Friday, August 29, 2014

Today is our Anniversary...can we make it 72 years too!

Today my husband and I celebrate our 21st Anniversary. I am expecting another card this year that has words in it that catch my heart. Bill buys the best cards every year. I don’t get flowers and gifts, but the words in the cards always touch my heart. For me our romance is not chocolates and roses, instead Bill comes home from work every day and no matter how his day has gone, 

and he says something funny that lights up my day. When you suffer from chronic pain, sometimes you can get a little depressed, but Bill has a way of snapping me out of it with his humour. He is always the first one to hop up and warm up my magic heat bag when I need it. I use it so often the three minute button no longer works on our microwave. The absolute best thing he does…. Wash the dishes. He knows I have trouble doing things some days so he helps out where he can. To me that is more valuable than flowers. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY HONEY the first 21 years are gone and hopefully many more to come.

A couple of years ago at our daughter Lynsay's wedding

One of my favourite wedding memories was that in the middle of our vows, our daughter Trina who was 3 ½ at the time came up and pulled on my dress and told me she had to go potty (right now Mommy). 

Sorry the picture is so bad, this is a picture of the scrapbook page in our wedding album

We had to take a break for a few minutes as she did not want anyone else to take her. I do not think the pastor was thrilled but what do you do.
This year I am trying to cook a nice dinner for Bill for our Anniversary, using some of the recipes we served at our wedding. I will follow up with the menu later this week.  Right now I want to share an anniversary story about another couple who I think are amazing. (Dinner was amazing I cannot wait to share)

Dave and Lucy at their  72nd Anniversary Party 2014

A few weeks ago I came across a story in our local newspaper, about a couple who were celebrating their 72nd anniversary. Their names are Lurana (Lucy) and Dave Dougan. They are currently living at an assisted living home in Campbell River. Lucy now has a bit of dementia and must live in the secure wing of the home and Dave lives in another part of the same building. No matter what Dave and Lucy have lunch together almost every day. It really caught my heart, as I knew my own Anniversary was coming up. I had an overwhelming urge to find out more about a couple that could stay married for such a long time. If Bill and I were to celebrate an anniversary of seventy two years we would reach an age of 113 (Bill) and 102 (me). It could be done, but it would be hard to reach that age. We would celebrate our 72nd anniversary in 2065, doesn’t it sound like a long time from now.  

Dave and Lucy Wedding 1942

How old would you be when you reached your 72nd wedding anniversary?
I was so intrigued by this story that I contacted the granddaughter of the couple. Her name is Allison Hyatt. She is one amazing young lady. She actually wrote a book about her grandfather’s history in logging, gardening and life. Doug dropped out of high school in eighth grade and went to work. His life revolved around logging for many years. The book is called the Flower Child Logger as for many years even before it was the “right thing to do” Dave was very conscious of the environment and tried his best to protect our beautiful forests. He loved finding out about the flowers and fauna around him, which is a love he learnt from his own Mother who was a gardener. Dave and Lucy lived around various places in British Columbia during their 72 years, mostly on the islands around Vancouver Island, and on Vancouver Island. They had a sailboat in their later years and Dave became an even more avid gardener. He was smitten with growing Rhododendrons. He eventually ended up being the president of the Victoria Rhododendron society. 

Malahat Gardens, you can see Dave's beautiful Rhododendrons

You can see where the title of the book comes from when you realise how committed to gardening Dave became. During the years Lucy went on a four month trip around the world. Her husband Dave was grateful when she returned to him. Dave learnt very colourful language in his years in the forests. He was even shocked by the swearing when he started out but eventually in his own words they were just effin trees. His most used vocabulary became around the words of effin this and that. Allison when she wrote the book tried to find a cleaner way to express Dave’s language. When Dave was asked how they managed to stay married for 72 years his reply was “Dumb effin luck”. I am sure there is more to it than that and by reading the book we might learn a thing or two about staying married for a lifetime.
The book that Allison Hyatt has written tells the tale of Dave and Lucy, their marriage and a history of logging in the islands of British Columbia. They lived and worked through the depression, forest accidents and forest fires. Dave was turned down for the draft board due to some recent burns he received in a forest fire (where he lost his brother). Dave and Lucy adopted a daughter who was the light of their eyes until she passed away in an automobile accident in 1968. They also adopted a son Michael who now is the parent of their grandchildren. If any of you have lost a child or know someone who has you will realise just how amazing this couple is. Not all couples can survive the loss of one of their children. So if you are like me and you want to know more about this wonderful couple and the stories about logging in the early years of Vancouver Island you will want to purchase a copy of Allison’s book about her family and her Grandfather Dave Dougan. In case you are wondering I am in no way affiliated with this book, I have just fallen for the couple’s story. To obtain a copy of the “Flower Child Logger” contact the author Allison Hyatt at 2341 Dowler Pl. Victoria, BC V8T 4H5. Her phone number is 250-588-9224 and her email is The book costs $15.00 plus shipping if ordered from Allison. You can also find it on

The book was named by Allison’s Grandfather “Flower Child Logger” because that is what Dave always called himself. In the book you will find many more stories about early logging and about when the couple were younger and about their children. Can you imagine Lucy was 17 and Dave was 20 and they have managed to stay married for a whole 72 years? Most people are lucky to live that long.
What readers can expect to learn when they buy the book and read it? They will learn about one family’s journey spanning most of the 20th century in the Cowichan Valley. There is a page about the Cowichan Valley and what became of multiple children. There is a page about Dougan’s cemetery in Cobble Hill, and there is a family tree for Dave and Lucy that is current as of 2010 when the book was printed.
If you want to find the original newspaper story that inspired me it is on the website for the Campbell River Courier on Wednesday August 6th. 72 years of marriage and counting

Usually I place a quote at the end of each of my blogs, today I am going to include the verse from the beautiful card my husband gave me tonight. It brought me to tears and I really want to share its very deep meaning. When you read it you have to understand that both of us have been struggling the last few years with health issues. Me much longer but now it is both of us together.

The day we promised for better or worse, there was no way we could have known what that would mean. But as the years have gone by, we’ve come to understand. It means that whether things are running smoothly around here or they get a little crazy…whether I need a best friend in my corner or just one of your smiles to remind me everything will be ok…whether we’re sharing a magic moment or just the day-to-day of it all…It means that our love is real, we’re in this together – for better, for worse, for always. Happy Anniversary Love Bill.

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