The best marriages get even sweeter with the passing of time.
For some couples, love at first sight is a moment shared that defines their relationships. But it takes a deep commitment to make it last.
When she was 30, Gwen Grayson was enjoying an after-work meal and beer with Wilma Mankiller at Granny’s Attic.
“This guy pulled up wearing a black jacket, on a black motorcycle with beautiful back hair. Wow, who’s that?” Gwen wondered aloud.
Mankiller answered, “That’s my friend, Joe.”
He came in, ordered a pitcher of beer, and joined the women.
“Hi, Wilma,” he said. “Who’s your friend?”
Gwen remembers Joe asking, “What color are your eyes?” and her response: “Green.”
“I thought, what beautiful children we would make,” Gwen recalled. “And we did.”
It was love at first sight, Grayson said: “Some people grow into love and some know right away.”
Mankiller used to enjoy telling people she saw sparks of two people in love at first sight.
“We’ve been very comfortable, had a perfect life – not without conflict, but our marriage is a happy place to be,” Gwen said. “Others may not see it, but he’s funny; he makes me laugh.”
Gwen’s intellect, Joe said, is what he first admired about his wife.
“But her eyes overruled that,” he added.
A good marriage means being with someone you can count on no matter what, Gwen said.
“Marriage is the exercise of sticking together through challenging times, committing to a forever relationship,” she said.
“You have to love the person, be calm about everything. Be adaptable and respectful,” Joe added.
The Graysons agree they look forward to each day and what it brings. In their comfortable chairs, she often reads while he cleans one of his guns. They also cook together.
When he was working, Joe said, Gwen was right there, traveling with him and supporting him.
“She worked very, very hard, her and the kids,” he said. “Over the years, we’ve loved being with each other and doing things for each other. We like taking drives out in the country and over to Arkansas to look at old houses.”
A scripture – Ecclesiastes 4:12 – they keep posted on their refrigerator represents their marriage, Gwen said: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Other local couples also shared a glimpse into their love stories.
Diane and Jeff Walker just celebrated their 25th anniversary. They met at Northeastern State University 28 years ago when they were students.
“Even though we have a lot in common, our differences really balance each other out,” Diane said. “We have fun together and with our girls, Lauren and Rachel. We love our family vacations, but we also know the importance of having our time alone together as a couple.”
Mitzi and Jeff Reasor met in high school at Tahlequah and have been married 36 years.
“I noticed him one day, and thought he was the cutest guy I had ever seen!” Mitzi recalled. Today, she especially admires “his love for our family and his dedication to the business he helped build.”
Her recipe for a happy family: Soak up all the different stages together.
“I think young couples today should not rush things too much,” she said. “ Work hard, but spend time together now. Life goes by fast! Talk to each other, say ‘I love you’ and be forgiving.”
Several people left perceptions of joyful marriage online.
Suzy Andrews knew she was in love with her now-husband, Gary, the first time she saw him in seventh grade. They’ve been married 40 years.
“My stomach flipped and my heart fluttered. I do believe he felt the same,” she said.
The key to a long and loving relationship is to keep God the head of your household, she said.
“Learn to love no matter what; be tough through the storms of life and always remember that no two people love alike,” she said. “Find joy in the fact your spouse loves you. I love the fact that we can both be in the living room, him watching TV and me reading, and all is still good.”
Communication has been important to the 14-year marriage of Joseph and Jennifer Bosley.
“The key for us has been communication,” he said. “Deal with one problem at a time; don’t try to fix all at once.”
He admires his wife’s strength and positive outlook, which keeps him going.
“I know now more than ever how much she loves me and how lost I would be without her,” he said.
Bryn Smith believes respect for one another is absolutely key.
“Listening to each other – not trying to provide a solution to things you merely think you know better, but just listening actively, boring or not,” she said. “I value how my husband treats women, respectfully and gently.”
Respect is also critical for B.J. Foreman.
“Humor, respect, thoughtfulness, consideration, honesty, and appreciation,” Foreman said. “After 37 years of marriage, I know what teamwork is in a marriage. Not all times are wonderful. All are not terrible, but one thing remains constant: companionship.”
Humor is valuable, too, said Molly Peterson.
“More and more, I appreciate Jerald’s nearsightedness!” she said.
On cusp of Valentine’s Day, couples share secrets to happy marriage
The best marriages get even sweeter with the passing of time.
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Tahlequah firefighters honor Culver and Nissen
Tahlequah firefighters honored a fallen brother last week during their annual banquet and memorial service.
Fire Chief Ray Hammons said the department lit a candle and had the ringing of the bell – a “last alarm” – in honor of the late Bob Ed Culver.
“We pay special remembrances every year for all those firefighters who have paved the way for us to get to where we are today,” said Hammons.
Firefighter Cody Nissen was also honored with the Nick Purkey Award, formally known as the Firefighter of the Year honor.
Computer class gets seniors in tech groove
In the fast-paced world of electronic communications, sometimes the elderly may feel they’ve been left behind.
Area resident Jenny Dameron hopes to bring local seniors up to speed by teaching them computing basics. Dameron is hosting a class each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 at the Tahlequah Senior Citizens Center.
Passage of film rebate bill aids Oklahoma
In the past decade, Cherokee County has been the site of tw o feature-length films, and thanks to the passage of a recent House bill, the area remains fiscally attractive to both big-budget filmmakers and independents.
Last week, House members reversed an earlier decision to sunset a film tax-rebate program by voting in favor of HB 2580. A similar bill has been passed in the Senate, and extends the Compete with Canada Film Act through July 1, 2024.
The Act provides a film tax rebate to productions that select Oklahoma for filming.
Two Okay men booked in school, church burglaries
Area authorities are working together to solve several school and church burglaries after two Okay men were caught stealing air conditioners in Sequoyah County early Tuesday morning.
A suspicious vehicle was reported Tuesday morning near a Marble City school in Sequoyah County, and deputies there soon spotted a truck leaving the scene.
Deputies tried to stop the truck and were involved in a short chase that ended near Adair County.
Hulbert board rehires staff, administrators
During the regular meeting of the Hulbert Public Schools Board of Education on Monday, members unanimously approved the rehiring of seven administrators and staff.
Rehired were Taf Morphis as principal of the elementary school; Packy Ellis as transportation and maintenance director; Patsy Duck as special education director; Leslie Mack as treasurer and payroll clerk; Becky Morehead as encumbrance and activity fund clerk; Mary Kennedy as federal programs assistant; and Roger McClure as elementary teaching assistant.
A stitch in time
They may be seasoned sewing veterans, but local members of the Oklahoma Home and Community Education clubs learned a new stitching craft Monday morning.
Beth Corn led the class, and the objective was to create decorative items from strips of fabric and cotton clothesline cord. Corn and fellow OHCE member Ann Lamons had several completed items on display, including coasters, trivets, throw rugs and even baskets with lids.
“I learned how to do this just watching TV, but I found some instructions in a book and printed them out for everybody,” said Corn. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes while learning, but that’s part of the fun. Once you learn how to do this today, you’ll be able to branch out and use the technique for all kinds of things.”
The class was well-attended, with so many mem bers some attendees ended up having to share sewing machines.
Sheppard takes place of Tinnin on TPS board
Members of the Tahlequah Public Schools Board of Education reorganized, swore in a new member, and passed a further adjustment to the 2013-14 school calendar.
TPS has missed 13 days during the school year due to inclement weather, and classes will not be held on March 31 for a professional development day approved by the school board in the consent docket.
The district has invited teachers, parents and community leaders to attend the Oklahoma Education Coalition rally at the state capitol to demonstrate support for increased education funding.
Cherokee Nation touts minimum wage hike, credit rating upgrade
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. made an appearance at Monday night’s tribal council meeting, as both Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief Joe Crittenden were out of town.
“As you know, it’s a very busy and crucial time at the state capitol this week,” said Hoskin. “As such, Chief Baker is in Oklahoma City tending to issues that relate to the tribe. Joe Crittenden in Washington, D.C., this week, attending the National Congress of the American Indian.”
Hoskin touted the recent executive order raising the tribe’s minimum wage, as well as news that the Cherokee Nation’s credit rating has been upgraded to triple B.
Greenwood Elementary’s fourth-grade robotics team headed to world competition with innovative project
When five Greenwood Elementary School fourth-graders volunteered to be part of a newly-forming robotics team this past October, they never dreamed that six months later, they’d be competing in a world championship tournament in Anaheim, Calif.
Bryson Page, Lyndsie Kinney, Rylee Jafrie, Ryan Mattox and Ashton Kinsey, along with two robotics teams from Tahlequah Middle School, fared well enough at VEX robotics team regional and state competitions to earn slots among 72 other teams competing for world recognition.
“Back in October, we received a donation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum from the Cherokee Nation,” said Nikki Molloy, Greenwood parent liaison and robotics team coach. “The donation was a robotic kit, and each elementary site, along with TMS, received kits. The first time we gave the kids the kits, we just let them have at it.”
Seizure issues growing more controversial
Aside from the texts and the rights they enumerate, there are some stark contrasts between the Third and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
Virtually no one disagrees about the Third Amendment. There are only rare instances of its being litigated, and it has never been the legal basis for a decision of the Supreme Court.
On the other hand, litigation and dissension over the Fourth Amendment is routine.
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