Just One Look


Today is our 38th wedding anniversary, my husband Ed and me. We met at the end of August, 1973. We got engaged on September 13th, three weeks later. We married on Groundhog’s Day 1974. And we have belonged to each other, heart and soul, ever since. Good times and bad, we have tried (and sometimes struggled) with our handwritten wedding vows. I deliberately left out any mention of God when writing those vows, not because of my beliefs, but to honor my husband’s agnostic ones. But my father, whose sense of humor I inherited,  decided to insert God into the portion of the ceremony where he read his wishes for us. A special memory. We were married by a minister, nonetheless, a dear family friend, the Reverend Bob DeWolfe.  Our wedding was held at the Red Castle Inn, on one of the hills overlooking the river which once flowed through Nevada City, CA. There is a freeway there now.

It was my second marriage. The first one, what they call now a ‘starter marriage’ broke almost before it began. Ed and I met, almost accidentally, and I know that people say that someone was “meant to be” right from the start, but all I really know is that I saw him standing outside my sister’s apartment door, raising his eyebrow at me, and I was struck dumb. If you know me, you’ll know that isn’t a typical occurrence! He was different from the other boys (oh, sorry, wrong plot line…) tall, dark and yes, handsome. I had always liked athletic blonds before, stocky monkey arms…ah well. that was before.

I was 21. He was 29.

THEN:

NOW:

I consider myself part of an unusual marriage; one in which we have both learned and grew in wisdom, understanding and love for one another. He has accepted the changes in my personality – increased feminism and temperamental moodiness – and I have embraced the changes in him – increased need for quiet and peace, and an isolationist personality.  The road is not always smooth, but we managed to have two children together, raise them in love and with the intent to make them and our marriage part of a unique family unit. Our kids are grown up now, and we have grandsons, but we have never stopped looking at each other with smiles, laughing at the absurdities of life, and loving what we have made together.

Neither of us has enjoyed good health, but somehow the illnesses brought us closer together, understanding the fragility of the human body, and the limitations that time puts on us as we continue to tread the one-way path to the future, whatever happens. When asked what the “secret” of our marriage has been, I always say, our ability to laugh at ourselves, and with one another, and a deep, abiding friendship with one another. I have made lots of bad choices in my lifetime – marrying Ed was definitely NOT one of them!

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About ReaderWoman

Professional reader and researcher for writers - Reviewer and Editor for online book review sites - AVID reader (well, duh!) writer, crafter (sewing, jewelry, fiber art) photographer, herb gardener, love to learn new things - Married 38 years, 2 "kids" (now 30 and 32) and two grands (9 & 11) Born and raised California Girl, with stints in Tennessee, learning to speak Southern, and Arizona, learning that living in a trailer is NOT fun! Enjoy conversations with wine and chocolate, long walks and being with hubby and family. Life is good!
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32 Responses to Just One Look

  1. Diana Waldman says:

    Laura, this is beautiful! Happy Anniversary!

  2. susanideus says:

    Love the pictures! And I love the story of you two together. Happy anniversary!! Wishes for many more years filled with the blessings of love & laughter.

  3. Dear Laura and Ed,
    This tribute to your relationship choked me up.

  4. judithatwood says:

    Happy Anniversary to you and Ed, and I hope for you many more happy years together!

  5. Zazzu says:

    What a smile my face had as I read this. It is so nice to read about happiness and joy. Hugs to both of you, Madi

  6. Zazzu says:

    I hadn’t seen your pictures. What a darling couple you were and are.

    • ReaderWoman says:

      Several have commented that our children look now as we did when we were young – my daughter, like me, and my son like Ed. I never really noticed before, but I guess there are some similarities! :)

  7. So beautiful! You guys are so cool!!!

  8. Barb says:

    Happy Anniversary. those Pictures capture so much. I love the phrase “one-way path to the future.”

  9. Laura Hodge says:

    You made me cry, dear friend. Sometimes I miss you guys so much it is almost a physical ache. As I sat here and looked at the “now” picture of you I could not help but find myself remembering my 35-year marriage and wishing Walt and I had made different turns in the twisting path that was our union. I will always be grateful for the support I got from you and Ed as I ended it. Someone once asked me if I missed Walt and I had to answer that I had missed the man I married for a very long time but that I would never miss the man I divorced. Somehow, I feel blessed knowing that my friends, Laura and Ed, will never have to face those feelings, that they will always love — and be in love with — the person they married.

    • ReaderWoman says:

      A lovely tribute – I have always regretted that you and Walt couldn’t make a go it – but perhaps unlike others I fully understand why there was no going forward there! There should be some commas in that previous sentence but I ain’t fixin’ em! ;)

  10. Laura Hodge says:

    Shit. How in the world could I manage to make a post about your anniversary sound like it was all about me? I did not see that until after it had posted. My apologies. I just wanted to say how happy I am for you and how proud I am to be your friend and how much I appreciate both of you. I think I said it poorly. So…straight out…I am joyfully happy for both of you. I am proud to say I know Ed and Laura Hulka and can call them my friends. I appreciate every moment I have ever spent with both of you. (Even card games with poor Ed trying to keep the dog off his elbow.)

    • ReaderWoman says:

      You made me laugh – sure remember the games and the dog licking! I haven’t played mah jongg since you left! :( I think you need to retire to California!

      • Laura Hodge says:

        When I tell the story I always include the bit about the Tabasco sauce and how that only made him more irresistible to her. She never did that to anybody but Ed. Poor guy. (To those reading this and thinking this is an inside story, it is. But, I will share; I’m sure Ed won’t mind. My ex and I had lovely boxers, but Belle had no manners at all (until I got her to myself and then she was awesome!). When Laura and Ed would come over to play games with us (usually Tripoly or MahJong), for some bizarre reason, she would lick Ed’s elbow. Incessantly. One night he came prepared: He had put Tabasco sauce on his elbow. It was quite hysterical to see how much more tasty he was that night. We would actually have to put a leash on her and keep her at our side to get her off the poor guy.) Laura, my retirement plans are in constant flux. I change my mind weekly. You will probably be glad to hear that I have given up the idea of Mexico.

  11. Zazzu says:

    Dear Laura Hodge, I commiserate with you! A few years ago, and I would have been the same way. A broken heart is not fun. It takes awhile. But, isn’t it great when a marriage like Laura and Ed’s comes along and gives us hope. I’ll never even have a 25th anniversary and was so looking forward to that goal. I’d have to live to be over a hundred now and get married tomorrow. LOL

    Here’s to best wishes. Madi

    • ReaderWoman says:

      Sweet Madi! I said to Ed yesterday that I wanted to make it to 75 years, and he looked at me and said, uh, I’d be 105!!!!

    • Laura Hodge says:

      Madi, surprising as this may sound, divorce was the best thing I could have done for my broken heart. The moment I had finally made the decision I was free. The day it was final I was jubilant. It has been eight years and I have had a wonderful time rediscovering myself and living the way I want to live. I am ecstatic for Laura and Ed; they truly do have exactly the relationship she described. I did not have a relationship worth describing, although poor Laura had to sit through many a wine-soaked evening listening to my diatribe as I purged the previous 35 years.
      Thanks for your best wishes (and know that there is no reward for sticking with a bad marriage just so you can make it to that 25th year). Laura :)

      • ReaderWoman says:

        One of these days Laura Hodge (aka Rabia) Madi and Laura the Hulka are gonna get together and rock the house! :)

      • Zazzu says:

        I totally agree with you Laura. I divorced at year 13 – at it was a wonderful thing. I did wait for my kids to get older – I wanted a divorce at year 7 but waited awhile. Kids were both glad when it happened.

      • Laura Hodge says:

        Madi, I wish I had had the guts, wisdom, strength to leave my husband the first time I wanted to. Oh, wait. That would have been before I got pregnant with my daughter. Nope. I wanted her and and my son. I wish I had been wise enough, strong enough, brave enough to leave him when my kids were small, before the damage was done. I was stupid and cowardly and waited until they were all grown up. My daughter said, “What took you so long?” Sad. Good for you!!

      • Zazzu says:

        Sounds like we have similar stories in many ways. I wish I were brave as a friend of mine was. When his Daddy hollered at his Mom and verbally abused her (he was 5 years old) he told his Daddy never to talk that way again. And, it worked. I, as a 5 year old would run and hide when My Dad went on the rampage. I was scared. Oh, to have the innate knowledge my friend had. So, my problem was 2nd generation. It was a pattern that was set by my Dad and that I followed. There was never any yelling but there was the mental abuse, just the same. Madi

  12. Zazzu says:

    Talk about Boxer dogs – we have two of them – the clowns of the universe. They do unspeakable things sometimes. We love em to death!

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