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Heartwarming Small-Town Romances and Thrilling Mysteries

Hubby and I celebrated our 41st anniversary this past week. We got married in a very small ceremony at my house. During our reception, we listened to my youngest brother moving into my room upstairs. He lost no time in claiming it for himself, and made no secret about what he was doing. He had the courtesy to wait until after we said our I dos. Our wedding was on a Thursday because that’s all the leave we had to take off from work for a honeymoon. We were back at work on Monday.

I look at our photo albums covering four decades, and it’s hard to believe how fast time has gone. I remember all the experiences but they seem like yesterday. We bought land, built a house, raised two kids, put the kids through college, and lived in an empty nest. We took our kids on a lot of vacations to many places. Pets and animals have come and gone. Friends have come and gone. It’s amazing to see the cycles of life.

We went through some very lean years, starting in a two-bedroom apartment before moving to a two-bedroom mobile home. Five years later, we built a three-bedroom, two-bath house. Those were the times of 12-14 percent home mortgages, and we couldn’t afford them. My in-laws generously loaned us construction money at a lower rate; otherwise, we’d still be in that mobile home. In subsequent houses, we were able to “buy up” meaning a little bigger and/or a little newer. I’ve had a tiny mobile home, and I’ve had big house with a dream kitchen. The mobile home was much easier to clean, but was harder to heat in the winters.

It’s true you should marry a friend. I did. When it’s all said and done, or when trouble comes along, you want a good friend by your side. That’s who you go to for support and help. That’s who always has your back. As you age, a friend understands what you are going through, and you can face what comes together.

When Hubby and I got married, we decided we’d stay married for 60 years, then renegotiate our arrangement. Only 19 more years. I should start working on my negotiating skills. Maybe I’ll get a bigger woman cave.

With 41 years of history behind us, it’s interesting to look back at all the twists and turns we’ve gone through. Just like the marriage vows said, we’ve been through sickness and health, better and worse, richer and poorer. We remain middle-class and compared to other places in the world, we are extremely wealthy. We are also rich in memories and love. Those are the greatest riches of all.

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