June is always a monumental month for me. It always has been. It’s the month my Daddy was born and the month my parents celebrated their anniversary.

My husband’s birthday is also in June and so is our anniversary. This June we marked 41 years together. My parents were married 27 years before my dad died and that once seemed like a long time to me. It doesn’t seem so long at all now, nor does 41 years anymore. It has gone by so swiftly.

We were so young when we married and we really had no idea of the commitment we were making. My mother really loved Charles (he was her favorite I always tell people). She died about a year and a half after our small home wedding, which we held on the third Saturday in June at 7:30 p.m. to honor the date and time of my parents’ anniversary.

Charles and I were pretty on our own after she passed away, so life got pretty serious pretty fast.

We’ve always said that when we argued we had stay together to hash it out. After all, where were we going to go? Charles had no parents to run home to either, so we had to be each other’s home. It’s pretty much always been that way. When we have problems, we work them out. When I have news, he’s the one I want to tell it to, whether it’s good or bad. I know he feels the same.

Our daughter, Miranda, was born shortly after our third anniversary. After that, all our decisions were based on what was best for her. We were a family.

Three years later our son, Zack, came along and our lives were busier and noisier and more fun than it had ever been for either of us. It was a precious time that we both cherish. Then came their teen years; not always as much fun and more challenging, but precious just the same.

It’s hard to believe that both our kids are in their mid-30s now and we have three precious granddaughters.

Life is so different now. Zack has moved “up north” and Miranda is living her own busy, noisy and fun-filled life with her three girls about two hours away from here.

Charles and I are still here in Madison County and our days are much quieter. Where there used to be a lot of noise and activity, now life moves at a much slower pace. It has become slower still through the pandemic.

I do my work for the Journal from home and only leave pretty much to work a second job on the weekends. Normally we take a vacation around our anniversary but this year we opted to stay home and since Charles is home from work for the time-being that has worked out just fine, for us and for our animal menagerie. Our pets are not sure what’s changed, but they like it as there is always a human around to pay attention to them or to provide a lap to lie on.

It’s been nice to have time to talk to each other as well. Like any couple who’ve been together so long, we’ve been through a lot together. We’ve lost many family members, many friends, but we have many wonderful memories we share as well.

We’ve witnessed many changes, not only in our lives but in the world. We began our relationship in a world of drive-ins, eight-tracks and pay phones and now we interact with our grandchildren fact-to-face on our electronic devices. When we’re apart, we mainly communicate by text, when we use to have find a phone if we needed to speak to each other.

We’ve traveled some, cried some and laughed some too. We’ve lived through terrible times together but also shared some wonderful times.

I am not sure how to classify this current period in our lives, this “new normal.”

It is certainly terrible in many ways. We fear for our health, particularly as we have some health issues. We also fear for the future of not only our grandchildren, but for our country and the world, and not just because of the pandemic.

We worry about our son’s fragile health, even more so during this time.

Yet there is grace even now with peaceful days at home and ways to communicate with those we love, even when we can’t spend time with them as we would like to.

And thank God, there is also a way to shut out the world when it all becomes too much (turn off that TV, switch off and close that computer and put down that phone).

There is a peace and the still quiet voice of God down here in the woods without all of that noise.

There is also music, nature and a special kind of comfort in a love borne of knowing someone so well for so long.

Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for The Madison County Journal. She can be reached at margie@mainstreetnews.com.

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