Our Plan B for a location turned out to be a good decision for our 50th Wedding Anniversary gathering. The heat and humidity were off the charts, and right before the party started at the church, a heavy storm came through with torrential rains and a bit of hail. Awful! Even so, by 4 the party was in full swing with family and a few colleagues and old friends coming together to celebrate. We did not invite anyone from former congregations except a couple from the Morris area where we lived years ago. If we were to invite parishner friends, we would have to pick and choose from the two dozen churches Joel has worked in at in some capacity or another, so we made the hard decision not to do that.
Dancing to "Could I Have This Dance
by Anne Murray
Our friends Mary Lou and Keith came around 2 and spent the time working, which made it easier on the kids to get out and visit with family, too. And the grands were helping people get in the door....taking umbrellas out to those who were getting rained on. A lot of hard work went on so we could spend our time greeting and visiting with those who came.
Mark and Beth with Sarah in background
Sisters Jo and Jan dancing
Sunday morning we had a brief worship service with communion and then a brunch. I think everyone was gone by 2:15 at which time we crashed for a nap! Ha......We were in bed by 9:30. Monday we were wishing it was not over, but we took two naps and had early bed again! Tuesday Joel rode 15 miles and I walked so were are starting to recover......although we are kept napping twice a day and heading to bed early. That continued on Wednesday! Huh....Guess the weeks of planning and work and then a few days of family and the party kinda wiped us out. Isn't life grand? We always say we would rather wear out than rust out!
It was wonderful to see a friend we first met in Salt Lake City in 1970. We visited with long time friends we met 42 years ago at the seminary, plus another pastor friend who we met in MN.....but I remember as a child because he and his family were missionaries to Brazil and our church helped support them. My friend Lana (since 5th grade) and her husband Roger came. Some of Joel's family came from NW Minnesota and and some of mine from Minnesota, Texas, and Arizona. I think our son-in-law's parents came the farthest as they were heading home from CT and did a round about stop here before heading back to WI and their own home. So nice of them to come. We had about 70 people come for some food, fellowship, and fun. So so grateful.
Joel and I are so grateful we are able to celebrate so many years together, grateful for our family and all those we love and care about. Grateful for God bringing us together so many years ago.