Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Commemoration

Happy Valentine's Day

Let's use the holiday to look at a relationship that lasted over 77 years.

That of my grandparents Jim and Margaret Upton Waning.

James Waning 1930

Margaret Upton 1933


I have decided to use Valentine's Day to commemorate the 77 year relationship my grandparents, Margaret Upton Waning and James Waning, shared together.

Margaret Upton's autograph in James Waning's album
They met in 1931 at at Pleasant Hill High School.  While my grandfather graduated in 1930, for two further years, he continued to takes classes in the hopes that he might be able to go to a state university. In the midst of The Great Depression, this was not to be.

James Waning's autograph in Margaret Upton's Album
Yes, he wrote in it upside down!
Here it is right-side up.

Margaret Upton's Album - a 1933 autograph

By 1933, as this autograph hints, the couple were dating.
1936 - The Wedding Announcement

They married on Margaret's 21st birthday in her parents' home.

James and Margaret Waning -1936

This is the photo they had taken to celebrate the marriage. 

It was a very small wedding.  The bride, the groom, the best man and his girlfriend, and the bride's family.  My grandfather's parents did not attend.  My great-grandmother maintained that she would cry without ceasing if she were there!  And yes, newlyweds moved in with my grandfather's parents after their short honeymoon.  

The Waning Family - Portland, OR 1943

Jim worked for his father-in-law as a logger until an accident in 1942.  He attended trade school and in 1943 the Wanings moved to Portland where my grandfather worked for Iron Fireman.

Jim and Margaret - 1945

By 1944 the family returned to Lane County, OR and Jim to logging.

Waning Family -1947

The family was completed in 1947 with the birth of their third daughter.

Reno 1954

Family trips included Reno, NV and Yellowstone National Park.  My grandparents had the amazing faculty of being able to recreate their many road trips using the road names.  (i.e. 'We started in Junction City on 99N and then took 84E to the Dalles.")  The trips were leisurely as my grandfather was constitutionally incapable of passing a viewpoint or historic market without stopping. 
Jim and Margaret about 1957

25th Wedding Anniversary

25th Wedding Anniversary - 1961
By their 25th wedding anniversary Jim and Margaret were grandparents.  Yep, that's me in the frilly dress.  My Mom is in black as is my grandmother's mother, Elsie Greenwell Upton.       


Gramps continued logging which made for lots of early morning!

Jim and Margaret - 1966

Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas - all holidays were celebrated at my grandparents' home

Christmas - 1976
Within a span of ten years the family had grown to include nine grandchildren. (I'm in the back). 

Margaret and Jim and their camper "Me Too" -1980

Jim and Margaret camped frequently after the purchase of their little camper.    

1986 - 50th Wedding Anniversary

No one enjoyed a celebration more than my grandmother.   

Jim and Margaret and Friendly Islanders 1988
She also loved her U of Oregon Ducks and travelling.  This trip to Hawaii combined travel with sporting events.  Win-win! 

Margaret and Jim 60th Anniversary - 1996

Corsages, a new dress, what's not to like about a celebration?

Margaret's 90th birthday - 2005

And not just wedding anniversaries, milestone birthdays were also worthy of monster celebrations!

Waning Family - 2005

When Grams wanted family she got it.

Margaret and Jim - 70th Anniversary - 2006

Amazingly they celebrated 70 years of married life together.

The Newpaper Announcement

As an only child, I think my grandfather was continually amazed that he'd become the patriarch to three children, ten grandchildren, and twelve great grandchildren.  My grandmother on the other hand, relished her role as matriarch of a large clan.

Jim and Margaret - 2007

This is the last formal picture of my grandparents - taken for their church directory.  My grandmother suffered a stroke in July and passed away in September 2007.  My grandfather followed her in early January of 2009. 

I still miss them both very much.


Vickie said...

Wow! I actually have goose bumps Beth. What a blessed accomplishment. My goodness. GREAT post.♥

Erica said...

Beth, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading the story of your grandparents!
It gives one hope and inspiration!

Mary said...

A wonderful love story...we should all be so lucky. Thank you for sharing.

Margaret said...

Beth, what a special post this is. I loved reading all about your grandparents and looking at the pictures of them through the years. Such a special couple. Happy Valentine's Day -- I bet your grandparents are celebrating up in heaven.

cucki said...

A true sweet love story :)
Love for you dear x

Pam in IL said...

Brought tears to my eyes! Amazing love story of your grandparents. Reminds me of my grandparents and their love story.

Such a special post. Thanks for sharing with us!


missy said...

Wow what a wonderful example of what LOVE truly is. Thank you for sharing.


Ann at Beadlework. said...

Seventy years is amazing. Thanks for sharing this Beth, I very much enjoyed this special trip down memory lane with you.

Mii Stitch said...

I can't believe I'm typing this & I'm in tears!!! This is such a beautiful story... Thank you so much for sharing it with us x

Marlene Jones said...

Thank you for sharing your grand parents story, a true family time.

Claire L said...

Thank you for sharing this story of love - it's always so nice to see and hear of a love that endures.

Cath said...

A lovely story , and great photos. Thank you for sharing .,XXX

LAINEY said...

What a wonderful journey you have taken us on. Thank you so much for sharing your dear grand-parents story with us. Hugs!

Maggee said...

I am SO behind on blog reading... but I couldn't pass this one by without a comment. How I loved this post! It reminded me that I have a picture of my grandpa with his grown up kids and then one with his grandkids. Gotta dig those out. Would be fun to see. Hugs!

Siobhán said...

I loved reading about your grandparents! What a true love story. They were blessed to have each other for as long as they did, and to be able to provide such a loving example for their family. Thanks for sharing their story with us.

Chris said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story of your Grandparents. What a wonderful tribute. I loved the pics!

Brigitte said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of your grandparents' lives. What a wonderful post!

Simple Pleasure said...

You've added so much to my Valentine's Day with this heartfelt posting...I've been back to re-read this several times...I'm an incurable romantic...
Busy Hands...Happy Heart

Cricket-bug Corner said...

Love this post!!

Mouse said...

what a wonderful post remembering with great love your grandparents ....
just love the stories and history of their life and it was a wonderful achievement them celebrating such wonderful milestones :)
fantastic photos and memorabilia to go with them too :) (hugs) love mouse xxxxxx

Barb said...

Beth, This is such a beautiful story.Your Grandparents truly show the meaning of love and family.

blue star stitcher said...

70 years together is just amazing, what a beautiful love story. All of those pictures of a life-time together are just wonderful.

Melanie said...

An amazing, special post for two amazing special people. :)

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

What a lovely post (as I sit her crying happy tears) to lives of two very special people, who through life and its up and downs, clung to tradition and love and family and made the most fabulous of lives for themselves and their family! BRAVO! to Jim and Margaret!

Astrids dragon said...

What a beautiful love story. Especially with the postings of the albums, what wonderful keepsakes!

Adria said...

Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it

Nicola said...

Oh Beth, how very beautiful and blessed a couple.

Thank you for sharing such a heart warming story.