I was born in 1974, so I cannot tell you from experience what 1971 looked like, but I can tell you from this picture that I had some sexy parents! It is hard to believe our parents were ever young and "hip" or anything BUT our parents, but before kids we were all a little different, right? If you have ever wondered what 50 years of being married to the same person will do to you, let me tell you from my experience (well, not my own I didn't make it!) but from watching my folks for the past 46 years of my own life...

They met on a rainy Seattle day while my Dad had been stationed at Whidbey Island, my Mom (Pam) and her younger sister (Jeannie) encountered two brothers who were serving in the Marine Corp. Two sisters for two brothers, sounds like a movie right? Pam was giddy over her choice of the two brothers, Ken.

Ken was from a tiny town in Idaho, with a population of just approximately 430 people and Pam lived in the heart and hustle of Seattle. A very unlikely match it seemed. Also a very different world back then..

That was 1971, back when the world was a bit more simple and a first date was usually blind, not orchestrated on Facebook. Back when you could still buy and smoke cigarettes while in the hospital. Back when Sears advertised the entire family weilding a gun on their catalog cover. Back when news only traveled as fast as the local newspaper could print it. Back when milk was delivered and left on your front porch (my dad was actually a milkman). Back when a woman couldn't get a credit card without a man to cosign on it. Back when a seatbelt was dad's arm across your chest when he braked suddenly. Back when my parents said "I do" and began the creation of our little family.

Ken and Pam moved to Idaho and had three AMAZING kids (one in particular). Ken worked his entire life in construction, doing just about everything imaginable, he even built my childhood home from the ground up. Pam worked in a factory for many years until she found her dream job working for the state, sculpting their beautiful Idaho rest area lawns. They are currently both deservedly retired.

It was all rainbows and sunshine! Lies, I tell lies! It was work, it was compromise, it was blood sweat and tears, but it was always love. The way my Mom still adores my dad after all these years is so inspiring and the way my dad wouldn't let a fly hurt her is part of is adorableness!

It's the little things... The way they ALWAYS sign a card with "Mostest of all," the way my dad has her coffee made for her when she wakes up, the way she satisfies his most picky food demands, the way he loves to grocery shop, and the way she complains about all of the unnecessary cans of olives in the pantry "because Yokes had them on sale for Fresh Friday." The way Mom would say go ask Dad and Dad would say go ask Mom, the way they would load us kids in the bed of the truck and haul us to the desert to hunt arrowheads and he way they would fill a cooler full of beer, but just one soda for each of us kids (haha).

I could go on and on, fifty years is longer than I can even comprehend! Happy 50th anniversary to my wonderful parents, I would be lost without you and certainly would be lost without your love for each other!

Janis Clardy
Janis Clardy


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