December 15 is our 40th anniversary . . .Â of our first meeting. We like celebrating events and this was a major shaping! I knew Mr. Hartzell had hired my replacement as his bookkeeper. He wanted to ease the transition as I graduated from college and headed off to be a math teacher somewhere. That day I walked into my work area and this cute girl was sitting at my desk. She remembers that I flirted with her. That could well be. I do know I asked her out a week later. Our first “hot date was seeing “Jungle Book” together. And the rest followed very naturally.
We celebrated the 40th in part with me working on my Luke 1 sermon for Grace, with her replacing the alternator in her Geo (really romantic!) and then with us going with Sherry Atkins to Living Hope Church to see their “Word on the Street,” a contemporary telling of the Joseph and Mary story. This was the first of something like 15 services through Friday. At least seven people stood for prayer and then headed off to meet with Pastor Rick and the connection time to work out their commitment to follow Jesus. After supper, we relaxed at home.Â We nostalgicly remembered celebrating ourÂ 30th at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Taichung, TaiwanÂ with Peter & Debbie Dodd andÂ their newly born Elizabeth.Â Â This time a History Channel retrospective on 1968 reminded us what a cataclysmic year we picked for our wedding.
Ruth Palnick, a 25 year friend who identifies herself as “Chaplain-HymnSinger,” was recently enjoying the hospitality that has characterized our home over the years. As we were taking our breakfast in the kitchen, she wondered, “Where are all the men?” I laughingly spread my arms, “Here I am!” She immediately shot back, “You are so taken!” She’s right. One woman has captured all the romance in my life. Very good thing.
Â Oh, Yes. Our Elizabeth continues to do well, though she had a 12 hour re-admission to Children’s Mercy Hospital Wednesday night after an episode of difficulty in breathing. It was only a “normal” congestion. But with her history, they were very careful.
We not only have longevity, but a lot love and fun too. May you do the same!
40 yrs…good, great stuff. I savor every story I come across of Jesus centered marital longevity. With a family tree marked by infidelity there mere mention of a 40 yr anniversary warms my soul and fuels my resolve to finish well.