It was a sunny October day much like today that John and I got married in our little country church called Bethel Grove. It was a cool Friday evening when we said our vows and gathered with our families. The reception was in the church basement with cake and punch and a table of gifts off to the side which had been opened by the gift helpers, yes that's the way it was done back in 1973.
Charlie Fry was our pastor and Daddy sang, "One Hand, One Heart". I couldn't look at him because I knew I would cry. I carried a bouquet of big gold mums and fall flowers in yellows, orange and white. My wedding dress was homemade and so was the veil and the bridesmaid dresses. I wore a string of pearls my mother had given me for the occasion. I was 18, John was 20; I wonder if our guests thought it would last this long?
We ran out of the church in a shower of rice and a crowd of well-wishers, hopped into a borrowed car that took us to a secret hiding place of John's new silver Chevy Nova, in Albion. We got stopped by the Albion city cop who kindly let us pass while holding back the chasers who followed. We jumped into his car, catching my veil in the door and off we went for a night in Iowa City prior to leaving for a two-day honeymoon in St. Louis, MO.
We were off on a new life together. I had no money to contribute to the marriage - I'd spent it all on the wedding, poor John. We returned to our jobs on Tuesday and it was back to reality. God has richly blessed us through tough times and the good. I wouldn't change a thing. I love John more each day. Thank you, Lord.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV).