All of Their Belongings Fit Into a Volkswagen Beetle

Have you ever found yourself wondering how different expressions come about? Take for instance the phrase, “Bite the bullet.” People often use this expression when they are referring to taking a chance on something. This expression came about due to a dangerous army practice in the 1850’s. Prior to using their rifles, soldiers had to bite off the head of the cartridge to expose the explosive to the spark which would ignite it. This was extremely dangerous and needed courage and firmness to pull it off.

In our family we have many expressions. Many of them are originals. I owe this fact to a particular reason.

They came about because my mother and father have been together for a long time. They are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary today. They got married young, came from the same area and know all of the same people. They have many inside jokes.

For instance, when the house gets a little messy one of my parents will say, “It’s starting to look like the Coggins around here.”

Apparently, a family that they both knew from their childhood days were not very good housekeepers. I have no idea who the Coggins are, but seeing that I have heard this expression over 5000 times in my life you better believe that when things are getting a little out of control in the upkeep of our household I say, “It’s staring to look like the Coggins around here.”

I am determined to keep this expression alive, along with many more.

My parents started from meager beginnings. They started out their life living above my grandparent’s general store. They soon moved into their own apartment with their new baby. My Dad went to college and worked full-time. My Mom worked as a nurse and took care of my sister. When my Dad graduated from college he received a job offer 3 hours away, working for the State of Wisconsin designing roads and bridges.

My parents say they moved themselves, my sister and all of their belongings across the state in a Volkswagen Beetle and that included a rubber tree plant.

My Dad always brings up this fact whenever my mom brings home a new piece of dilapidated furniture she recovered from the thrift store to refurbish. He then adds, “Now we would need two semi-trailers” which my mother likes to retort with, “Well, if we didn’t have that stupid treadmill in the basement collecting dust we would have more room.”

They’ve added more than just belongings in the past 50 years too. They added 2 more children, 10 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren with one more due any day. Plus many memories….many, many memories.

If you ask them how they managed to stay together so long their answer would be because they are best friends and they know that no one else would put up with them.

However, I do know one other key element that is part of the longevity of their marriage.

Whenever my Mom gets angry with my Dad and yells something along the lines of, “Gosh darn you (insert my Dad’s full name here), why on earth would leave grape jelly blobs on the counter? Why can’t you just wipe them up gosh darn it?”

My Dad busts out in a baritone version of Brenda Lee’s “I’m Sorry” song.

Happy 50th Anniversary Mom & Dad!

I’m so glad you “bit the bullet” and got married and stuck it out all of these years!

Mom & Dad's Wedding Day

Mom & Dad’s Wedding Day

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40 responses

  1. Have A Blessed 50th Wedding Anniversary! I’m wishing you many more Blessed Ones. All thanks to God for HIS Grace and Mercy. You both are truly good friends, have good communication, and do work out your differences. Melissa, thanks for sharing this post. You look like your mom to me. Have Blessed Holiday Weekend! Mtetar

  2. Happy Anniversary MotherHoodisAnArt’s Parents!!!!

    I love the family history. Do all family’s do that? We do it as well. One of my favorites is “PULL UP YOUR PANTS LOWELL” πŸ˜‰

  3. Wow, what a milestone! May they have many more years of increasing joy and love! My parents celebrate 46 years this summer–it is a beautiful thing to see marriages flourish over many decades!

    The picture is great–and you seem to look a lot like your mom (beautiful)!

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Fifty years should seem like an eternity, but really it just seems like such a short time ago that we were first married … until …. you think back to all the Memories that have been created in that time … that seemed to go by in a flash !! We have had good times, bad times we have weathered, special events we cherish, sad times we got through, and through it all we always had each other’s love, loyalty, comfort and most of all, a good sense of humor …. knowing life isn’t perfect, people aren’t perfect and having the ability to laugh at family life at it’s best and often at it’s worse !! If nothing else we are a family of Love, Laughter and Forgiveness realizing perfection does not run strong in our gene pool ! We did manage to raise 3 beautiful children with love and goodness in their souls .. that are smart, creative, artistic, with multiple talents that we love and cherish. In turn they gave us the 10 most beautiful grandchildren any grandparents could hope for and the beat goes on in love and goodness and multiple talents. Then the 3 great grandchildren added more of the same, as will our 4th great grandson due any day. I have been most Blessed in the confidence that my children have in me to have shared their children’s lives with me so much !! The love we receive not only from our children, but all the grandchildren and great grandchildren is beyond the greatest gift of living … Love is never ending … and sweet giggles and laughter will reign supreme for many generations to come also …. We Are Blessed !! Thank you … Melissa’s Blogging friends for your Good Wishes on our 50th Wedding Anniversary !! Melissa’s party for us wonderful and beautiful …. along with her sister Susan and brother Bruce ! It was a wonderful day !!

  5. Happy anniversary to your parents. It sounds like they have had a pretty good life together and been lucky to have so much. May they have many more years together.
    I like your comment about the Coggins. My mom always talked about her cooking teacher and would say Ms. Dudley would be proud. I still say it sometime. I am pretty sure my wife knows it now. I will have to work on my kids.

  6. It’s great when folks stick together like they’re supposed to. It’s fun to read about your family stories! Your dad sounds like a character, especially bursting out singing “I’m Sorry” when he’s got your mom irritated! I need to teach my hubby to do that. πŸ˜‰
    Happy Anniversary to you parents! I see your mom’s sweet comment above. Lovely family!

  7. A funny thing about the Coggins family… is … I’m related to them !! My father-in-law pointed that out to me long after we were married !!! Imagine my Shock and disbelief !! I told my Mother about this Questionable news and she laughed and said ” Well, they are shirt tail relatives ” ! My maternal Great Grandmother was somehow related to the Coggins !!! Point made : Be careful what you say … it could come back to bite you !!!

  8. Well Happy Anniversary to them! Being married 50 years is quite an accomplishment. My parents just celebrated their 40th anniversary this past year. I’m hoping that my husband and I can stand each other enough to be married that long!

  9. Congrats Melissa! What an awesome accomplishment.
    I love all those little sayings and things from my childhood. I’m trying to pass along them and some of my own. My favorite creation for my children, when they run to me, whining and complaining that they can’t find something, is to tell them “It’s not going to jump out and bite you.” Meaning, actually try looking for it before complaining. They usually find it!
    I hope it was a great celebration!

  10. This makes me tear up with happiness! What a fantastic blog post, and happy anniversary to your parents! I hope their day is just brilliant. πŸ™‚

    I love familial inside jokes! Whenever we are having a huge east-coast Canadian shin-dig, and everyone is dancing like mad, we always say “it’s Judique on the floor!” because my grandparents grew up in Inverness Cape Breton, and Judique was the (even smaller!) town just on the outskirts of Inverness (supposedly filled with rowdy yokels.) Whenever there would be a dance in Inverness, the Judique folk would come and party up a storm – hence, Judique on the floor! Hahaha!

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