What 60 Years of Marriage Looks Like

On July 7, 1957, my maternal grandparents (pictured above) were married. On July 7, 2017, the family they've created got together for a weekend to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

It was epic! One of my favorite weekends ever. We rented four cabins at Jester Park (north of Des Moines). The accommodations were wonderful, the conversations were lively, and the company was the best. I’ve been reflecting on that weekend as well as all of the memories and things I’ve loved about my grandparents. They are so special to me. This is a tribute post to them, their love, and the legacy they have created over the past 60 years.

My sister, cousins, Grandpa, Grandma, and me.

My sister, cousins, Grandpa, Grandma, and me.

We spent the weekend relaxing, eating great food, sitting around the campfire, wiping sweat off our brows, fishing, canoeing, hiking, exploring, having a bags tournament, watching the full moon rise over the trees, catching up on life, and sharing stories. 

See more details and great photos by Kelsey at Snappy Casual

I asked my grandpa how he proposed to my grandma. He said, "Oh, I think we were just cruising down a gravel road on our way somewhere and I told her to open the glove box. I didn't want to hang onto the ring that long and wanted her to say yes sooner rather than later." This was confirmed by my grandma. My grandpa said he wished he would have done it differently. 

They were married at the Rowan Methodist Church. The same one they've gone to since.

Their honeymoon was a quick trip to Albert Lea, Minn. They stayed a few days, ran out of money, and had to come home for the funeral of a family friend. I've never heard these stories before and I'm glad that I had the chance to ask them and hear them!

The older I get, the more observant I become. Like noticing how much love it takes to make it 60 years. There's such a deep level of commitment to each other to get to a 60-year anniversary. 

One thing I admire about my grandparents is their unity. They do a lot of things together. They take a yearly fishing trip to Minnesota. Same lake since I was was a little kid. And who knows how long before that? For the past decade or so, they've become snow birds, traveling to Texas for the winters and picking up new hobbies like shuffleboard. They enter tournaments and referee other games. Grandma writes us grandkids the sweetest birthday cards while they are gone. She tells us all about the happenings in their retirement community. And we text them around to each other because they are such prized possessions. 

Grandpa and grandma live on a farm that our family has owned for over 100 years. It's where we've gathered for Christmas my entire life. I have a lot of memories there as well as the experiences I've had with my grandparents. 

  • My grandpa taught me how to do a layup at the old Rowan gym.
  • My grandpa and grandma taught me how to golf at the Dows golf course.
  • My grandpa taught me how to shoot my BB gun.
  • My grandpa was an entrepreneur who ran his own car battery making business. They had a bottled pop machine.
  • I used to love spending the night at my grandparents. They would drag me into town in the morning for coffee with their friends.
  • I love my grandpa's laugh when he's telling a funny story. One of my favorite characteristics is that he doesn't take life too seriously. 
  • My grandpa introduced me to mustard and sugar sandwiches. A staple when he was growing up.
  • Also... peanut butter and grandma's homemade pickle sandwiches. 
  • Growing up, grandpa was always trying to "put hair on my chest." As in, "Try this radish... it'll put hair on your chest." Or, "This horseradish will put hair on your chest."
  • Grandma is always cooking or baking. And the best is getting to take home a jar of her salsa or pickles. Yum!
  • My grandparents call their couch a davenport.

I'm grateful for the grandparents in my life. They've taught me so much and I'm so thankful for them. Between Kelsey and I we've lost some grandparents over the years, but we love spending time with those still with us. We love that our kids get to know who our grandparents are. It's such a special thing bringing generations together. 

What's one thing you've learned from your grandparents?