golden anniversary

Fifty years ago today, on June 8, 1974, my friends and now sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Debbie and LJ Cook said “I do.” It was a beautiful ceremony. The bride’s mother, Joann Schulenberg was an amazing seamstress, and she made the wedding gown and the bride’s maid’s (me) dresses. Debbie and LJ have had a long and happy marriage, filled with mostly good things. They had three daughters, Machelle Moore, Nancy Cook (who went to Heaven shortly after her birth), and Susan Griffith. They lived in Casper, Wyoming for a short time after their marriage, then moved too Thermopolis, Wyoming for a short time, before moving to Powell, Wyoming, where they would make their permanent home and raise their girls. The girls have married now, and sons-in-law, Steve Moore and Josh Griffith have joined the family. In addition, grandchildren Weston Moore, Jala Satterwhite, Easton Moore, and Kaytlyn Griffith have also blessed the family.

Their daughter, Susan was telling me about her favorite memories from her childhood. She is reminded of their gardens, both floral and vegetable. Debbie and LJ plant a garden every year, and they have since the girls were little. They truly have green thumbs too, because Susan says, “consistently, they always have such beautiful flowers in their yard, and beautiful veggies growing in the garden.” She says, “The taste of home-grown tomatoes will always remind me of growing up, eating them like apples.” Unfortunately, their garden was damaged this year by the cold weather, so they had to go to the greenhouse twice and plant twice. Hopefully they end up getting some good ones with the second planting. This year, Debbie and LJ added raised beds to their gardening toolbox. They’re so much easier to take care of!

Susan loves that her parents still live in the house where she grew up. People don’t often stay for many years in the home where they raised their kids, but it is very cool when they do. Susan also loves that her daughters and nephews know that house as well as she does, and for them to see where she and her sister grew up. The kids also have the blessing of being able to glean the wisdom their grandparents have to share, about everything from gardening to school to life. Growing up near your grandparents is a huge blessing, even if you move away after your grown. Those young years spent around grandparents will go with you wherever you go.

Since LJ retired, he and Debbie spend most of their time together. If it’s possible, they have grown closer, and their love has grown deeper. They also have their sweet little dogs to keep them on their toes and the dogs also give everyone some good entertainment. The past fifty years have really flown by. In many ways, it seems like just yesterday that they were married, and yet, we know it isn’t. Many marriages these days don’t stand the test of time, but the love Debbie and LJ have for each other has done just that, and I have no doubt their love will grow deeper and deeper for the rest of their lives. Happy Golden Anniversary Debbie and LJ!! Congratulations on 50 years together!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!

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