Monday, August 03, 2009

The Hanson Clan

The celebration of my parents' 50th wedding anniversary was really a blast! We met at the YMCA of the Rockies in beautiful Estes Park, and enjoyed a myriad of activities, ate our meals together in the cafeteria, had a block of rustic hotel-type rooms all together, and even had a little meeting house at our disposal (it was named Kansas, and led to a plethora of puns about "not being in Kansas anymore.) On Saturday night, we played a wheel-of-fortune-type game: my parents competed against each other and the puzzles had both a category and a series of blanks to answer. These were all family memories and inside jokes, and my parents had to explain each one for the benefit of the grandkids. It was great fun! We also spent some time thanking Mom and Dad for their blessings in our lives. Below are some group shots from the last morning, and below them, the reflection that was read to Mom and Dad on Saturday night.

(Above) Jeni and Matt, having a good time.

The Browns: Kirk, Atalie, Hallie (behind), and Gwen

The Hansons: Marsha, Rachel, Jeff, Myka

The Finnegan contingent: Nikki and Tim, Chris and Dave

And here is the whole clan!

The Fruit of Fifty Years

In 1956, a young man began dating a young woman.

He was a senior in high school, an athlete, and a friend of her big brother.

She was a sophomore in high school at a Catholic girl’s school.

When he graduated, he enlisted in the Navy with her brother, and served his country for two years.

She finished high school at 17, and because her parents said she couldn’t marry until she was 18, she continued working at the King Korn Stamp Center at Eagles Supermarket for another year.

He went to school on the GI bill, studying business at the University of Dubuque.

They were married in 1959.

In 1960, their first daughter was born.

He worked at Karr-Adco and studied.

In 1961, their second daughter was born, and it was time for her to stop her work at King Korn.

He worked for Ralston-Purina after he graduated from college, and in 1962, their third child, a son, was born.
They survived a harrowing move from Iowa to Colorado and back that would have ended many a marriage, but they continued on.

He worked for John Deer, and then Apple River.

In 1965, their fourth child, a daughter, was born, followed by another daughter in 1968.

Apple River was overtaken by N-Ren, the country was overtaken by change,

And they were overtaken by a concern for those in need.

Their sixth child, a son, was born in 1969.

They moved to Minnesota, and then on to Ohio.

They worked, they trained their children, they cared for their parents, they helped to improve schools, they labored for the good of others.

A poster in their home said, “It is better to wear out than to rust out.” They taught this to their children.

They believed you should have integrity in your beliefs, and make them your own. They instilled this in their children.

There were happy times.

Spouses and grandchildren and retirement, all seasoned with laughter.
Houses beautifully decorated, thriving gardens, friends, fulfillment.

There were hard times.

Cancer and disease and death.

Heart-ache and disappointment, job losses and worries.

But they continued on, for more than 50 years. And what is the fruit of those years?

We are your legacy.

Those you have loved and helped and touched are the fruit of your hands.

Thank you for giving us stability and love, years of laughter and support.

Thank you for raising your children to be faithful and fruitful.

Your children and grandchildren reach out beyond your reach to a big, wide world and affect it for good, thanks to your love.

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad! We love you!

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