Sometimes life is simple. Sometimes it takes slowing down and enjoying a good story once in a while. Today I took the time to do both, slow down to live simply and enjoyed a great story.
Earlier this evening I visited with my grandparents. Although, this wasn’t something unusual I did get to experience a different side from both, my grandmother and grandfather. I got to experience the telling of them, their love story. I asked one question, “how did you two meet?” It seems like such a simple question, such a question that you would think I would have the answer to, but unfortunately I didn’t. My grandma began by telling me that they have now been married for 41 years. This is when I saw it. You know when someone gets that “look” or as cheesy as it sounds that sparkle in their eye when they remember/ relive a happy memory? “JCPenney’s,” she said. In probably one of the oldest strip malls in Crawfordsville, IN used to sit a JCPenney’s. There, they worked together for years. My grandpa was a country farm boy who people who worked at the store didn’t understand, where as my grandma made plenty of friends and was quite the social butterfly. Sooner rather than later, she formed a crush on him. It wasn’t long before she started watching him closely. We laughed as she told me that “If any young girl got near him, or flirted with him at work I would find a job for them to do in another department.” When finally her crush for him evolved into them actually dating, she recalled their first date. “We had gone to watch Holiday on Ice.” She said they just laughed and laughed the whole drive to Indy and she will always cherish that first date, as most people usually do.
When they both had realized they were perfect for each other, the somewhat quiet farm boy and the rather rambunctious socialite, decided it was time to get married. This proved difficult in such times, however. My grandmother had been married and divorced once before. When they had approached her Nazarene Church about not only allowing them to get married in that church, but also marrying them, the church refused. The belief was that she had not only sinned for getting a divorce, but was also not allowed to be apart of that church in general, the same belief would be passed to my grandfather as soon as they had wed. So this led them to the Trinity Methodist church. There they had met Reverend Jump who was more than happy to marry them. The three of them along with my grandma’s mother, who was the witness, were married and left to start their, as of now, 41 year journey.
Much of their long journey has been filled with happy times of vacations in Tennessee where they’d rent a cabin. They’d go on road trips and long drives to take in the scenery. They’d love to go and discover antique shops. My grandpa collected so many neat things, like shaving mugs of all sorts, some he still has today. They’d go to different restaurants and watch country singers live, today it’s the live versions on records. It was these cherished moments that a life filled with love doesn’t let you forget, but rather allows you to slow down and take in if you allow it. Both my grandparents have grown and changed, and now instead of enjoying long drives together it’s the company they share by sitting in the living room together while my grandpa listens to his country records and my grandma lies on the couch and reads her newspaper that they enjoy. It’s the time together with loved ones that become the moments we don’t forget, sometimes put aside and not recognized, but always recalled.
My visit this evening lead, not only to me learning about their story, but also taking a few photographs of the both of them that will be cherished by not only me, but my entire family for years to come. And I only left with one question, “Where did the suspenders come from?” but that’s another day and another story.