“33 and Counting”

June 18, 1988

Thirty three years ago. on a sunny Saturday in Portland, Oregon, Charlie and I brought our lives, our three children and one dog together “until death do us part.” We had very traditional vows(minus the obey) and a simple ceremony at a Friends church in front of around 100 friends and family. We hosted a very low key, alcohol free reception in the church basement complete with nuts, coffee, punch and wedding cake. The church women decorated the tables and cleaned up for us.

We had some idea of the obstacles before us, each entering into our second marriage with children from the first. Our pastor had taken us through over a year of weekly premarital sessions making sure there was nothing we hadn’t discussed before we said “I do.” But we had yet to live with each other which was sure to present new challenges. Fortunately the congregation in a Quaker ceremony basically weds the couple and promises to support them in their marriage. Especially during that first year we leaned heavily on fellow congregants to do just that.

We have weathered a lot but are still thriving together. Our kids are in their forties now, on their own. We are looking for a new puppy to replace our recent loss of Grace. We own our home, a couple of cars and the accumulation of many years of treasured art and possessions.

I would do it again in a heartbeat.

41 thoughts on ““33 and Counting”

  1. Happy Anniversary, Elizabeth! Your reflection is warm and loving. My cousin became a Quaker, and his wedding at an old Friends church is one I will never forget. For a lover of history and architecture, sitting in the old church with floor to ceiling windows was, well, humbling. Then, there was the ceremony. It was not what I expected. People were encouraged to stand and speak. The whole ceremony focused on the congregation saying beautiful words to the bride and groom, and showing their love and support. And then, there was the signing of the certificate. This might be the wrong word. The line was long, and everyone was eager to sign. Did that happen in your wedding?


  2. Congratulations, Elizabeth. The best line is that you would do it all over again in a heartbeat. We’ll be hitting thirty-five years in about six weeks.


  3. Congratulations! With the divorce rate higher than ever, the commitment of you and your husband to make sure that your marriage continues to work after 33 years is inspiring.


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