Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Thirty years together May 15, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:09 AM
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Audrey and Randy, May 15, 1982. We were so young then, only 25 1/2.

THUMBING THROUGH THE PAGES of our wedding album, I can barely believe that 30 years have passed since my husband and I exchanged vows on May 15, 1982.

Where did the past three decades go?

And who are those kids in over-sized glasses with more hair (him) and shorter hair (me) and both pounds lighter?

Could that possibly be us, newlyweds on the cusp of married life, grinning with the exuberance of young love?

That is, indeed, us.

Together then.

Together now.

Friends asked me Saturday night for tips to a lasting marriage. The question caught me by surprise and I simply told them they didn’t need my advice because they are doing well on their own.

Later, though, I considered how we’ve kept our marriage going strong for 30 years. For Randy and me, the fact that we were just friends before we even began dating set the tone for our relationship.

Friendship and trust. Shared values and a shared faith in God. All have been integral in our marriage.

Many times I think, too, that the similarities in our childhoods—both from farm families with little money—have curbed disagreements over finances. We live a simple, basic life and are content with what we have.

Yet, the differences between us have also benefited our marriage. Randy possesses a quirky sense of humor. He makes me laugh, lightens the moment, causes me to smile when I’d rather not. Without him, life would simply be less fun.

I am the serious one. I can organize and focus and keep everyone on task.

But I can’t handle medical situations. Our three kids have always known that they should go to Dad, not Mom, with any health issues. Need a sliver pulled? Take the tweezers to Dad. Wonder if that cut needs stitches? Consult Dad.

And when I faced health issues—a severe, three-month case of whooping cough in 2005, surgery four years ago to replace my arthritic right hip and most recently the sudden loss of hearing in my right ear—my husband was right there. I could not have managed without him. He took seriously those vows, “in sickness and in health.”

He’s also good with numbers and excels as an automotive machinist. (Get in line if you want him to work on your car or truck or van or tractor or…) This man of mine is a hard worker and has always kept his family sheltered, clothed and fed. For that I am grateful.

I’m also grateful for his strong support of my writing and photography.

For 30 years we’ve had this balance, this give and take, this relying on each other (and God) and tapping into our strengths to make our marriage work.

And, yes, most assuredly that love quotient remains, as strong, if not stronger, than 30 years ago.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


24 Responses to “Thirty years together”

  1. Congratulations!

    The world needs more stories of love prevailing!

  2. Mark Ritchie Says:

    What a great post – thank you so much. Nancy and I are coming up to year 32 this month and it is, as you said, hard to believe it could seem like such a short while.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Congratulations to you and Nancy, also, on 32 years of marriage. That’s wonderful.

  3. ceciliag Says:

    Congratulations! Like i said to my son the other night every good marriage takes work, wide awake thoughtful work. Well done YOU ! c

  4. Dawn Tietz Says:

    Well, Happy Anniversary you two! How fast the time goes! Hopefully you can celebrate 30 more together!

  5. Jackie Says:

    Welcome to the 30 year club. Sounds like you have a great mix in your marriage, cant imagine our marriage without a shared faith as well. God bless you both as you begin the next 30 years. Any fun plans to celebrate?

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Jackie. We’re happy to join you and your hubby in the 30-year club. A celebration will need to wait until I feel better. I am fighting the most horrible cold I’ve had in years. My husband is just getting over it and so is our son, who passed the virus along to us. I expect we will dine out somewhere when I’m feeling well enough to do so.

  6. Tammy Says:

    Happy Anniversary! The kids love the wedding photo!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thanks, Tammy. But, oh, oh. Is this photo going to come back to haunt me, say perhaps around Christmas time when a certain gaudy photo frame is brought to a certain white elephant gift exchange?

  7. Emily Says:

    Aww. Love this post. Congrats to you and your love, Audrey.

  8. hotlyspiced Says:

    Happy Anniversary Audrey. What an incredible milestone. And that is a gorgeous wedding photo. You both look so excited and happy – and I bet you still do! xx

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thanks, Charlie. This photo of us was taken with my grandparents, whom I cropped out of the image. But when I looked at this shot, I could see (as you said) the excitement and happiness in our faces. This shot was taken AFTER our wedding unlike many of the others, which were taken BEFORE. That made all the difference in how relaxed and happy we appear/were.

  9. Gordon Says:

    Happy Anniversary to you both! And thanks for sharing the beautiful picture of the beaming young couple. May the feelings continue to grow.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Gordon. How many years for you and Nancy now? We all need to do lunch again sometime. Randy and I enjoy you two so much.

  10. Rosie Says:

    And what a fun wedding it was… Also fun to watch your wonderful family grow. Hope your next 30 years are amazing as well!

  11. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! All too often today this is a milestone people miss. We’re looking at 16 years this summer.

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