Happy 43rd Wedding Anniversary to Us!

In the fall of 1973, I started a Masters Degree program in Systems Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. I shared a room in Clark Tower, a graduate-student co-ed dorm, with Jim, a Music Major. I liked Jim (“The King”) a lot, but felt I needed a room to myself. I requested one and got it set up for second semester.

I arrived after the Christmas break, in early 1974. I took the elevator to the second floor and stepped off the elevator. I turned left toward my room and stopped in my tracks! There in the corner of the lobby TV room was very pretty girl with long curly blonde hair, slouched in her chair, watching the Cleveland Browns embarrass themselves. I was sure she’d have those blue eyes, too!

It wasn’t exactly love at first sight, but I felt certain that I was going to like living on the second floor a whole lot more than on six! So….

Thank-you Jen for these things, and all the other things you’ve been for me:

Being a loving and caring lifetime companion
Being the social glue bonding us with others
Being willing to resolve differences through discussion and compromise
Being a wonderful Mother to our children
Being a great cook and baker (even bread!)
Making houses into homes
Knitting very cool sweaters
Sewing clothes, costumes, etc.
Painting and plastering as required
Cutting my hair these last 20 years
Being a skilled whitewater kayaker, with multiple “combat rolls” to your credit, including two wild rides around “Snaggletooth Rock” on the Lower Yough River in Pennsylvania
Becoming a skilled adventure sea kayaker, cannoeist, and backpacker
Insisting we buy our Casita travel trailer, our home away from home
Being a talented and energetic tennis player; we play often with each other during the summer, and with others year-round.

Note that we bought our first (lake) kayaks in 2006, when I was 55. We bought whitewater boats in 2007; backpacking kicked-in around 2008, expedition canoeing about 2010, and expedition sea kayaking in 2013. Jen always was a tomboy! We’ve hauled a camper out West three times, and to Florida three times. We’ve done almost all of this as a couple, but sometimes one had to stay back to care for Winnie as she got older. Note: Winnie contracted Lime Disease, on her only backpacking trip. She was diagnosed a few months later, but was never quite the same again.

Health Update: I’m feeling fine, but am having increasing problems getting food to go down. I’d don’t have the time or energy tonight to talk about our meeting yesterday with the surgeon, nor do I have time to post some photos. Check back later for those.


6 thoughts on “Happy 43rd Wedding Anniversary to Us!

  1. Boy oh boy, I wanna grow up and become Jen…I saw many of those attributes you experience, being around her only a short time, but I imagine you both contribute to each other’s star power. You each shine brightly in any group and naturally I was drawn to that collective light. You guys are the ‘poster couple’ who share in each other’s glory…Whata Team!

  2. Doug, my first and only love, I couldn’t have found a more wonderful husband. You have taken on cancer like a champ. Keep fighting so we can have many more years together. Love, Always, Jen

  3. I would never have guessed that you and Jen were nearly old enough to be celebrating a 40+ year wedding anniversary! Congratulations! What an inspiring and happy marriage you all have shared together. I’m so glad to hear you are feeling well but I’m sorry that you are having difficulty getting food down. How frustrating! Hang in there! We miss you so much at STAF on Monday mornings. Hope you will be able to rejoin us before too long 🙂

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