St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Forty Years

Today Margo and I celebrate our 40th anniversary! Margo is in West Bend, WI where her father underwent successful quadruple bypass on Friday and she plans to stay for a few weeks until he is home and getting along independently again, and I am in Pine Island, getting ready for my new right knee surgery (final pre-check tomorrow, and surgery the 12th).
We got married in a snowstorm on March 4th 1972. Everyone was sure it must be a hurry up wedding being held on that date. It was, son Scott was born only 48 months later.
We plan to celebrate our anniversary on April 1st listening to Elvis sing "fools rush in where angels fear to tread..."
. Our honeymoon was a week off from work cleaning out my old efficiency apartment, and moving to a new bigger one that our two incomes could now afford. The efficiency seemed fine to me, but Margo balked at having the single sink doubling for the kitchen and bathroom.
The efficiency was a little awkward too, as we had to fold up the bed into a sofa when visitors came knocking at our door--seemed like the sofa was always in bed form that first month ;-).
Our wedding dance was a German polka band (Ellie Mae and the Klampets?). Margo's parents gave us a huge German wedding with a big wedding supper and dance. I mostly went along with the arrangements but when I found out that Margo and I had to do the first dance together by ourselves on the dance floor, I was scared badly. I was brought up to believe that dancing was a mortal sin and didn't know how nor want to show it in front of several hundred new relatives. A few beers helped me get through it, and most of the rest of the dance is lost in haze, except when we left early and had to get Margo's 68 Mustang jumped because the battery was dead.
Mom remembers the wedding mostly because they drove from Cushing to West Bend the day before in a huge snowstorm; determined to see their second son married. They always made a point of driving to visit us wherever we lived even taking the ferry out to Washington Island.
We got a lot of wedding presents--enough to set up a couple of homes! We got enough cash to go buy a brand new Zenith 19 inch color TV (a couple months salary in those days). That color TV still worked when I tried it last year, but unlike our marriage, the TV needed a visit to the repairman for rejuvenation, so I sent it to the recycler.
Margo and I both worked at the Samaritan Nursing Home (a county nursing home and mental hospital in West Bend) when we got married. We had worked there together for a year before getting married, so knew each other quite well before we started dating. We continued working there for our first year of marriage before moving to Madison for schooling.
Our real honeymoon was a month long camping trip where we borrowed a tent and equipment, took the back seat out of the Mustang and headed to Florida a year after we got married, in the beginning of April. We camped our way from Florida across the southern US along the ocean and Mexico (and into Mexico), then up the west coast to Washington and back to Wisconsin.
Margo had never camped before and worried about the alligator scratching on the tent in Florida, the rattle snakes in Texas, the bandidos in Mexico, the hippies in Mendicino, the posse comitatus in Washington and the bears in Yellowstone.
We stopped in Las Vegas where Margo was lucky and won $90 in quarters giving us money for an extra week on the road. Coming out of Mexico we had to unload the Mustang completely as the feds searched everything we had for drugs. All we brought back was a sombrero, chess set, and some leather goods, but it did give us a chance to totally clean out the car. I think they were bothered by the missing back seat that we had taken out to give more room for the camping stuff.
We were a little footloose for the first few years as teaching jobs took us to Washington Island, Goodman (near Iron Mountain MI where our son Scott was born) and Amery before settling down near Rochester MN for the long haul.
When Margo was pregnant with Scott, we built our summer cabin near Cushing--in 1975. Probably this summer we might get the building completed. We normally would be up there now doing maple syruping, but it looks like Scott will have to do it this year.
It has been a good 40 years! I wouldn't have missed it for anything! We were good friends before we started dating, and throughout our marriage, we have been each other's best friends all along. We haven't quite lost all that other mushy stuff that goes with being married either--although we haven't had to rush to fold up the sofa-bed lately.
Happy Anniversary Margo!
Love from Russ, your favorite husband.