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014Here it is…the last day of 2013!  Tonight will be the 48th New Year’s Eve that I will be spending with my wonderful husband Bill.  We celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary this past June. 

We met back in 1966 when we were in junior college and I’m the only girl he dated more than once!  We initially met at a dance, having been introduced by a mutual friend.  Unfortunately, I came down with mononucleosis that weekend, and missed three weeks of classes.   When I came back to school, I discovered Bill had been trying  to find me during that time period. 

One of my favorite stories is about our first “real” conversation in the hallway at the college after I returned to school.  I’m the oldest of four children, and have three younger brothers.  Thought I was so clever in the conversation when I said to Bill…”I’ll bet I have more brothers than you do.”  He calmly said, “No, probably not.”  After I said that I had three, I asked how many he had.  He said “Seven.” Slightly taken aback, but not to be outdone, I then exclaimed, “You don’t have any sisters!  Neither do I.”  He said he had sisters.  Imagine my surprise when I asked how many, and he said “Seven” a second time!  He’s the third oldest of 15 children from a wonderful family. 

I was intrigued.  We began dating soon after that conversation in Spring, 1966.  I knew I was falling in love, but became more enamored when I picked him up (in my Mom’s 1949 Ford) to go to a meeting on campus that April.  Four little kids were clamoring at the front door, urging me to come in, saying Bill couldn’t leave yet.  They were all so cute…and excited…because one of them had pulled the bathroom sink off the wall (while boosting herself up to see in the mirror).  Water was shooting from the pipe across the bathroom.  There he was, a sophomore in college, and he knew where to turn off the water, get the pipe re-attached and the sink back on the wall!  Since I grew up in a house with a Dad who could fix everything, I was impressed with Bill’s skills and his calmness with all those little girls and boys who couldn’t talk fast enough about what was going on and who had done what.  By July of 1966, we decided to get married but wanted to wait until he graduated from college in 1968.

We were married in June, 1968 at the height of the VietNam war.  Bill was finishing his Bachelor’s Degree.  I don’t know if we had ever even heard the term”Baby Boomers” at this point in our lives.  Little did we know how hard it would be to find jobs, even with a college degree, due to the huge number of people in our generation.  So on we went through more  years of college…a Masters followed by a Ph.D. in 1976…eight years after we were married and the birth of our only son, Josh, in 1973.  Those years of living on a shoestring budget made us stronger.  They were years of fun and busy times, making friends along the way at two universities.

We’ve been in Springfield since 1977 and live in the first and only home we’ve ever owned.   It’s great living in a 100 year old house because it seems like there’s always something we want to improve and change.  We are blessed with good families and good health.  Our son and his family live here in Springfield so we get to see all of them on a frequent and regular basis.  Words really can’t describe how great it is to be able to have a close relationship with granddaughters who only live 7 blocks away. 

We’ve belonged to the same church, St. Agnes, since 1977 and are fortunate to have a caring and like-minded parish family of friends who are loving and supportive people. 

Bill and I met at a dance and have danced our way through these years.  We exercise together several times a week at zumba and still go dancing on a regular basis.  We both love to garden and ride bikes. 

So what is romance?  It’s 45 years of me not having to make breakfast on Sunday, because he does.  He makes fantastic pizzas.  The only cleaning duty he really dislikes is dusting…he’s the one who steams the floors!  He truly can fix almost anything!  He’s kind and generous and caring.  He’ll back my car out of the garage so I don’t have to do that.  In bad weather, I get dropped off at the door of wherever we’re going.  He’ll go to the store for the forgotten ingredient, even if it’s inconvenient with his plans.  He has the patience of the proverbial “saint”. He’s a wonderful husband and Dad and Grandpa.  I pray that God continues to bless us with good health and happiness for many years to come!

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One of our favorite places to visit is New York City. My husband David and I wander for hours, holding hands, window shopping and stopping for coffee at pretty little sidewalk cafes. It’s especially romantic in the early evenings in Central Park when the horse and carriages line the avenue.

We’ve been married a long, long time and I know I’m a lucky woman to have a husband who still holds my hand everywhere we go and truly enjoys our time together no matter what we’re doing.

But, every time we are in Central Park, I ask David if we can go for a ride in one of the carriages that tours the streets, and that’s been the one wish he hasn’t granted me. I really can’t blame him because he’s more than likely anticipating a sneezing attack from being in such close proximity to a horse, but I ask anyway just in case he changes his mind.

A horse-drawn carriage passed by and I smile sweetly up at him, “David dear, could we just do a short carriage ride this year. It would be so romantic.” Imagine my surprise when this time he simply said, “Sure honey. Next one that goes by we’ll flag him down.”

We strolled down the sidewalk slowly and, sure enough, when the next carriage passed David flagged him down. I was more than a little surprised but I didn’t say anything.

We climbed up into the carriage and David asked the driver if he could do a modified trip that would last just a short time — and I laughed when David let out a great big sneeze as he finished his request to the driver! “Honey, we don’t have to do this if you’re going to be miserable” I told him.

“No, we’re on our way and I’ll be just fine!” he replied, with another big sneeze.

I sat curled in the comfort of David’s arm as we rode through the beautiful paths of the park. I was content just to be close and warm with my husband. David bent down and kissed my forehead, and when I looked up at him I saw that he was holding his hand toward me with something draped across it. It was dark in the carriage so I bent close to look. In his hand was a stunning diamond pendant.

“Honey, I want to give you this necklace as a reminder of how much I love being with you, no matter where we are or what we’re doing. I decided to give it to you on this carriage ride because I really want you to know that I’ll go anywhere with you or for you.” And he ended with a great big sneeze!

I wear the necklace all of the time and because of the love he shared when he gave it to me it has a more special meaning to me than any other gift he has ever given me.

 

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My boyfriend, Jason, is a mechanic who I met when I was going through a series of car repairs that I was beginning to think were going to drive me into bankruptcy. He kept assuring me that my car was worth repairing and that it would cost me less in the long run than buying a new car. So I just kept following his advice until finally the day arrived that he pronounced my car “as good as new”.

Jason is very shy, but as car repairs threw us together over and over, I began to see that he was a very good, honest person. I liked him more and more but wasn’t sure how to approach him, so I just kept visiting with him and finding out more about him each time I went into his shop.

On the day he announced that he had done everything he could to my car, I felt a little sad, but I still couldn’t bring myself to suggest to Jason that we see each other outside of his work.

I got in my car slowly, battling with my desire to see Jason socially and my fear of rejection. I turned to wave at him standing in the doorway of the shop and sat down in my car — or tried to sit down. I landed on something bulky in the seat and got back up to see what was there.

A teddy bear! Complete with jaunty hat and a colorful scarf around his neck. He was just so cute, and I knew Jason must have put him there. I picked him up and saw that there was an envelope hanging from his scarf so I pulled it off and opened it. I never once turned around to look at Jason. I was too afraid I’d do something completely silly!

Inside the envelope I found a dainty little gold necklace with a simple heart charm. The note that was included read, “Turn around, and I’ll be there. But, if you get into your car and drive away, I’ll have your answer.”

Of course I turned around and found myself practically nose to nose with Jason. He took the necklace from my hand and held it up between us. “Melinda, you’re the nicest girl I’ve met in a long time. I just didn’t know how to ask you out. But I knew I couldn’t let you get away from me. Will you wear this necklace when we go out to dinner together?”

That was the beginning of our relationship. Once Jason became comfortable with me his romantic nature showed itself again and again. But it’s the gold heart hanging on a chain that truly won my heart.

 

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The happy day my daughter Amber was born was a proud and happy moment for Jimmy and me.  Like all new parents, we were so proud we could burst.  Jimmy hovered anxiously over my bed while I held Amber in my arms.

Jimmy teased me baout my thorough examination of Amber as though I thought they would bring her back with parts missing–hands, arms, fingers, toes all present and accounted for.  On our last morning in the hospital, as I performed my daily inspection, I was shocked to find a little envelope tucked in the front of Amber’s diaper.  What on earth were these people doing???

I slid the envelope out of the diaper and found that rather than paper it was made of a soft satin.  I opened the envelope to find a note that read, “Our lives have changed forever, from now on it will only get better.  To remind you of this precious time, A special gift is your to find.” At the bottom of the poem it read, “When you are finished reading this note, ring for the nurse.”

I rang and the nurse came in with my usual assortment of medication and a tiny box wrapped in shimmering pink paper and a bow. I unwrapped the box and found a pair of 18K gold baby booties and just then Jimmy held out a beautiful charm bracelet.  “This is a very special occasion in our lives, the birth of our daughter.  Every year on Amber’s birthday we will add another charm significant to her life at that moment.  I love you Deb.” And he held us both close in his big warm hug.

Except From Memorable Ways to Pop the Question, The Gift of Jewelery for All Occasions With Romantic Imagination by David Richardson.

Stop in to speak with our knowledgeable staff and pick up a complimentary copy today!

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Sometimes when I see a couple wearing wedding rings, I try to imagine them on their wedding day.  There is no other purchase that will follow you throughout your journey in life.  Wedding rings are said by many to be their most prized possessions.  It is funny how special just a little piece of rocks and metal can be when given by the right person.

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Create a memorable, romantic moment to present a gift of jewelry and be crowned as the Most Romantic Couple of 2011.

We are looking for creative, meaningful moments that were made even more magical with a jewelry presentation. Stories can include engagement, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, new baby, or any special occasion marked with a gift of jewelry. A monthly finalist will be selected and featured on our website and receive a $100 gift certificate to Denney Jewelers.

Denney Jewelers will host a romantic Valentine’s Ball on Saturday, February 12, 2011 from 7-10 pm for our contest participants and valued guests. Each nominee will receive a special gift from Denney Jewelers and be recognized at the Ball. Dance Arts Studio will present a Tango lesson for all our guests and there will be tapas and treats throughout the evening. Please save the date for a perfectly romantic evening!

We will crown the “Most Romantic Couple” in Springfield 2011 at the Ball and they will reign over the romantic evening as well as winning a romantic gift package including a $500 gift certificate to Denney Jewelers a 24K real rose and other prizes. We will have a photography corner to capture the evening as well as other surprises for our monthly nominees.

Please submit a story of your romantic jewelry presentation along with a photo or video of the presentation, the recipient wearing the jewelry, a photo of the couple or another moment that represents your story.  Stories are selected by a panel of judges and may include input from posts on the website and facebook.  Share our site with your friends and best of luck to each of our couples!!

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Last updated February 5, 2017