BY C. A. RAY
When Susan and I were married, 50 years ago, we had no idea what the future held for us. You don’t think of things like that in your early 20s, after all, 50 years is such a long ways away. But it turns out it’s just a blink in time.
I understand they call a 50th wedding anniversary a Golden Anniversary. With both of us in our 70s, with achy joints, sore knees and bad ears and eyes, I have to wonder what is so Golden about it?
Also, I wonder what happened in those 50 years? Did we do any good? Did we use these past 50 years to make the world a better place?
Susan and I had been pretty much inseparable ever since the fall of 1965 when we watched the World Series together on Barrett High School’s community TV, set up in the gym for the historic games. The series lasted seven games, our romance lasted quite a bit longer.
Susan worked to help put me through college and following graduation, from St. Cloud State, we moved back to our home town of Barrett to settle in and see what life would bring us. Nathan was born in November of 1973 and we were scared to death. He was so tiny, so fragile. Thank goodness we had grandmas and sisters nearby to help us navigate those rough waters. Still, I remember taking a class on parenting at UMM in a desperate attempt to try and figure out what was wrong with our little boy.
It turned out, nothing was wrong. He was just a normal little boy.
When Matthew was born, in May of 1975, we were seasoned pros at this baby thing. But two boys were a handful… it was time for a girl.
Sarah was born in September of 1980, on a beautiful fall day. Susan was thrilled to have her baby girl. I know it is hard to believe, but back then, you really didn’t know the sex of your baby until it made its naked entrance upon the world stage!
We were living in a larger house by this time and needed it, as well as a big yard and acres and acres of woods for the boys to play in. They loved it outdoors running with our dogs, who had become part of the family.
Sarah, as soon as she could stand, loved to find a high perch and give speeches to an audience that consisted of our house cat. Sometimes she would sing instead, and the audience was always appreciative.
Another move, to another house, and, in July of 1985 another baby. Susan went into labor with Peter during the 1985 Baseball All Star game, which was being played that year at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Although she claims I insisted on waiting until the game was over before heading off to the hospital in Alex, I don’t recall that happening. After all, the Twins had only one player in the game, Tom Brunansky, but four other American League All Stars in that game would later become Twins: Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor, Bert Blylevin, and Jack Morris. By the way, the National League won 6-1.
Not that I watched the game!
Now the clock starts to speed up. Kids grow so fast, I warn young parents, enjoy your kids while you can: go to their ball games, concerts, plays, take them to scouts, Sunday School, go camping and fishing, experience the little things, because good or bad, sooner than you can imagine… its all over.
Susan learned this better than me because while I was off to work ( I had just gotten a job at the Grant County Herald) she stayed home, and lived through all those little things like the kids’ black eyes, skinned knees, first girl and boy friends, school dramas, and everything else that makes parenting a rich experience.
One by one out kids graduated from high school, then college, then marriage and then… grandkids… eight so far!
Grandkids are more fun than your own kids. We have babysat them all and its a different experience to take care of kids you know are going home soon.
And Susan and I are constantly amazed at how smart and accomplished our grandkids are. I know all grandparents say that, but in our case it is 100 percent true… really!
And in another blink of the eye our grandkids will graduate, find a partner and, most-likely have kids of their own.
So it goes on, and on. What Susan and I started, watching the Twins in 1965, has grown into a family, a family that loves, that tries to do good, a family that, hopefully, makes the world a better place.
Sure, there have been tough times, sad times, but they only make the good times more memorable.
Fifty years? A blink of the eye, but in that blink, so very much wonderful stuff happens. Golden memories.
Thank you Susan for taking this ride with me. It wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun, as much of an adventure, without you. I love you and the wonderful family we have produced.
Now I know why the 50th wedding anniversary is called Golden. Gold is lasting, does not tarnish, and is so very, very valuable!