June 28, 1981

June 28, 2011 | My Jottings

Very early in the morning on June 28, 1981, I was preparing to marry a man I’d spent time with only once.

He was 32 and I was 23. We met because of his Aunt Yvonne, who was my dear friend at Beale Air Force Base in northern California, when I was married to the man who would eventually leave me and our two daughters.

A couple of years later, I got to know Michael through the mail and daily phone calls. After our three-month, long-distance courtship, we were married in a small ceremony at 9:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning, in Los Osos, California. My daughters and I moved from Southern California to start a life with him in northeastern Minnesota, and I’ve felt at home here ever since.

You can see a picture of Michael and me on our wedding day by clicking here.

Here’s what I thought I knew about Michael on June 28, 1981:

He was handsome.
A devoted Christian who really had a thing for Jesus.
Had nice muscles.
Had kind eyes.
He did not hide that he was crazy about me.

Here’s what I know without a doubt about him on June 28, 2011:

He is still handsome, in his grizzled sort of way.
He still has nice muscles.
His eyes are even more kind, and reflect the true kindness of his heart.
He still has a thing for Jesus, and nothing has dampened that fire. Not the sudden death of loved ones, not unanswered prayer, not the cruelty of Parkinson’s disease. Yes, Michael still has a thing for Jesus, and it is the foundation of our whole life.
His hard work has blessed our family time and time again over the years.
His smile still makes me smile.
He loved this song when he was younger, and still does very disturbing things when he hears it today.
He cries easily.
He is extremely generous.
He’s humble and doesn’t ever boast about himself or want to draw attention to himself.
When he cuts his fingernails he holds his hands up and smiles at me, because we know it’s “Blade Time.” We sit down on the couch and he scratches my legs, back and arms with his “blades,” while I moan and become semi-conscious.  🙂
He loves birds and dogs, and it seems all birds and dogs love him back.
He has never touched another woman in 30 years.
He will never touch another woman as long as we both shall live.
He loves and respects old people.
He thinks everything I cook is delicious, even though that couldn’t possibly be true.
He believes his daughters are the five most stellar women in the world.
He chooses to think the best about every person.
Whenever his wife feels like she’s losing her grip, he steadies her.
He doesn’t care for poetry.
He experienced and survived things in war that would have ruined other men.
He can’t dance.
He doesn’t ever tell people what to do.
He knows and loves flowers, and enjoys receiving bouquets.
He loves a Culver’s Butterburger at least once a month.
He’s always willing to do something goofy, and can poke fun at himself.
He loves India and Israel, and has been to neither place.
Whenever we learn of a need, he’s quick to take my hand so we can pray together.
He always forgives, and quickly.
He never forgets the blessed forgiveness of Jesus.
He still sings and points at me when we hear this song.
In his heart, he still likes to build things.
He does not hide that he’s still crazy about me after thirty years (I will never get over this one.)

When I wished him a happy anniversary this morning and teased that he was married to an old bag, he smiled and hugged me and said, “I love everything about this old bag.”

And we laughed together.

After thirty difficult, wondrous, faithful, boring, exhilarating, surprising, predictable, blessed, miraculous years….we still laugh together.

Happy Anniversary Michael!

Have I told you lately that I love you?


  1. Ginny the Yalker..."One Who Can Yarn Talk" says:

    The payoff of staying married is well worth the climb! Whadda view!
    Happy Anniversay to two darlings, my Jewel and Mickey!

  2. Just Julie says:

    I agree Ginny….you and Pete are fine examples of that too. LY.

  3. Helen in Switzerland says:

    You just brought a tear to my eyes Julie – what a wonderful post and what an incredible man you obviously married. (sigh….altogether a wonderful romantic story…..sigh!!)

  4. Just Julie says:

    Why thank you Helen! I appreciate your very nice comments….btw, your socks are coming along beautifully. Check out Helen’s blog, folks!

  5. Ganeida says:

    Congrats. ? No mean feat in today’s age. You do have a thing for lists, don’t you! lol

  6. Just Julie says:

    I do. Listmaking is in my blood, I think, because I have relatives who do the same thing, and we didn’t grow up together.

  7. Dorothy says:

    Happy Anniversary Michael and Julie, God really knows what He is doing when He brought you two together. I will never forget when the Oprah Winfrey show called you to be on her show because of the unique
    way you met. You turned them down because of an important speaking commitment that you had. God Bless.

  8. Gail says:

    Congratulations Michael and Julie! What a beautiful list, and I can recognize Michael in all of the things you wrote, Julie. Also, he is a lucky guy to have you! Blessings to you both for many wonderful memories to come! Love you – Gail

  9. Sharon says:

    Happy anniversary to my mama and daddy! I like the picture of him — he looks happy. 🙂

  10. Just Julie says:

    Dorothy, Gail and Sharon – thank you, all three. 🙂

  11. Kay says:

    Happy Anniversary Julie and Michael!!
    Life can be so random…this was the second reference to ‘The Trashmen’ in a week…a friend was showing me a picture of he and his wife posing with them just earlier this week…apparently they met at a back to the fifties car show. According to this friend, they are currently very popular in Europe. -Ha!

  12. Just Julie says:

    Isn’t that strange how that happens, Kay? I had never heard of them until recently. I knew the song because Michael has regaled us with it for years. 🙂

  13. sue raimo says:

    Reading this post reminded me of a comment one of Rick’s bus tour passengers related to him regarding her husband of almost 50 years.

    ” When I married him I won the lottery”

  14. Just Julie says:

    I love that quote, Sue. I think that’s how I feel. 🙂 You’re pretty rich in that way too….. 🙂

  15. Ember says:

    Hope you had a happy time on your anniversary. I had *never heard* “Surfin’ Bird” before, and I like Michael even more now I have. This song by the Dubliners doesn’t anywhere near match it for sheer lunacy, but I feel the singers may have originated from the same song school.
    God bless the two of you in the road you travel together xxx

  16. Ember says:

    Oh – just in case you wanted to sing along:

  17. Just Julie says:

    This was terrific – how can you not tap your foot to this? I needed the lyrics to understand what they were singing, Ember! I should take a video of Michael doing his spontaneous “Irish jig” when he heard this song. 🙂

  18. Jessica says:

    Congratulations! You two are adorable!!!!

    And when I listened to “the bird is the word” I couldn’t help but think of your cardinal. =)

  19. Just Julie says:

    Jessica, I am so dense sometimes. Never have I thought of that song in relation to cardinals until you mentioned it. Of course the cardinal bird is the word for us! Thank you for making me aware of that. :p

  20. Susan A. Reed says:

    Oh how I loved reading this! This is how Jesus would want a Christian marriage to be!! love to you both~Susan

  21. Just Julie says:

    Our marriage has looked like Jesus wants it to, and many times not so much, Susan. Thank you for stopping in! xxoo

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