Today my husband and I are celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary. It was a dark rainy day when we married in November 1982. But it was still a glorious and happy day.
We were young and our wedding was nothing special, certainly nothing like the huge and expensive weddings that take place today. I was naive and thought it was great. And that is how our life has gone. We have lived simply, worked hard and made a lot from a little. It’s the little things – 38 years of marriage.
Here’s our story;
I am fifteen when I realize Arne exists, even though in hindsight I know we have met several times before. He is nearly seventeen. We meet on a ski trip. My life is changed. Even at a young age, there was something there.
What is happening in 1975? Gerald Ford is President. The Vietnam War comes to an end. Captain and Tennille are singing Love Will Keep Us Together while we are standing in long lines to see the movie Jaws. Pet rocks, mood rings and Rubik’s Cubes are in our Christmas stockings.
Arne and I date for nearly a year. He is my first date ever. But then we stop dating. I am crushed. Him not so much. Life goes on and we manage a nice friendship for many years; it’s the little things.
Arne is away at college in Boston but the summer of ’79 we rekindle our relationship. My memories of that summer are of me dating different guys in my hometown, but then all of those guys seem to fall off my radar and there is Arne. It’s a summer of water skiing, drive in movies, concerts, taking the ferry to Seattle for dinner. It’s also the summer I am preparing to leave to go to Washington State University, after spending one year at the local community college. I am working three jobs. I have no idea how I’m going to pay for school. Until miraculously I receive a giant financial aid package.
What is happening in 1979? Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman Prime Minister in Britain. Hostages are taken at the US Embassy in Iran. The Hood Canal bridge sinks. ESPN is launched. We are loving Candies heels and wearing overalls and tube tops. If you are lucky a walkman is in your Christmas stocking.
Arne returns to Boston for school and I head to WSU feeling like my life is beginning. We part knowing life is about to change. In the year ahead we both see other people, have some serious but short relationships but keep in touch.
1981 & 1982
Arne has graduated from MIT and taken a job with Boeing to be close to those he loves…me! I’m still in school but we live together in the summer of ’81 in Seattle, but I return to WSU to finish my senior year. We are engaged in June of ’82 and married in November.
What is happening in 1981 and 82?. We are introduced to Aids. Anwar Sadat is assasinated. The Space Shuttle Columbia has its first flight. Post-it Notes are invented. Michael Jackson’s Thriller is released. Epcot opens. Hollywood is on a roll in ’82 with blockbuster films including E.T., Gandhi, Chariots of Fire and On Golden Pond. If you are lucky you might find a digital watch in your stocking this year. Pac Man is all the rage.
Arne and I live in a tiny little rental house in West Seattle and begin our married life.
Our first ten years of marriage has flown by. We built a house in Issaquah and added two beautiful sons to our family. Arne has now been at Boeing for twelve years. I have received my second degree, from the University of Washington, and began my career climb. I worked on a political campaign, then KIRO-TV, then the Issaquah Press and then become the Director of Salmon Days. But then we make a major decision to move to Virginia for Arne’s job and I become a stay at home mom with a five year old and a one year old.
What is happening in 1992? The first George Bush is President and Bill Clinton becomes a candidate for the office. Mall of America opens. Los Angeles is riotin after the Rodney King verdict. The first McDonald’s opens in Beijing. Barney is on our television and A Few Good Men and Unforgiven are on the big screen. Kids are finding Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in their stockings.
We will spend 18 months in Virginia absorbing the incredible history there and take our first cruise to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary.
Ten years later life is flying by. Our children are now 16 and 12. We have built a beautiful home in Gig Harbor, lived there 8 years and then sold it to move to a run down old house on the water. This house will be our little project for seven years. Arne is still at Boeing, celebrating 22 years. After being a stay at home mom for four years I return to television and work at KSTW TV and then take the position as Tourism Marketing Director for Gig Harbor. This will be my final job of my career.
What is happening in 2002? Americans are in shock from the 9-11 attacks. Terrorism is a constant word in our vocabulary. We are introduced to the No Child Left Behind Act. The winter Olympics are held in Salt Lake City Utah. Lord of the Rings is on the big screen and Eminem is everywhere. If you are lucky, there will be a flip phone in your Christmas stocking.
This period in our life is stressful. We are both working full-time, managing typical teenagers and their endless needs and activities, and remodeling an old house inch by inch.
We have now completed all the upgrades to our waterfront house and gotten our first son through college. Our second son is in his final year of Architecture school. Arne has now been at Boeing for 32 years. We spend a lot of time talking about retirement and how we would like that next phase of our life to look. We have done a lot of travel in the past decade, and know that we want travel to be a big part of our future. I am in my final year of work and will retire at a young 53 the following year.
What is happening in 2012? Americans have weathered the recession and things are looking up. We are all introduced to Facebook when it goes public and life will never be the same. We learn about Gangnam Style. America’s first black President Barack Obama is running for his second term. The Sandy Hook shooting kills 26. Taylor Swift is everywhere and The Hunger Games has us obsessed. The iphone 5, E-Readers and gift cards are what we want to find in our Christmas Stockings.
We celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary in this year and take stock of our blessings, and the little things. We are aware acutely of how short life is having said goodbye to many people too young and begin focus on what’s next.
Pandemic. It has taken over our lives. It has changed everything that we believed we had control of. But we are safe and healthy. When the pandemic hits we have now been traveling the world for four years, nearly full time, returning to the USA each summer. We have sold the waterfront home and purchased a small villa. Our kids are employed and healthy and we are free to move about the world. Until we are not. So we return to the USA to wait it out and see what will happen next. We are still in the USA seven months later when we celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary on November 27th.
What is happening in 2020? Donald Trump is President and he lacks the ability to deal with the Pandemic. On November 3rd America chooses Joe Biden to lead them. Wildfires plague many parts of the world including Australia and the USA due to the growing climate change crisis. Jeffrey Epstein, George Floyd and Kobe Bryant each in their own way create a shock factor in the news. IPad, Airpods, Bluetooth and anything to do with technology is on the Christmas list. Joke gifts in reference to quarantine are also popular such as toilet paper, flour, face masks and funny pandemic T-shirts.
My husband and I celebrate our 38th Anniversary with a hopeful heart. Our married life has been a collection of little things that have combined to create a wonderful life together. We look to 2021 and our 39th year of marriage and hope to be healthy, travel, and see our sons successful. It’s not a lot to ask. Just the little things – 38 years of marriage.
Thanks for joining me on this little walk down memory lane. It’s the little things – 38 years of marriage.
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Photos in this blog from Canva.