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Showing posts with label 1960's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1960's. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

54 Valentine's Days

Joe has been scanning some old photos. This is one he posted to FaceBook recently so there have been  alot of conversations about it which are fun. Of course, the memories that rise to the surface are fun, too. It occurs to me that we did not celebrate our first Valentine's Day together until after we were married. After he was discharged from serving in the Army in late 1962, Joe went to work for Petty Geophysical Company on a seismic crew that was working at the time in Duncan, Oklahoma. Our mutual good friend Eddie Ballard told Joe that I was a student at Oklahoma Baptist University, currently doing the clinical portion of my degree studies in Oklahoma City and suggested he look me up. Although we were both from the same small town in Texas (Jacksonville) and went to the same church and  high school, he graduated a few years ahead of me. I knew him but we had never dated so I was surprised when he called one evening in early February  and asked if I would like to go out. He drove up to the City, we had dinner and went to a movie and apparently both enjoyed the evening.  I had plans for the next 2 weekends and one of those was a date for a Valentine Banquet. I don't remember anything about where that was or even the name of my date, but I do remember that after that the only person I dated was Joe. On some of our early dates, he brought T Bone Steaks and grilled them for a wonderful meal at my apartment. The old saying "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" was true in the reverse. I am not sure he was impressed with my cooking at the time, but I was impressed with his! By October we were planning a wedding. On December 28, 1963, we said "I do."  Our friend Eddie was best man!

Now we have celebrated 54 Valentine's Days - not always together and certainly not always fancy. We have said "Be mine, Valentine"  in many different ways and different places. That first Valentine's day in 1964 in our tiny apartment in Oklahoma City was the beginning but the next one was in Corvallis, Oregon. There were Valentine celebrations in Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. Then California, Indonesia, and back to Texas.  Cooking is one of my love languages, so most of the time I have cooked for him at home, but we have also had some wonderful meals in fine restaurants. Yesterday we were talking about our favorite restaurants from all the places and all the years.  And yes, once in awhile, he still grills T Bone steaks!

Saturday, March 4, 2017


Joe and Mary Ann Parker, May 1963

This photograph was made 54 years ago, in the Spring before our wedding in December of 1963.  I love the picture.  Not just because we were so young and unwrinkled and happy, but because we are focused on each other. At this time we were in the very early months of learning and loving. The decision to have a wedding by the end of the year had not been made. But as we focused,  we were open to all the possibilities of the future. I believe that, along with a focus of faith in God and all that he would bring us, is the strong golden thread that holds these now many years of meeting every day's victories and vicissitudes.  We have 3 wonderful sons, their wives who are like our daughters, and 6 amazing grandchldren. Our clan now numbers fourteen, and pictures are hard to get because that means everybody gathered and still at the same time!  I love the ways they build their own families with focus and faith.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

53 Years, Remembering!

Proud parents of the groom.  Ben and Kristen's wedding 2008

              Historical John Wesley Love home in Jacksonville, our home 1981-1982

Another anniversary

Retirement for Joe after 52 years in the oil industry

Recipe box Joe made for me our first Christmas 1964, Corvallis, Oregon

Our 3 little boys and their Gingerbread House 1973

Faith, always.

Reminders of our life in Jakarta, Indonesia (at my talk to the children at Shady Oak Christian School)

Angel and Bella

Our antique rose in the garden on Greenhaven. Getting ready to plant some here.

Tickets from so many performances, games, concerts.

Our wedding group.  December 28, 1963


Our mission statement for our Sugar Land house, working on one for our home with B&K in Richmond.

Homeward Bound.  A magnolia leaf.

Joe and me as Jacob and Rachel, innkeepers for so many years in Experiencing Christmas, FBC Richmond.

Snowflakes we cut for our first Christmas tree in Oregon.

So many happy times in the porch swing together and with our granddaughters.

Today is our 53rd wedding anniversary.  Last night and this morning we mused and remembered all those years ago and the beginning.  Things like what we did the evening before our wedding day (Joe and his best man went to a movie - Spencer's Mountain.  I only remember being at home, tweaking the decorations I made to top our wedding cake, trying on my wedding dress and working out last minute fitting details such as pinning a tea towel around my waist to hold up the heavy train and keep it from sagging!)  It was a happy and exciting time, but I do not remember feeling stressed.

Today, many lovely weddings are planned at least a year in advance, with many decisions and projects involved.  The stress, as well as the cost, can rise to uncomfortable levels.  Someone asked me just this week about the issues involved with having a Christmastime wedding, with so many other things on the calendar, and subsequent years when the anniversary might be eclipsed in all the Christmas celebration. It is true, our anniversary falls 3 days after Christmas and our celebrations have not been lavish (other than the beautiful 50th-anniversary dinner given to us by our family) - but I would not change anything.  I love Christmas - the meaning, the music, the colors, the family gathering. That translates so very well into the marriage celebration.  We decided to have our wedding in October, only a little over 2 months before it happened!  We chose to keep costs to a minimum and meaning to maximum. I made my wedding gown, sewing in between studying for nursing finals, and bringing the last pearls to sew on the lace train for Mother to help. I laugh when I tell you I crafted my pillbox (a la Jacquelyn Kennedy) hat that held my veil from the end of an Oatmeal box, covered in satin and pearls and made a puffy muff to hold my small bouquet.  Bridesmaids wore cranberry faille coat dresses with white organdy collars and carried a single candle with a tiny nosegay of white flowers. We used a bank of green magnolia leaves from a wedding held the day before instead of flower arrangements in the church, and our reception was in the fellowship hall where punch, cake, nuts, and buttermints were on the table. We had no honeymoon, choosing instead to drive back to Oklahoma City in a snow storm the day after a night in a motel in Dallas. We had school for me and a job hunt for Joe to get back to. And it was thrilling and wonderful and the most beautiful time and place and way to get married.

Yes, it makes me smile to think of the beginning, but oh, the memories all through these years.   This is what makes me weep and smile at the same time. The years have brought so much happiness and fullness. Faith, yes. fLove, yes. Friendship, yes. Hard work, yes.  Sad times, yes.  Laughter, oh yes. Three of the finest sons any parents could possibly have. And now the women they chose who are our daughters. Grandchildren, and more love. Pride, yes. Loss, yes.  Stretching, yes.  Tragedy and pain, yes, that too.  Perseverance, without doubt.  Glorious joy, yes.  Contentment, yes. Illness, yes.  Hope, then, and now.

I chose a few random photos that are markers for me of a life and work together, of love.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Joe's Birthday Celebration #79

This year we celebrated Joe's birthday for more than a week!  Our trip to San Francisco, the stay at Cavallo Point (his army base in the early 60's, then called Fort Baker), our visit with Jeremy and his family in Reno, and a family dinner back at home in Texas. I think he felt well celebrated!

While we were in Reno, Jeremy, Michala, Maddie, and Jordann arranged for us to have a dinner cruise on Lake Tahoe. The scenery was breathtaking, the food was excellent, and we enjoyed most of all sharing the special time with our Nevada family who now live so far away that we do not get to see them as much. They liked showing us their new home and surroundings, and we loved being with them and knowing what home looks like to them.  I even learned to say Nevada correctly. Our granddaughters there are growing into beautiful young women.

Joe's birthday cruise dinner.

                                                      Making mousse for Papa's birthday


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Fort Baker 2016

We are back at home following two weeks of travel. The main reason for our trip was a visit with our son Jeremy and his family in Reno, NV. But we began and ended this trip with travel to and from the San Francisco, CA area, driving to Reno and back. This gave us non-stop air travel, but also a chance to do something Joe has wanted to do for some time:  revisit Fort Baker, beneath the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito,  the Army base where he was stationed in 1960 through 1962. 

 Originally inhabited by the coastal Miwok tribes, Horseshoe Cove became home to Fort Baker long before there was a Golden Gate Bridge. In 1866, the U.S. Army acquired the site for a military base to fortify the north side of the Golden Gate. The 24 buildings around the 10-acre parade ground at Fort Baker took shape between 1901 and 1915. The Army post remained active through World War II.

 In 1973 Fort Baker was listed as a Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places. When the Golden Gate National Parks were established in 1972, Fort Baker was designated for transfer to the National Park Service when no longer needed by the military. In 2002 Fort Baker transferred officially from post to park, when the base was closed to military use except for a small Coast Guard presence. In July 2008, this significant historic area opened as a unique resort, named Cavallo Point Lodge. 
Cavallo Point is the first bay area national park lodge.There are over 20 renovated army buildings nestled around a large grass parade ground. None of the restored buildings give any indication they are now part of an extraordinary ecologically sensitive enclave that includes remarkable lodging, a Michelin-star restaurant, and a cooking school.
The ‘post-to-park’ transformation displays adaptive, creative reuse of this 40-acre National Landmark District and has a state-of-the-art conference center.  The project also included restoration of endangered habitat and the regeneration of 27 acres of public open space

 Linked pathways, dining terraces, fire pits and moveable chairs create spaces for both gathering and quiet times.The removal of invasive trees has opened views to the Bridge and Bay which have not been available for 100 years.  A tennis court was re-purposed as event space; a rectangular lawn panel framed by a broad, gravel ‘fault’ zone reveals its former use.  The most dramatic transformation was the restoration of the coastal scrub habitat with genetic natives—58,000 plants propagated from seed harvested on the Cavallo Point site.  Guest quarters are now comfortable as well as educational set in a rich tapestry of landscape.

Since our daughter in law and granddaughters joined us there for our one night stay, Joe had the blessing of telling them stories about Fort Baker, Cronkhite beach, and other places that were so familiar to him, along with history.  That is the best way to learn!

When Joe stayed in the barracks as an enlisted man at Fort Baker, he did not dream that one day he would bring family back there and stay in the historic quarters which were once officers' housing!  The old houses were wonderful, our rooms lovely, and Cavallo Point celebrated his earlier time there as well as his 79th birthday.  I am grateful for him and for our experiences at this place.

                                Golden Gate Bridge with its typical shroud of fog.  July 20, 2016
Goodbye, Fort Baker!