If you’re reading this on Saturday, June 28 our anniversary was yesterday. If you’re reading some other day please adjust accordingly.
Yes, boys and girls, it is possible for the same two people to remain married for 44 years with neither killing the other. I didn’t say easy, I said possible.
Norma Garling of Genoa, Nebraska (Oriole Class of ’68) became Good Wife Norma on June 27, 1970.
The site was Augustana Lutheran Church in Genoa. The atmosphere was festive. The temperature was in excess of 100 degrees. Air-conditioning for that church was still years away. The groom was nervous which, combined with the heat, had him sweating like a Louisiana roofer at high noon in August.
Not only did we get through that day despite our youth, the ceremony actually ‘took’ for 44 years, defying all predictions to the contrary at the time.
In four decades-plus we managed to raise two sons and a daughter of whom we couldn’t be more proud.
Six grandkids have absolutely been the frosting on the cake for GWN and me. Two in Lincoln and two in Kearney are close enough we can be there for lots of their events and activities, plus the even better times when we just hang out at their homes or ours.
In 1970 we could not have predicted what lay ahead in our marriage, but I think we’d both say it has gone well so far.
Oh sure, it would have been great to win a gazillion-dollar lottery, but first one of us would have had to buy a ticket and we’re not really into that.
So I suppose we’ll just be happy with our non-monetary assets: a comfortable house in a friendly town, good health (typing with one hand and knocking on wood with the other right now), the fact my mother is still able to do things with us at age 90 (like join us for our anniversary steak dinner last night, which she did) and of course for my beloved ’91 MR2.
Add the warm and wonderful family dynamic to all that and you get some great times now that we’re much closer to the end of our journey together than when we set off 44 years ago on that sweltering June 27.
Reflecting on the cusp of birthday No. 65 I easily recall many dumb things I’ve done with my life and, yes, an occasional smart one, too.
The absolute dumbest is easy … choosing to smoke for 35 years.
The smartest thing I did in life is an even easier call. It was when, by some miracle, I convinced her to say “I do” on a late June day in 1970.
I still don’t know how I pulled that one off, but thank God I did. GWN is the best thing that ever happened to me. Period.