Thursday, August 22, 2013

9 - My Story, God's Story - Marriage and Our First Year Together

On the eve of our 38th anniversary, what an appropriate time to recall that day in our lives that doesn't really seem so long ago...and yet so many miles back down the road.  As I write this, we are on the brim of a new chapter in our lives.  We are waiting for God to lead us on to our next assignment.  We have been ten years here at Indian Lake Nazarene Campground, and it's time for new leadership for ILNC and a new direction for us.  I'm not too often in the blogging mood, but as I blog, I will try to keep our current life status up to date for anyone who may be following my blog.  Even though blogs are not as popular as they used to be, and people prefer other social means of connecting, such as Facebook (which I do not participate in) or texting, or twittering, I'm an "old-fashioned" kind of girl.  Journaling and blogging will continue to be my outlet, but only as I discipline myself to do so.

Our marriage came about as an economical decision.  I was working as a teller in a Savings and Loan, living in my parents' house.  Paul was a student heading back for his senior year at MTU.  I had been spending about $200 a month on phone calls to him (in the 70's), and decided it would be cheaper to find a place to rent near the college, and get a job there.  Then we decided that it would be cheaper still if we didn't have to pay both my rent and his college room and board.  So we started talking about an October wedding, during his fall break.

Because our plans were not shared openly, a little birdie decided to cause some problems and upset the apple cart, and we ended up planning our wedding with a two week time limit.  We were married on August 23, 1975 in a very simple ceremony at my church, with only two attendants (our best friends at the time), and mostly family as guests.  Paul and his siblings sang a song for his mother at the reception, and she was pleased.  His brother sang for our ceremony.  We had few flowers and only served cake and mints and nuts at the reception.  It was a hot day in August, no air conditioning, and the frosting was melting on the cake, but I'm sure it still tasted good.

We spent our wedding night at a hotel in Lansing, Michigan, and the next day went to the Lansing Zoo.  On Monday Paul had to be back to work for one more week prior to us moving up to MTU.  Not a long honeymoon, but still a memorable one to us.  I had already resigned my job, and I spent that last week getting things packed for our move to begin our married life in Houghton, MI.

I got  a job as a teller at a Savings & Loan in Hancock.  Our apartment was a second floor of an old house about five blocks up from the Lake Superior channel.  It was cool to hear the barges go through at night and blow their fog horns.  At Christmas they were decorated with green and red lights.

We had a Pekingese puppy named Rikki.  We were a family and life was interesting living the the U.P. where snow fall is over the clothes line and stays that way all winter.  Many streets were not plowed, and people built sidewalks from their second floor out to the streets.  The snow plows up there were huge machines.  Snow started in September, and didn't melt until late May.  Just a different way of life!  Paul lived there for four years and decided when he graduated he was going south the of the Mason-Dixon line and not going back north!

I was a member of the Church of the Nazarene when I married Paul.  He had been raised Evangelical United Brethern.  Neither of those churches existed in our area, so we visited a Baptist church and an Assembly of God church.  The other choice was Catholic.  We liked the music and the preaching at the Assembly of God church, so that's were we attended most of the time.

We existed on my $150 every two weeks paycheck, and spent about $25 a week for groceries.  We made homemade tortillas and had lots of tacos and macaroni and cheese that first year of marriage.  We couldn't afford to eat out often, but when we did, and it was such a treat, we had a pizza or went to  Elias Brothers' Big Boy.  McDonald's Big Mac was advertised on television, but the closest one was 90 miles away, so forget Big Mac attacks!!

While Paul was finishing his senior year as a Chemical Engineer major, I took some classes as well:  Beginning Bowling, Beginning Tennis, and Beginning Golf.  I had married an athletic person, and I wanted to "get in shape" with my skills.  Certainly I needed to know how to golf, as that was his hobby and I intended on spending time with him.

In the spring of his senior year, we went on some interview trips.  One was to Richmond, Virginia, one to Dayton, Ohio, and one to Charleston, Tennessee.  He chose to go with the company in Tennessee.  South of the Mason-Dixon line.  A place where you did not have to golf with orange golf balls in May so they could be found in the snow.  We loved living in the south, but that's another chapter.  God was continuing to guide our lives, and we were content to follow.

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