The Paw Paw River Journal
Our seventy year adventure
More than seventy years ago, it all started when Marion was 15 and I was 16… I wandered the halls of Hartford High trying to be cool, and not doing a very good job of it. There was a dark-eyed girl who went around the study hall every day, gathering up the tardy and absent slips. I pretended to be reading a book until she came past. Then I looked up and gave her my best smile. And she smiled back.
She was too young to go on car dates, so we met at game dances, Clark’s Drug Store, whenever we could get together. The first time I kissed her it was blast off to the moon… or perhaps Mars! And we dated until after I was graduated. It was then we parted ways and I went on to an aircraft tech school. She was graduated a year later and went into Nurses’ Training as a Cadet Nurse.
Then magically the tumblers of the universe clicked into place. I came home on leave after finishing pilot training in the Air Force. For some reason I had been dreaming vividly. Once it was of crashing into another plane while in flight… a wonder my heart didn’t stop on that one! Another time I dreamed of her. She was older, but still beautiful. And this was a harbinger of things to come.
We both happened to be home on leave at the same time, and got together at a picnic and beach party… we were right back where we were before. My leave ended with great reluctance, but we had gotten back together… never to be apart from that time on.
Some years later, married now and living in Hartford, we were gathered at the dinner table. We always found it important to eat thus… a regular time, and all gathered together. There we were, my Chief Accountant at one end, me at the other, and between us two on each side… our four young children. Marion said she wanted to have four children by the time she was thirty. And she just made it.
Anyway, we were sitting there eating, and I noticed one of our girls looking around at each person… as if she were assessing something about our family. Then she said, “Dad, how old were you when Mom got you?” They all stopped to hear what I would say.
I replied, “Oh, guess I was about your age.”
The questioner, looking satisfied, said, “I thought so,” as if something in her mind had been confirmed. Then they all went back to eating. You see, the mother is central. The whole house revolves around her, and she is the one who makes it work. She is like that Chinese guy who used to be on the old Ed Sullivan show. He kept a bunch of plates spinning as they were balanced on top of sticks.
Well, all those kids grew up, left home on their own and have blessed us with the partners they have chosen… Deb and Gary, Becky and Jim, Rob, and Laurie and Jim. And they have in turn pro