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 (#95)

September 6-8, 1970


My friend Lynn and I had a storehouse of memories big enough to fill several books, going back to our pre-teen days.

Lynn, high schoolOver the years we’d gotten to know each other well as together we strategized in and out of countless boy-girl relationships.

Once in a while we’d sit down and list what would make the perfect husband.

When Nate and I began dating, Lynn walked with me through the 3 years of ups and downs that finally led to our wedding. And I was with her the night she met Don and through all the heart-to-hearts that followed.

Now we had come to their wedding weekend, and as Nate and I raced toward the Chicago area from Champaign to participate, we couldn’t have been happier for them. Chatting through the miles, I recounted to Nate what a loyal friend Lynn had been as I remembered her excitement the weekend we got married.

Though she and Don had met by then, they lived 850 miles apart and no commitments had yet been made. But despite Lynn not being sure she’d be trying on wedding gowns any time soon, she had happily joined into all my joy in doing that same thing. She made 3 of my bridesmaids’ gowns and in so many ways was my best cheerleader through those heady days.

Now we were on our way to celebrate Lynn and her man on their wedding weekend. As we drove north, we hoped we wouldn’t be stopped by any policemen for anything, since we had 4 very sharp swords packed in the Fiat.

Rehearsal group

We were late arriving to the rehearsal, but Lynn filled us in. She directed Nate and his swords to the other three military guys where he passed along the instruction he’d received from the officer who’d given him the swords. Apparently it was important to hold them a certain way. He also gave them their white gloves.

Sword practiceWhile they headed outside to practice, Lynn introduced me to the friend of Don’s with whom I’d be walking as a bridesmaid. She also told me that if Nate agreed, she wanted him to walk her mother down the aisle. He said yes and considered it a great honor.

The rehearsal evening was almost as much fun as the wedding, although the bride and groom couldn’t go home together afterwards. As for Nate and I, we didn’t go home together that night either.

Lynn and Meg in aisleI went to Lynn’s house with the other bridesmaids, and he went off with Don and Co. to the bachelor party, followed by a night with Mom and Dad.

It was never our first choice to spend a night apart, but he encouraged me to go with the girls, and I loved him for all the freedom he gave me. He was always gracious, never trying to control me in any way.

The bride and bridesmaids wasted no time when we got to Lynn’s house, donning our bathing suits and heading to a neighbor’s pool. Making the most of our togetherness, we stayed up half the night talking about every possible marriage scenario. Lynn could hardly wait!

“A worthy wife is a crown for her husband.” (Proverbs 12:4)

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)