Last time I did a Bobby's Bits, it was the beginning of June and I was looking forward to my first June in retirement and savoring all it had to offer. Well, I didn't do much savoring, but a lot of hurrying and scurrying- I need to figure out how to not feel like I have to go back to work tomorrow! But, a lot has been accomplished in June and am now looking forward to a long Fourth of July holiday here at home with the family.
Since tomorrow is our big 50th Anniversary, I figured I should contemplate and reminisce over the last 50 years. I don't think I ever thought I would live long enough to see this day, and like most married couples. had a couple "imaginary" divorces over the years, but here we are, 50 years later! Looking back, I see how we must have gotten married on "a wing and a prayer!" We had pretty much nothing to start on, materially, but we had our ambition, faith, goals and dreams.
We lived in a worn out 10x50 mobile home just south of Medora in a cow pasture. We had lawn furniture in our living room, and sheets for curtains. There was no phone service then and we did not have a tv or a pet, or even a lawn mower. Howard had traded his Barracuda car to his brother in law for our trailer, and he started his dirt moving business by purchasing a #12 motor grader from Orville Moe and made payments by giving Orville a percentage of what he earned.
I had graduated from college with a BS/BA degree in English with Psychology and German minors but had worked in the bank in Medora as a summer job under the tutelage of Bill (Jiggs) Connell. He decided to work full time at this gift shop and the job as manager was offered to me. Looking back, I think it was pretty amazing that the bank brass deemed me, a 23 year old woman in 1971, capable enough to do the job. Anyhow, I received a big salary of $250 per month and on we went.
I cannot say that I enjoyed being out of town in a crappy mobile home with nothing to do when I was off work-Howard worked 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week, but within six months, we borrowed the money and bought a brand new 14x70 mobile home and a black and white tv, which got one channel and we were walking in tall cotton!
As time went by, we got a dog and a cat, and eventually a telephone, and I adjusted little by little. Three years later, our first born, Krista, arrived, and I was much busier and tired, as she did not like to sleep at night. She was five years old before she started sleeping all night! Otherwise, she was a fun, easy going baby and kid.
After five years south of Medora, we moved our mobile home to some Olstad land ten miles south of Sentinel Butte, which we purchased from Howard's parents. After three years, there, we built the house we are currently living in and 10 years after the wedding, our second child, Hanson arrived. Life got busier, but he was a joy to all of us.
The next 40 years are a blur of work, child rearing, home improvements, travel, meetings, all kinds of weather and personal and family drama, but we weathered the storms and ups and downs and are now pretty comfortable and happy with how things turned out. Our kids have never disappointed us and our grandkids are a source of constant amusement and pride.
When I think of words to describe 50 years of marriage, here are some that come to me first: love, commitment, hard work, patience, independence, honesty, humor, trust, satisfaction, joy, accomplishment, education. Most things worth having require some sweat and tears. I believe Howard and I have worked hard, and loved and trusted each other for 50 years and are now reaping some of life's rewards.