Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Love, Laughter, and Walleyes

Today marks my parents 48th wedding anniversary.

At the young age of 19, fresh out of high school, these two kids got married. A year later, they had my sister, and so started a family. Today that family consists of three grown children, four grandchildren, and four cats.

Back in 1961, it was totally normal for kids to get married at 19, something that some people today see as taboo. I imagine the fact that things were simpler then, there were no $30,000 weddings to save for, there was no pressure to go to college and have a career, had something to do with that. It's just what most kids did. Moms stayed home when the babies came, mostly, and raising your family was the most important thing you did.

I try to emulate my mom even more now that I am raising my son on my own. Her kids were and always will be the most important part of her life, even if she does pass up spending time with us when "her tennis" is on. She sacrificed thoughts of becoming a nurse or a lawyer for us. She made three meals a day, including warm cookies with milk after school. She was so lucky to have a group of girlfriends who were in the same boat. They met once a week for coffee at each other's houses, and us kids played while they ate muffins and gave each other perms. During the summer they all packed up the campers and spent the week at the lake, cooking over the fire and dredging us with bug spray and Calamine lotion. To this day the eight of them still get together to play cards, drink coffee, and remember the days past. They talk about marriages, divorces, grandbabies, new jobs and lost jobs, but they leave the perms to the pros. My mom taught me how important it is to take care of your family, to learn how to cook to nourish tummies and souls, and to always, always, keep your girlfriends close.

My dad was so smart to say "Yes" when my mom asked him to the "Sadie Hawkins Dance". From there he was toast. He worked three jobs and was a volunteer fireman just so he could bring home the hot dogs (since bacon was way out of their budget). He built their first home, and raised three kids there until another home was built that we moved to when I was 6, and they still live there today. It sits on a lot that was part of a huge plot of land that they bought together, cleared the trees from together, and sold piece by piece together. When I walk down our street I can picture them planting the trees that are a backdrop for people's homes, by hand, to replace those that were felled during the development.

My dad is the fisherman. When I say that, I don't just mean that he fishes. He is THE Fisherman. He taught us so many things in and out of the boat; patience, diligence, and when it's okay to take a little break. He provided just the right level of all of those things, even though he is much more lenient with our kids when it comes to digging in the cooler for a pop. His grandkids are the apple of his eye, so that's to be expected.

I'm not sure that they make true love like this anymore. I haven't been able to find it yet, but for now, witnessing how much my parents love each other, seeing what they do for each other, and knowing that they have been able to share such a wonderful life together is more than enough. They have been through sickness, through health, and to the end will love, honor, and cherish one another.


Kristi Pohl said...

Well said, dear sis. You have put it perfectly into words. Give them hugs from me on their special day!!!

Rachelle said...

These pictures are sooo great and what you've written is so honoring to your parents. What a wonderful daughter they raised. Wow. I'm speechless!

Valerie said...

Wow. Beautifully written. You captured your parents perfectly. Growing up, I secretly wanted to be a Hanson. I've always admired Dave and Diane and they have raised three wonderful kids. God bless, dear ones.