Saturday, August 05, 2017

A Half-Century Of Wedded Bliss

It's been three months since, with a couple exceptions, I posted anything here on the blog.  There was no way I would not post about that event on July 13th, nor would I miss my friend's birthday on the 30th.  As promised, I will occasionally post something here when the mood strikes me.  Today - August 5, 2017 -  is one of those special days and I think you'll soon understand why.


As you read this my Sweet Susie and I are in the midst of a celebration of our 50th Wedding Anniversary.  I've written about our marriage in the past and the images you see at the bottom of this page are from that wonderful day.  I just wanted to mark this day - a very significant milestone in our lives - and to share my joy with you all.
Susie and I were married on August 5, 1967, in the old St. James Episcopal Church on Via Lido in Newport Beach, not too far from the home where she had been raised - back in the days when it was just a nice, little Episcopal church without all the drama about which denomination it really was and who owned the property, before the Bishop tried to pull a fast one and sell the land to developers.  We met at work and had our first date on New Year's Eve, 1966 (that image above with her in the green dress is from that evening).  We had only dated a few months before my employer made me an offer I couldn't refuse - a promotional opportunity on the other side of the country.  So, it was decision time for me - and I made the correct one.  I asked that sweet young woman to be my wife and less than 2 months later we were wed - and a week later drove across the country, with a stop in Niagara Falls, on the first huge step in our lives together, and we've never looked back.  I wrote about our lives together last year and showed you some of these images of us through those years HERE.
For the first half-dozen years of our married life we lived and/or worked in Santa Ana, Hartford, Houston, Hartford and Concord, CA (I worked in San Francisco) before returning "home" to Orange County.  We lived like a couple nomads, following promotion after promotion, until we decided it was time to step away from that corporate fast track which could only end up on the East Coast (two winters are plenty for anyone!) and settle down near our family and friends.  We moved to Costa Mesa, into our current home, and have been here for the past 43 years.
Although Susie worked hard at each stop along the way, it wasn't until we dropped anchor here and she began working in her father's business that her professional presence blossomed.  She and her two younger brothers took the business over more than 40 years ago and grew it exponentially, becoming a benchmark for reliability and quality products and service in their industry, continuing the tradition their father had begun.  During this time Susie was the Administrative/Finance honcho - overseeing all the employees and managing the inside operations of the business, including all financial matters.  Her brothers generated the sales and did a wonderful job of it.  The three of them, amazingly, operated like a well-oiled machine.  No sibling strife, just tight focus on growing the business and providing the best service possible.
Meanwhile, I worked as a Human Resources guy at a couple outstanding local companies, both as a generalist and as an Employment Manager in what was, at the time, the fastest growing company in Southern California.  I was proud of those companies and the time I spent, and contribution I made, with each.

In the early 1980's, after several very successful stops along the way, I stepped away from the corporate life and founded a Human Resources Consulting Practice, specializing in Executive Search, which I operated as a sole practitioner for more than 20 years.  After helping client companies build their management teams for two decades I "retired" from that career about the time I started paying close attention to local issues and began writing.  After lots of thoughts and opinions being presented to the world, both in local newspapers and on my blog, I ceased that activity three months ago so Susie and I could both enjoy our retirements together.
Through all this time - the multiple moves, the shifting of jobs, wondering if my consulting practice would actually make money and the sometimes anxious moments when readers took exception to what I'd written - my patient Sweet Susie has stuck by my side as my cheerleader, supporter, proofreader and always my sweet, kind, patient, loving wife.  Without her constant encouragement this award-winning blog would not have been so successful.  Today we will have been married 18,263 days!  If you throw out some of my business trips and a few of her dance competitions and vacations away with relatives, we've probably slept side-by-side for 18,000 nights.  The comfort and joy I've gotten from her softly purring beside me is almost indescribable.
So, today, we mark 50 years of married life together by doing what we hope will become our "new" career - traveling, and maybe sharing some of those adventures along the way.  Throughout our married life we've been very fortunate to have traveled, both for work and recreation.  We spent our 20th Anniversary with friends touring Europe for a couple weeks.  We spent our 25th anniversary in Hawaii, nestled down in a house right on the water on the uncrowded island of Molokai and snorkeling all alone in a cove for an entire day.   We've cruised Alaska and the Eastern Seaboard.  A couple years ago she spent a month traveling around Australia and New Zealand.  The last time I counted I think there are only one or two states we have not been to or through.  We've had adventures with our dune buggy all over the Western United States and have also had boating and water skiing adventures in many of the same areas.  For more than 20 years we've been fortunate to find solitude and recreation on the California Central Coast.  We've had a wonderful life together and it's not over yet!
This trip will last nearly a month, will likely involve driving around 4,000 miles and includes a little ocean cruise, plus visits to far flung places we've never seen before and return visits to some of our favorite venues, where we will re-kindle old relationships and visit relatives.
Thanks to all of you who have extended congratulations to us on this wonderful day.  We appreciate your friendship and kind thoughts.  And, thanks for joining us on this little trip down memory lane.  We hope each of you will be able to find the kind of joy we've shared over this half century.  The formula for our life together has been pretty simple:
  • First, pick the right person 
  • Always be patient and forgiving (yes, she has been all of that!)
  • Always put "We" before "Me" 
  • Always be willing to go MORE than half-way, so you have a place to stand to resolve differences
  • And love her every single day like there's no tomorrow
Today our lives are, indeed, Golden... And I'm the luckiest guy in the world...
Since we began with Bobby Hatfield it seems appropriate for Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes to provide some music for you as you enjoy the images.

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Blogger Flo Martin said...

You are both incredibly blessed!

8/05/2017 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Congratulations to both of you on the outstanding life together! Now a note to the Mrs, I didn't know they would let you get married right out of kindergarten! Now to the Mr, well done sir and you definitely traded up! Have a great time celebrating godspeed Jim

8/05/2017 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous JanetF said...

What a lovely tribute, both to your bride and to your marriage! Congratulations to you both!

Safe travels!

8/05/2017 07:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

You are indeed a lucky man! And you deserve to be! Best wishes to you both for many more happy years together.

8/05/2017 10:11:00 PM  

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