Words of Wisdom for Our 34th Anniversary

Sep 13, 2021 | 2 comments

Dale and Bill Little September 22, 1934

Yesterday, I came across two items of significance in my ongoing efforts to tidy up the crevices and corners of this old house — those places where the detritus of three generations has been carefully set aside for “someone” “someday” to deal with.  Recently, I’ve been reviewing and discarding the paper keepsakes — mostly of my own — and found a huge (11″x 14″) manilla envelope stuffed with letters from my folks between the years 1976 and 1990.

Those were their retirement years — the years that they did a lot of travelling which, for their first forty-some years together they could not afford to do.  Not money-wise; not time-wise.  The letters and cards and interesting clippings told of their adventures and mishaps, asked me to look after various domestic details at home for them and, mostly, reflected their total enjoyment of not only “the moment” but of the great privilege of life in general.

Two items, nestled together, said it all: first, the invitation to their 50th wedding anniversary which involved seven (count ’em seven) big events and asked that RSVPs be sent to me; and, second, a thank-you letter from the two of them written from Hawaii where Charlie and I (apparently) had sent them as a surprise anniversary gift.  The celebrations (repeating of vows, receptions, dinners etc.) were planned in the greatest detail by mom and dad, themselves.  And no matter what they said, Charlie and I have NO memory of sending them off to Hawaii.

My mother’s words in the letter were perfect in every respect. I’ll share a few of them here for you to enjoy whether or not you knew my folks and whether or not you’ve been involved in a significant anniversary celebration of your own.

Sydney and Charlie at Bill and Dale’s 50th

Dear Daughter… What a super celebration we had thanks to  your very efficient handling of all the last minute details.  Everyone has mentioned what perfect hosts you and Charlie were…
Your father and I both agree that we accomplished our mission in life when we “Diddled” and produced you and you “Diddled” and brought forth Charlie.  We didn’t stop at half best, but we produced the top best…
We will always remember our Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration as the most rewarding time of our lives.  Weddings are filled with great expectations — fifty years later it is nice to survey the years and realize that what you were dreaming in your youth might not have been too realistic, what you gain over the years takes a lot of work and play — love and laughter — grief and tears which all add up to a life with substance that could not be attained if all of your youthful wishes were granted by the wave of a magic wand…

My father added:  Hi!  Just to say (also) thanks — we all had a great time.  We’ll do it again!?  Love, Dad!

All words to live by on this, our 34th!


  1. Linda Johnson

    34! That’s impressive! Wishing you a happy anniversary celebration, even if it’s on a Monday.

  2. Harry and Linda Schleef

    Congratulations! Our love to you on your anniversary.


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