Saturday, May 30, 2009

50 Years


On May 30th, 1959, my parents were married. They were high school sweethearts in Olean, NY. They started dating when they were 17, circa 1955.

After high school, my mom went to Ithaca College. My dad went to SUNY (State University NY) Alfred.

Two years later, my Grandad (mom's dad) was getting ready to retire. My grandparents decided they wanted to retire to Scottsdale, AZ, and spend their days golfing, traveling and having cocktail hour every afternoon.

They wanted my mom to come with them. She didn't want to go. They finally bribed her to come with them by bringing my dad here also. Upon arriving in Arizona, they both enrolled at Arizona State College, which two years later would become Arizona State University. In May of 1959, my mom graduated with a bachelor's degree in education. My dad graduated with a degree in engineering. I think college was cheaper then. Two weeks later, they were married.

My dad went to work for Motorola as an engineer, which is the only major job he ever held. He worked for Motorola until he retired after 40 years. My mom taught physical education at a local high school. They rented a house and saved their pennies. Sometime during this period, my mom also earned a master's degree in education. They bought a new home in a little town called Tempe in 1965. Two years after that, my mom resigned from her teaching job and had a baby. That would be me.

Two years after that, there was another baby, my little brother Steven. My mom stayed at home with us until I was about 16 years old. At that time, my mother went back to work. She worked at Motorola in inventory control. The original plan was that her salary would pay for my brother and me to go to college.

I went to college, my brother joined the military instead. My mom worked at Motorola for about 15 years and then retired.

My parents always lived below their means. But my brother and I never wanted for anything. We played sports, went to summer camp, and basically had a great childhood. I never knew that things like sports and camp cost money when I was a kid. I found out when I became a parent. I have no idea how they did that, because my kids sure as heck know that stuff costs money, and that I don't always have it. I suppose things were different then.

They haven't done a whole lot of traveling. In the early 90s, they did spend a month in Germany and Austria, when my brother was stationed in Frankfurt. Other than that, their main trips have been to Virginia and now North Carolina, to visit my brother and his family.

They have four granddaughters. My three girls, and my brother's daughter Makenzie, who is 3 1/2. And totally adorable. I need to find a picture of her to post.

This Wednesday, my parents are taking a week-long trip to Hawaii. My mom belongs to a community choir, and the choir is making this trip. Their anniversary just happened to coincide with the choir trip, so this is also their anniversary celebration. I'm very excited for them. Even if I do have to drive them to the airport at 6am on the same day that my baby is graduating from kindergarten.

Thanks, Mom and Dad. Thanks for giving me a great childhood, a wonderful brother, and parents that I can and still do depend on. Thank you for putting me through college. Thank you for telling me, just today, that you think I've done a great job raising Danni. That means more to me than you will ever know. Thank you for volunteering to let her live with you so she can finish high school here. That means more to her than you will ever know. And I know she's in good hands.

Happy 50th anniversary, Mom and Dad. I don't know how you did it. I think any two people who can stay together for 50 years without killing each other should get a prize. A big prize. Like a lottery money-type prize. Have a wonderful time in Hawaii. I love you.

5 comments:

Dawn in Austin said...

Happy Anniversary to your mom & dad! I hope they have a fabulous time in Hawaii!!

Lish said...

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Jen said...

Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. W.! Have a great time in Hawaii...I hope it doesn't take Toby that long to get there.

Fannie said...

Very sweet tribute. Hope they have the trip of a lifetime!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Happy Anniversary.

You're lucky to have such great parents.