Thirty years ago tonight Lois and I got in our Plymouth Duster in Ypsilanti, Michigan and drove south along Interstate 75 toward Ohio. The year before I had made the trip up and down 75 so often I had memorized every mile-marker, pothole and truckstop. We turned on the radio just in time to hear the Carpenters sing; “We’ve Only Just Begun.” Lois changed from her wedding gown into a pretty mint-green dress in the car. We stopped in Lima at Bob Evans for our first meal as a married couple. Lois ordered ham. I had a bowl of their famous chicken noodles. That night we would spend our first night together in the up-stairs apartment of a farmhouse near Pleasant Hill, Ohio.
Right at bedtime, by family dropped in for a little visit. My little brothers (10 and 13) bounded up the steps and burst into the apartment while we scurried around blowing out candles and looking innocent. They acted like they would never leave. My Grandpa was among the pranksters. I was a little irritated then, but what I would give to have a few hours to talk with him now.
It was cool and the air moved the curtains at night and perfumed our bedroom with the smell of fresh-mown hay and growing things. It was a wonderful thing to have someone so beautiful and lively to share life with.
In the morning we went to church. That afternoon I washed the celebration off the car. We were a married couple. We were Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Lee Pierpont. There was new brown carpet in our tidy two-bedroom apartment. The bedrooms had beautiful hardwood floors. A large window faced south. Lois would grow plants there. Our bedroom was on the north side of the house. The room toward the east we made into a study and sewing room. The kitchen window looked toward the West.
I worked as a custodian and then a salesman. Lois worked in a Fotomat booth. We lived in the farmhouse apartment from September to May when we made a valiant attempt to return to college. Halfway there our car broke down. Dad would come and drag us back to Ohio with a log chain. We spent May, June, and part of July in Cedarville. Late in July we were called to pastor a little church in Celina. We moved into a little while Cape Cod across Swamp Road from Beaver Chapel. Kyle would be born there.
Yesterday we drove home from a weekend with our eight children, daughter-in-law, and two grandsons at beautiful Camp Barakel in northern Michigan. I preached five messages. We sang together as a family. We treasured our time with our sweet grandsons, snapping pictures, and enjoying kayaks and canoes on the lake and having rich fellowship with God’s people. Today we will celebrate together just the two of us.
I deeply loved Lois thirty years ago when we were married. I could not believe that she would be willing to share her life with me. I love her more now and still I am humbled by her service, sacrifice, loyalty, forgiveness, and love.
September 8, 2009