After 60 years of wedded bliss, the next 60 should be a breeze
My wife, Sandy, and I celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary on March 31. Aside from the normal congratulations, the one comment we heard most often was, “Boy, 60 years is a long time.”
Now that is correct, and I understand why it was being said; however, the thing that both my wife and I were surprised about was that before anyone mentioned it, the time element never actually occurred to either of us.
Over the course of a week, that comment sunk in, and I realized that the reason it didn’t seem like a long time was because our marriage was not a burden, it was not a problem, it was two partners always looking out for the partnership and we made sure we laughed whenever we could.
Life is not a free ride, and everyone has problems and challenges, but my wife and I always tried to face them straight on and add some humor when we could.
To better illustrate this important point are two examples of actual incidents we often laugh about even though they occurred early in our marriage.
My wife and I were running errands, and as we exited the parking lot of a rural store, the traffic on the road was sporadic but fast. My wife was watching carefully for a lull in the traffic so she could pull out.
Just as an opening occurred, she cut the wheels hard to the right and quickly moved into traffic.
At the same instant, I realized the curb was extremely high and she was angled to go right over it. “Whoa, WHOA, WHOA” I yelled and then THUD as the frame of the car banged down on the curb.
She pulled safely over to the side of the road as I said, “Sandra, I yelled, ‘Whoa,’ why didn’t you stop?”
“I didn’t know what you meant,” she replied.
In her defense, had she stopped once she committed to enter traffic, we could have caused an accident, so aside from banging the frame of the car on the curb, everything was fine.
It could have been an excuse for an argument, but instead we turned it into a humorous moment as I explained, “Well ‘Whoa’ is another way of saying ‘Stop,’ but just to avoid any confusion in the future, when I need you to stop again, I will just yell ‘Mayonnaise’ so there is no mistake.” Neither of us have forgotten that incident, and we laughed about it then and numerous times since.
The second occurrence that comes to mind is when we were driving to my new duty station in Texas. I had done all of the driving from Pennsylvania until we hit New Mexico and were crossing the military base at White Sands Missile Range.
Because I was military at the time, I was allowed to cross the range once I stopped and was checked in with the lone guard on duty located in miles and miles of empty desert.
As we approached the guard station, I asked my wife — who just woke up from a nap — if she could drive for a while to let me rest a little. She yawned a sleepy, “Yes.” A few minutes later, the guard had checked my identification and gave me permission to proceed.
I stepped out of the driver’s door and walked around to the passenger’s side as my wife, apparently still half asleep, slid across the front seat and got behind the wheel. Just as I reached for the door handle, the car took off in a cloud of dust leaving the guard and I awkwardly staring at each other.
The guard asked, “Is everything all right, sir?” Sandy had stopped a short distance down the road and was in the process of backing up as I replied with all the authority I could muster, “Yes, she was just performing a pre-flight safety check as ordered.”
As I got in the car, I said, “Was it something I said?” She was laughing too hard to answer, but I never let her forget it.
We had so much fun in the first 60 years, I know the next 60 are going to be a blast.
John Kasun writes from his home in Duncansville, where you can always hear laughter and even an occasional, “Mayonnaise.”