Valentine’s Day 1970
By Eve Culley
I was a new bride of eight days and trembling with excitement about my very first Valentine’s Day as a married woman. Our engagement had been fairly short much to the dismay of my mother. The whirlwind began at the end of summer. I was newly graduated from high school and Don had just returned from military service. He wanted to be married immediately and I wanted to be your typical June bride. February was a compromise between the two dates and really the only bit of control we had over our wedding plans. We wanted a small wedding. Mother threatened to have Don arrested for kidnapping, to lock me in my room, or to send me to my grandmother who lived many states away from home. All very serious threats that could occur.
Don and I remained firm and Mother, the general in charge of our home, took command of our wedding. You see, Mother and Daddy had married in 1941 at the J.P.’s house and similar wedding plans for us would not be tolerated. Mother prevailed like a steam roller. It was to be the wedding she had never had and IF we were to be married it would be according to her plan (colors, flowers, dresses) with little input from Don or me. When Don or I did venture an opinion about how we would like something to be done, it was met with “Oh, you don’t want that done that way!” Mother would then lava flow right over us with how she wanted things to be done. It was a beautiful event, but not the wedding Don and I wanted.
Needless to say we were excited about Valentine’s Day. It would be our first adventure as a married couple. Ours to plan and dream over. We were looking forward to this day with great anticipation. To that end the love of my life went all out. He made the reservations the day we got engaged. We were to dine at a very upcoming restaurant with all the frills that entailed. The restaurant had a very beautiful view overlooking the Missouri River and the setting sun. He specified a table next to the large rock fireplace with a view of the river. Afterwards we had a very nice room reserved to continue our lovely evening.
I had spent months looking for the right dress to wear. The perfect shoes, hair style and make-up were selected. This night was to be magic. This was our night.
We arrived at the restaurant and were escorted to our table. Waiting for me at the table was a single long stem red rose. All our favorite foods were ordered. We had a lovely view and enjoyed ourselves immensely. The hotel room was extra nice and included a bottle of champagne on ice. It was a dream come true and became the wedding night we hadn’t had. (Another disaster story for another time.)
Fond memories remain almost fifty years later.
Meet the Author
My hubby and I were missionaries in the 70’s and 80’s raising money for Bibles, New Testaments, Book of John, paper, ink and helped set up a couple of print shops in churches. We traveled with our 2 small boys with our base here in Texas.
With our family grown and grand-children galore, we live in west-central Texas with a barn full of critters enjoying the country life.
Thank you to Eve Culley for sharing her special Valentine's Day memory with us today. You can read her regular column on the 2nd Monday each month here at Pandora's Box Gazette.