Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, February 12, 2010

How to Make it to Your 85th Anniversary

by Kerry Blair

Before we begin, I need you to know that I spent actual hours this week writing a really-truly blog to put up today. All by myself, no less. And get this: it was writing-related! At least it was as writing-related as those of us who who mostly just hang out with writers (and a frog) ever get.

So, I got up this morning and opened up my laptop, practically popping with self-satisfaction. But before I could put up the post* I had to log onto the Internet. This, of course, brought up my home page and before I could hit the second W in www, I saw this picture and followed the link and . . . well . . . aww! It's almost Valentine's Day, and this story is so sweet you diabetics should probably just move along to the next blog right now.

This is Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher, a couple who have been married for nearly 86 years. According to their granddaughter, Herbert and Zelmyra (don't you love those names!?) are eager to share their insight into what constitutes a lasting marriage. Moreover, they're appealing to many of those just starting out in adulthood by . . . Twittering . . . their advice. (Okay. I cannot believe I just spent five minutes trying to figure out how to conjugate that . . . word. Boy, do I feel like a Twit. Also, I'm pretty sure I got it wrong. Now that I think about it for six minutes, I believe the Fishers are in fact Tweeting their advice. Or tweeting it. Apparently, "Twitter" and "tweet" are proper nouns -- except when they're not. Mercy! I'll bet Webster's glad he's dead. I have no idea how the rest of us are expected to struggle through modern communication with new words popping up every day or so, most of which want to be both nouns and verbs -- and every other part of speech they think they can wrangle.)

Pardon me. I may have gotten a little off-topic there. I will save that rant for another week because I do believe it's a good one. In the meantime, I'll move on with the story by quoting from Holidash**, thus saving me a great deal of brain strain: Through February 12 Twitter and Facebook users can post questions for the couple and on February 14, Valentine's Day, they will tweet their answers to fourteen of the best inquiries.

At 104 and 102, the Fishers hold the Guinness World Record for being the living couple with the longest marriage. Assuming they're still together this time next year (and their chances look good) they'll break the record for the longest marriage in recorded history. Wow! This means Gary and I have about 56 years to go. Sadly, our chances do not look quite as rosy as Herbert and Zayma's.

Of course, I have no idea how this . . . tweetering . . . thing actually works, so I'll quote Sandy Maple's article once again: Tweet your questions to @longestmarried or post a message on the America's Tweethearts Facebook page. And don't forget to bring your own sweetheart back on Valentine's Day to learn the secrets of everlasting love.

Isn't that terrific? It's the second best true love story I've ever heard. The best is my grandmother's. At 84, she finally married her childhood sweetheart. Chet had been widowed after 60 years of marriage; Nana had been widowed twice and then remained single for more than 30 years. They had a simple, but storybook, wedding, and were still acting like newlyweds on an anniversary cruise ten years later.

They're not available for . . . tweeting . . . anymore, but I can share one of their secrets. Vera and Chet each held their spouse's happiness in higher regard than their own. At 87 he was outside in early April, spading near-frozen Spokane soil in order to plant the rosesbushes she'd ordered in the mail; she was inside kneading dough with arthritic fingers because he loved a fresh, hot loaf of bread.

I feel all warm and gushy inside and want it to continue, at least through Valentine's Day. Help me out. What do you think the secret is to making a marriage that doesn't just seem eternal? Or, if you don't have all the answers, what about the questions? What would you ask Herbert and Zelmyra? If there is a secret, they've apparently found it.

Happy Valentine's Day!

*Alas, I seem to have awakened with an awful case of alliteration which, I fear, has now spread as far as assonance will allow.

**Disclaimer: Follow links at your own risk. I almost never link to websites because some readers may find advertising, etc on the site objectionable. I glanced at this one and saw nothing much more pernicious than red and pink M&Ms, but I did not look it over carefully, nor follow any of it's links, nor do I know what will appear there later in the day/week/month/year.


At 2/12/2010 11:04 AM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Another reason I almost never link to websites is because I can almost never get the stupid link to work. Sorry about that! People like me should definitely stick to writing on papyrus.

At 2/12/2010 1:18 PM, Blogger Marta O. Smith said...

I don't think I can come up with anything better than what Nana and Chet did, but a sense of humor is helpful.

At 2/12/2010 4:41 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

My advice: give her flowers.

Costco has awesome arrangements that are really low-cost.

And do housework!

And apologize, even if you don't think you've done anything wrong, because you probably have.

At 2/12/2010 5:19 PM, Blogger Charlie Moore said...

Interesting you should mention Costco. I was just there a couple hours ago picking up flowers and a jar of jelly bellies (with $4 off coupon, of course) for my wife. She loved both. The arrangements were very nice.


At 2/13/2010 4:46 PM, Blogger Valerie Ipson said...

I just love Herbert and Zelmyra. Here's to many more years of wedded bliss and tweeting about it for them.

At 2/22/2010 11:58 PM, Blogger Julie Wright said...

I have no advice except to say that I love that cute little couple. I hope they break the record next year. And I hope I get to break their record in another seventy years :)


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