on New Year’s Eve, my maternal grandparents were married.

Grandad was 23 and Meema was 19. What I remember always hearing is that they met at a square dance where Grandad was the caller (the one calling out directions to the dancers). I remember Grandad telling me, with a sparkle in his eye, that when he first saw Meema she had jet black hair and was shaped like a hornet.

Before they married, Grandad sold his horse to buy the marriage license and some groceries for starting their life together. They met the preacher in the middle of a dirt road in Southeastern Oklahoma and were married. Grandad stayed that night at Shorty’s house (a relative) and Meema had to go back home, do her family’s laundry and tell her father that she’d gotten married. Grandad always said that he got the “durn eech” (itch) at Shorty’s house. The next day, the first day of 1934, they began their life together.

Mom said “the durn eech” was scabies and that Grandad told her that he had to take a bath in turpentine to get rid of it. He said it sure did burn where he’d scratched.

They were married 59 years when Meema passed away.

Each year on New Year’s Eve, I think of Meema and Grandad. I think of them all the time, really, about little things here and there, but specifically on this date. I think of how they loved all of us and how hard they worked. I think of the stories they shared with us about their lives, the lessons they taught and how important family was to them. I feel so fortunate to have been born into their family.

Happy Anniversary, Meema and Grandad!

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