Long, long ago, in a place called Boulder, Colorado, a young man named John and a young woman named Carol
were attending the University of Colorado. John’s roommate Mike and Carol’s roommate Susie got married. That happy event led to John and Carol getting acquainted. They dated over the next few months and each came to the conclusion that they loved each other. Carol said, “That means we’re going to get married.” After thinking about it for a few days, John decided to accept her proposal. They married the following June.
We started our married life in a small one-bedroom apartment, moved up to a 2-bedroom apartment, then into a mobile home. A lot changed over the years, but in 2009, they returned to life in a trailer--this one a recreational vehicle.
A couple of years after we married, we had a darling blond-headed son who we named Doug. Here we are in the mobile home. John had joined the Boulder Police Department.
We took Doug to Phoenix, borrowing John's parents' Airstream trailer. A visit to the Phoenix Zoo was a winner for everyone.
The RV parks that didn't allow children or 20-something adults weren't so nice.
Doug learned about carving Halloween pumpkins.
He tagged along when we visited friends' cabin.
After four years, we had a darling dark-haired son who we named Eric.
We all went places together.
Eric loved to go fishing.
Doug loved riding his bike.
There were Halloween costumes.
The boys spent time with their grandparents. Here is Doug with Carol's dad.
And both boys with John's dad.
Four years later they all moved to Castle Rock, where they bought John’s family’s funeral home. Life was full of family, new friends at Christ Church and in the community. John was elected county coroner. Both John and Carol were involved community activities, from Optimist Club and Lions Club, to the city planning commission, the charter commission and the League of Women Voters.
We learned to work as a team, to minister as a team, to teach grief classes together. We deepened our faith in God. After nearly nine years in Castle Rock, they were off to Nashotah House Seminary in Wisconsin, where John studied to become an Episcopal priest. While we were there, Doug graduated from high school and entered the Marine Corps.
After ordination, John first served churches in Granby and Kremmling. There, Eric graduated from high school and went on to Western State College.
Life was different after John's ordination. We didn't work as a team. John was busy with the church. I worked at the Winter Park Ski Area, then at Mountain Parks Bank. But we did learn to ski and bought our first camping trailer.
Next, we were off to the Denver area when John was called as rector of St. Gabriel's in Cherry Hills Village. Carol accepted a position as executive assistant to the Colorado Episcopal Bishop. But we did find ways to be a team again, leading Education for Ministry groups and teaching catechumenate classes.
During those years, we watched both Doug and Eric get married. And Eric finally graduated from college and received his master's degree.
Doug retired from the Marine Corps after 23 years of service. He was a master sergeant when he retired.
Both sons brought grandchildren into our lives. First Eric and Liz had a daughter, Kylie. Later, they had a son, John.
Doug and Sherry have two daughters, Rachal and Samantha.
The centerpiece of our retirement has been travel, and more travel and more travel. From our first pop-up tent trailer we moved on to 5th-wheel trailers, eventually living full-time in our RV for over six years. We are still traveling, but we now have a small house in Gold Canyon, Arizona, where we spent our winters.
We have always been a team, sometimes ministering and teaching together, running a business together. Always, we have been a team in our family life. I followed him to Castle Rock, Nashotah, Granby, Denver. He supported my working for his boss , the bishop. He offered to remain in Granby where I loved my work, rather than accept the position at St. Gabriels.
Another part of our retirement has been volunteering in state and national parks and fish and wildlife areas. We worked at these places as a team--cleaning trails; hiking and telling people about Bryce Canyon; cleaning restrooms and fire pits; building signs; giving tours at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge; cleaning cabins.
At one volunteer assignment, Mount Hood was visible from our front yard.
All of it has been an adventure. The stories we remember about the many twists and turns in our life together. Today, it's been 50 years since we married. We talk and talk and talk. We are more in love that when we married. You can't beat being part of a great team like we have.