Lavender and Olive Contest

In 1982, my husband (then fiancé) and I taught at the same high school. Dale and I planned our wedding for winter break, saving money by holding the ceremony in my parent’s backyard. The Christmas decorations were still up. We hand-wrote our wedding invitations, and I bought my dress off a sale rack in Carmel. We ordered a cake and purchased some champagne, but little else as we lived on teachers’ salaries. We asked a friend to photograph the event.

Two days before the wedding, I came down with the flu—possibly the Norovirus as I couldn’t keep anything down—and my family teased me that it must be wedding jitters. By the time of the wedding, I improved, but immediately after we spoke our vows, Dale wore that same seasick expression. He crashed on my parent’s bed, while I entertained our guests. Of course, we had no honeymoon and returned to Monterey as soon as he recovered.

Forty years later, we’re still together, having weathered a few fires and floods, and more viruses. We raised three wonderful daughters. We taught at the same high schools (Seaside High and Salinas High) for thirty-five years—Dale taught science and music, while I taught science and English. Recently, we retired to Julian to be closer to our family and grandchildren. Our home is a fixer-upper and a rebuild after the Cedar Fire, but we have time to do the work. Dale labors nine-to-five repairing the house or working the yard, keeping our place fire safe. I plant daffodils, tulips, and lavenders, and preserve most of what we grow in our garden. I play with this blog. He performs trail work with Cuyamaca Rancho. Our lives are rich and full. Juntos nosotros estudiamos Duo Spanish todos los dias, struggling to become bilingual.

The video I am sharing is Dale performing “La La Means I Love You,” from the movie, “Family Man.” In the film, the character Jack Campbell (played by Nick Cage) sings that song to his wife, Kate Reynolds (played by Tea Leone) every year for her birthday. If you have not seen “Family Man,” it is a modern remake of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and it’s one of our favorite films.

This is us. We would do this again if given the chance. Thank you for watching.

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