My wife, Lynn, retired from teaching a few weeks ago. Thirty years of mimeographs, teaching Special and Regular Education, switching schools, school systems and enduring everchanging teaching philosophies and burearacy. Where did the time go???!!!
March 30th, 1976 – An important date not because it was my birthday but because it was the the day I met Lynn. To celebrate my birthday friends decided to take me out to Golden Skateworld. Times were simpler back then and this was our idea of fun because even at age 18 it was FUN!!! Little did I know that this excursion had a second purpose. You see one of my friends, Laurien, was going to introduce me to Lynn who was also going to be at Golden Skateworld. Laurien and Lynn worked at Kings Dominion together during the summers while I busted my hump trying to keep all of my fingers at the sawmill Laurien’s dad (who was also my dad’s boss) owned.
Lynn was actually there babysitting two of her neighbor’s kids at the time. I can still remember exactly the place I met her in the rink. It was at the section of the skating rink they had fenced off for the little kids. She was shepherding the two little kids; trying to keep them from wiping out when Laurien introduced us. I remember the multicolored hippie type sweater she was wearing along with her extremely shy smile. I thought she was the prettiest thing I had ever seen. She had this angelic innocence to her. This sweet, shyness was very attractive to a big, dumb, cowpie kicker like me. Here’s the neat thing – she still has these qualities today but even more so. Unfortunately so do I.
I worked up the courage to ask her on a date. To my surprise she said “yes.” I remember the first time I picked her up and how rich I thought her parents were. They weren’t rich at all but to someone who grew up without indoor plumbing for 13 years of his life,I was easy to impress. I don’t remember much of that first date except it was a movie and we kissed on her front door step. Oh,,, and she told me she was Catholic. I grew up in a very fundamental Christian Church and my parents weren’t very accepting of Catholics. I always tell the joke that when I brought Lynn home to meet my parents, I left her in the car and went into the house and told my parents I have two people in the car and I’m in love with one. “Who are they,” they asked. “Well, one’s Charles Manson and the other is a Catholic girl,” I replied. “Tell us more about this Manson boy,” they said. They grew to love Lynn almost as much as I did.
Here we are 33 years later and just like the vows say, it’s been sickness and health and for better or worse. I could write a thousand blogs about our journey together but the basic premise will always be the same. As I write this Lynn is sitting in our study reading a Grishom novel with Lenny stuffed in the club chair next to her. We just came back from Bruester’s after treating ourselves to some ice cream. It’s been that way for most of our marriage. Simple people enjoying simple things. Tomorrow we’ll go geohiking in some parks in Fredericksburg, get too hot and too sweaty and come home and crash. Happy as clams. I married way over my station and am very lucky in deed. While I would love to be able to give her more, I can’t conceice that it would make her any happier.
Lynn was my first and only love. I can’t imagine anyone else being me wife (who would want to??).