Marriage Rules

This week I'm with the Phenix side of the family on a trip celebrating the achievement of a lifetime - my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary!  We are thrilled to be spending the week together and will have a special dinner where everyone in the family reads a letter saying what we’ve learned from Frances & Rees, aka “Nandy & Poppy.” I barely know where to begin my note, so I'm simply summarizing their unwritten, but well documented marriage rules. I thought you'd enjoy the list because after 50 years of marriage, clearly this worked for them!  Here we go...

Marriage Rules  a la Frances & Rees (with real-life visuals!)

  1. Laugh first.
  2. Love God.
  3. Love others.
  4. Love dogs.
  5. Don't just eat your food, dissect it (like the turkey heart at Thanksgiving).
  6. Prioritize family.
  7. Teach what you've been taught.
  8. Feed squirrels and birds, but never deer (because they eat the azalea bushes).
  9. Tell Stories.
  10. Go Jackets!
  11. Be a good neighbor.
  12. Welcome everyone.
  13. Fly Delta.
  14. Call often.
  15. Attend big events.
  16. You're never too old to Trick or Treat.
  17. Your presence is your present.
  18. Work together (& carry Grandkids when you're in a crowd).
  19. Pound cake is always appropriate. (Can I get an "Amen?!")
  20. Enjoy the fruits of your grabbing a little time in the sun/shade.
  21. Have fun.
  22. Tchotchkes have stories too.
  23. Make silly faces.
  24. Travel together.
  25. Laugh ... even more.
  26. Hop on the shoulders.
  27. Do anything for a picture ... (and multi-task)
  28. Be amazed.
  29. Matching clothes?  Why not!
  30. Love unconditionally.
  31. You’re never too old for Disney.
  32. Safety first (especially on the boat).
  33. Go with the flow.
  34. When you're at the lake, the “front yard” faces the water, but the front door is “Outback.” (I still don't understand this...)
  35. Trees have feelings too.
  36. Dress for the season!
  37. Learn new things! (like Geocaching)
  38. Relax.
  39. Embrace new family (and don't worry about toddler moods!)
  40. Share.
  41. Play! Play! Play!
  42. Hug as many as possible.
  43. Eskimo kiss often.
  44. 5:00 is wine time.
  45. Hold hands.
  46. Fish every day, if possible.
  47. Smile.
  48. Naps should be on a hammock.
  49. Finish together.
  50. Laugh all the way to the end.

What a legacy these two have made!  Between the Phenix in-laws and my parents (Fletch & Gail), there are 103 years of marriage.  Remarkable!! Few in life ever cross the 50-year mark and I can only begin to  tell you what a privilege it is to have a front row seat.

Happy Happy HAPPY Anniversary!!!  I'm looking forward to learning more from you in the coming years.