Under Angel Wings


Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy 35th Anniversary

This is the happy couple, my husband, David, and I, who are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary today. There is an amusing story of our meeting which has become part of the family lore, and I would like to share it with you.

One day, in the fall of 1972, my mom, Mary, was happily playing golf with three friends: Bette, Dorothy and Peggy. As mothers are wont to do, Mary and Bette found themselves discussing their grown children who were as yet unmarried. They were walking toward the clubhouse where they planned to have lunch together. Mom pulled out a photo of me and showed Bette. As they enjoyed lunch, phone numbers of their children were exchanged, and a plot was hatched to get us together.

The idea was to get David to come up to the ranch and pick some persimmons for his mom, Bette, and I would just happen to be there. That didn't work out because by the time David got there, I had already returned to Sacramento where I was working on getting my teaching credential.

During the winter David called me and we had a date, which wasn't all that successful. He talked about his old girlfriends, and I was dating someone else at the time... However, when June rolled around, I was out of school for the summer and no longer involved dating anyone. SO...a voice whispered in my ear, "What about Dave? You never really gave him a chance..." I wrote him a little note and invited him to come down for dinner. He called, we set a date, and he arrived with a bottle of wine in hand on June 9, 1973.

I served a scrumptious dinner of Beef Stroganoff over noodles, steamed broccoli, salad, and for dessert, chocolate fondue. That was a stroke of brillance! I don't know if it was me, tanned and glowing with my long, blond hair, in my long, halter-neck dress, or the chocolate fondue, but it was a magical dinner and I think it was a done deal from that evening on.

We had a wonderful summer, dating and meeting each others' families and friends. One memorable Saturday afternoon we took a large tractor tire inner tube up the river a ways from my parents' ranch, and put in just above a small rock dam. We had a t-shirt for me in case of sunburn, and a six-pack of cold drinks for the river float which should have taken an hour or two to get down to our sandbar. I was seated across from Dave, balancing on the tube, hanging on to my t-shirt, as we started to go over the dam.

Somehow disaster struck and I was flipped right over Dave's head and we both ended up in the river, the t-shirt and drinks sank to the bottom and the inner tube quickly deflated. There we were, in the middle of the river, treading water and trying to figure out what happened. I still remember the man sitting in his boat about twenty feet away with his fishing pole in his hand. He glanced at us once, with the most remarkably unconcerned look upon his face, then he turned back to his line in the water and completely ignored us. I've often wondered, if we had started floundering and flailing, as if we might actually be drowning, what he might have done?

There was no where to climb out as the banks were covered with blackberry vines, so we just floated in the river all the way down to our sandbar. It wasn't a problem because we were both strong swimmers, but we were very cold by the time we got there!

One night in September, Dave took me to see the movie, The Sound of Music. To this day, it is one of my favorite films. When he drove me home, we were talking out in the car in the driveway, and he asked me to marry him. There wasn't a moment's hesitation! The answer was "Yes."

I couldn't wait to tell my mom the next morning that Dave had asked me to marry him. She was just as happy and excited as I thought she would be!  My dad, known for his reserved ways, was very pleased. It was decided that Dave should come a little early for our date that night so that he could "speak" to my dad~ you know, ask his permission to marry his daughter. Dave arrived, and mom, dad and I were duly assembled in the living room. Small talk ensued, about anything and everything as Dave no doubt searched his mind for an opening on the subject at hand.

My dad must have thought the subject would never come up, so he got up off the sofa and went in to the kitchen where he started opening the mail. We three followed, Dave finally broached the subject and the congratulations were given. What joy!!

We chose a date in the middle of October to have our engagement party in my parents' home on the ranch, and picked out our engagement and wedding rings at the local jeweler's. I was so excited, I had a hard time at first paying attention to my student teaching which had just begun! I remember looking down at my engagement ring often during each day, and feeling SO happy...

My mom wrote a poem called Persimmon Time for the engagement party. She typed it on the old typewriter and put each copy in handmade persimmon-shaped folders. On the outside it said, 'David and Sylvia will wed on February 9, 1974.' Here is the poem my mother wrote...

Persimmon Time

'Twas persimmon time in seventy-two
When Dave and Syl began to woo,
Introduced by the mothers, (the plot was well hatched),
As is often the case with two people well matched.

Slow off the mark, the pace became hurried,
To and fro from Sacto the innocents scurried.
There were river floats and barbeques, and picnics on the bar,
With sand in the hair, and eyes on a star.

The mothers were ecstatic, the fathers content,
A beautiful thing, this romance heaven sent!
Though great confidence in this couple was centered,
Into the mind odd thoughts sometimes entered.

Could he with his skiing, bank-building, shop-talking,
Get used to lawnmower, garden hoe and dog-walking?
Would she with her photos, music and trunk-gilding,
Take to stove, mop, and humdrum nest-building?

Yes! The two decided they could pull together,
In double harness, through every weather,
For love conquers all and Mother Nature's so smart,
She knows all the answers in affairs of the heart!

When Persimmon Time once more rolled around,
And Fall's gay carpet lay on the ground,
Syl's father and mother were proud to say,
"The lovers will wed near Valentine's Day."

When the date was set, and the news was out,
While joyous sounds rang round about,
The dads shook hands, and the moms agreed,
"It's been a long, long year indeed!"

By Mary H. Jenkins

I love you, Hubby.


Anonymous said...

It has been a wonderful 35 years, and still going strong! It is still amazing that our paths crossed the way they did.

Love, Hubby

I Can Only Imagine said...

Sylvia, my lovely friend - what a sweet, romantic story. God bless both of you. And may God give you at least 35 more years.