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Twenty-Five Years Ago

October 5, 2011

Our Wedding 1986

This month Paul and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage! Through thick and thin, in sickness and health, in joy and trial, we have stuck by each other.

There is always a story in how people meet and this is ours. I will warn you that there are always two sides to every story and this is my side of the story.

Paul was working with the youth group at his church in Wyoming. I had an aunt and uncle in the pastorate in South Dakota. Those two churches sometimes had youth events together and Paul became good friends with my aunt and uncle. 

My aunt and uncle did not have much faith in my ability to find a husband on my own, so they were always keeping an eye out for that perfect guy. They would strategically place my senior picture in places where it would be noticed. Now that is marketing!

“Who is this?’

“Well, it is funny you asked. This is our perfect niece. She is single. You should write to her. Here is her address.” (And a paper, pen, and stamped envelope – no, they were not THAT pushy, but almost.)

Paul had graduated from college, had a good job, company housing, and had the world by the tail. I was just starting college, struggling to make ends meet, working at a job where I got a free meal every shift, but smelled like cigarette smoke and syrup when I returned to my apartment.

After much prodding, Paul, who is not much of a letter writer, called me. He was (and still is) charming. I told my roommate that I just talked with the man I was going to marry.

He called again. He offered to buy an (expensive) airline ticket to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where his parents lived and where we could ski the weekend away. This scared me; I did not want to take this step. This seemed like a committment.

Well, paying rent and tuition was using more than my earnings. I decided to take a semester off college and move back home.

Paul called me at my home. (Home: the place where younger siblings know everything about you.) For someone who did not date in high school, the fact that a boy was calling was big news. I became even more uncomfortable.

 After about the 3rd call, I told Paul how much I was going to miss a male friend of mine that was returning to college in January. Paul picked right up on the hint and never called back.

I went back to the business college in the spring and finished my program.  I got a job in Seattle. Two years go by……. I occasionally ask my aunt and uncle how “that Paul guy” is doing.

After one such an inquiry on Memorial Day weekend, 1986, while visiting my grandparents, my grandmother blurted out, “Do you know he calls you “ICE WOMAN?” Now that hurt my feelings,after all, I didn’t intend to cause him any harm. He was the man I was going to marry.

I returned to Seattle, bought a blank greeting card and wrote a note to “that Paul guy.” It said something like, “It is very endearing to be called ‘Ice Woman,’ if you are not afraid of freezer burn, this is my current address.”

There was something of a challenge in that card. I won’t say that he was overjoyed to receive it. It took him two long weeks to answer and then it was just a picture postcard (of Jackson Hole, if I remember right.) Of course, I replied immediately, and he sent another postcard.

Soon I was sending frequent letters and we were spending much time on the phone. (I would say hours, but calling used to be charged by the minute and it was pricey.)

We met face-to-face on July 3rd of that year. In August, I visited him in Wyoming. He proposed; I accepted.  We planned a Christmas wedding, but changed to October, because we didn’t want the guests to have to travel to Northern Idaho in the winter. (At least, this was how we justified moving the wedding up by more than two months.)

Twenty-five years and eight children later, I wouldn’t trade it away for anything. I love you, Paul.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Cheryl permalink
    October 5, 2011 8:08 am

    Thank you. I was just wondering how you two met! That is an amazing story! ❤ LOVE the picture. 😀

  2. Rosie P:otter permalink
    October 5, 2011 2:11 pm

    Total sweetness, Candy.

    The Lord obviously saved you for each other during those two years of silence!

    He is so good!

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