Tag Archives: anniversary

Dave The Professional Driver

My husband Dave often reminds people who venture to offer him advice when he is behind the wheel that he is after all a professional driver. Dave has a part time job as a shuttle driver for a luxury car dealership in Winnipeg.  getting john into the vanYesterday however he took his professional driving skills to a whole new level. He drove a wheel chair accessible van to transport his brother and his wife to their 36th anniversary party.

getting instructions

Dave getting a few tips over the phone from the owner of the van who wasn’t home when we went to pick it up

Dave had to learn how to operate the lift that raises the wheelchair into the van.  driving the vanHe admitted the vehicle was a bit of a boat that swayed a little from side to side as he drove but with his professional driving skills he was able to steer that ‘boat’ down the highway.  He did deign to take a few directional tips from his sister-in-law since we were navigating the roads of Essex County Ontario and there have been one or two changes to the local geography since Dave grew up there more than fifty years ago.  

john out of the van

Our nephew and my brother-in-law helped Dave lower the wheelchair out of the van when we arrived at the lake.

Dave did a great driving  job getting the anniversary couple to their party on the grounds of the hot dog stand on Lake Erie where they had their first date.

anniversary party

My sister-in-law telling the anniversary party guests a funny story about how she fell in love with her husband.

 Some fifty people had gathered to order supper at the hot dog stand, visit and enjoy champagne and cake. the anniversary coupleBefore we headed back home Dave drove the van down to the beach so the couple could take a stroll along the lake where their romance had first started.  dave and johnI was proud of Dave yesterday. He put his professional driving skills to wonderful use.

Other posts……….

The Amazing Race – Driedger Style

Old Memories in Black and White

Getting Nostalgic and Just a Little Sad


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44 Years

anniversaryWe had fun celebrating our anniversary with a dinner party yesterday. After my sister lit the candles on the cool cake she brought to the party, Dave and I even sang the chorus of a song from our wedding ceremony. On that hot August day in 1973 it was performed by the beautiful voice of my childhood friend and college classmate Lynette accompanied on guitar by my cousin Al and my brother Ken.  I was only nineteen when we got married and I loved the tune to Greensleeves so I wrote new words for it for the occasion. The chorus went like this…….

May God bless you and bless the love

Which binds you now together

May God bless you and bring you joy

Forever and forever. 

anniversary cakeOf course I know now marriage isn’t always filled with joy.  There are difficult challenges and conflicts and sad times too, but forty- four years later I am very appreciative of just how much happiness, fun, love and adventure marriage has brought to my life.  As the song suggests Dave and I have been very blessed. 

Our anniversary party ended with popping a bottle of champagne and sharing it with our guests on our roof top patio. It was a lovely evening!

Other posts………..

A Controversial Wedding Photo

Blended Families Are Nothing New

Celebrating Marriage in a Historical Building


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Celebrating Our Marriage History in a Historical Building

529 WellingtonHe owned our home! We celebrated our anniversary by having lunch at 529 Wellington. We had never been there before. I’d always wanted to visit though, because the restaurant is located in the former home of Mr. James Henry Ashdown a Winnipeg mayor who once owned the warehouse where our condo is located. ashdown warehouseMr. Ashdown who immigrated to Canada from England in the late 1800s sold hardware at a store on the corner of Main Street and Bannatyne and housed his stock of merchandise a block away in a warehouse that has now been converted into a hundred condo units. 

James and his wife Susan and their five children moved into a grand mansion at 529 Wellington in 1913. Their former home now houses one of the city’s landmark restaurants.  

library ashdown houseWe had a nice lunch at a table in the home’s former library. wallpaper 529 wellingtonThe wallpaper in the room intrigued me. It featured an old-fashioned illustrated alphabet. The border had words adapted from the Biblical book of Isaiah 35: 1.  The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. But perhaps because the wallpaper is in a home it was chosen because the exact phrase on the wallpaper is used in a poem by Christina Rossetti called From House to Home

spinach salad 529 WellingtonI had a spinach salad roast beef sandwich 529 Wellingtonand Dave had a roast beef sandwich. blueberry bread pudding 529 wellingtonWe ended our meal by sharing a blueberry bread pudding. 

sun room ashdown houseAfter lunch, I toured the other rooms in the house which offer different options for dining patio ashdown houseand the friendly maitre de showed me the patio and offered to take my photo there. 

43 anniversaryOur marriage has a long and interesting history as does the place we chose to celebrate it.

Other posts…….

We are living in a piece of history 

A Controversial Wedding Photo 

Diamond Anniversary- A Family Affair


Filed under Food, Restaurants, Winnipeg


me and my cousinsI had a great time reconnecting with a dozen or so of my cousins on the weekend.  Our aunt and uncle’s 65th wedding anniversary and 90th birthdays brought us together in Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon. Two subsequent family events were organized after the official celebrations by my Aunt Nettie who is a social planner extraordinaire. So there was lots of time for visiting and catching up. 

Visitiing with my cousins in my aunt's lovely backyard

Visiting with my cousins in my aunt’s lovely backyard

 I learned our family is certainly spreading out across North America and the globe.  My cousins’ children are doing such interesting things…working on a development project in Uganda, meditating at a Buddhist retreat centre in Thailand, planning for forestry conservation in northern British Columbia, exploring South America, studying in Prince Edward Island, teaching in Hong Kong, finishing an ophthalmology residency in Florida, and publishing a thesis about a village forestry project researched in India.  

My cousin Al must be telling quite a story!

My cousin Al must be telling quite a story!

I found out one of my cousins is creating online economics courses for students in Kenya. One cousin goes to Nicaragua to do eye surgery for needy people and another has started a sports program for kids in rural Alberta communities. 

peters women

With female members of our clan at a family brunch on Sunday.

 One cousin is planning a trip to Taiwan and another recently talked with American Vice-President Joe Biden when he visited Minneapolis. One cousin’s wife in Oklahoma has gone back to university in her fifties to get a medical degree and another cousin’s wife in rural Manitoba is making amazing ceramic artwork. 

peters cousins dress up

Playing dress-up with my cousins on my grandparents’ farmyard.

My cousins and I were fortunate to be raised in an extended family where connections with parents and siblings were a priority and so we spent lots of time together during our childhood, at our grandparents’ farm in Gnadenthal Manitoba as well as at the cottage my grandparents built at Moose Lake. Although we don’t see each other often now our parents still connect with each other weekly by phone and many of us are Facebook friends and keep track of each others lives that way. 

my aunt and uncle with two of their great nieces

My aunt and uncle with two of their great-nieces.

The anniversary and birthday celebrations on the weekend created a time for us to reminisce about the past, talk about the present, and honour my aunt and uncle who have contributed to all our lives in various ways. 

cousins at Christmas

Around the Christmas tree with some of my cousins at our grandparents.

I’m thankful for my cousins.  They shared my childhood.  They shared being part of our family’s story with me and they continue to share family celebrations with me. 

Other posts……..

Back Porch News


On My Grandparents’ Farm

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Black and White

This month marks the 55th anniversary of the movie Psycho. I taught a unit on Psycho to my highschool students and wrote several  articles for them about key  themes in the movie. One was about director Alfred Hitchcock’s use of the colors black and white.

A woman dressed in a white bra and slip is getting ready to kiss her bare chested lover in the opening scene of the movie Psycho. Although Marion, the woman, is having a secret affair she is still depicted as innocent in her white underwear.

Later after she has stolen $40,000 from her boss and is packing her suitcase in order to run away with the money, she is wearing black underwear and a black slip.

At the beginning of the film she carries a white purse, but after she steals the cash she has a black one. Hitchcock uses the colors black and white to show Marion’s change from a hardworking reliable employee to a thief who took company money.

Alfred Hitchcock made Psycho in black and white even though many film makers were already producing color films. There are several theories as to why he did this. One was to save money. Paramount Pictures did not want to finance Psycho, so Hitchcock put up some of his own money for the film and waived his director’s fee.

He used the crew from his black and white TV show to film the movie, and tried to make it as cheaply as possible. A color movie would have been more expensive.

Some movie historians claim Hitchcock noticed that low-budget horror films of very poor quality were making plenty of money. He wanted to prove you could make a low budget black and white horror box office smash, that was classy and professional. Psycho only cost $800,000 to make but it became an American film classic and made Alfred Hitchcock a multi-millionaire, earning over $40 million.

Hitchcock was also concerned his film would not pass the censors without unwanted cuts. He figured the shower murder scene in particular would be way too gory if it was shown in color. It would seem less ghastly in black and white. Showing short newsreels before movies had become common place in major American cities in the 1930’s.

Many theatres were still using newsreels in the 1960’s. They were always in black and white and provided high lights of noteworthy news stories. Showing Psycho in black and white might have made it seem more realistic to viewers who had become accustomed to watching the news in black and white.

Psycho was the last feature film Alfred Hitchcock made in black and white. The rest of his movies were filmed in color.

Other posts about Psycho…..

All Those Birds

Hitchcock – His Wife and Daughter

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Two Trees and A Marriage

wedding 1973About a month before our wedding in 1973 we were out at the family cottage at Moose Lake with my Uncle Dave and Aunt Margaret. We went to the north end of the lake to dig out some tiny pine trees to plant on the front yard of the cottage. Uncle Dave said he would plant two of them close together in honor of our upcoming marriage.

I took these photos of the trees when I was out at the cottage a few weeks ago. pine treesAt the top, the two trees are separated and can still be identified individually.pine tree At the bottom, however, the two trunks have grown so close together they’ve become like one trunk.

Let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you-Khalil Gibran

Other posts about our anniversary…….

Thirty Eight Years

A Controversial Wedding Photo

Forty Years Ago

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My Mom’s Friends

My Mom with her life long friend Millie

We celebrated my parents 60th anniversary yesterday. One of the things it was such a pleasure for me to witness was the meaningful relationships my Mom, Dorothy has with her friends. Here is Mom with her best friend Millie.

Millie and Mom grew up on farms across the road from each other in Drake Saskatchewan, went to a private Mennonite high school together, to college together, and have kept in touch with each other their whole lives.

Here are Mom and Millie at their high school graduation together at Rosthern Junior College in dresses they sewed themselves.

This has to be my favorite picture ever of Mom and Millie. They are so happy, so lovely, just stepping out the door of their youth into lives that will be rich and full, very difficult sometimes, but ultimately meaningful and made easier by friendship and love.

Six years ago my Mom had been very ill and had been in the hospital for a long time but she was determined to attend our son’s graduation from Canadian Mennonite University. Millie was also at the event and she and Mom were so happy to see each other they sat side by side holding hands through the ceremony. 

old friendsHere is Mom with her good friend Selma. My Dad and Selma’s husband Bill went to college and medical school at the same time and although they practiced medicine in different Manitoba towns the two couples remained very close. Both Selma and Bill and my parents had cottages at Moose Lake not far from one another. They also did a term of medical mission service together in South America. 

Mom and Dad went on many trips with Bill and Selma. Here are Mom and Selma in Mexico in the 1960’s trying on sombreros. Selma’s husband Bill passed away quite a number of years ago, and now Selma lives in an apartment just across the street from my parents in Winnipeg so they are able to see each other more often. 

Two years ago I spent a week with Mom while my Dad went to work at a Mennonite camp. One afternoon I took Mom to visit Selma and have tea with her.  The two women talked for hours reminiscing about all their experiences together. There was lots of laughter, a few tears and non stop conversation. It made me so happy to witness the special bond my Mom shared with her good friend. 

Agnes Gerbrandt lived on Kroeker Avenue in Steinbach at the same time we did. My Mom was raising four children, and Agnes, who was a widow was raising ten children on her own. She and Mom got to know each other almost 50 years ago and remained friends even though we moved to a different part of town after two years. Every Easter Agnes would bring our family beautifully decorated paska, a special Easter bread covered in icing. She made one for each member of our family. 

In the last six years as Mom has struggled with ongoing health problems Agnes has been one of her most faithful visitors. 

As I watched Mom greet female friends from her college days…………

Old friends and young friends……………..

and family friends………….

I thought not only of how fortunate my mother is to have been blessed with such good friends but also what a special person she must be to have earned their sincere affection. 

If you enjoyed this post you might also want to read ……….

Weddings in the 1950’s Were Community Events

Different-Not Better- Men and Women’s Friendships

My Mother’s Childhood Christmases


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Thirty-Eight Years

You may not recognize the couple in this photo—but it’s our engagement picture taken in 1973 just a few months before Dave and I were married. Today, August 17th is our 38th anniversary. We  look awfully young in this photo—and we were young, just nineteen and twenty, way too young and immature to get married, but somehow we managed to grow up together and have made a meaningful life together, even though we started our marriage before we had money, or university degrees, or jobs or a home of our own. 

Not every couple makes it to their 38th anniversary—40% of Canadian marriages end in divorce— and I’ve been thinking this past week about why we have stayed together. It is certainly not because we were ‘made for each other.’ In fact people who get to know either Dave or me first, and then meet our spouse, often remark on how very different we are and even say they are surprised to find out we are married. But perhaps that is one of the reasons we have stayed together, because we are so different. Maybe because of that we compliment each other and balance one another with our different temperaments and interests. 









I know without a doubt that one of the reasons our marriage has lasted is because of our supportive families. Our parents have been such good role models when it comes to demonstrating the kind of love, sacrifice and loyalty that is required to keep a marriage and a family together. Our parents have supported us in so many different ways during our married life with babysitting help, financial gifts, wise advice, a listening ear, their prayers, their interest and their affirmation.  We have also been blessed to have good relationships with our brothers and sisters and they have supported us in many ways as well. Going through some old memorabilia from our wedding I found this note my brother Mark wrote to me after our engagement was announced.  He was nine years old.  

Dear Lou,

I am so happy that you are going to get married to that handsome boy David. I hope that you are glad that I am candle-lighter, because I am glad. Hope your weddings a smash. 

Love, Mark


I think another reason our marriage has lasted is because of our two terrific sons. Our children inspired us to work hard at our marriage, because we wanted them to have a secure and happy home. Our sons drew us together as a family and they have each in their own way enriched our lives immeasurably as has our daughter-in-law. 

I can honestly say our marriage has gotten better every year. Living far away from our families in Hong Kong for the last six years we have had to depend on one another much more than we ever did before, and this has been very good for our relationship.  What’s next?  We will see how retirement effects our life together. I know for some couples it is a very traumatic time as they adjust to a life that is not as focused around their careers. Since Dave has already been semi-retired for the last two years perhaps our transistion will be a little easier.   The longer I’m married the more I realize what a ‘roll of the dice’ it is when we choose our life partner. You really don’t ‘know’ your spouse when you marry. Throughout your life together you continually learn new things about one another, some good and some hard. You certainly have no idea when you get married what kind of difficulties and challenges life may call upon you to face as a couple. I know how fortunate I have been to have landed up with a partner who has a sense of humor, is intelligent, wins friends easily, is active and interested in so many different things, relishes new experiences and has made my life anything but boring.

Other anniversary posts…….

Forty One Years

A Controversial Wedding Photo


Filed under Family, Retirement