45 Years And Counting


Today we are celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary.  When I think about that day, I remember standing looking out the front window at Sydney and thinking “This isn’t quite how I pictured my wedding day”.  I never dreamed I would be in Sydney, Australia, waiting to marry a man I had only seen for 3 or 4 different periods.  I always thought I would meet someone here in Seattle, get married, have children and live very much like my parents.  I was 22 going on 16 – naive, inexperienced and in many ways clueless.  I have certainly grown up and matured since that day – imagine if I had been the woman I am now when I was married – an interesting “what if”.  I could apply that to any point in my life, then I know I would not be who I am now unless I had experienced the last 45 years exactly the way they unfolded.  To read the posts I did about going to Australia, check out https://giftofra.com/2010/03/04/a-little-history-part/ and https://giftofra.com/2010/03/04/a-little-history-part-2/ .

I remember it was a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon – May 10th – a gorgeous Fall day.  Some of the family had gone down to the flower market early that morning and the ladies of the Presbyterian church decorated the sanctuary for us.  They also enjoyed the benefit of the flowers for the next day, which was Mother’s day.  I notice this year both days fall  at the same time this year as they did in 1969.  I just realized I was born and married in the last century!

I had arrived in Sydney the Sunday before and then suddenly, Eddie was gone the next morning.  He went back to the small town to give finals and everyone went to work or school – just Angel and I were left.  Everything was so different and unusual.  The people,  the place, different customs, the languages, food, experiences – I often think it really didn’t sink in because Eddie was gone again.  He was due back later in the week, so I spent those days missing him again.  No one had phones in the small towns, so I couldn’t talk to him until he came back.

I was surprised and pleased to find that Angel and I were able to communicate – she had very little English, I had no Armenian or Arabic.  The family was all around and they welcomed me and made me  feel welcome.  I sometimes wondered if I seemed like a being from another planet; they were so different from me and my experiences.  It turned out they were fascinating and fun, I learned so much in a short time  and it has been a learning experience ever since.  Eddie came back Thursday night and the preparations for the wedding got underway.  Saturday morning they hustled Eddie out of the house before I got up – he spent the time with John and Sofie until the wedding.

It was a little different than I thought – we were going to have a very small reception at the house, so I was helping with the food that morning – I don’t remember what we were planning or what happened most of the day.  I pretty much dressed by myself and was ready before the others.  George was giving me away, Shake’ and Sonia were my bridesmaids in yellow – the dresses had been worn at Shake’s wedding.  When we went down to get in the car, John and decorated the car with tissue flowers, etc.  So as we drove to the church, people turned and waved.

The church was done in yellow and white flowers, it was so lovely.  I had given Eddie the wedding ring back when I arrived in Sydney –  he had sent then in December with the engagement ring.  I told him that the next time he gave it to me, he was never getting it back.  I know that John and Vic were taking pictures for us, I don’t remember a whole lot of  the wedding itself, but it did the job and suddenly we were married.  John drove us back to house in the car and more waving to us.

At the house John decided he was going get us drunk – I don’t know that he did because I had no idea how being drunk felt.   We had a hotel room for the night, so John and Sofie drove us over there.  I think Sofie was a bit embarrassed after a bit – John kept showing us all the parts of the room, etc. and she was trying to get him out of there.  Finally she succeeded and we were alone.

The next day Eddie decided to rent a car – neither of us had driven on the left side of the road.  The rental car fellow brought the car over to the hotel and explained how all it worked and then left – but with the key.  So he had to come back or there was no point to having a car.  One thing we found out, doing the opposite of what we were used to doing here doesn’t necessarily work there.  Good thing it was Sunday morning and not much traffic.  We had a lot of horns honk at us during that drive, it was quite an experience, a bit hair-raising at times.  After a bit we decided to go back to George’s house and see the family, we had had enough experience for the day.   (Several months later we found out the first rule of the road is give way to the right – those on your left have to look out for you).

We spent the rest of the day with the family and one of the guys took Eddie over to return the car.  Then it was time to board the train to Griffith where we were going to live.  Eddie had rented a small flat not too long after living in boarding house for a bit – not quite his taste and it was a relief for him.  Griffith was 450 miles west of Sydney and it was going to take a while on train that didn’t move very fast.  That was some train trip!

Dang!  I haven’t found the book downstairs with the wedding pictures.  I look some more for a future post.

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3 Responses to “45 Years And Counting”

  1. Charlotte Trayer Says:

    Happy anniversary, Liz and Eddie! Hope your card got there in time; otherwise you’ll have it on Monday!!

    I was going thru some old pictures, and came across some of what I think was your last visit up in Everett before you left for Australia, and also some of you at the airport–apparently I drove down there to see you off! I’ll have to find them again the next time we have an outing.

    See you Saturday!!

    • Lee Kaplanian Says:

      Happy Mother’s Day to you! Thank you for your wishes, I did receive your card yesterday. Seems to me I wore my black coat and wide brim black hat when I left, I was so pleased you had come down to see me off. A lot has happened to both of us in the past 45 years; no matter where I lived, we always kept in touch. I feel as though we have really grown closer in the past 14 years as we supported each other through several similar situations.I treasure and appreciate you so much.

      • Charlotte Trayer Says:

        Yup, that sounds like what you are wearing in that picture–black coat an wide-brimmed black hat! I’ll try to remember to dig the pictures out before our next outing together (not counting Saturday!!).

        The feeling is mutual (in relation to our friendship), my dear!!

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