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40th Anniversary – Well Done Hilda and John

40th Anniversary
May 29, 1976 – 14,617 days ago

Celebrating a 40th Anniversary is something to be proud of. Very.

Creating a family is probably the ultimate do-it-yourself project. Although, I must admit that it was probably the least planned DIY project ever undertaken.

I met Hilda at a “bowling banquet” of all things. She was working (and bowling) at the Department of Highways in Winnipeg at the time. I was a single radio announcer at CJOB. Somehow I got invited to this party by some mutual friends. It was something to do on a weekend evening. We met. We danced. We laughed. We exchanged phone numbers. And, as they say, the rest is history.

The next winter, my roommate told me he was going to get his own apartment. By this time, Hilda and I were seeing a lot of each other, but we had not talked about any future plans. My pending change in accommodation circumstances provided motivation to think about the future. Did I make any sort of plan? Not really. It just struck me that getting married might be a good idea, and I could not imagine anyone else to spend the rest of my life with. Fortunately, even though my proposal was made quite informally over supper at McDonalds (strange but sadly true) she agreed.

By the way, the picture above is on our wedding day at the Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church in Winnipeg. I am signing over all of my future earnings. No, not really, it is just the marriage certificate.

40th Anniversary – One day, week, year at a time

The journey of love, marriage and family really is a DIY project for most of us. Making it Up as you go along.

Before May 29, 1976, I had never thought much about what it would be like to have a wife. My father died when I was young, so it was just me and my mom. Although I have faint memories of my mom and dad being happy together, most of my exposure to marriage came through what I saw at the homes of friends and a bit of television. Beforehand, I had never thought much about what it would be like to marry into an extended family. My mom and I were pretty much alone in Canada with few close relatives or friends. I hit a home run by marrying into the amazing and kind Neufeld family in Winnipeg. Could not have done better.

Before the arrival of our son Scott in August 1980, I had never thought much about children. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Steve and Sean followed shortly after. Three great sons who provided Hilda and I with our family. And now some grandsons to help us take the next step.

It’s been a wonderful forty years. Marrying Hilda was the best decision I ever made. Not bad for a DIY project that began without any semblance of a plan.

Just love.

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