surprised to know that I much prefer a hotel stay to camping...
Celebrations were a big deal when our kids were small, especially birthdays. Each year we would allow our boys to choose what type of cake they wanted and would bake and decorate together. Several times the boys would ask for things that I could not draw (I have no knack for graphic art), so Randy took over and created cars and space shuttle launch pads and other scenery. I could handle the patterned cakes like Big Bird or R2D2, but forget the by-hand stuff.
Our house seemed to collect the neighborhood kids, probably because I enjoyed the crowd in the backyard and we had the sandbox, pool, and basketball hoop. (And three creative kids to go with them.) One year they turned our basement into a maze and charged admission. Budding entrepreneurs?
We've lost most of our parents during these 35 years, which was one of the hardest things life hands us. Only my mom is left to enjoy, and we cherish the time we still have with her. Our sons are all grown, and we are almost empty nesters. I wonder what the next 35 years will bring. My parents almost made it to 70 years of marriage. Perhaps we will too.
The greatest blessing of our lives, from the first day until now has been our deepening love for Jesus and for each other in the process. Life is a mixture of joy and pain, and I can't imagine walking through it with anyone better. I am so grateful for the years God has given us. I married my best friend, and I would marry him again in a heartbeat.
Thirty-five years and counting...