November 6, 2007

The Big Seven-Oh

Later this week, my grandparents will be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. (In case you're wondering, some of the "modern" and "traditional" gifts lists...don't go that high!) That's right, this is not about a birthday, but a wedding!

So what does their 70th tell you about them? Three things, right off the bat:

1. They got married fairly young (18 and 19, I think).
2. They are really old now.
3. They have a lot of patience, at least with each other.

What do they have to show for their union? Well, in the tangible, inherited genes sort of way, they have six grandchildren (and one's even a boy--yay for Patrick!), and so far, six great-grandchildren (three boys, two of whom can carry on the family name--yay for Patrick again [and double yay for Shelley, who did all the heavy lifting!]). The consensus is that Grandma passed on her nose to several of us, while Laura looks strikingly like her Great-Grandpa in her sunnier moods (it's the facial expression, more than the face itself, I think.)

What can we learn from them? Well, a ton of history if you can get them to reminisce; they got married in the midst of the Great Depression, though probably no one knew when it was going to end. By their tenth anniversary, they had seen the end of the Second World War and felt the first rumbles of the Baby Boom. For their twentieth, the news was full of the Little Rock Nine and Sputnik beeping away in orbit. By their thirtieth, they were likely concerned about the racial violence in many of the nation's big cities, and confused by Sergeant Pepper and his band.

By their fortieth anniversary, not only had they seen the war in Vietnam begin and end and been blessed with four grandchildren, but they were also well on their way to amassing a backbreaking collection of National Geographics. Number 50 saw the nation fascinated by the Iran-Contra affair, as well as the release of Prozac (no connection there, I'm sure....) Anniversary #60 arrived along with great movies--The Full Monty, Titanic--but by then, the great-grandkids had started arriving in all their cutenesses, so who cared?

What else have I learned from them? Let's see:

~Grandma swears better than anybody. When frustrated with her spouse, she squinches up her nose, narrows her eyes, and says (roughly) :"Sniggle-frizzle-snorbitz-sloopitz-hermic-abble!" I have no idea what that means, but apparently it has worked for all this time.

~You can get away with murder pretty much all the rest of the time if you a) keep a man well and consistently fed, and b) let him fall asleep to the TV on whatever he likes.

~Everybody should give 110% to whatever it is they are doing, at all times. This could be classed as Moore's Law of Workaholism.

~In a pinch, a rubber band is an effective filing device.

~You can never have too many plastic bags....until you do.

~No matter what you do for a living, culture--reading, fine arts, music--are important things to know and love.

~The Moores eat weird vegetables.

~Having a house big enough that you can escape from each other's company now and then without leaving home is a boon.

and of course,
~A little love, commitment, and perseverance can go a long way.

Many happy returns of the day!

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