Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lasting Love - Part 3

I’ve been sharing some ideas about how we’ve managed to remain married for over fifty years. Here’s another.

3. Play Together
Larry’s parents loved to dance. Dad actually danced professionally as a teenager. He and Mother were fabulous ballroom dancers. On their 60th wedding anniversary, they were still better than we’ll ever be.
Dancing brought them both a great deal of pleasure.

It doesn’t mean they did everything together. Dad was an avid golfer. After they retired, Mother took lessons, but she didn’t really enjoy it. Dad was exceptionally good, and she was never interested enough to improve sufficiently to play at his level. But she enjoyed going with him to tournaments where he competed while she shopped.

Shopping was Mother’s greatest delight. She went out every day—often just to check the stores. Sometimes she’d find an item she liked. She’d check on it for weeks. If it was marked down, she bought it. If it was sold, she figured she didn’t need it.

Four years before their 60th anniversary, they danced at our daughter, Kimberly’s, wedding. They wowed the crowd at the reception.
One other couple on the floor danced as well: my Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Frank.
They took lessons every week and danced every weekend for years. They celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary last August. I put together this video to honor them. At the end is a short clip of them dancing at a pumpkin patch last October.
In 2011, Aunt Evie had a stroke. The first time she was allowed to get out of bed, Uncle Frank held her and danced her around the room. I’m sure it’s one of the reasons she recovered so well physically—she never stopped dancing.

Larry was too intimidated to dance much. So was his brother. With parents as good as theirs, they felt they’d never measure up.

But we found other ways to play together. We love theme parks, and have had annual passes for Disneyland for years. When we were working, we’d often meet at the park for dinner. Then we’d walk around and enjoy the lights, visit the attractions, and watch the people.

Our love of theme parks led to our building of Universal Studios Japan. Living in Japan was difficult, but doing it together got us through. In the end, we felt a great sense of accomplishment. Returning ten years later made us even prouder of the world-class venue we had helped create.

Our sojourn in Japan led us to our second career as authors. When we returned, we wrote our first book: 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park.
Now that we’re retired, play includes writing together. Since 2005, we’ve published fourteen books between us, with number fifteen to come soon.

We also love to travel and have visited and vacationed all over the world. Now that we’re authors, we are often asked to speak at conferences and for other groups. We enjoy meeting people and seeing new places.

We each have our own interests, too. Larry still loves surfing and tries to go every weekday. I love spending time with friends, editing, and reading.

Play is just as important for adults as it is for children. How do you like to play?

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