Together 40 Years! 2015-12-05

JimSandyCar

Who can believe that we’ve been married 40 years today. 40 years! Wow, there was a time when I thought 40 was a really old age.  The age of my parents when we relocated with Dad’s growing company from Chicago to a family farming community in Central Illinois. Not only is 40 a distant memory for me as a person, but I have now achieved the 40-year marriage status. It was 5 years after high school graduation before there was a ring on it. In those days many of the people I went to school with were already married several years by then. I felt like a late bloomer. Boy, has time changed. I was so casual about the whole wedding thing. Mom took me to Gates Bridal, I picked out a $60 dress off the rack that I loved, checked off a cake design, selected a cake topper, arranged for nuts and mints for the reception table in the church basement, mulled over invitations and decided on the daisy-inspired to match the ones on my veil, approved a photographer package, pointed to the flowers I wanted out of the display book, grabbed a garter, added an infinity candle, and was good to go. The whole process took about an hour or so. I never ever associated with the ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ people.  Such a big deal and sooooo much money involved in weddings now.  I guess if that’s your thing more power to you.  About 2 weeks before our big event, I went in for a final fitting which involved taking the hem up a little, My best friend Janice and two sisters Judi and Donna were my bridesmaids and went in as they had time for their fittings. Wahlah! We are ready for a wedding. The day of the wedding, Jim worked his usual 1/2 day on Saturday.  At noon he started the task of getting the party set up at the lake.  Thanks to our friends who owned our favorite hang-out they helped with the alcohol, and my in-laws all cooked and set-up the fabulous feast they would be offering pot-luck style. I cut my hair (which I still do to this day), applied light frosted pink polish to my nails, a little blush, some mascara, and a touch of lip gloss. I put on my bell bottom jeans and forest green sweater jacket, grabbed my white dress and shoes, and headed to the church. I greeted early-arriving relatives and friends at the church in my casual clothes. About 45 minutes before the service, I went back to the dressing room, donned my wedding garb, ran my fingers through my hair, took a few pictures, and got in line for the procession.  Here comes the bride started playing on the church organ, I hooked my arm around my Dad’s as I waited for my big entrance.  First my soon-to-legally-be adorable daughter Kelly led the procession as the flower girl, followed by the three bridesmaids.  Walking down the aisle I remember Dad trying to keep me focused on walking a straight line to the altar as I wanted to keep sauntering over to the pews saying hi to everyone as we were making our way to the groom and the groomsmen. It was a beautiful evening candlelight service in front of a couple of hundred friends and family. The service was lovely, the reception was fun, the honking-the-horn ride from the church to the lake was as we said back then, groovy, but the party with the live rock band Rocky Mountain Express (who Jim was once the lead singer) was the grooviest, man. Looking back on it, I wouldn’t have changed anything from the $60 dress with the veil/hooded cape, the powder blue 70’s tuxes, the no honeymoon, or anything from that whole experience. We married on Jim’s Mom and Dad’s 39th wedding anniversary.  On our 1st and their 40th (today would have been their 79th). We had quite a party at The Ozark House the following year.  Our 40th will be a quiet dinner at a local restaurant and maybe a movie. Much has changed over the years. We raised three children who are now raising our three grandchildren all of whom we love dearly.  We are not the party animals we once were, but we remain together forever just as we vowed 40 years past… Sandy

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