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We made it

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Recently a SparkFriend, Jan (2BDYNAMIC) posted her love story and I've decided that I want to share mine. 2020 certainly makes us want to think of the good things in our lives.

Well we met in 1967. Mal was an airman stationed at Grand Forks AFB in North Dakota. I was a born and bred North Dakota girl living in Grand Forks. I was a young (20) single, working girl at the time who was still living at home and I had rarely been out of the state. We dated for 3 weeks before he left. He had orders to go to Puerto Rico when we started dating....yes, three weeks!!

Well before he left he told me that he wanted to find a place for us in Puerto Rico and he wanted me to fly there as soon as possible to be married. Holy Cow!!! I was a really, really sheltered gal, age 20 going on 17 I think. Puerto sounded so exotic to this girl from North Dakota, and a bit scary but...I said yes.

A few weeks later I was on a plane. I checked two suitcases; one had two sets of towels, a set of sheets and a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that were gifts from girlfriends. The other had clothes. Basically that was what we had for our start in life. The day of our wedding a coworker of Mal's had a party for us and these strangers, people I had never met had taken up a donation that enabled us to make a trip to the BX to get other essentials. What a wonderful group of people!

We started in what would be referred to as a corrugated tin roofed shack here in the states. We lived in a poor Puerto Rican neighborhood near the base. There was a "rum shack" just outside our front yard. We had water and electricity but no phone, no TV, no stereo, and only a tiny transistor radio (Does anyone remember those?) that got one Spanish language radio station. The music wasn't what I was used to at home either. Culture shock.

On top of all that I couldn't get a job because I wasn't bilingual and I couldn't drive. While we were there my love of libraries went into overdrive. Mal would drop me of at the library once a week on his way to work and pick me up on his lunch hour to take me and my large pile of books home. Just imagine how good the cushy chairs and the air conditioning in that library felt!

Fast forward 52 years...we are still married, still in love, and determined to stay as healthy as possible for each other for many more years. A lot happened in 50 years, 3 children, homes in seven states, 3 grandchildren, 1 great grandson, so many good experiences and, yes losses too. Life continues to be full of blessings and we continue to be grateful to God for those blessings that have fallen on two kids who roared into marriage with no idea what they were doing.

We made it!
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