Our family sent us beautiful flowers to brighten our sixtieth wedding anniversary. Our happiness was dimmed by the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, but we counted our blessings for surviving sixty years of marriage. The road has been long, with many hills to climb. Sixty years ago today we left Laramie WY for Salt Lake City to get married. I was a senior in college. I was 20, my soon-to-be wife was 19. We thought we could figure things out as we went along. And we did. Our journey led us to five universities, four college degrees, 45 years of teaching in four universities, numerous jobs for my wife, five children, nineteen grandchildren, and seventeen great grandchildren. My wife bravely and uncomplainingly went along with my journey through the halls of higher education and our complicated moves. We count our blessings. First, we give thanks for the fact that we are still here and still together to share our lives with one another. Second, we give thanks for our family. Third, we give thanks for the strength we derive from our religious faith. Fourth, we give thanks for the material resources we need for daily life. Fifth, we give thanks for the many health care professionals who have been so kind and supportive in taking care of our health.
Finally, I give my own thanks for my college friend who set me up with a blind date the first week I was in Laramie to attend the University of Wyoming with a 16-year old blonde with blue eyes who was then a junior at Laramie High School. I was 17 when I left home with no money and a cardboard box full of belongings thinking I could make my way through the University. Three years later, we decided to get married. We never really questioned whether we could make it. We just figured things out from day to day and, miraculously, everything worked out, and here we are. We owe many people, many friends, debts of love and gratitude. But my biggest debt I owe to a cute, kind, and gentle girl who cast her lot with me and who has loyally and patiently persevered with me through all of life's trials and joys.