Newlywed Love (#96)

September 6-7, 1970

M, E, and B

A blog note:

Our daughter Birgitta and granddaughter Emerald (right) will be arriving tonight for a happy weekend in Michigan.


Then on Monday, my college roommate Julie (below) will be coming with her friend Ming for the rest of the week.


Beach buddiesBecause of these festivities, the blog-saga of Meg and Nate’s newlywed year will be on hold for a week or so.

Eventually we’ll get them to their first wedding anniversary (November 29) before closing the book on them. First, though, let’s see how the 1970 Labor Day weekend finished out:


Smooching BaronAfter Lynn and Don’s wedding, Nate and I made a bee-line across two suburbs to Mom and Dad’s place in Wilmette – anticipating a reunion with our beloved doggie Baron. As soon as we saw him, Nate scooped him up and planted a kiss right on his nose. (Picture is of a second kiss the next day…)

We were astounded by how much he’d grown. Obviously, he was a happy, healthy poochie.

On Sunday, Mom hosted a mid-day dinner that doubled as a birthday party for Dad (#71) and brother Tom (#20), who was born on Dad’s 50th.


David and TomAmong the party guests was Tom’s good friend David (to the left of Tom), the guy who had become a regular babysitter for Baron. As the afternoon unfolded, Nate and I could see how close David and Baron had become, with “our” puppy responding better to him than to us.



On the drive back to Champaign early the next morning, we could see the writing on the wall. Since we had one more year in our apartment where dogs weren’t allowed, and since Mom and Dad seemed to continually be on the move, Baron would be spending more and more time with David — and end up in his family instead of ours.

Playing with BaronThough we could rightfully claim him after our year in Champaign, by then that would be hard on both boy-and-dog. So, as we ticked off the miles toward home, we felt ourselves slowly accepting a difficult truth: we would need to begin separating from sweet Baron.

We drove along in silence trying to absorb this sad reality, and I remembered something David had said at the dinner. “I hope some day you’ll let me take care of Baron full time. That would be a dream come true for me. And my whole family already loves him.”

Though Nate was feeling low too, he came up with one positive thought. “I’m sure if Baron went with David, he’d let us visit him any time we came to town.” Since his family and ours were good friends through decades together at Moody Church, I knew that was true.

“Also,” Nate said, “letting your parents get out from under the responsibility we never should have put on them in the first place, is the right thing to do.” We both knew that, too.

Shaking a balloonBy the time we pulled into our gravel parking spot behind the apartment, Nate and I reasoned that maybe the back story of why Baron had come to us at all was because God wanted us to deliver him to David. As hard as that was to think about, it would mean that everything was actually turning out the way it was supposed to be.

“Submit to God and be at peace with him.” (Job 22:21)

Newlywed Love (#96)

September 5, 1970

After Lynn and Don’s wedding rehearsal, we were all primed to see them tie the knot. But there was much to be done first.

Done do'sWe bridesmaids, along with Lynn’s mom, headed for a salon where several hairdressers transformed our flat swimming-pool-hair to full-bodied, bouncy curls. Even my head, with hair not nearly as long as the others, was coaxed by their expert hands to cooperate. As we left, our up-dos all matched.

M,B,M,NWhen it was finally time to parade down the church aisle, all of us were eager for it, especially the bride and groom. Although Nate and I had separate assignments, we took every chance to whisper quick reminiscences about our own wedding day… such happy memories.

Mary and Bervin were there along with my parents, and Mom was at the organ. It was fun connecting with old Moody Church cronies along with former summer camp friends. And the pastor did a superb job pulling Lynn’s and Don’s life-stories together.

Cutting the cakeBefore we knew it, we were in the church fellowship hall with the newly-married couple, watching them cut their wedding cake – with one of the very long swords.

When it was all over, Nate and the others hustled upstairs to march in formation toward the wedding arch.


Arch-guys marchThe arch

Lynn and Don were definitely the stars of the day, but my personal star was Nate, and I couldn’t help being very proud of him as I watched him fulfill his duties with excellence.

Actually, I couldn’t wait to get him home alone. I wanted to tell him once more how glad I was to be married to him, knowing he’d be my partner “till death parted us,” as we had vowed on our wedding day 9 months earlier.

We all knew that Don, because of his active status with the Army, would be going to Vietnam in April. That meant he and Lynn had less than 8 months together before he would be gone for a year.

Nate and I couldn’t imagine how that would feel for a newlywed couple that just wanted to be together. But we also knew the same thing could happen to Nate, even though he was only in the reserves. It all depended on how long the war would continue.

M and NIn any case, as I watched Lynn and Don get married, I promised myself I would never take Nate’s presence for granted, not for a single day, and would appreciate every hour we had together.

“Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10)

Newlywed Love (#92)

August 31, 1970


I’d been looking forward to this day for quite some time – the chance to meet my kindergarteners. Arriving at school for a one hour meet ‘n greet with each class, I couldn’t wait to connect. And I’d be meeting many of the parents, too.

As each one entered our large classroom, I introduced myself and asked their names. Some looked at the floor while mom prodded. “Tell Mrs. Nyman your name, honey. It’s OK.”

Others began talking and didn’t stop. A little girl named Ginny said, “I have 6 sisters.”

“Oh my! What are their names?” She listed them and then I said, “Are there any brothers?”


“What are their names?”

“Daddy and Rover.”

Kdg studentsSome of the children acclimated quickly, diving into the toys, while others struggled to separate. I invited any parents who wanted to stay to feel free, but many insisted their children say goodbye, tears or not. There were 4 criers.


My heart went out to these little 5-year-olds being forced to go through what was probably their first major life-crisis. As I tried to comfort them, my candy and my lap both came in handy.

Once everyone was seated on the “story rug,” I asked each child to say one thing to the rest of us, anything they wanted. A little girl named Brittany pointed to her mother, seated next to her. “This is my mommy.”

I barely had time to welcome her when Brittany continued. With wide-open eyes she said, “Guess what? I just found out she’s married!”

While we adults shared a giggle, Susie, next in line, spoke up – wanting to out-do Brittany. “Yeah, but my mommy just had a birthday!”

Six candles“Oh, that’s nice,” I said. “How old was she?”


Oh how I loved kindergarteners!




In the course of the hour we had several skirmishes over toys or whose turn it was. But with so many parents stepping up to help, I didn’t have to deal with any of it. Instead I pushed forward with a curriculum overview as we all tried to keep a lid on irrelevant comments coming from our young peanut gallery. The parents laughed when I said our first project would be to learn how to raise our hands before speaking.

Wanting to talk

I ended the hour by telling the adults I considered it a choice privilege to be their children’s teacher and promised to stay in close touch throughout the year. Many of the families already knew each other from the neighborhood and seemed to feel right at home.

We made it through the hour with everyone intact, and as I drove home to Champaign late that afternoon, I knew it would be a fabulous year.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me. Don’t stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:14)