47 years ago, my best friend and I were married!
I met Vern at the beginning of my third year (1963) at Western Bible Institute, which later became Colorado Christian University.
Vern was a cute, young man from Western Kansas. He made me laugh the first time I talked to him. I was part of the 'welcoming' committee for the new students, and had the privilege of showing him around the campus.
As the year progressed, and we were in a lot of the same classes, I go to know him better. He would sit to the side, behind me, and when I looked at him, he's raise his eyebrows, one at a time, at me. I think he was flirting with me.
I had a job at a hospital from 3-11, and the school asked him if he'd be willing to drive me back to the campus, because his hours were the closest to mine. He graciously agreed, and we had a lot of rides and time to talk. We became best friends!
Our first 'official' date was going to a Youth For Christ rally in Denver, CO.
I graduated with a diploma in Bible in the spring of 1964.
He returned home to KS to work on the family farm, that summer, but wrote me letters every day, and I answered them. He invited me to meet his family, so I made the trip. Needless to say, I was nervous. Vern was the oldest of eight children, and his father had passed away the week before he turned 16. I figured his mom would be apprehensive about his getting serious about a girl. It was a needless apprehensiveness!
On July 13, 1964, he proposed to me. I accepted. I went back to Denver, and he stayed in KS to get the wheat crop harvested, and in the fall, he came back to WBI. I took some additional classes, and we became closer, and more in love.
On June 13, 1965, we were married in the chapel of WBI. It was a beautiful day, filled with our wonderful families and friends. Billy Renstrom sang for us, and Miss Elsie played the organ. There were around 100 people that shared in our day. We had a lovely reception of cake, punch, coffee, mints and nuts. (We couldn't afford to pay for a meal for everyone like is done today!)
We had one night for a honeymoon, in CO. Springs, CO, because Vern had to be back to work the next day. He was a swing shift supervisor at the Samsonite Factory.
Vern had bought us a brand new mobile home. We were so happy to have our own home! It was so cute!
3 days after we were married, the Platte River flooded from all the rain. The picture in the article is close to where we lived. Vern and his cousin's husband were the last ones to cross the river to the west side that night. His cousin and I went to my folk's home to wait out the night. Remember, there were no cell phones. We weren't sure what was happening. There was no 24 hour news coverage either.
They made it to my mom and dad's home about 1 AM. The next day, we went to see the damage. The National Guard was out there, and wouldn't let anyone in the area unless they could prove they lived there. The only thing we had was our public service receipt, so Vern, snuck down to our home and found it. We got in to the area and saw our new home about half a mile south of where it had been parked. Gates Rubber company was to the south of us, and the tires, and some lumber, went under our trailer, and picked it up and floated it down the river.
The only damage we could see was a hole in one wall where a piece of lumber went through, and a candy dish slid off the coffee table and turned over. There was a whole pitcher of Koolaid in the refrigerator, but none spilled.
We contacted the insurance company, and they arranged to have it repaired. We went to live with different family members, and friends. That wasn't the way we'd imagined our new life to be!
All in all, we were away from our new home for 13 weeks. We finally got back into our home after it was moved to a mobile home park in Morrison. CO.
As we finally got to go through out wedding gifts and our wedding book, we found that many of our new things had been stolen. Needless to say, I wasn't a very happy bride, but we survived! We came out secure in our new lives together!
Since then, we've had 3 beautiful children, who've made us grandparents of beautiful, smart, cheerful grandchildren.
We moved to Western KS, 7 years after we were married, and have been in our current home for 36 years!
We praise the Lord for our love for each other, and His love and protection for us over the years.
Thank you, sweet Vern for these wonderful years!