Thirty-five years ago the bridesmaids wore yellow

To contemplate a never-ending circle

To contemplate a never-ending circle

Thirty-five years ago the bridesmaids wore yellow.

A hot yellow sun oven-baked the Methodist church on September 9th, 1978.  We sweltered.  We sweated.

(OK, maybe it rained.  Maybe the bridesmaids wore baby blue and maybe we married in the Presbyterian Church, which would seem more logical, as my family was Presbyterian.  Maybe it wasn’t September 9th.  Maybe it wasn’t even THAT hot.  The truth is my memory of this day feels fuzzy, hazy, hovering almost out of reach. Someone like Christie, my maid-of-honor, would remember.  My mom and Barry’s mom would remember.  But it’s too early on a Monday morning to call them so you’re just going to get the version that could be the truth.  I’m sure it’s the truth.)

To contemplate a ring

To contemplate a ring

I was a twenty-one year old baby.  Wet behind the ears.  Barry was a twenty-two year old baby.  (Oh no, we’ll probably get divorced after he reads that sentence tonight!)

We met in journalism school at Ferris State College down in the Lower Peninsula in 1976 and he followed me to Michigan State University to round out our degree.

We were head-over-heels in love.

The bridesmaids wore yellow. The photographer said, "Show a little garter."

The bridesmaids wore yellow. The photographer said, “Show a little garter.”

Today is our 35th wedding anniversary.  Surely thirty-five years haven’t passed that quickly.  Surely we’re not grownups now.

Surely time doesn’t fly as fast as “Sunrise, Sunset”, the song from Fiddler on the Roof that someone sang as our wedding.

Surely we don’t have two kids with kittens of their own.  😉

Barry's brother escorts his parents up the aisle

Barry’s brother escorts his parents up the aisle

Did these young faces once exist?

Still so innocent, not yet lived through pains of childbirth, through temper tantrums, through not enough money to buy an answering machine.

Still dreaming of moving somewhere north, north, way up there in the land of deep snows and frozen lakes, way up above the Arctic Circle maybe, what do you think, Kathy, let’s move to Alaska.

And Kathy, head-over-heels in love nodding, oh yes, Barry, let’s go north, north, north and live happily ever after in a cabin the woods like pioneers, shall we?

My brothers escort Mom up the aisle

My brothers escort Mom up the aisle

Are you imagining we lived happily ever after?

Without a fight?  Without anger, negativity, frustration, confusion, indecision, regret, pain?

Silly you.

Relationships require work and commitment.  Every human emotion will arise.  Life will throw dirt on the prettiest of dreams.

The wise ones say:  It’s all about communication.  Do you both care enough to communicate, over and over again, attempting to make the other understand what often feels vague and confusing and not-knowing?

Kathy and Dad...

Kathy and Dad…

Thirty-five years pass and we’re still revealing secrets to one another, shades of gray, half-truths and full truths, ins and outs.  He’s still rolling his eyes at my ridiculous habit of continually putting leftovers in smaller and smaller dishes.  I’m still rolling my eyes at the way he can talk about fishing for hours, I swear hours.

At the reception

At the reception

Before finishing this little trip down Memory Aisle I would like to thank my parents–and Barry’s parents–for modeling the possibility of a good long-term relationship.

For supporting us in so many ways over the years as we lived out our pioneer dreams on the shores of Lake Superior, way, way up north (but not as far as Alaska, thank goodness.)

We do the Hokey Pokey and we turn ourselves around

We do the Hokey Pokey and we turn ourselves around

Life’s been a Hokey Pokey, a laugh and a cry, seriousness and silliness, all combined.

I don't know any of these people.  I swear I don't.

I don’t know any of these people. I swear I don’t.

Who would have thought all those years ago that one day our wedding would feel like a distant memory, something that happened long long ago?

Thank you, Barry, for being you.

Thank you for building our Little House in the Big Woods.

Thank you for thirty-five years together.

True love

True love

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in September 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

61 Responses to Thirty-five years ago the bridesmaids wore yellow

  1. What a beautiful post! Happy Anniversary. In this world, thirty-five years is a true achievement because too many people run away from the hard work of a committed relationship. What lovely photos and what a wonderful life.

  2. You were (and still are) adorable–thanks for this walk down memory lane–I really enjoyed it–I was married four years later than you guys, but I must say that your observations about marriage are spot on–it is one heck of a roller coaster ride–but I must say the highs are a lot more fun than the lows–Congratulations on your anniversary – 35 years is a wonderful milestone

  3. elmer says:

    Oh sweet. “One season following another, laden with happiness and tears….” Hail to you both

  4. Reggie says:

    Happy, Happy Anniversary, dear Kathy and Barry of the Little House in the Woods! What a wonderful walk down memory lane – and such beautiful photos of your wedding day. Lots and lots of love and congratulations!

  5. Your photos look very much like ours…we are 5 years behind Barry and you.

  6. sybil says:

    How wonderful that you found each other and made your relationship work.

    Did I write that ?

    When what I wanted to write was: “HOW many shades of grey?” .

    Happy Anniversary !

    Could you really live in the same state as Sarah Palin ?

    Gawd — I’m in incorrigible !

  7. Robert Papps says:

    Thank you for putting a smile on my face and maybe just a little tear in my eye!

  8. Susan D says:

    Oh, my goodness — silly, sweet tears here. Such a lovely post, filled with 35 years’ worth of memories, sentiments, and tribute. The pictures of you and Barry, separately and together, are stunning. Happy, Happy Anniversary to you and Barry — one of my favorite ever married couples. Wishes for many, many more years together.

  9. How precious and absolutely beautiful, Kathy! You are SO right about relationships requiring lots and lots of work. Congratulations to you and Barry on committing to that work for 35 years! May blessings continue to abound. Happy Anniversary, my friend!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  10. Heather says:

    Happy anniversary to you both! So much love and wisdom in this post. Relationships do take work, but it’s not the kind of hard work that no one wants to do (I don’t think). I agree with the wise ones: it’s all about communication and commitment – to each other AND to the relationship. You have to value the relationship over being right. Even if it does make sense to put the leftovers into a smaller dish – or if every single detail of the fishing trip is really important 😉 Love from under da bridge!

  11. Elisa says:

    thank you for trying to show me or teach me about that flexing thing, I still feel inadequate with it–so I just say when stuck how inadequate I feel. It helps a lot. 🙂

  12. Barb says:

    What a beautiful post! Congratulations to you both, and have a wonderful 35th Anniversary!

  13. Lori D says:

    I’m a little closer to you today, Kathy, in Chicago, but oh so far away from my husband back home (but not in heart). Happy Anniversary sweet Kathy. May you be blessed with another thirty-five. We were so naïve, weren’t we? I tend to cry for joy and for sorrow at weddings, because little do they know the myriad of experiences they are about to embark on in their journey called marriage. Happy Hugs.

  14. Kathy & Barry – happy, Happy, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

    A good marriage is hard. A great marriage is damn hard — I oughta know, like you two, Len and I have a great marriage 🙂

  15. Such an eloquent tribute to an obviously special marriage. Congrats to both of you!

  16. Happy anniversary Kathy to you and Barry 🙂 Your fussy trip down memory lane has been a great start to my day. Wish for you both many more wild dreams and honest conversations about possibility, love, caring and anything that matters… even fishing.

  17. marion says:

    Happy anniversary to the couple up north.Who live in a part of Michigan that I have not seen. I was usually on the other side of the state in Sanilac county when ever I went to that state. Going thru Jenny’s pictures in her many photo albums, I am finding pictures of you (and the family) that eventually I will send to you. I hope you have a wonderful day.

  18. Happy, happy day today for you and Barry. No marriage is a picnic but most often it can be a banquet.

    Reading your posts has given me an idea that the the two of you are well suited and that you are both happy about your marriage. And that it has been successful. Two wonderful children and a home in the north woods- lovely I think.

    Also the pictures are precious especailly the last one which made me cry. Too sweet for words.

  19. Kiah says:

    So sweet! Thanks for being such wonderful parents! You are an inspiration to me! Love you xoxoxo

  20. Barb says:

    Oh gosh, I always cry at weddings – even ones that happened 35 years ago! It never gets easier, but it’s always worth the hard work. (At least that’s what I think today – 47 years and counting.) Happy Anniversary, Kathy and Barry!

  21. john says:

    A Very Happy Anniversary to you both! A beautiful wedding, beautiful dreams, a beautiful work in progress. Thank you for sharing your special day in pictures and memories.

  22. You are an amazing woman. Thank you for this post. Hugs to Barry and congratulations on 35 years of figuring out. JNB’s constant topic is cars and directions. Hours. xo S

  23. bonnie says:

    Beautiful post! Lovely memories, even if they are a wee bit foggy……the Hokey Pokey? Really? Love it!!!!

  24. You were a beautiful bride and Barry was a dashing groom! You have grown into a great relationship, that is from staring into the window from outside (Heathcliff), I think.

    Beauty appears on the faces of those who care and share their world, who carve a place where they belong and are content in being who they are. That certainly shows on both your faces.

    As an aside, I was married on September 9. My wedding bouquet was yellow roses. It rained and 15 years (lacking 4 days) it all ended.

    Congratulations on 35 years! Not many have that commitment gene. Sit on the deck, stare at your sky in the great North woods, drink a little wine, do the hokey pokey….and fell blessed by all who care that you are happy and apparently still in love.

  25. debyemm says:


    My husband and I were similarly fortunate that both of us had parents that could “model the possibility of a good long-term relationship” – yet for each of us, this is a second marriage, with lots learned between and before this one.

    Like coming home to how we were raised, when we found one another.

    It’s 25 years for us, this year. I didn’t think that would matter, really. But it did. It felt like stability and commitment – and I know that it WAS because of what you said about “communication”; and still I don’t truly know him, not completely. He likes to keep me uncertain that way, so I never take for granted that I do know him, and allow lots of room for change and growth.

    Here’s to 50 for you and Barry, and may my husband and I see that as well.

  26. coastalcrone says:

    Congratulations on 35 years of marriage! I can see that you are still in love with your Barry. What a lovely couple surrounded by family and friends. May you have many more anniversaries!

  27. Congratulations and best wishes for many more!

  28. lisaspiral says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary! These are lovely memories. It may not have all been “happily ever after” but it certainly sounds like “dream come true.”

  29. Carol says:

    What a beautiful ode to love, endurance, tolerance, happiness, patience, communication, working, playing, laughing, shouting – all of those things that make up a life and a relationship.

  30. sandiwhite says:

    Boo Hoo Hoo! Now my nose is running like the Chattahootchee River! Sounds like it could have been my wedding, but that was 40 years ago and I cried then too! So sweet, makes me remember the song, acyually a friend sang it at our wedding, ” We’ve only just begun, white lace and promises, a kiss for luck and we on our way.”

  31. lucindalines says:

    Congratulations on 35 years together. I just love that 1970s wedding with the hats and the photos you shared, and of all things, Sunrise, Sunset. We had that at our wedding too. Imagine that. Good luck on the next 35 years together marraige really is a work in progress. OMG, I just read the last comment. We had that song too. Wild!!

  32. So so sweet. Congratulations on 35 years! You were a beautiful bride. And your mom looked like a Greek goddess in her gown. 🙂

  33. bearyweather says:

    Happy anniversary!
    Your pictures bring back memories of all of my cousin’s weddings that took place at about that time… especially the hats.

  34. Happy Anniversary! A testament to hard work, love, support and compromise! Good for you!

  35. Marion,Jim and Craig says:


  36. Connie's world. says:

    35 years. Good for you. Nice wedding memories. Who would have knew he needed knee repair in the future. Hope is he is feeling good now.

  37. elxroflife says:

    Oh, Kathy, it’s true: you both had baby faces :p And you could both grace the cover of any romance novel. You looked virginesque, good thing the photographer asked you to show some leg, lol. And how fun to read the storyline, what could have been, leaving what was in the middle, and being real about what your life together is about. Made me laugh out loud quite a few times. Congrats to you and Barry. Reading you leaves me feeling a warm and tingly kind of happiness for you both.

  38. Nice to see you as young folk and learn more about your life together. Everything you said rings true for me, too. (We’ll be celebrating our 35th in 8 months) It’s hard to believe so much time has passed when the wedding feels like only a year or two ago, doesn’t it? Hard to believe we’ve each had 2 kids, a boy & a girl, now about the same ages. Thanks for sharing your wedding pics with us and hope you had a wonderful anniversary. 🙂

  39. Christie says:

    Oh I always feel so special when you include me in your blog, and in the pictures too, thanks. Then you actually give me credit, or was it put pressure on me to be able to remember way back then. Didn’t we look so young, guess that is because we were so young. As for the details I remember, yes it was hot, no it didn’t rain, was at the Methodist church (think it was bigger or something), yes we wore a very lovely yellow (loved that dress still have it somewhere in a closet), fun times were had by all, other than that just remember being nervous and worried I would loose Barry’s ring before you had a chance to give it to him. I think as the maid-of-honor it was my responsibility to see the ring made it to the alter so you could give it to him, oh the pressure. Most of all I remember how honored I was to be a part of your special day. Happy 35th anniversary to you and Barry, hugs to both of you….

  40. Colleen says:

    Oh Kathy, how lovely. The best of all wishes to you and Barry! It will be our 44th this November, your words touch my heart.

    And oh my goodness gracious, you looked positively angelic. Both of you. It gave me goosebumps!

  41. Brenda Hardie says:

    Happy Happy happy Anniversary Kathy and Barry! ♥ May you be blessed with many more years of happiness and love filled days together ♥ I love your wedding pictures—they look so romantic! Thank you for sharing your wedding memories with us ♥

  42. OM says:

    I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said,but thank you for the inspiration, and congratulations, and thank you for sharing the pictures of your wedding. It helps give a sense that we never know the future, except by going back and then looking forward to now.

    You were both beautiful people then, and you have grown even more beautiful with time and the living. Truly, yes, it takes commitment which is rare these days, to reach 35 years. It’s a gift to the world, as well as to yourselves.
    Here’s to the next 35!!

  43. Dawn says:

    Congratulations on 35 years. It was a beautiful and fun wedding. You guys were so YOUNG! But I think you are both still young…living in your little house in the big woods. You have lived ad adventure and have so much more adventure ahead of you!

  44. I Am Jasmine Kyle says:

    I was almost born that day!

  45. msmcword says:

    I am so happy for you and Barry.
    Is sad that these days long-term marriages such as yours are the exception rather than the rule.

  46. Joanne and Dale Sheldon says:

    Dear Kathy and Barry, we had to repair our leaky eyes after reading that beautiful blog last night! Your marriage is one of the many blessings in our life of “many blessings” that we thank God for daily. Love, mom and dad

  47. P.j. grath says:

    What dreamy, romantic wedding pictures, Kathy! Your photographer was a genius. And you and Barry clearly have a genius for love, because there is no shortcut to a long relationship and no way past the challenges except through them.

  48. Isabelle says:

    Wonderful post and pictures, Kathy. So nice of you to share those precious memories with us. Happy Anniversary and congratulations to you both. Marriage is a long and enriching experience of love, communication, sharing, support, compromises with the will to succeed. Many more years of happiness to both of you.

  49. Munira says:

    This is the most heartwarming anniversary post I have EVER read! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. And I loved the contrast between the first picture and the third 😉
    Here’s to the next 35! *clink*

  50. dorannrule says:

    Weddings always make me cry and yours just did it too. What a beautiful post. What a beautiful couple. Happy Anniversary!

  51. Kathy says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for all your wonderful comments and compliments and thoughts and feelings. Your outpouring of support brought tears to my eyes. The struggle to get all those photos out of the wedding album and scan them was so worth it. Thank you again for your kindness… Love, Kathy

  52. Emma says:

    Aww, sweet photos! Congratulations! 🙂

  53. Val says:

    Slightly belated happy anniversary to you and Barry. This is a lovely post, Kathy – and I love your photos, particularly the first two and the last one. 🙂
    Be well, hugs.

  54. See? This is why I love your blog posts so much. You make them personal, and yet every one of your readers can nod and see herself, or part of herself, in there too. Your prose and your pictures brought back many memories for me. And shared the truth about marriage and love – it’s hard work, but so worth it.
    Oh, and I think I wore the exact same white shoes at MY wedding!

  55. Janet says:

    This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing. You’re right, relationships take work, always. But luckily the work gets a little easier as the years go on.

  56. Congratulations Kathy and Barry. Thirty-five years is an accomplishment in this day and age. What a beautiful bride you were!

  57. Stacy says:

    Congratulations, Kathy! I love your photos – so pretty! I almost feel as though I was there. 🙂

    How did you know what you wanted at such a young age. I still haven’t figured out what I want to do and where I want to live when I grow up. ❤

  58. Wonderful! Happy Anniversary! a bit late.

  59. Robin says:

    Awww. What a lovely tribute to your love. ♥ A belated, but heartfelt, happy anniversary to you and Barry! Your wedding photos remind me a lot of my own (since they were also taken in the 1970’s).

  60. Kathy says:

    Thanks again, friends and family!

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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