How Do You Organize Thirty Years of Memories?

cake 1Monday marks our 30th wedding anniversary. Harvey and I had known each other and had been friends for many years prior to our wedding. We realized that, to quote a 70s sitcom theme song, “…this group must somehow form a family. That’s the way we all became the [Stanbrough] Bunch.” 🙂 Anyway….

In October of 1983, Harvey got down on one knee and proposed. A few months later, while we were making plans to drive to Vegas, he received orders from the Commandant of the Marine Corps to report to Okinawa for a 13-month, unaccompanied tour of duty—well, that just sucked! We decided we’d wait until he returned. Two months and $900 in long-distance phone calls later, those plans changed. He was granted a three-week leave during which he flew from Okinawa to Arizona and then back again to finish out the remainder of his duty.

We were married on a gorgeous day under the palo verde and mesquite trees in Estrella Park just outside of Phoenix at 2:30pm on June 23, 1984. It was 116o. Every desert rat knows that temps over 110 are equivalent to Richter Scale readings—each degree is ten times hotter than the one before. Some quick snapshots were taken during and after the ceremony, but sweat doesn’t photograph too well. So we went back to the park three days later—in the morning when it was a mere 95o—set up the camera on a tripod, and posed for our official photos.

After Harvey’s tour of Okinawa was complete, we set up housekeeping in Yuma. Our house was 900 square feet with three bedrooms and one bath. Pretty cozy—except Yuma is hotter than Phoenix and one bathroom gets lots of use with a family of seven. The kids didn’t seem to mind, though. I have pictures somewhere of them playing outside, in shorts and barefoot, the week before Christmas, and many great shots of our family hikes in the surrounding desert.

In fact, we have scads of memories from all the places we’ve lived during the last thirty years that I want to preserve. But our memorabilia is stashed in steamer trunks and boxes and closets and drawers. For years, I’ve been meaning to organize it all into scrapbooks. But… well, you know… I never got a round-to-it.

the danceI’ve brought this on myself though. Fifteen years ago, Harvey had major heart surgery. As I put his wedding band on my thumb for safe-keeping while he was in the hospital, I told him that I expected at least fifteen more years of memories. Well, that’s not enough! On Monday, I’ll tell him that I expect at least thirty more. 🙂

It’s been nice chatting with you all. I’d better get back to my scrapbooking. I look forward to hearing from you soon—Over the Back Fence. Tell me your ideas about turning your memories into keepsakes—I promise it won’t take me 30 years to complete your project!

4 thoughts on “How Do You Organize Thirty Years of Memories?”

  1. So happy for you and Harvey! A sweeter couple is not to be found! Many happy wishes for both of you and your entire family. So many great memories just lurking around the next corner! Happy Anniversary on Monday!


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