Sunday, May 15th:
As I sit here writing the newsletter today on Sunday, May 15th, I am
currently Westbound at 34,000 feet somewhere over the Pacific Ocean traveling at about 500 miles per hour. Significantly faster than the top
speed of the Road Glide. Tomorrow, May 16th, Mrs. C. and I will celebrate our
30th wedding anniversary. We were unable to do much for our 25th, so Mrs. C.
told me that the 30th better be good. I promised her that it absolutely would be. So in keeping good with my promise we are currently
on our way to Kauai, Hawaii for a week to spend some needed alone time together
and reflect on the last 30 years of our wonderful life together.
Not only is this our 30 year anniversary trip, it is also our First
honeymoon. Here is how our story goes. When we were married in 1981
in Leavenworth, KS. we had virtually no money. We both had just graduated from
Kansas University during of a big recession in the early 80's in the Midwest
which left very few possibilities for employment in the Kansas City area. With
my folks living in Phoenix in the midst of a growth and boom time in Arizona,
and the fact that Mrs. C. had just picked up her Architecture
degree, it made sense to move to where the jobs were. So I sold my old
International Scout, my motorcycle for $300 and whatever else I didn't want
to move to Phoenix and pocketed about $1500 in cash. We got married on Saturday,
May 16th, Graduated from KU on Monday and were on our way to Phoenix, AZ on
Wednesday for a 3 day drive to start our life together in Arizona, without the
slightest idea where we would be 30 years later.
Since we couldn't afford a moving company, my Mom and Dad drove their
pickup pulling a wooden enclosed trailer that my Dad had
constructed that contained our furniture and belongings. Mrs. C. and I each
drove a car on the 3 day trip. As it turned out, this also doubled as our
honeymoon. Rolling down the hill at Sunset point on I-17, we had no idea and no
plan that we would still be here 30 years later. In our mind it was going to be
a stop until we got on our feet and decided where we would end up. Apparently
God possessed the plan that we didn't have and he decided that we would raise a
family and make our permanent home in the Phoenix area.
To get us going, we lived with my parents for about 3 months until we were
both employed. Since Mrs. C. was marketable with an Architecture
degree, my job was initially to help her look for work and drive her around town
on interviews in a car with no air conditioning in the midst of one of the
longest 110 degree consecutive day hot streaks the valley had ever seen.
Must have been to make sure that if we could survive that summer, we were here
to stay. Eventually she landed employment as an entry level draftsmen at a
luxury home architect. One down one to go.
With a degree in Liberal Arts, I had no idea what I wanted to do. But with a degree like that, I guess there are no limits, you can do
whatever you want to do. So I literally picked up the yellow pages, started with
the A's and tried to figure out what profession I wanted to pursue. I got to the
end of the S's and came across Stock Broker. A big light went off! That's what I
want to do. I'll be a stock broker. So with no knowledge or formal training in
this area at all, I started making calls and ended up getting an interview with
E.F. Hutton. Putting on the only suit in my closet, I set out to become a stock
broker with E.F. Hutton.
To make a long story short, I was initially turned down for the job as a result of their standard hiring test that consisted of sales calls
to a sales professional in New York. But now I had my mind made up that I wanted
to be a stock broker and work for E.F. Hutton. Armed with my eternal optimism, I
went back to the manager, told him that I did not agree with their assessment
and that I really wanted to do this. I asked if there was some other test
that he could give me. For some reason, he decided to go outside the hiring
guidelines and gave me a comprehensive 6 hour IQ and aptitude test. Three days
later I was hired on to their 4 month training program that accepted only 150
people out of 10,000 applicants for the year.
Tammy and I we were now on our way. The
training slot was not available until January of 1982. I had four months to do
whatever I wanted to do, so I got a job at Beckett Aviation at the Scottsdale
airport laying down the red carpet to executive travelers
coming to Scottsdale, also solidifying my desire to fly that would be fulfilled
28 years later.
By September of 1981 we were both gainfully employed and moved into our
first apartment, beginning what would be a journey full of ups,
downs and sideways. We were 2 young kids fresh out of a small town in
Kansas trying to find their way in a new town, new marriage while learning how
to cope in the corporate environment. In 1986 we had our first and only child, a
beautiful daughter. We soon decided that we would like another child. That was
our plan, but was apparently was not part of the master plan, as after 3
years of trying it never happened. But we couldn't have been more happy
raising one child and giving her all that we could. She is now 25 and recently
gave us an awesome Grandson.
Fast forward to today. After a stock market crash in 1987 and
a couple of career changes for me, I started a web site called Cyclerides.com
back in 1999 as well as developing a product called Hat Saver that is sold
across the U.S. and Japan. Mrs. C. was self employed as a partner in her own
firm for almost 20 years and sold out 3 years ago. She still has her
Architecture license and is working for a local Construction company. We don't
know what God has in store for us for the next 30 years, but we do know that we
have been blessed to share the good times and the challenging times these
past 30 with each other.
This week we are going to enjoy our long awaited honeymoon together in
Kauai, reflect on our wonderful marriage and try to figure out how
the last 30 years went by so fast. I can't imagine spending my life with anyone
else and look forward to coming back to Kauai in another 30 years to do it all
over again. Tammy has made me a better person, been with me every step of
the way and made it possible for me to do all that I have done. I hope that she
would say the same for me. Marriage is being a team, and I think we have made a
good one. Thanks for everything Mrs. C.!
I've had a lot of people ask what is the secret to staying married so long.
There is not one answer, but here are a few. We Laugh a lot, Love a
lot, make marriage a priority, we can't wait to see each other again as soon as
we walk out the door, do everything together including riding, and most of
all, Choose Your Battles. Use the 10 second rule, decide what is really
important before saying something that will fan the flame. Don't turn little
annoyances into big issues just to make a point.