74 years this Sunday. That’s how long my grandparents have been married.
They have 5 children. After that, it gets complicated. Our family tree would be classified as an invasive plant. And it’s amazing how the genes get passed down. I have a cousin who looks like him and a niece who looks like her in this photo.
They grew up in the 20s and 30s, and they have a work ethic that some would say goes beyond reasonable. She had to be convinced recently not to get on chairs to clean, and, while doing yard work, he uses his tractor to pull himself up off the ground. (We are smart, but it’s a Canuck smart.)
He tells his stories to anyone who will listen, and she still laughs at them. Or shakes her head. The funniest thing I’ve heard her ask him is “Did you look at yourself in the mirror today?”
They have lived by the philosophy of “if it is functional and well maintained, there is no need to replace it.” And they are very good at maintaining. They have furniture that they bought prior to my memory that still looks like new. About 10 years ago, I needed to buy a new clothes dryer, and of course I bought a new washer to match. (Frugality and house cleaning standards have slightly decreased with each generation, though work ethic remains strong across the board.) I gave them my old, perfectly functioning washer. They were going to store it until their even older washer could no longer be maintained, but my uncle put his foot down and made them change it out.
They love their family, and the definition of “family” is a little blurred. Shortly before my father (their ex son-in-law) died, they took him for a day trip on my uncle’s boat. I think it was the last really good day my father had. I will always remember that.
What’s their secret to marriage? Maybe it’s that “if it is functional and well maintained, there is no need to replace it” mentality. I’m guessing it goes beyond that.
Now, I’d like to put an offer out to my family that they might not take me up on because they are private and don’t like to share their emotions. (I don’t either, but I have discovered I don’t seem to mind writing about them.) If you would like to, add your anniversary wish or memory as a comment to this post. John and Michael, keep it clean. Justin, no potty humor. And no yelling out “$2!” on anyone’s comment.