A Long Time Marriage

What makes a long time marriage?  What makes it work?  That my friends, is the mystery for the ages.

I talk to my mother every day.  If on the rare occasion when we don’t chat, we text.  Yesterday morning I got a text at 10:00 AM, my time, (Eastern), 7:00 AM her’s (Pacific).  “Going 2 fair @ 10,” her text read.  I knew exactly what this meant.

My parents have been married 63 years.  They met the year my mom went with some college friends to the Ventura County Fair, Ventura, CA.  They ran into another group of college friends, two of which were to become my father and uncle.  My uncle was a good acquaintance of my mother, and I think he rather fancied her.  He introduced her to his brother, my dad.  Love at first sight?  Perhaps…




Above is a picture of the beautiful coastal city of San Buenaventura, Ventura for short. The city of my birth.   Ventura is the county seat, and where my husband and I bought our first home.  It is a special place, especially as it’s where mom and dad met…


Above is an old photo of Mom and Dad.  It is obviously enlarged and other folks are cut out… but I cherish it.  I know there are more of them as youngsters, but they are mostly still in “slide” form – remember those?  Maybe many of my readers are too young.  Mom is in the process of saving them onto CD’s.  Maybe I will have more to share in the near future.

So what binds a couple for so many years? My parents’ greatest joy is their family.   Here they are with  yours truly at daughter Maggie and Robert’s wedding.  I am rather vain.  This is a poor picture of me, eyes closed and all, but it’s good of them — so I’m posting it.  Am I a good daughter, or what?!?  🙂 (I won’t tell you Mom’s age, as she’s MUCH younger than Dad, but he’s 95 in this 2 year old photo!).   And below, a picture of their four granddaughters.


Another wonderful shot of me…  🙁  I look a little manic, but it’s cute of the girls.  But how I have digressed…What makes a good long term marriage?  I don’t know.  I should, I’ve been married almost 33 years, and no matter what my husband says, they’ve been happy.  😉  It’s just an intangible. It’s love, and consideration, and DEFINITELY not taking each other for granted.  But maybe most of all, it’s tradition, like going to the place you met every year without fail…



Photo creds not already documented:

Photo #2 Hector Vargas Jr. Photo #3 Patty Cloherty, Photo #4 Hannah Colt


Our First Anniversary




Our first anniversary…January 21, 1985.  We lived in Simi Valley, California in a 3 bedroom apartment. No we didn’t need three bedrooms, but that was all the complex had available.  We soon purchased our first home in Ventura, California, and left Simi.

The top picture is Mary Paredes Karnes’ version of “Staging”  🙂  The tablecloth is hand crocheted by my Grandmother – whom our baby, Julia, is named after.  That is a full champagne bottle to the top right of the picture – left over from our wedding.

As our anniversary is in January…thus the Chrysanthemum in the photo.  Please note the candles, they are placed in candle sticks that my dear friend and bridesmaid, Yvonne, gave us for our wedding.  I continued the tradition that my parents started, and gave Maggie and Rob a special piece from our home.  This is what we gave them…And don’t forget the champagne glasses – which were featured in an earlier blog…and the keynote piece – the top layer of our cake…just like I promised yesterday!

I’m sad to say I don’t remember who froze the cake, where it was stored, or if it tasted good.  But it sure looked pretty!  I had saved our cake topper to place on it for the picture.  It looked OK after a year, but I recently ran across it – and it didn’t travel well…  Maggie’s and Rob’s cake topper, on the other hand, being made our of porcelain, can be handed down for generations.  Thanks for that thoughtfulness, Debbie!

The above picture is about a year before we were married, but it dates us a little.  Not sure if I’m happy or sad that it’s a little blurry…

First Wedding Anniversary


 In honor of my daughter, Maggie and son-in-law, Robert’s upcoming first wedding anniversary, I am reposting an excerpt from a previous post…

“I have to admit…I loved my own walk down the isle as a bride.  It was so much fun to do it again as the mother of the bride.

Picture number one is the lovely Tess, my third daughter, and sister of my bride, Maggie.  Next is yours truly, with Matt, best man and brother of the groom.  Upon reflection, I should not have made my desire known – that I would be pleased to have Matt walk me.  That honor belonged to his mom, Debbie.  But Debbie was too gracious and Matt too much the gentleman to say no.  Thanks, Matt – I sure enjoyed it!  If you look behind me, you can see the organ loft.  To the left, our beautiful vocalist, and to her right the talented organist.

Saint Paul’s in Glastonbury, Connecticut is a quintessential New England church.  It is reflective of it’s local – beautiful in it’s simplicity.  Remember, we’re processing to ‘Ave Maria.’  Look at our smiles…not somber music at all.  My flowers were three white roses, (matching Debbie’s), with a little greenery in bouquet form – no troublesome corsages.


I think I already bragged…but I will again.  The the next picture is of Maggie in her veil.  It is her own, but the headpiece is mine.  I can’t tell you how pleased I am that she wore it.  I think Maggie enjoyed sharing it with me almost as much as I.

Next is a lovely photo of Maggie with her father, as they walk down the isle to the wedding march.  Doesn’t my Kenny look proud?

The last picture is the “Hand Off”.  I couldn’t ask for a better son-in-law.  Rob looks happy and honored.  I know I was…

And as a footnote – an answer to a question you may have … did I cry?  Well- I teared up. But what touched my heart, almost as much as the beautiful words spoken by the priest, Rob and Maggie, was the simple act of holding the hand of my husband of almost 31 years as our daughter said her vows…


Special thanks to the beautiful Patty Cloherty, aunt of the groom, who took these photos.