A sweet memory

February 14, 2012 | My Jottings

Recently, as Sara and I were looking through some old scrapbooks, I came across the photograph below, and was instantly transported back to September of 1981, when I turned 24 years old.

Two months earlier in late June of 1981, I had left the warm state where I was born and raised, and moved to northeastern Minnesota. I was concerned about the coming winter, since I knew it would be cold and snowy and I had never known cold and snowy.

Two months earlier I had married a man I’d only spent time with once. To see a poem I wrote about all of that, you can click here.

Two months earlier I was not pregnant. In September of 1981, on my 24th birthday, I was.

My first year in Minnesota was glorious and horrible. I was so happy to be married to Michael, but I was so sad to have left all the friends and family I had known. I was hopeful about owning our own home someday since Minnesota’s real estate prices were more affordable than SoCal’s, but a little leery about renting a house in an “interesting” part of town. I was so grateful to be able to stay home with my two little girls instead of working full time, but I wondered how we’d make it if Michael’s work was often seasonal. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, I guess you (or Dickens) could say.

On my 24th birthday I was in the kitchen making dinner, with music playing on our stereo and my little girls playing in our side yard. It took me a while to register that a horn was honking outside, and I went to the living room to look out of our large front window.

This is what I saw:

Michael, my husband of two months, in his work truck, just coming home at the end of the day from his carpentry job.

When I saw the spray-painted sign he had made and tied to his ladder rack, and when I envisioned him driving several miles home with that message attached to his truck for all to see, I laughed and smiled from ear to ear. I asked him to stay put while I ran inside to find a camera.

Thirty years have passed. We no longer live in that rented house where our daughter was born. I’m not afraid of Minnesota winters anymore. I am blessed with wonderful family and friends. And of course that truck bit the dust long ago, and it has been several years since Michael has done that kind of work.

But…he still calls me Honey.


  1. Carolyn says:

    I love that picture!!

  2. Just Julie says:

    I’m so glad you love it too, dear daughter. xxoo

  3. Patty says:

    What a wonderful memory and sweet reminder that the most important things don’t change. Great love is endless…. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  4. Just Julie says:

    Thank you so much Patty! Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!

  5. Helen in Switzerland says:

    That’s so romantic!

  6. Just Julie says:

    I thought so too, Helen. 🙂

  7. Larry says:

    Hello Sis:

    God never conceals His expectations from us, and I do not believe that he concealed Michael from you. God’s expectations are to never have us guess who we should live with or how we should live. Micah 6:-7 shows us what is good. Micah listed three things God desires. First – He wants us to show justice, the desire to receive justice is not enough. We must also be absolutely just in the way we treat others. If we have given our word, we should keep it with complete integrity. If we have people working for us, we should treat them as fairly as Jesus would. We should act justly in every relationship we have. Second, we are to love mercy. I believe that Michael also did that when you two first met, and ever since then. The knowledge that you and I, and our families who know Him received undeserved mercy from God, and that alone should motivate us. Myself, I have in the past often wondered why I am still alive but it would not be except for Him. God has shown us to give mercy to all we meet. I once had a neighbor who I could have killed let alone like, and my wife showed me that I was not to retaliate against those who have wronged us, choosing to show them mercy instead. Third God requires to have us walk humbly with Him. I still need mercy in and with this one, and yet God does not ask me for spectacular acts of service, but he continues to ask me for humility. I am and have been blessed by the humility that Michael sets before me in action and deed. I am continually blessed when you share of Michael’s love for you and the humility of it all in His walk both before your marriage and after your marriage. Thank you for sharing another part of your life with Michael with me especially. If a man can build with it, he can certainly paint words on it, even if they were solely for your eyes. 🙂 Loved the picture of the truck and sign.

  8. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Larry. I read Michael what you wrote here, and after I was done he said, “Larry and I have a bond.” 🙂

  9. Larry says:

    Yes Michael and I have a bond, we are brothers in Christ for which I am very grateful for 🙂

  10. Shari C. says:

    I love that story, Julie!
    What a sweet memory!

  11. Just Julie says:

    xxoo Shari….

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