Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Celebrating 30 Years of Marriage

**Note:  I actually wrote this post yesterday, but have added to it this morning.  When I re-read the first paragraph an hour ago, I thought how odd it was that I had chosen the saying about shared joy and sorrow.  We had an epic rain here last night, and this morning when leaving for work, Hal discovered that our basement is flooding.  Yes, it's still flooding.  There is what looks like a small crack in the floor, and water is bubbling up through that like a small spring.  The ground in our area has been saturated for weeks, and the weather service is calling for more rain and flooding here tonight.  I'm really afraid to think what sort of damage this will lead to.  $$$$  We may not get to the beach after all -- life will go on.     

When we say, "I Do" in that wedding ceremony, it's a real commitment and also a leap of faith, isn't it?  After all, we none of us really know what's ahead of us.  Today, Mr. Forest Manor and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, and I am so very grateful for all that entails.  "A shared joy is a double joy; a shared sorrow is half the sorrow."  For me, that saying really goes to the heart of our years together, I believe.  We've laughed together, cried together, and so often find we're thinking the same thing at the same moment -- like minds, don't you know.  ;)

 May 23, 1987

Hal asked me if I was going to do a post for our 30th, and I said, of course.  Then, I looked back to last year and saw that I had already shared so much of our life together (pictures, too).  Oops.  I hope you don't mind if I share again because this is a big deal for us.

The very first house we owned was in Greensboro, NC.  It had a yard the size of a postage stamp, but it was filled with wonderful, old-fashioned flowers and shrubs.  Right in front of the house in this picture, we had a row of old-fashioned day lilies -- the orange kind that we call railroad lilies here in the south.  They weren't blooming yet in this picture, but they sure were pretty.  The former owners planted all these wonderful flowers; I miss those flowers (and that sun room) to this day.  :)

May 1992

We were living here when our son was born, and two years later, after working full-time (with a commute) and going to graduate school at night, my husband earned his MBA.  Happy times.  🎉
Obviously, I did not have a clue how to decorate in those days (look at the mantel behind us).  Some of you may think I still don't have a clue.  😄  To be fair though, we didn't have a lot to work with at that time.

This picture is a bit better.


The second house we lived in, for a year, belonged to my husband's mother and her siblings.  Built before the Civil War, it was an interesting house to live in.  It had no insulation, so it was boiling hot in the summer and freezing in the winter.  It gave us an all new appreciation of modern conveniences.  I did love the big windows, big front porch, and the sense of history about the house.  Hal has such good memories of delicious family meals cooked there by his maternal grandmother. I'm really sorry I never had the chance to meet her; she passed away when Hal was in college.

We bought our present home in the summer of 1996, and before we'd even had a chance to start fixing it up and making it our own,

a freak tornado blew through our community in the spring of 1998.

This was our next-door neighbor's carport, where both of their vehicles were crushed.  The majority of the tornado damage was inflicted on a neighborhood of McMansions a few miles away from us, but the storm took a detour through our neighborhood, and messed up about four homes here.  We sustained about $30,000 worth of damage to our house and yard, and we had to move out for six weeks.  But we counted ourselves lucky because we still had each other, and amazingly, there was no loss of life in either neighborhood where the storm hit.  "Things" can always be replaced, after all.

Trip on the Amtrak to Discovery Place in Charlotte (1997)

The years continued to fly by.  They were filled with T-ball and little league baseball, piano lessons, Scouts, concert band and marching band, homework and tests and college applications.  We had Bonnie and Tucker (our cat),

March 2000



and Duncan.

We've enjoyed trips to the mountains,


and the coast.


Across the pond and back again.

We've taken classes together over the years; Hal had a telescope for several years; we took an astronomy class at the Natural Science Center and learned to recognize many of those stars, planets, and constellations we see in the night sky.  We did wonder if maybe those ancient Greeks had drunk too much wine when they named those constellations (sorry, but that does not look like a teapot guys).  We also belonged to the local Astronomical Society for awhile, and I still love to gaze at the night sky.  We took photography classes and even a few cooking classes.  😉

We have been blessed in so many ways; we have a son who is doing well and we love him more than we can ever express.

  We were able to celebrate with both sets of our parents for their 50th anniversaries, and they are all still with us.  I'm thankful for all we've experienced (good and not so good) and I hope for more years together.  Happy Anniversary, Hal!

Thank you all for visiting -- I hope you have a great week!




  1. Oh Denise....how I loved this post. You did an excellent job of taking us through your married life....how blessed you both are...WISHING YOU A HAPPY ANNIVERSARY and much happiness in the years to come...big hugs...

  2. Thank you, Betsy, you are so sweet. :) We do have a lot to be thankful for. Hugs to you!

  3. A wonderful post about your years together! Congratulations on this special anniversary.

  4. Happy Anniversary! You two make such a great-looking couple. 👰🏻🎩

    (Don't let that wet basement steal your joy...boo hiss to wet basements. Mine just dried up, then it started to rain again. 😳)

  5. Happy 30 years to both of you, Denise! I enjoyed seeing your sweet wedding picture and traveling through the years with you. How wonderful to celebrate 50 years with both sets of your parents. May you have many, many more anniversaries to celebrate. ❤️

  6. Such a nice post Denise (except the tornado) and indeed after many years there are numerous events, travels and ups and downs to remember.
    Congratulations on your 30th anniversary and I wish you many more happy years together.

  7. I just love this and it certainly brought tears to my eyes. Such wonderful memories.....and many more to make. Love you, Mom

  8. A very happy Anniversary to and Hal. Love the quote about sharing, too. So true. It's fun to travel back in time with you. Blessings for many more years together. Oye! So so sorry about the flooding basement. Bubbling...oh my. I do hope you can get it fixed and fortified for the future.

  9. Happy Anniversary to both of you! What a great milestone. Loved reading this recap of your lives and might follow suit in July when we hit our (gulp) 40th anniversary! I do hope the basement flood will not be too much to fix.

  10. What a lovely post. Isn't it wonderful to be married to a good man and to be more in love than ever, after so many years. It's a true blessing :)



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