50 Years Of Marriage. When We Were Young.
When We Were Young.
We would take anything anyone would give us to set up our home. We had absolutely nothing. Our families were not rich. My family was military. I was only 17 and he was 20. He was getting out of the military and we were heading to his home in Wisconsin from El Paso, Texas.
Married 50 years now. We received premarital advice from a chaplain on a military base, we took a test etc. We only knew each other three months. Our wedding was on Saturday. On Wednesday he told us we weren't ready for marriage, to young and different religions. He decided he wouldn’t marry us. We had to find a different chaplain. We married on Saturday as planned. We had a small military wedding in a small chapel on base.
We were also married just before the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was a scary time. My Dad and my husband were both on alert because of Fidel Castro and Nikita Khrushchev. My husband's unit was getting ready to ship out to Florida. I was a military wife for a short time. This was one of the scariest times in history. Though we were never attacked, as everyone knows it came very close.
We were lucky it ended and everyone was as safe as they could be in those times. The cold war continued.
We stayed in El Paso until December then we hit the road. It was just the two of us and our little puppy, Lindy. We adopted her from the animal shelter. The picture is of Lindy in her little pink bonnet.
His mom was so kind to put up with a new puppy in her house. He brought home a new wife and a little puppy. A wife who got homesick for the warmth of Texas. They didn't know me at all and had no idea what kind of person I was.
Our Stop In Arkansas.
Our first stop on our way to Wisconsin was at my grandmother’s home in Arkansas. She loaded me up with whatever items she could give us and gave me some family pictures too. The morning we left her home she made fried chicken for us to take along so we wouldn't have to spend money on food.
There were not lots of fast food places around then. If we stopped it would have to be in a restaurant and spend money we didn't have.
We even picked up a hitchhiker on the way, a soldier who was going not too far up the highway. We would never pick up a hitchhiker now. Everyone always helped soldiers in those days. My husband often hitchhiked home when he was on leave and in the military.
Our Arrival In Wisconsin
We arrived at my husband’s hometown a few days later. First we stopped in St. Louis to see an aunt and uncle. He was also a military man.
I was welcomed into his big family with big bear hugs. I still think about how they all tried to welcome me by making fried chicken because I was from the south. It was good, but they fried it and then cooked it in the oven for a while.
We tried to stay, but as a few months went on we knew there was not enough work. We decided to head for California. My husband's brother said he could get him work as a carpet layer in California. We took out a small loan of $100.00. The loan got us to California with money left over. I think gas was .25 cents a gallon.
My mother-in-law gave me extra linen or anything she could find to add to our home goods. As each mother and grandmother said good-bye to us you could see the worry in their faces.
Our Drive To California.
It was a fun trip. We did run into snow in the mountains, south of Amarillo, Texas in New Mexico. There was a semi in front of us and we stayed close to him so we could get through safely. Finally, we had to stop and we could only stay at a cheap motel. The place was creepy; I thought for sure any minute someone was going to come through the door. It was like the Psycho motel. Thank goodness, I had not seen Psycho. Don't even know when the movie came out. We came out of the little motel alive and laughed about it later.
We stopped in Texas to see my parents. My mother added to our goods. We went down route 66 heading for California driving a pink 1957 Ford Fairlane. My photo may not be exactly right, but it gives you an idea of what we were driving. The roads were wide open with no traffic. We came up on a couple guys in a convertible and they wanted to race. Of course, my husband being a little on the wild side raced them. We pulled into Mesa, Arizona and the cops were waiting and pulled over the guys. We drove on passed and waved as we drove by.
Arrived in California,
We arrived to stay with my husband's brother and his family. My sister-in-law also gave what she could. I'm sure hoping all along we wouldn't be staying with them long. She also showed me what I needed to buy in food and how to set up my household. We also hit rummage sales. She was a big help to me. I will always remember her for that.
My Grandparents Were There.
My grandparents lived in California and we went to visit them at least once a month. They were my grandparents on my dad's side. Grandma also gave me whatever she could and they had very little to give. I still have the little teapot she gave me. I never ask for anything, but they just handed over to us. They all seem to think we needed the help. I was thankful for everything I got. She made real fried chicken every time we would visit. When the chicken would puff up in the pan, she would tell me it had been killed on a full moon. They were also Arkansas grandparents but had moved to California in the 1940s for the jobs.
I never forgot how she swatted black widows with her hand. She wasn't afraid of those little monsters. Grandpa sat in the garden under a tree and told my husband about the old days. Sometimes my cousins would be there. It was always fun to visit.
My Old Cookbook.
My husband’s aunt and uncle also lived in California. They added a new cookbook to our stash. I still use the cookbook to this day. My husband says I didn't know how to boil water when we got married. I did, really I did.
With all the items, we set up our apartment. It wasn't that I didn't want new, I did. In the early days,we were grateful for all the items we got which were free
I remember how we would dig through the cushions looking for a dime to buy an ice cream cone when we heard the ice cream truck coming. Do they have ice cream trucks anymore?
Back to Wisconsin.
These are our stripe photos, remember those? I think they're still around and often at weddings.
We ended up moving back to Wisconsin three years later and this is where we stayed.
My husband learned a trade while in California and we raised our family with this trade for many years. It wasn't a wasted trip for us. We also brought home a cute little baby boy.
Young adults nowadays do not want anything old. Offer to give them something and see how fast they turn it down. At least, this is what I have found out in our family. They want to start out with everything new, including new cars. We made our mistakes to buying a new car when we shouldn’t have. Better to start out with old then add new as you can, at least for a while in a new marriage. I think the economy is going to be hard on the kids nowadays they are all so used to getting everything new. They want so much so fast and maybe this is what our parents said about us. We weren't perfect and sure didn't always handle money well.
50 Years of a Happy Marriage.
I guess after fifty years I can give some advice, but you sure don't have to listen to me. I'm not a good advice giver. I have believed all my life bragging brings bad luck. It's a superstition of mine. I'm not bragging just telling you how we did things in our marriage.
Like they say marriage is never easy. We were young and dumb about many things but loved each other. I was a spoiled brat with a temper. I wonder often how he put up with me. There were also times I had trouble putting up with him. I remember the many speeding tickets he got. I once ask him when he was going to grow up and stop getting tickets we couldn't afford.
I also didn't make a big deal out of gifts. I liked anything I got even if it was something for the house. He was good to buy a piece of jeweler here and there when we could afford it. What he did do for me was pick me up a soda in town and still does or comes home with a sundae from Diary Queen. He once brought home a pure white fluffy kitten. It's the small things you do for each other which mean so much.
We always kiss goodbye or hello. We kiss before bed. We kiss when we wake up in the morning.
Be open to saying I'm sorry when you need to but don't say I'm sorry over every little thing.
When you want something or want something done ask for it. Don't make her/him guess.
Our plans when we got married, to stay together the rest of our lives. We always worked at our marriage. There were things we would not put up with, cheating or abuse of any kind. If he did either one I would have walked out of our house with our children and never looked back. I'm a night owl. I never let him control when I went to bed. I know women who do let their husbands control that.
I never looked in his wallet. We didn't have cell phones to check. I just trusted him and he trusted me. He came home from work most of the time which I didn't make a big deal if he stopped for a beer here and there. If he started to do it too much I let him know I wasn't putting up with a drinker. We had a few tiffs over this.
One thing we always did was stick together when it came to our kids or family members. I may not have liked the way he punished the kids, grounded for a month is a little excessive!! I would wait and then tell him later I thought he was wrong. He would then talk to the child and change the punishment. I also made my mistakes with the kids and he would let me know. We didn't argue about the kids in front of the kids or let them hear us.
We always did things with our kids. He would take the boys ice fishing and hunting. Daughter and I would go to lunch and shopping or visit friends when the boys were gone. She was like me hated ice fishing.
We always did things together as a couple bowling, snowmobiling, traveling, and fishing. We would get away from the kids to go fishing on Lake Superior or some kind of small trip. I loved my kids, but every married couple needs a break.
The most important thing we did was doing things without each other. He bowled, played cards, snowmobiling with the guys, hunting or fishing. I bowled, played cards, went to ceramic class and many other classes with friends, went to the movies with girlfriends. You always need time away from each other. I think it recharges a person.
Another thing he did for me. He would take care of the kids so I could go and do the things I enjoyed. He changed diapers or whatever had to be done.
My husband always had three jobs. When he would plow snow in the winter I would get a babysitter and go with him. It was a good time to visit while the kids weren't around.
It's always good to have fun and do things with other couples whether it's going on trips or just to another town for shopping. Try to keep couple friends through your marriage. You find out very fast you lose friends either from death, divorce or moving away. I think having friends is important in a marriage so your life doesn't get dull.
We had many hardships in our marriage. They seem to just make it stronger for us. Life wasn't perfect.
This is all I can tell you about our marriage. So after all these years I know very little. I often see wives passing out advice on how great their marriage is and telling people what they should do when they have only been married ten years. Ten years is nice but not long enough for a person to be giving out advice.
One thing I do know back in the 60s many of us married young or right out of high school. We have many friends who have hit the 50 mark. I think being married 50 years will be a thing of the past.
Money And Staying Home.
I have seen so many problems with money in young couples. They don't share. They each have his or her money and one is always selfish about their money.
Our money went into one account and one of us took care of the bills. We shared with each other what was going on with the money.
We decided as soon as our first baby was born I would stay home with him. We had less money, but we just couldn't stand the thought of leaving him with someone else. My husband never accused me of sitting around watching soaps on tv. He also never believed the money he made was just his it was ours.
I have seen so many young men believe their money is theirs when they have a wife that stays home instead of working, accusing her of being lazy.
Our Many Hardships
Our youngest son was a very sick baby. Our own doctor said he didn't expect him to make it to two, but he did.
December 2001 our son had a traumatic brain injury and was not expected to live. He was in the hospital two months. He made it.
December of 1983 I had two heart attacks and was not expected to live. My husband I know wondered how he was going to take care of two children left at home. I was 38 at the time. I was in the hospital a month. The day I got home he started taking care of my medication. I took at least 30 pills a day so my pill case had to be filled weekly. He took care of this from the beginning.
It was December of 2013 he had a cough he couldn’t get rid of. He also started to have dizzy spells. It was lung cancer. One day in 2014 I noticed he was have trouble doing my pills. I ask him if he wanted me to take over and do my case. He was happy to have me do it. The lung cancer had spread to his brain. This was our last hardship together.
There were many small hardships between all the big ones to many to mention. We got through all of them. Now we have another hardship to face. Many couples face much worse than we have, some have lost their children the worst kind of loss for a married couple to go through.
We stayed together and did not give up. I think nowadays couples give up to fast on such small problems. Maybe upset with hubby because he forgets a birthday or hubby says she is too busy with a baby and doesn't give him enough attention.
I believe in divorce, many times it is necessary. It didn't happen to be something we ever thought about.
52 Years of Marriage.
On Dec.16, 2014 my wonderful husband passed away. I miss him everyday. I think God for the years we had together. He always made me feel safe.
When I now have medical problems he’s no longer waiting for me.
Questions & Answers
© 2011 moonlake