Oh, the Places You’ll Go
In the famous Dr. Seuss tale called Oh, the Places You’ll Go! , we’re told that life is going to be an adventure from now on. My husband received 2 copies of the Seuss classic when he retired from a job as a school administrator. I guess people thought we had lead a pretty mundane life up until then. Little did they know that our life was one big adventure, at least for us, from the beginning of our marriage.
We began our life together when I was a 19 year old college student during the cold war. The first year of our marriage was defined not so much by what happened but what did not happen. My husband was being shipped to Japan in the fall of 1960 and we had planned to marry. I was going to join him on this adventure. But, after we had planned our wedding, bought the wedding dress and ordered the flowers, the US government decided that the trade deficit between the United States and other countries in the world could be improved by keeping U.S. service men’s wives at home. I remember opening the door of my dorm room to see headlines on the Oregonian newspaper that read “No Service Wives Overseas” or something like that.
We did marry. I did continue to go to college. But I did not go to Japan. It was a year that we have never forgotten…lonely, hard and life changing. When my husband returned 14 months later, I only had three terms of college left. He found work with the Union Pacific Railroad in another town and we stayed the course. Because I did not go to Japan, I graduated from college and was able to help put my husband through college.
Our life as educators provided enough excitement and risk for a dozen people. We retired 32 years later to start a second and equally wonderful adventure. Who knows where we would have gone and what we would have seen if Japan had really happened. Life is full of “ifs” but we don’t care because we were not in control of our fate. And we’re loving the way it is turning out.