Thirty-nine years ago today, two 22-year-old kids tied the knot at the First Presbyterian Church in Frankfort, Indiana.
Roger's family welcomed me with open arms.
One of my favorite photos was taken after one of his mom's delicious Sunday dinners as I attempted to help his mom dry the dishes.
This playful nature of Roger's was dormant during his last years at work, but resurfaced once he retired and we took off on our full-timing adventure.
No photos taken on our first date, a blind date arranged by our good friends Jay and Nancy (shown here in an early photo in front of our first "real" house in Pendleton, Indiana.) That friendship has also stood the test of time, and we will be meeting up with them this month to "catch up."
Since we are camped near West Lafayette, Indiana, we thought it'd be fun to revisit the site of our second date:
This retention pond next to the bridge over the Wabash River doesn't look like much here, but back in the winter of 1970-1971 it was known as Sigma Nu's "Snake Lake" and was frozen solid. This pond is just down the hill from the former site of the Sigma Nu fraternity house at Purdue (sadly, the fraternity was moved to a new house and an apartment building now sits in the spot on the hill overlooking the Wabash River). I had never in my life ice skated, so this was the first of many new experiences for me once I hooked up with this adventurous soul. (When he proposed on Christmas Eve 1971, my "other present" was a pair of ice skates).
Snake Lake was also the site of his-and-her dunkings when Roger and I first got "lavaliered" and then "pinned."
Only problem with planning a wedding while you're still in college is that no job was awaiting Roger upon his graduation, like we naively assumed would be.
Family came to the rescue, and our first six weeks were spent in my grandmother's log cabin retreat in the woods outside Mulberry, Indiana. No hot water, no shower or tub, lots of spiders and mice! We took baths by heating water on top of the stove and pouring it into a blue plastic boat that my cousins and I used to play in on the adjacent Wildcat Creek. As a side note, this log cabin is what gave me my love of the outdoors. Growing up, many hours were spent here with my cousins playing, exploring, walking the trails, building lean-tos in the woods as carefree kids.
In the fall, Roger's family helped us out. His dad helped me get a secretarial job at Delco-Remy in Anderson, Indiana while Roger continued to look for a teaching job. We moved (again rent-free) into the little rental house his parents owned next door to where Roger grew up and his parents still lived. (This is the same little house we purchased from Roger's uncle for our daughter and granddaughter to live in rent-free, which we sold last summer).
Starting with our honeymoon on Cape Cod, our priorities have always focused on whatever travel we could afford at the time. When we were 24 years old, we blew a gift from my grandmother on a two-week Hawaiian vacation. Looking back, I am appalled that we used that precious money that way, but we have no regrets! Whatever we would have purchased with it would be long-gone, but the memory will last forever.
Whether whitewater rafting on the New River, traveling to London and Tuscany with friends (the afore-mentioned Jay and Nancy, who can also be spotted in the raft above),
multiple cruises, vacations and camping with our girls, our lives have always centered around travel whenever we could do it.
More random favorite photos:
We've been blessed with two beautiful daughters.
Our family has only grown slightly since then, but by one very important little girl, our granddaughter, Kaia.
She turned 13 yesterday, the day before our anniversary. Our girls are spread east and west (Florida and California), so our new home on wheels is just what we need to visit back and forth.
Back to the present: What did we do on our special day? Jewelry? Roger knows better than to buy me jewelry (I'm not into bling). Flowers? We are surrounded by wildflowers here at Prophetstown State Park; no need to buy flowers. Candy? Specifically, chocolate?........
A trip to Harry's Chocolate Shop was just the ticket. No chocolate there, however; for you uninitiated, Harry's Chocolate Shop is a bar on the Purdue University campus.
Just a nice lunch in a place dripping with atmosphere. We then walked around campus a bit. This was actually appropriate, since much of our time during our dating year-and-a-half was spent there. Roger wanted to get a closer look at the new construction at Mackey Arena (the basketball venue):
We ducked into three spirit shops and stocked up on additional Purdue garb.
|When's MY turn?|
|Hey! That's MY shirt!|
|You've GOT to be kidding!|
|Here, Charlie, I'll help you get it off!|