I came to Fort Kent this past weekend to celebrate my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary. We went to a restaurant which was also the dance hall where they had their reception.
They got married in October because that's when they had their money from picking potatoes. They had both worked all summer to save up the money for their wedding. It was a whole day event involving an 8 am wedding ceremony, lunch, visiting families, then having a big dance.
After they were married, my grandfather invited her back to live at the family farm (which is what his other married siblings had done) but my grandmother said "No way". Instead, they got their own apartment. It cost $5 a month. They made due and by the time they got their car ($25 a month payment), their rent had gone up to $5 a week.
If we think about it today, it doesn't seem like a lot my grandfather said tonight but I am pretty sure back then it was substantial, especially for a young couple starting out.
I asked what the secret was to staying married that long. My grandfather leaned over.
"Well, I didn't tell her I loved her enough at the beginning but then I started telling her more and more."
"When was that?" I asked.
"About 20, 25 years ago."
"I always tried to give her more then she gave me, and she did the same."
My grandfather is a quiet man who doesn't say a lot so when he does talk, you tend to listen well.
Maybe it is that simple. It's nice to think that doing your best for the other person can help gather a family 60 years later for a nice meal.
Tonight, my grandmother insisted on paying. She laughed when she opened the check; it cost more then her entire wedding had all those years ago. I'm lucky to have such kind generous people in my life.