Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Yesterday was our 36th wedding anniversary.  Quite an accomplishment, if I do say so myself!  Tommy and I always play the "what were you doing at this time the day we were married" game throughout the day.  It's good to reflect back and remember that exciting time.

We also reflect on previous anniversary celebrations and milestones in our lives.  He was in Spokane for winter survival training our first anniversary.  Little did we know what a foreshadowing of things to come that was.  Between a military career and a job with the airlines, we've probably been apart as many times as we've been together on May 24th.  We've learned celebrations don't have to be on a particular day to be special.

We've taken some wonderful trips around our anniversary--San Francisco twice, once driving the Pacific Coast Highway south and once driving it north; Hawaii to celebrate 30 years; and Charleston to name a few.  Our kids and a good friend feted us with a fabulous surprise party for our 25th anniversary!  But, we've also had quiet evenings at home or simply gone out to dinner.  Just yesterday, we spent the day installing the mirror and towel holder in the half bath we've been remodeling and watched American Idol.  Pretty boring day, but we've learned celebrations don't have to be fancy to be special.

Sometimes there are gifts, sometimes not.  We usually buy something for the house or that we can use together.  A beautiful mantle clock for our second anniversary.  A new grill one year.  A hot tub for number 25 (not something silver, I know, but we LOVE it).  We've learned it's better to make memories than buy things.

As I reflected on our marriage throughout the day, another thought came to mind.  In 1967, I went with a friend to First Baptist Church, Texas City, to listen to a report from the youth group about their recent mission trip.  The excitement about what they had done was amazing!  I remember thinking, "I want to be a part of something like that" and asked my mom and dad if I could move my church membership to FBC.  Making this change meant they would have to drive me across town to church rather then letting me walk around the corner.  Yet, they agreed to the change.  I became active in the FBC youth group, and two years later went on my first mission trip to McAllen, Texas, where we led Vacation Bible School.

Want to guess who I met on that mission trip?  Yep, Tommy.  We became friends; and two years later we began dating.  Four years after that we married.  Coincidence?  I don't think so.  Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

All those years ago, God spoke to the heart of a young baby Christian, who didn't even know how to ask for His direction, and moved her to the place where she would grow in His word and meet the wonderful Christian man who would become her soul mate.  We've learned God is faithful and truly does direct our paths.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Twice in the last week I've heard Taps playing as the sun sets.  That lone trumpet sounding the end of another day is so moving--even if you're standing in Lowe's parking lot as I was.  It made me wonder if military people are more patriotic than others, or if we just have more opportunities to express our love for our country.

Tommy reported for active duty with the Air Force two weeks after we married and retired from the Reserves 23 years later.  All 36 years of our marriage have been spent near an Air Force base, and we have been so blessed by our military life.  Friends all over the world.  Opportunity to live in Germany and travel throughout Europe.  Visiting East Berlin before the wall came down.  Minds opened by living among different cultures and people groups.  Children who can make friends easily and quickly.  Standing in the hot sun to see countless air shows and being wowed when the Thunderbirds perform--even after seeing them a bazillion times.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of negatives to a military life.  Tommy missed 17 months of the first two years of Lindsay's life while on a remote assignment to Korea and attending school in Nevada.  Crazy schedules!  Some weeks we communicated via notes on the kitchen counter, because we were never home and awake at the same time.  A dangerous profession. We've lost friends to airplane crashes, which always brings the, "it could have been me," thoughts to the forefront of you mind for a bit.

Even with the difficult times, I wouldn't trade our military life for anything.  It's difficult to put into words what it means.  Tears when airplane passengers remain seated and applaud as returning soldiers are allowed to deplane first. Standing when our flag passes by, singing the national anthem with my hand on my heart, stopping what I'm doing when Taps is played--all remind me of what a great country we live in.  And what privileges it provides.  And the cost to keep it that way.