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.


  1. Such a precious story! Thank you for sharing. God bless you and may you have many more joyful years together.

  2. Congratulations on your 39th anniversary Richard and Iona! I Hope you both are having a great time traveling and that you are doing well.

    1. Hi Stephani! So good to hear from you. We are still happy campers and hope you are still enjoying this wonderful world we live in.

  3. How great to read your story!! Loved it.

  4. Nice blog!! Though I am not sure if I should ask you but I am trying to make a final decision on venues I have shortlisted for my parents vow renewal ceremony. I found couple of good vow renewal location in Chicago but no idea how to book one from them.

    1. We used the little country church way North on North Las Vegas Blvd. It was cheap and very nice. Loved it.