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WOW! WE’VE BEEN MARRIED 53 YEARS AND IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER

Champagne

When I woke up the other morning, I glanced over at my sleeping husband who had once again wrapped himself in all the blankets and the realization hit me, “Wow, we’ve been married for 53 years!” Then I recalled what our son had said not long ago, “You guys have been married longer than all of my friends’ parents combined!”

The next thing that popped into my mind was that it wasn’t so much the number of years as it was the quality of our relationship. I smiled to myself, and happily moseyed into the kitchen thinking about how lucky we were to be married and how it all began. Very often, after people find out how long we’ve been married, they immediately want to know how we met.

It was simply a fluke.

I was just nineteen, studying at UCLA and working part-time as a combination babysitter and nursery school teacher for a group of young children whose mothers all lived on the same block of San Ysidro Drive in Beverly Hills. I was studying art and really wasn’t trained to be a nursery school teacher but I had a lot of enthusiasm, energy and I loved kids.

Sandy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
On the other hand, my social life had just tanked. I had been living somewhat of a clichéd teenager’s life ––– I was the head song leader in high school and was dating the star football quarterback. We had been going together for two or three years and planned on getting married. One day out of the blue, he decided that we were too young for marriage and broke up with me. I was devastated.

Two weeks later, surrounded by my toddlers at nursery school, I was talking to one of the mothers as we watched the kids giggling and playing. I mentioned that my boyfriend had recently dumped me. She turned to me and smiled, “I have a dear friend, Bob. I’ll fix you up with him. We went to UCLA together…

Bob_FloridaUSAFS

…He’s great looking, has a super sense of humor and is very sharp. But nothing will ever come of it because he’s much older than you, very sophisticated, has traveled all over the world and had been married to this gorgeous blonde. But, I’ll give him your number. You never know.”

Bob_montage

To be honest, this guy didn’t sound very promising and I didn’t think any more about it. But, later that same week I got a call from him. He asked me what I was doing that weekend. I said, “Do you really want to know the truth?” He replied, “Yes, of course.” and I said, “I’m not doing a damned thing.” Later, my husband-to-be told me how impressed he had been with my honesty, particularly in someone so young. He asked to take me to dinner on a Friday night. He suggested picking me up after work and taking me to his apartment so he could change and then we’d go out to dinner.

On that fateful night, the doorbell rang. My mother opened the door, Bob walked in and I fell in love. He was so good-looking. To my teenage mind he had it all ––– he was really handsome and he had a foreign car! What more could a nineteen-year-old girl ask for?

We drove to his apartment in Brentwood. It was actually a charming little mews cottage down a country lane lined with Eucalyptus trees. I walked in, and was immediately struck by the inviting fireplace set in an entire wall of used brick. His furniture consisted of two chairs, a coffee table and the largest stereo speakers I’d ever seen. He immediately put on a record of some really cool music, Ella Fitzgerald singing Rogers and Hart. After he changed his clothes, he asked if I’d like a martini. Martini? “Sure,” I said. I’ve never had one before but why not. So we sipped martinis, listened to music and talked a lot. Then he suggested a restaurant for dinner. I was so comfortable, I just blurted out, “Why don’t we just barbecue and eat here? I can cook.”

Well, he was blown away. A first date who actually wanted to cook. We went to the local market, Westward Ho, where I proceeded, fortified by a martini, to weave down the aisles clutching the shopping cart. We bought a top sirloin steak and the makings for a salad and off we went. He barbecued, I made a salad and that was the beginning of our fifty-three years together.

Sandy_Bob

We continued to date and discovered how much we enjoyed being together. We laughed at the same things and never stopped talking. We always seemed to be on the same wave length. Although our relationship was growing and deepening and seemed to be leading towards marriage, he was concerned about my age. While I had no reservations at all, this was a problem that plagued Bob. So one night, he went out alone to dinner with a very close male friend and after many drinks told his friend all about me and his concerns about my age. His friend stared for a long time into his drink, then up at Bob and quietly said, “For a long time now you’ve been describing Sandy to me. You’ve told me that she’s loving, intelligent, beautiful, sensitive and kind. And you’re complaining about her being young. Tell me, what are you waiting for? Rigor mortis?”

Things moved pretty quickly after that and Bob asked me to marry him. But, he thought we should wait until I turned twenty so I wouldn’t be a teenager when we got married. That was fine with me. I was thrilled to be marrying the man I loved at any age.

Sandy_in_car

Suddenly his mother became ill. Terminally ill. She was hospitalized and I thought it would make her happy if she could see her son get married. I suggested we marry immediately and have the ceremony at the hospital. We decorated the hospital solarium with flowers, invited close family, had a chuppah set up –––it’s a canopy under which a Jewish couple stand during their wedding ceremony. I was so nervous that I waited outside the room reading a telephone book. When the ceremony began, I started crying and my nose started running. I didn’t know what to do. My husband glanced at me, smiled and put out his hand to catch ––– how shall I say this ––– the drippings from my nose. At that moment, I realized that love takes many forms and that Bob truly was the right man for me.

Wedding

Fifty-three years later, we love each other more than ever. Yes, there have been good times and bad times. But we have always worked things through and we have the same set of values. People often remark that we seem to have so much to say to one another. It’s just that we share so many interests in common like classical music, computers, photography, hiking, skiing, art, museums, movies, books and grandchildren. We’re nearly always on the same page in life. Well, that is until I told him that I was going to blog about how we met and married. My dear husband, the perennial producer and director said, “Why bother? No one will care. “

Fifty-three years later and he still hasn’t learned that he’s not right all the time.

Sandy&Bob

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie.

 

All images appearing on WOW! WE’VE BEEN MARRIED 53 YEARS AND IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER are the expressed property of Sandra Sallin. All rights reserved. In other words, don’t steal it!



  • Claudia Schmidt - Such a great love story. In this day and age it’s remarkable that you two have stayed together that long, congratulations. He sounds like quite a catch. Here’s to many more anniversaries together.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Yes, he is a catch. Love him to bits! Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Campos - How wonderful, many congratulations to you both.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Jenny I appreciate your lovely wishes.ReplyCancel

  • Isabel - What a wonderful story – made me smile on this Monday morning. Happy Anniversary!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - In this busy time I’m so happy I could start your day with a smile. Thanks Isabel.ReplyCancel

  • A Pleasant House - Oh Sandra I just LOVED this story. You two are a true inspiration to all of us! And the photo’s!!! Fabulous!!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Oh Cheryl, you’re the best. Thank so much. A long and loving marriage is a lot of work. But we worked together to make it what it is.ReplyCancel

  • Anita@ Losing Austin - What gorgeous photos! And you truly look just the same.

    Congratulations.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Why Anita, what a compliment. Come on over and I’ll cook something divine for you. Just don’t look too close.:)ReplyCancel

  • AlexandraFunFit - Not only is Bob wrong about people caring about your story, he’s also one damned lucky guy. Tell him I said!!!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Ha! Yes, I’m certainly going to rub it in. Thanks for the compliments. I read all of you suggestions for staying fit.ReplyCancel

  • angela - love this…you were and are so beautiful!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Oh, thank you so much Angela. I appreciate your reading and commenting.Good Luck.ReplyCancel

  • Angela @Momopolize - Happy Anniversary!! What a wonderful story, and even more wonderful life you two have together. Thanks for bothering to sharing the story – yes, I DO care! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Well, I can’t wait to show my husband the comments. I win! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Pat - Congratulations on a remarkable marriage. I really enjoyed this story and especially liked the black and white photographs that captured your love and happiness in the twinkle in your eyes.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Pat. I can’t wait to show him the comments. Glad you liked the photos.ReplyCancel

  • Corinne Rodrigues - Tell Bob a woman in India says he should listen to his wife more often! What a beautiful story of romance and lasting love, Sandra. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you both many more years of love and friendship.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Corrine Rodrigues. Yes, I will tell him that everyone loves a good love story. Especially from India.ReplyCancel

  • GK Adams @ American Small Towns - I absolutely loved this peek into your wedded bliss. So glad you shared!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Gina. Glad you enjoyed it. I told my husband, we all love a good love story. I told him.ReplyCancel

  • Barb Best - A beautiful love story! “We are nearly always on the same page in life” – great insight… I’m bookmarking this post!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Barb.Glad you enjoyed it.ReplyCancel

  • Rich Rumple - I’m not going to ask what came after that first dinner. Some things are better left for the imagination. 🙂 I am curious, though. You never did mention how much older than you he is. I’m guessing six years. Am I close? Oh, I wish you and he the most happy of days ahead, and a Tremendous Anniversary today!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Ok Richard here is what bugs me. My husband is 9-10 years older than I. No one, I mean no one tells me how young I look, but EVERYONE is shocked that he is 82. Eveyone says he looks and acts twenty years youngher. Please say I look much younger?ReplyCancel

  • Natalie - The Cat Lady Sings - I love a good love story, and girl, this is a good one! Well told and very sweet.
    Happy anniversary! This story makes me look forward to many more years with my own husband. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Natalie, enjoy every day. Wait, treasure everyday, or at least be aware of the gift everyday. Enjoy each other right now.ReplyCancel

  • Carpool Goddess - What a fabulous story!!! And you are a marvelous story teller, Sandy. Happy, happy, happy Anniversary to you and Bob! xoReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thank you my Goddess.Love our friendship.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - You guys are just so dang romantic. Still such a handsome couple too. And I love that you end with a photo of you both laughing. I suspect Bob shares your good-natured love of life? Congratulations.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thank you Lisa. Yes, we both laugh a great deal together. In fact sometimes I tell him to not say anything funny until I’ve been to the ladies room. He really cracks me up. I still laugh at jokes he’s been telling me for 53 years. He’s a delight to me.ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl - What a beautiful, romantic, hopeful story – happy anniversary to a very special couple!ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie - Sandy, I loved this! Congratulations on 53 years of wedded bliss! I tell all my friends that marriage is full of peaks and valleys. Enjoy the peaks, and never let go of one another’s hands in the valley.

    Much love to you and your other half!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Oh Bonnie, I love your statement of never letting go of each other’s hands in the valley. So touching and so true.ReplyCancel

  • Emily - Happy Anniversary! What a beautiful couple you are — I can see the joy and love you share in these photos…going to share the post now so that we can make this love story go viral!!ReplyCancel

  • Julie Phelps - Definitely, for sure, we DO CARE and we appreciate hearing how it all began.
    Congrats to you both – wishing you many more years of enviable togetherness and joy in each other.ReplyCancel

  • Treva Brandon - Thank you Sandra for sharing your lovely story and thoughts. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a bride at 19 or a first-time bride at 50 like me, it’s about believing in love. Thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thank you for reading Treva. You’re it doesn’t matter the age, it’s the love.ReplyCancel

  • Real Life Parenting - I LOVE this story … and that last photo just captures it all!!! What fun!

    And I hope he doesn’t hate being wrong too much 😉ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks, he’s taking it all with a sense of humor an just said he’s clueless in some areas. Now he knows which areas. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Nichole - That is a lovely story. Happy anniversary!ReplyCancel

  • lisa thomson - What super sweet and romantic story! Of course, it’s all we care about…tell Bob I said that. It’s fascinating that you’ve been happily married as long as you have so naturally we want to know your secret but there is no secret, only love.ReplyCancel

  • Karen - Aw, what a lovely story, Sandra! Thanks for telling it–it really has made my day!
    ^K.ReplyCancel

  • Helene Cohen Bludman - Yours was a match made in heaven. Love this story! I always love reading your posts, Sandra. Happy Anniversary!ReplyCancel

  • Lisha Fink - Fabulous love story! On our first date my husband cooked for me, too. Except I think we had beer instead of martinis. But 30 years later, I love him more than ever.

    Congratulations to you and Bob! Everyone does love a good love story.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Lisha. Ii had to be much older to learn to like beer. I was raised on martinis,. 🙂 So glad you’re so in love and aren’t you lucky he can cook. My husband makes cornflakes.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - A wonderful story:). Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!!ReplyCancel

  • Rich Rumple - “Gee, Sandra,it’s amazing how young you look in comparison to that old man you call your husband. There must be at least twenty years difference between the two of you!” (Okay, do I get my Wheaties for that one?) 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sandra - Happy Anniversary Sandy and Bob!

    When I first met you and Bob, I distinctly remember thinking that I had just had the pleasure of meeting a genuinely happy couple. The natural and playful banter between the two of you was palpable.

    Thanks for sharing this story. I loved it! You had me laughing out loud a couple of times. These are wonderful photos of you and Bob. So great!ReplyCancel

  • Tracie - I love this so much. And not just because I married my older husband when I was 19, and felt a bit of similarity in our stories. A love story is certainly something to be celebrated – especially one like this that has lasted for so long. Congratulations.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Oh Tracie tell me more. Your cartwheels have great style! And it’s definitely much better than mine. I can stand on my head but I don’t think I have your style.ReplyCancel

  • Elin Stebbins Waldal - What a fabulous story! I absolutely love learning how people met and loved reading every morsel of your story. Congratulations and cheers to many more wonderful years. (Oh and maybe you want to share w/Bob that my Grandma was 30 years younger than my Grandpa!)ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Wow, thirty years younger. Well, then I’m not so bad. I’m nine to ten years younger, but you’d never see it when we’re together. Everyone is astounded at how young he looks and absolutely no one says the same to me!ReplyCancel

  • Janine Smith - Funny, I always thought you were older than Bob…KIDDING! You’re both youthful in looks and attitude. Happy anniversary!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Janine. Actually everyone thinks he’s so young and no one ever says that to me.ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Chester - You are by far the coolest lady I have ever met, and I think I just fell in love with your husband. What a fabulous post, and an extraordinary couple!

    Wow is about all I can say.

    Thank you for sharing your life, Sandra.

    Biggest hugs,
    CathyReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Cathy. I feel the same way about you. You’re smart to love my husband he can be so utterly charming and at the same time be there when you need him in any way. I’ll keep him.ReplyCancel

  • Leslie Lord - Lovely story and what a great history you two have had together!
    Congratulations on your long marriage.
    I think that you were an adorable young woman and that last image of you is gorgeous.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Leslie. Love your blog. I’m a faithful reader. I love that photo because here we were laughing and holding hands I’m sure without even realizing it.ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - Such a lovely story, Sandy! Loved every minute of it. Wonderful to still see two wild and crazy kids so much in love.ReplyCancel

  • Piper george - That’s beautiful and fabulous. Truly inspirational. My ‘ole man’ worries about being older than me, but how can it be relevant when we have fun togetherReplyCancel

    • sandra - You’re right Piper. It’s the fun you have together. Doesn’t matter what the age is.ReplyCancel

  • belindambrock@gmail.com - yes, your dear, handsome husband was wrong—a lovely story that i enjoyed reading.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Oh, my husband knows now. Glad you enjoyed reading.ReplyCancel

  • Julia - Congratulations Bob and Sandy!! I love hearing how people met and how their relationship developed.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks for reading and commenting Julia.ReplyCancel

  • Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) - Beautiful story! Congratulations — love how happy you look in all the photos.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Wolman - Sandy,

    What a beautiful story, an inspiration to all! It was obviously meant to be.

    Thank you for sharing, and yes, lOVE the pictures.
    XO
    AndreaReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thank you Andrea. So glad you enjoyed it.ReplyCancel

  • BeckyJane - Your story is an inspiration. My husband and I have been married 36 years and I understand the full meaning behind your statement that ‘it just keeps getting better.’
    As a Wellness and Lifestyle Consultant, I work with couples who want to re-ignite their relationship and their health. I would like to add a link to your story on my website if that’s okay with you. (Just so my clients and readers know my husband and I are not the only ones.)So many couples don’t realize that they can work through their problems and still love eachother. Let me know what you think!

    My Website: http://wholehealthempowermentllc.com/
    My Blog: http://www.bybeckyjane.com/ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks for the honor of linking. I hope your couples are inspired.ReplyCancel

  • jhanis - Made me smile! And I hope you have already convinced your husband that there are so many who loves a good love story!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Trust me he knows now. Glad to make you smile.ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen - What a beautiful story and LOVED the photos! These days being married for longer than 5 years seems to be an achievement. Good for you for making it to 53 years, I guess you picked the right guy!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Boy, did we both pick the right person. Lucky!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - What a wonderful story, and yes, women do love to know the beginnings, how you met etc. It sounds like you were best friends from the start and it’s continued, even through the inevitable difficult times. What a loving gesture on your part to be married in the hospital so his very ill mother could see it. Really gave me goosebumps.
    I’m very lucky that I married a man I love deeply this time and is also my best friend. Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that we’ll ever celebrate 53 years together, but whatever we have, I feel lucky. Thanks for sharing a beautiful love story.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - What a great anniversary story! I love looking at all the pictures too! Stopping by from bloppy bloggers- thanks for sharing your anniversary story! We have 44 years to catch up to you!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Rachel. You’ll be there in no time.ReplyCancel

  • Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com - Congratulations on your 53rd. My husband and I have just completed 36 and now you’ve given me/us inspiration. Actually as you say, if it’s the right combination it just works! May you continue to enjoy your love and marriage for many, many years….ReplyCancel

  • Found In Folsom - One of the sweetest real stories I have read. Corrinne shared your story and I came here. Congratulations and here’s to wishing you many more wonderful years ahead…:-)ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thank you so much so much for visiting and reading.ReplyCancel

  • Diana @ NannyToMommy - CONGRATS! That’s awesome! I have been with my husband for only 6 and I thought that was something to be proud of. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Congratulations on Six years, it’s the beginng of 53.ReplyCancel

  • Manal The Go Go Girl - That’s one of the most beautiful and romantic stories I’ve heard in a while. What makes it so special is 53 years later, you’re still in love:) Hugs to both of you and Happy Anniversary!!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thank you Manal. Yes, aren’t we lucky that we love each other more now than ever?ReplyCancel

  • KymberlyFunFit - I lived in Berlin before the wall fell and have a similar photo with that same sign! Ahhh, sweet history of our lives. What great photos you shared! So was your hubby’s mom happy to have the ceremony pushed up for her?ReplyCancel

  • G Angela - just loved reading your expereinces, thanks for sharing and congrats for the 53 years of married life …ReplyCancel

  • mindy - So lovely!. Congratulations to you both, and may the love you share continue to supply you with wonderful stories for many, many more years to come!ReplyCancel

  • Dawn - What a beautiful couple, then and NOW! Thanks for sharing your story, and best wishes for many more happy years together. xoReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thank you Dawn. Glad you enjoyed our story.ReplyCancel

  • Darryle - Beautiful love story; beautiful pictures. You’re both very very lucky people. Congratulations!!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Darryle. We do not take our luck forgranted.ReplyCancel

  • Kate Hall - I love this, Sandra! You’re right, he’s not right ALL the time. I love seeing the pictures – you’re beautiful! Congratulations on 53 years together!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Aw shucks,thanks Kate. I love the photos also. So many memories.ReplyCancel

  • Ginger Kay - He was so wrong about us not wanting to hear your story, but so right in marrying you. Happy anniversary to you both! I loved the photos, too.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Ginger. Boy, does he know now.ReplyCancel

  • Pete Vanlaw - Sandy, that’s a lovely story of your courtship and marriage. Happy anniversary to both of you. It’s so nice to find two wonderful people who’ve almost been married as long as we have. But, “Ha Ha!” We beat you by three years. 😉ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Wow Pete. Congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Judi Briscoe - Bob is correct! We care!ReplyCancel

  • Judi Briscoe - Oooos. I meant to say “Bob is INCORRECT this time”. Everyone cares. What a beautiful life you two are living and I’m so happy you are sharing that life in your blogReplyCancel

  • Gail Corcoran - Sandy,

    Congratulations to you and Bob! What a wonderful life you two have shared, I wish you many, many more joyous years together.

    GailReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thank you Gail. The same to you and Michael.ReplyCancel

  • Jean - Oh how I loved this piece. I’m meandering around your blog today and it feels like a surprise, early Christmas gift.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thank you for such a gracious compliment. Happy Holidays to you.ReplyCancel

  • Uno - I hope you will have many great years to come dear Sandy. Give my regards to Mybob. Many hugs!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Oh Uno, you’ve been missed. Thank you for the good wishes. I will relay them to Mybob. Happy New Year!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie Shebel - You two are such a cute couple! I love all the photos you include in your posts, it’s like you incorporate your art skills within your blog.

    53 years, wow! I hope I can say that one day! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Melanie. This too can happen to you. Funny that you pick up on the photos. I must include photos. You’re right it’s that visual part of me.ReplyCancel

  • Roshni - Oh, Sandra! This is so beautiful and you are so beautiful!! So proud to know you!!!ReplyCancel

  • Tana Bevan - Woo-hoo! Delightful story. Congrats!!!ReplyCancel

  • Slap Dash Mom - I think this is the sweetest blog post I’ve ever read!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Oh, that is so sweet of you. Glad you enjoyed. My husband now knows everyone loves a good love story.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Steck - Congratulations! You and your husband make me smile. It does exist!!ReplyCancel

  • Bloglovin' - Everyday Gyaan - […] that always inspires me. Sandra is a 70 year old professional artist and has been married for 53 years now. The story of how her mother escaped from Russia with rags on her feet caught the attention of the […]ReplyCancel

  • LA CONTESSA - HOW GORGEOUS was this story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Off to find the PICASSO bit from Eleanor’s blog!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Why thank you Contessa. I’m a huge fan of your blog. Absolutely delightful. You were the person who introduced me to Eleanor’s blog. Thank you for that.ReplyCancel

  • Judi - Aha… Now I understand why you always have a twinkle in your eye, a strength to create endlessly, motivation to evolve & complete every mission you choose, a joyful attitude, & a reverence for gratitude….. ‘( I know…it’s who you are,but Bob is absolutely your most loving foundation……What a blessing!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thank you Judi. We have been very lucky to be married this long.You’re right Bob is my biggest and most loving supporter and he loves your cookies. Thank you for this beautiful message.ReplyCancel

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