Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Thirty Fifth Anniversary

Why I love Cinco de Mayo
Photo to the right is Rick & Jilda summer of 1980

On Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) Jilda and I celebrate our 35th Wedding Anniversary. As I write these words, it’s very hard to comprehend.

We have several friends who have been married 30 years, but most of them have been to multiple spouses.

We had our first date the night I graduated from Dora High School in May of 1968. We dated a few years but we split up when I was drafted into the Army.

I came home in 1973 after my tour of duty and we started dating again later that year. The following year, we decided to tie the knot.

We lived in a small singlewide trailer for the first ten years we were married. It was cold in the winter and hot in the summer but it was our home. Jilda has a gift for taking ordinary things and putting them together in extraordinary ways. Our little trailer was homey and we hosted some legendary parties there.

We built a small house on the outskirts of Empire (the natives will smile when they read this) in 1984 and we’ve been here ever since.

What keeps two people together? Many things go into a successful marriage. Love, passion, respect and values all play a big role, but staying together takes more.

I believe having things in common is the key. Jilda and I had the good fortune to share a love of a lot of things. We both love to travel, we love working in our garden, visiting with friends and we love good food. But we both share a love of music that has remained as strong today as it was when we were skinny kids.

A short time after we married, she encouraged me to buy a Gibson Dove guitar that cost more than the car we drove. We paid it off on the installment plan and I have no idea how many hours we spent playing and singing to the music from that bundle of wood and strings. We couldn’t afford to air condition our trailer but we had a good guitar.

The music allowed us to meet people, go places, and do things we would have never been able to do otherwise. I consider the ability to play music a gift and part of the glue that has held our marriage together.

Now I would be lying if I said there had not been difficult times. Like the time I decided I wanted to camp out at Horse Pens 40 after an October Bluegrass Festival. My planning included packing a quilt for us to use as a sleeping bag, a cooler, and a sack full of peanut butter sandwiches. The rumbling started when I pitched the quilt on a rock at the edge of the woods. When the temperature dropped in the forties, I came as close to dying as I’ve ever come. If she could have driven the Plymouth, which was a straight-shift, she would have left me there with a fingernail file driven through my temple.

I can say without a moment’s hesitation that the good times far out weight the bad.

If someone today asked me the secret to a good marriage, I’d have to say, “open your eyes before you say I do.” If a man loves to fish, hunt or play golf before you get married, he will enjoy those things after. If a woman wants a house full of kids and to live close to her mama, that desire will not go away once you are married.

Be willing to give and take and to listen. Be willing to say I’m sorry sometimes, even if you don’t think you did anything wrong. Get ready to laugh and to cry, and to be surprised. Do yourself a favor and take lots of pictures, because time goes by in the blink of an eye.

Happy Anniversary Jilda.

1 comment:

  1. Ken Owens12:01 PM

    Reading your blog on your 35-year marriage makes me see parallels to my own. The trailer, driving a straight shift, gardening,etc. all ring a bell. Not to mention the Love, Passion, Respect, and Values all acting to make for a solid marriage.
    The good times we shared, as well as the bad times when we turned to each other to survive, all add to a fulfilled partnership.
    As we pass through our Fortieth Anniversary next month we look at it as only a satisfying mile marker and not a destination.
    I mostly just want to congratulate the two of you on your 35 years. I know very well the amount of "Good" it took to get there.

    Happy Thirty-fifth to the Watsons!



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