With our engagement official, there were decisions to make. Foremost, I had to decided what to do about finishing college. One year to go. The problem for me was that I was still paying down my bill from the previous year. A good summer job had helped, but I really didn’t want to start my senior year still paying on my junior year.
You have to remember, this was over 50 years ago. A semester for me, at the private Christian college I attended, ran to maybe $600. Seems like a pittance compared to what young people pay these days. I worked my way through, as many others did, and lived on a shoestring. There was no undesignated money. Every penny was spent before I even put my check in the bank.
I had 27 class hours to graduate, and I wondered if I could do it all in the second semester. I would continue working during the fall semester, finish paying off the previous year, and start my last semester free and clear.
We talked about it together; consulted my mom and dad, and prayed for wisdom. Terry was concerned that my load would be too heavy, but I had already consulted with the school, explaining my situation, and they agreed to work with me to make it doable.
So I stayed home. Terry and I both worked in downtown St. Paul, so he was able to take me to work and pick me up. I took a couple of correspondence courses at home, to help decrease the class load when I went back in January. Those courses cut the hours from 27 to 21, and one class would be a once-a-week seminar in British Literature. I thought I would be able to handle it.
We drove to Terry’s childhood home in Iron River, Michigan. He still thinks it’s the best place in the world. Maybe not the town, after all this time has passed, but he loved the woods and the freedom he had up there. He has always thought he had an ideal childhood. That was the first time I met his parents. They introduced me to his grandmother, as well. Nana was a wonderful lady with a joyful spirit. She had come over from Germany when she was only 16, to marry a man to whom she had been betrothed as an infant. He was at least 20 years older, if my memory is accurate. They settled in Chicago, where Terry’s mother grew up. His dad was born and had lived all his life in Iron River.
We promised to come back over the Christmas break, and what a delight that was! Terry’s dad was a well-known graphic artist in the area, and he loved doing Christmas scenes. I wish I had photos of those that he did outdoors, but I don’t. The inside, though, was also a treat. These old photos don’t really do it justice:
That Christmas trip was also my first time ever riding a snowmobile. Great fun!
That’s me in the yellow snowsuit. Looks kind of like a banana with a belt 🙂
The building in the background was Terry’s dad’s hunting camp. It was rustic but homey and very comfortable, out in the middle of the woods exactly where Terry thought it should be 🙂
We also got a start on wedding plans. I wanted to get as much settled as possible before I went back to school, where free time would be scarce. So it was a busy fall, and the time went very fast. I was headed back to school in January almost before I knew it.