Monday, September 3, 2012

60 Years After Eloping - Parenting Plights & Delights

Sixty years ago in July, my parents got married. She was 16. He was 19.
She lived in Morningside and he lived in Shadyside. 
Both areas are part of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Mom's wicked step-mother slapped her, so she eloped with my father.
They'd been dating since she was 14 and he was 17.

I think Dad and Mom made a handsome couple.

Still together after 60 years!

A lot happened during in those six decades. 

Dad was drafted during the Korean War. Fortunately, he was stationed in Germany. 
Mom had my brother while Dad was in the Army. 
She sent him a telegram to announce the arrival of their son. 

Two years later, they had a daughter. Me! Then another daughter, 
another son, and finally, another daughter. 

When I was eight, our family moved across the country, 
from Pennsylvania to Southern California. 

The family moved around a lot at first. 
I attended third grade at three different schools. 

A couple years later,  Dad and Mom bought a house and lived there for decades. 

Here we are in 1974.

All five of us kids married and had children of our own, 
so Mom and Dad now have 16 grandchildren and six great-grandkids, so far!

Mom planned a really nice family celebration. She sent out invitations.

My oldest brother lives out of state. He RSVP'd that he couldn't come, 
but he surprised Dad and Mom a couple nights before the party.

Just for grins and giggles, they reenacted the moment when they answered the door 
and discovered their firstborn on their doorstep. 

So the night before the celebration, they had a last-minute get-together with all five of us kids, 
plus four of our spouses and the grandkids who had just arrived from out of town.
Someone remembered to get a photo of all five kids. 
It's a a rare occasion when we're all together.

How convenient that the tables and chairs were delivered that day. 
Mom ordered them for a casual gathering back at the house after brunch at a country club. 

 Decades ago Dad and his daughters did a silly totem pole picture,
so we tried to do another one, kind of like then and now shots. 
I wish I had that old photo. 
Someone got a shot in front of us, but I don't know who took it.  

 Here are some of the grandkids who drove a long way for the party.

Mom was pretty exhausted that night. She fell out of bed and landed hard 
on her right knee. The skin split open from above the knee to below her knee. 
It was a huge skin flap that would have exposed the entire knee, but the vertical scar 
from a knee replacement stopped the skin from tearing past the middle of her knee. 

That was about 11:00 p.m. Dad drove her to the E.R. 
They 'glued' the skin back on because they couldn't stitch it. 
Hours later she left the hospital in a knee brace and using a walker. 
Mom and Dad got less than two hours of sleep, but they made it to the brunch.

We were in a private room and had a such a nice time.

Mom managed to get around with her walker. 
She only needed it for a couple days.

George, me, Twinkle Eyes, and Punkin. Love that hat! 
The other four great-grandchildren weren't able to come. 

What in the world am I doing in this photo?
I have no idea why I'm making such a goofball face.

Dad with seven of his nine granddaughters.

Time for a photo of the whole group.
Every family has at least one joker.

Four of the grandkids and their spouses couldn't come. 

Dad's 79 and Mom's 76.
They're still a handsome couple.

We celebrated by doing our happy dances.
Mom had to be careful, but she got a few moves in. 
Dad's very agile. You've got to see him in action!
I had to replace the music we were dancing to due to copyright issues,
so I used music from iMovie. It looks like we're really dancing to this song, though!

Happy 60th Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

How does your family celebrate special occasions?


Old Kitty said...

Oh wow!! What a beautiful couple - what a story!!! It's a great love story - oh I do hope it gets written down asap! :-)

Awwwwww! And what adventures right up to the celebratory brunch! Glad mum is ok! Oh dear!! And dad can jig - look at him go!

Thanks for sharing all these wonderful pics of your amazing family!!! Happy anniversary to your mum and dad! Take care
x said...

What a beautiful family! And your mom and dad are wonderful and so young! What a trooper your mom is to motor through after what must have been a night from hell!
Love the party and the video. Fun was had by all!
I can see where you get your spirit and spunk from Lynn!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is just wonderful, Lynn! Glad almost everyone was able to attend. Yeah, the bigger the family, the more difficult it is to get everyone together. Looks like a fun time. Congratulations to your parents!

Heather Murphy said...

This is awesome! What a good time and a great story. I hope your mom's knee is ok

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Awwww, this is too beautiful. What an amazing love story and a gorgeous family, not to mention you all clearly have fun together.

DMS said...

What a beautiful post! How amazing that your parents have been together after getting married so young. WOW! I loved seeing all of the pictures and you can just see all of the love. Sorry about your mom's knee. Ouch! Hope she is feeling better. So nice to have a family get together for such a wonderful occasion. :)

alarnarosegray said...

Lynn, you have such a beautiful family! Your folks obviously did something right (and you seem to have inherited more than their good looks)! ;)

I also remember your Thanksgiving post a while back - great to see you were able to be together for your parents 60th. Many happy returns to them :)

Jennette Marie Powell said...

Congrats to your parents! What a fun party, as we can see from your great photos! My family celebrated my dad's 71st birthday today with the traditional cookout. It's hard to believe he and my mom will celebrate their 50th anniversary in a couple years - mostly hard to believe they haven't killed each other LOL. Thanks for sharing your celebration!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

They are a handsome couple, for sure! Looks like you have a beautiful family and had a great celebration. Big family get togethers are the best! Sorry to hear about your mom's accident. But she looks very resilient. Good for her for bouncing back and enjoying the big day =D

Bish Denham said...

Totally awesome Lynn! To have been so young and still be together. It MUST be LOVE!

TeresaR said...

Happy 60th anniversary to your parents, Lynn! They look like they're a riot to be around. :) No wonder they're still together after all these years...the couple that laughs together stays together. LOL!

You have a wonderful family!

J.L. Campbell said...

Your parents don't look as old as you say they are. Hope your mom is making a rapid recovery.

For my family, we usually gather around food. The dancing and such come later on in the celebration.

Christina Farley said...

What an amazing tribute to your parents. I really enjoyed seeing their history through your pictures.

Tamara Narayan said...

My grandparents had a celebration like this when I was fifteen. I remember being one of the youngest grandkids at an awkward stage while my older cousins seemed so glamorous.

LynNerdKelley said...

Thank you, each of your, for your well wishes for my parents. I'll make sure to tell them. You all rock my world. Thank you for commenting!

Patricia said...

That is sooo sweet. I cried.

How wonderful that your entire family (almost) was able to be together for such a joyous occasion. I'm sure your parents were thrilled.

Congratulatons to your parents!

I guess your grandmother learned not to slap her children any more, huh? Your mom really showed her.

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

LynNerdKelley said...

Thank you, Patricia. I'm so touched that you cried. My grandfather kicked the evil step-mother out not too long after that. He wasn't happy that she mistreated his daughters. She wasn't nice to any of the seven daughters, except for the baby. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Karen McFarland said...

Hi Lynn! I think I found a way to leave a comment! Yay! I'm using my husband's google account. LOL! I out-foxed the system again. Nope, you can't stop me.

Lynn, your post made me cry. You have a beautiful family. And family is the most important thing in our life. After all we go through, family makes it worth it, doesn't it. I think God for that everyday. You have many blessings my friend. What a wonderful event! It looked like everyone was there. Loved the surprise! What a great day that was. So glad you were able to capture it on film.

So how are you? Send me a email and let me know. You've gone quite. I hope all is well. :)



Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Oh, Lynn, thanks for sharing your parents' special day with us. I'm thrilled for them and awed by their beautiful children and grandchildren.

Kristy K. James said...

Aww...what a great bunch of pictures of a great bunch of people. I think it's so cool when family turns out like that for special occasions. Loved this whole post...and the video. Yes, your dad can move! :)

Coleen Patrick said...

So sweet! Love the photos and the video of everyone dancing. Was that twinkle eyes dancing, how cute is she? :) Special memories, thanks for sharing Lynn!

Christine said...

How beautiful.

And such a moving post, Lynn!

Your family look amazing and a lot of fun. Thank you so much for sharing your parent's very special day. Give them a big hug from me when you see them next.

And Punkin looks a real character!

Kara said...

Happy Anniversary to your parents. I love the pictures and your family looks like so much fun!

Marcy said...

This is such a great story. My husband and I say a lot how we wish we'd met earlier because if we want to make it to 60 years like both sets of my grandparents have, we'll have to live to be 86 and 88.


Patricia said...

Lynn, thanks for sharing your parents love story! What a celebration.

Angela Ackerman said...

What a sweet presentation of your family's big event. Congrats to your parents...that's wonderful. It's great to see people so happy and full of fun. :)


LynNerdKelley said...

I love all of your comments! They add to all the special memories I have of this family celebration!

Coleen - Yes, that is Twinkle Eyes and she loves to dance!

Nas said...

What a beautiful gorgeous picture story! Loved all the photos and the story. Thanks Lynn!

Congratulations to your mum and dad on their 60th Anniversary!