In 1950, a loaf of bread was $.14, and gallon of gas was just $.18. The average income was $3,210.00 and the average price of a new home was $8,450.00. Time magazine’s person of the year was actually its first “group” Person of the Year: the American Fighting-Man, saluting American soldiers fighting overseas in the Korean War. The Jack Benny Show premiered in 1950 and ran for 15 consecutive years. The credit card debuted in 1950, with the use of a Diners Club card in New York. Also in 1950, Charles Schulz’ Peanuts comic strip appeared for the first time – in just seven US newspapers. The #1 song on December 30, 1950 was The Tennessee Waltz by Patti Page. (I just realized why my Mom has always held a “soft spot” for this tune.)
Today, December 30, 2010, our family celebrates the extraordinary event of our parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. Quite an encore for an already-hectic and happy holiday season, don’t you think?
Dad and Mom (affectionately called Poppy and Grandma by all) are slightly daunted by the prospect of reaching this most merry of life’s mile markers. Who knew, on that crisp winter-white morning 60 years ago, this shy, young couple would join the elite group of marriages spanning six decades? Sure, there must have been times when it all seemed so hard for P & G: Raising five children on a single income (a non-profit salary at that), supporting each other through countless family illnesses and deaths, and navigating the cultural shifts that seemed to conspire against well-intentioned parents of the 1950s and 1960s. Our wide-eyed twosome, armed with high school diplomas themselves, went on to raise five children with over 30 years of post-high school education among us!
No, it was anything but easy. According to recent statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of married persons who reach their 25th anniversary is 33%; 20% of couples reach their 35th anniversary; but only 5% reach their 50th anniversary. And the 60th anniversary . . . who can even imagine it?
Clearly it is not easy to stay married.
With a 60th anniversary, the years are almost too many to count and the memories too overwhelming to recollect. I do know our Poppy and Grandma are fortunate to enjoy their 60th anniversary with this bounty: They both enjoy good health in their own home near all of their 5 children, and they are active and engaged with each of their children and 15 grandchildren. P & G also are expecting their first great-grandchild (courtesy of my nephew, Matt, and his wife, Laura) in May 2011. We will total 29 in all next May, and the super glue holding this intricate puzzle together is Poppy and Grandma. Through tough times and good, it’s always been Poppy and Grandma leading the way . . . the lantern holders in life’s journey. Our Poppy and Grandma are generous beyond compare, so it’s easy to understand why they should now receive this special gift of a long and happy marriage.
Today is an opportunity for us to celebrate Poppy and Grandma’s 60th anniversary, and to thank them for their legacy of enduring love and commitment. This extraordinary accomplishment was truly earned . . . day by day by day.
Happy 60th, Poppy and Grandma ~ we love you so very much!