On Wednesday, November 18, my wife and I celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary. We were married November 18, 1972, in Metolius, Oregon, while we were students at Central Oregon Community College. Pictures from that day verify that I once had a full head of hair and looked remarkably young. I’m not sure why my wife’s appearance has changed so little while mine has changed so much, except to say I have frequently observed that city manager years are something like dog years.
We did not begin our marriage with an agreed-upon strategy for how we would conduct our lives. We both wanted to finish college, have children, and be of service to our family and community; but I’m not sure we ever discussed those goals in great detail. Evelyn did most of the thinking while I was busy acting upon my last impulse. She wanted six children, and I wanted two; so we compromised at four.
Evelyn earned her teaching degree at Old Dominion University while I served in the Navy. We were still getting to know one another in those days, and it took me awhile to figure out that her claims about failing classes and desperately needing my help were exaggerations. Evelyn graduated magna cum laude from college, and I did not. We both earned our graduate degrees some years later, after discovering that our chosen fields required more education.
Working as an administrator for nonprofits and as a construction laboratory technician while Evelyn worked as a very well-educated school secretary taught us the need for frugality and persistence. Evelyn was eventually able to find a teaching job, and I was fortunate to begin work for the City of Oakridge in 1988. Our accomplishments, like everyone else’s, came from a combination of hard work and good fortune.
Neither of us imagined 37 years ago that we would be living about 100 miles from where we went to high school after nearly four decades or that we would have nine-plus grandchildren. We did not aspire to travel to or work in the developing world, and I doubt I could have found many of the places I’ve worked on a map in 1972.
Our lives have been richly blessed by our large extended family and the opportunity to work for communities in a state we love. All of this may be more information than the average blog reader desires; but I think it’s appropriate to express our blessings, particularly at Thanksgiving. I am truly grateful for the past 37 years and look forward to whatever the future will bring. Happy Thanksgiving!