This conversation took place in my dining room the other day between my two sons – Nick is 20 and Matt is 18 – while they were working on a presentation for their grandparents’ 50th anniversary.
Nick: “Fifty years is a long time. It’s like back when the wheel was still new.”
Matt: “Wow, 50 years is older than Mom. That’s old! So, what did they roll on before wheels were around?”
Pause as Matt thinks about this…
Matt: “Horses don’t roll.”
Yep, this is the kind of stuff I put up with whenever my kids are together. In this case, they were together because they were helping me with a project. I wanted to make a video out of a bunch of old photos. Thank goodness, my son Nick knew exactly what to do. It still took us about 9 hours, but that’s probably because conversations like they one you just read kept happening.
I want to congratulate my folks-in-law, who will be married for 50 years tomorrow. As my boys so nicely pointed out, that is a long time.
I know I wrote a blog about my father-in-law Gary a few weeks back, but I didn’t say much about my mother-in-law, who happens to be one of the coolest people I know. I happen to think she’s the glue that holds the family together. Very nice, super sweet glue, of course.
For years, Sharon was an OB nurse, and has probably delivered more babies than I’ve ever seen. She managed to get both her LPN and RN while raising a pack of kids and working. She’s the most down-to-earth, pragmatic person I know, but still has the ability to be silly and laugh. She loves birds, going to the movies and hitting garage sales for great deals.
Sharon is semi-retired, and is now a home health nurse. Her boss just happens to be her oldest daughter, my sister-in-law Debbie. We all get the chuckles when Sharon makes comments about her mean, demanding boss. Mockingly, of course.
I can’t tell you stories about the other kids at the moment – there simply isn’t room – but I think Sharon ought to have some kind of medal for dealing with the stuff my husband Eric put her through – as a kid he got hit by a car, had to have an emergency appendectomy, popped a lung while water skiing, broke a leg while snow skiing, practically skinned himself at the Alpine Slides at Wild Mountain in Taylor’s Falls, and I’m sure did many other things that had her pulling her hair out. Those are just the biggies I can remember hearing about or being around for.
So, on Aug. 12, 1961, work secretly began overnight in the Berlin Wall, the Washington Senators beat the New York Yankees 5 to 1 and Bobby Lewis’ “Tossin’ and Turnin’” was at the top of the Billboard music charts.
And Gary and Sharon said, “I do.”
I know there are people who celebrate 50-year anniversaries all the time, but in this day and age, when divorce seems more common than working stuff out to a lot of couples, I have to give them credit for sticking things out during good times and bad. It’s easy to be married when life is peachy all the time. It’s a heck of a lot more work to solve problems and compromise and learn how to accept the flaws of a person when life gets hard.
Happy anniversary, Gary and Sharon Wettschreck. You’re the best in-laws a person could have.