Monday, December 15, 2014

No Wedding Pictures

Yesterday, December 14, was our 39th wedding anniversary. I posted that fact on my Facebook "Wall." along with a picture taken nine years ago when Richard and I renewed our vows on our 30th anniversary with most of our close family there. There were no guests and no pictures of our actual wedding, or the entire week of our wedding for that matter.
Married 30 years when we renewed our vows 9 years ago.
It was an unusual affair, our original wedding, and it followed an unusual courtship. We had each experienced the unexpected end of a marriage and were deeply wounded and basically in shock. We had known one another all our lives and were already good friends, but going through so much pain at about the same time brought us even closer. I had nine children who were also going through the trauma of divorce, and Richard hung out with us a lot... he was good for the children, too. 
Our son Norman's Wedding picture near the time we were married.
Of course, we ultimately fell in love in a romantic way, but marriage is scary when you've been recently hurt, so our relationship was on again - off again. It didn't seem we really had a future together, so I moved from Utah to California to be near family. My brother lives there and we were always close. Being near him brought comfort, but there was still an empty spot in my heart. I missed Richard. Finally, we made tentative plans to marry, and I packed up my precious brood and headed back to Utah.

After getting a house and a job lined up, I felt I was ready to take the big step. The kids loved Richard and were all for him becoming part of the family. They even helped prepare our clothes and Richard and I, who were both driving truck at that time for C. R. England, asked dispatch to put us on the same rig and send us west. We couldn't afford time off to meet Utah's marriage license waiting period and we certainly could not afford two households for very long, so we "eloped," sort of.

I pulled the rig up along the curb near the courthouse in Reno, NV at about 4:00 AM, and we both slept until things opened later that morning. Dressed in jeans and boots, we went inside and got the wedding license. We had already decided not to use one of the commercial wedding "chapels" available in Reno, so asked about getting married at the court house. Yes, that was a regular event there, we were told. Good.
After about 20 years of marriage, still happy together.
Still, we stood around in the big ante room of the court house discussing whether we really wanted to do this or not. Someone had left the Sunday Funnies on a window sill, and we leaned against the wall most of the day, reading comics, saying we should go change into our "wedding clothes" but still not sure what to do. Every so often, we took a little walk, going out to feed all the meters where we were parked. Amazingly, we didn't get a ticket.
We share fun together; he makes me laugh.
It was close to closing time when a clerk came out to tell us that if we wanted to get married, we needed to come in the office and do it because they were leaving in a few minutes. We hurriedly, albeit nervously followed her inside, and ten minutes later, we were out on the curb, still in our jeans and boots, a married couple... Wow!
And when life brings sorrow, we share that, too.
There was no time for a honeymoon. We had a load to deliver and another to pickup and haul back to Utah. That ten minutes in the courthouse, where we pledged to love and stand by one another no matter what life might bring, changed my life completely, and even with all the indecision leading up to it, that commitment and love have grown ever stronger with each passing year for us both.
We are blessed with warmth and trust and love... we fit, we're comfortable together.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Thanksgiving in the Campground

Too excited about life?
Did you ever read a book where the author jumped all over the place in time? Flash backs and leaps forward until you cannot make any sense of it? Well, that's what this blog has become. The reason is I let time race away and leave me behind, and there is so much I want to share with you that I throw it in even before I have posted older stuff I want to give. It's the sign of a disorganized mind and that I find life so exciting, I want to tell it all at once, sort of like a four-year old. I'm working on controlling that and on convincing myself that I can work in smaller time slots, then piece it together later. We'll see; meanwhile... Thanksgiving!!!
From Left: Jim, Mark, Ila, Susan, Richard and me (Iona). Linda shot the picture.
There are seven volunteers here at Ocean Pond Campground, all thankful to be here, all happy to share life and duties with one another. So, we planned to give thanks together and share a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, camping style.
Jim watching over the turkey.
Mark tending the camp fire foods.
We each contributed something, and the main elements were prepared outdoors, for example, Jim did the turkey in a fire ring. It was moist and wonderful, probably the best turkey I've ever eaten! Susan baked yams in a fire ring also, and you'll see her camp fire cooking in several of the pictures below.
Jim, Ila, Mark and Susan at Susan's camp fire.
Jim presenting the turkey.

I said a blessing in English and an ancient Hebrew blessing, too. Later, Jim said the Hebrew blessing touched him deeply. I was so blessed by his candor.

We had much to be thankful for... of course, the food and fellowship, our families and friends, our health, America, the life style we all live as volunteers. We live away from the cities in the great outdoors, the forests and the deserts, the mountains and the plains. I doubt any of us would go back to the sticks and bricks lives we left for life on the road, at least as long as we can live it this way.

Jim and Linda keeping warm.
The day was brisk, a chill in the air, but we enjoyed warmth and camaraderie.  We ate a lot and laughed a lot. All the foods were yummy and there were plenty of left overs... even pie. 

Our menu was complete with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams (or sweet potatoes?), green bean casseroles (2), rolls and pie! Hope I didn't forget anything.

Richard and I were in charge of pie. I am not so great in the kitchen and our small oven is a joke, so we bought four nice pies, pecan, apple and two traditional pumpkin plus lots of whipped cream. Seems all of us like pie, especially ME!!!
Mark and Ila don't look a bit cold.

Our campground was nearly full. This is Florida and folks camp year round, especially on holidays. We were intrigued with the many ways campers celebrated Thanksgiving and prepared their foods. Quite a few spent the morning fishing and the afternoon cooking up a fish feast with all the trimmings.

We volunteered to take Thanksgiving duty when our work schedules were made up. The volunteers arrange duty schedules among ourselves, and the others have been very gracious about our need to have the Sabbath day (Saturday) as well as our other holy days off , so we gladly take duty on any other holidays.
Richard and I getting ready to make our rounds among the 67 sites at Ocean Pond.
VERY soon, We'll return to the beach to sail away on daydreams about our recent cruise. See you there... if I don't get side-tracked again, eep!