Monday, June 04, 2007

A marriage milestone

30 years ago today, I married my Mr. Darcy.

I say Mr. Darcy because of the little "Who is your Jane Austen husband?" quiz. My answers to the quiz were analyzed as this:

Your husband is most like Mr. Darcy of Pride & Prejudice. A beloved hero, he may be quieter and sometimes mistaken as proud, but in reality he has the most thoughtful generous nature. He appreciates good character and is extremely devoted to those he cares for. As a couple, you enjoy the company of those closest to you and may engage in thought-provoking conversations.
I was almost twenty-one and he was twenty-six. We met outside a class we both were taking in college. I had an 8 o'clock art appreciation class in the same building as my 9 o'clock Apocalyptic Literature class and often got to the class a little early, having to wait outside the door.

The first day I saw him, we were both waiting outside the door; he was sitting on a bench when I walked up. I was shy and did not ever initiate conversation (totally unlike I am today), so I did not say anything as I waited. My only thought was that he sure was an old-looking college student. (I was right but didn't know it.) The only way I realized he was in the class was that he was reading from the assigned book and commented, "This is really interesting, don't you think?" Well, no I didn't think, "I guess, if you can understand it" was my deep reply! The subject of apocalyptic literature then was way beyond my understanding.

He had not been in the first few classes of the quarter, I found out later, because he had had the flu. Several classes later, as we are all leaving, he walked out with me and asked if I would like to have a cup of tea with him.

I had never, ever been asked to have a "cup of tea" with any guy. The only guys I knew and had gone out with would never have asked me a question like that. It sounded, mature.

We did have tea at 10 o'clock. Many times. Neither of us had another class until noon, if I remember correctly. And he was only on campus three days a week. We were both commuters, but from different towns.

During our first teatime, I found out that he lived in the nearby town where my father grew up and that he had gone to school with my cousin, knew my uncle, and my aunt who was the drive-through teller at the bank
he used. Our first date was dinner and a movie, "The Hiding Place." That was the year it was in the theater in our area.

I knew I had a different sort of guy when he brought me home after our first date. After our mutual thanks for a nice evening, he shook my hand in a very gentlemanly sort of way. A Mr. Darcy sort of way.

That was the only night he ever shook my hand. After that, he held my hand. And a few months later asked for it in marriage.

Six months later we knew that we wanted to marry and spend the rest of our lives together. And fifteen months after that first cup of tea, we did marry.

We had a large wedding in my old Presbyterian church.
It was a beautiful, mild sunny afternoon for a wedding. Perfect. The church was completely full. We had written our own wedding service. The Vice President of Student Affairs of our college and his wife, who were members of my church, commented later that he had never been to such a nice wedding. He said it was like a worship service. Which is exactly how we planned it!

The opening hymn after the wedding processional was "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty."
The highlighted lines from the hymn have come to mean so much to me over the years:
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation!

All ye who hear, now to his temple draw near, join me in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e'er have been granted in what he ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee!
Surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
Ponder anew what the Almighty will do, if with his love he befriend thee!

Praise thou the Lord, who with marvelous wisdom hath made thee,
Decked thee with health, and with loving hand guided and stayed thee.
How oft in grief hath not he brought thee relief, spreading his wings to o'ershade thee!

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before him.
Let the Amen sound from his people again; gladly for aye we adore him.

Our honeymoon was at a mountain retreat a couple of hours away. Nothing fancy. Just lots of space to roam, bike, golf, and relax. Our hideaway lodge was at the base of the mountain gorge and accessible only by an aerial tramway. I did not know this beforehand and was scared to death the first time we descended.

Thirty years sounds like a long time. It is. But looking backward, it seems like only a few years ago. Four grown children later and in the autumn of our lives, we have fond memories of those youthful days. Walk down memory lane with me....

Happy anniversary, my Mr. Darcy!


DebD said...

What sweet, sweet memories. Happy Anniversary and many years!

Kelli in TN said...

What a beautiful bride! What a handsome groom! Congratulations on this milestone.

Barb said...

What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it. My husband and I just celebrated our 20th. Amazing how fast the years go by.

Kathleen Hamilton said...

Oh, how wonderful! Happy Anniversary to you both. And what wonderful pictures :-). You look gorgeous.

Miss Paula said...

In a world of broken marriages, I am thankful to hear stories like yours. Congratulations!! I hope you and Darcy have a chance to have tea today!!

Dana said...

Happy Anniversary!

Loved reading your story.

Dana in GA

Carrie K. said...

Congratulations, Janie!

Carol in Oregon said...

Whew! This morning's blogs have me sniffing, wiping tears, and praising God. What a lovely story, especially that bit about tea.

And you had "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty" - I adore that hymn because it covers everything: He saves, shelters, sustains, grants desires, relieves grief...

THIRTY YEARS! Congratulations!

A Ten O'Clock Scholar said...

Oh, Happy Anniversary! We are almost exactly 1/2 way behind you. Our 15th will be this Sept. 12th. :)

Your honeymoon picture looks a little familiar - reminds me of some places I've been in the Smokies. What a lovely couple you made!

Love, love, LOVE the hymn you posted. I'll have that stuck in my head all night now. Not a bad thing. In fact I might go turn it on. I think I hae a good version by Travis Cotrell.

Congratulations, Mr and Mrs "Darcy"

Donna Boucher said...

Happy Anniversary!

Leslie said...

Happy Anniversary! I love the pictures and reading your story. Very sweet.

Poiema said...

Wonderful pictures and memories! Many congratulations. We almost share the same anniversary. Ours was June 3rd, and it was also our 30th. I hope to post pictures, but I am working on a wicked PC whilst my iMac is in the hospital. I can't figure out how to do it.
Blessings for the next 30!

Seasonal Soundings said...

Thank you for your sweet comments!

Peregrina said...

Blessings to you both...thank you for giving us a glimpse of your joy!