My parents got married in 1946 when my mom was a 19-year-old Western Union teletype operator and my dad was a 28-year-old veteran who had returned from WWII just a few months earlier.
They met when Dad was a park ranger in Santa Maria, California. Mom lived with her family in a house on the park property because her father worked there. One day she was out stealing waterlilies from the pond (don't try this at home - waterlilies have extra-strong stems and are not easily stolen) when Dad caught her. She didn't like him but that didn't dissuade him. She was supposed to be dating another guy, but when he failed to show one evening, Dad snuck in and one kiss was all it took. Way to go, Dad.
They wrote back and forth when he went off to Europe as an Army Master Sergeant, fighting the Germans in France and Belgium, including the Battle of the Bulge. After V-E (Victory in Europe) Day, he was returned to the U.S. and was on his way to fight in the Pacific when the atom bomb was dropped and the war was suddenly over.
She still has the telegraph he sent when he returned; "You can call me mister now," a reference to not being called by his Army rank anymore.
They decided almost immediately to marry. Short courtships were the rule rather than the exception back then. It was to be a small ceremony in her parents' home, attended by family, including Mom's only brother, who had received special leave from the Navy to be there.
Several days in advance of the wedding, Mom and Dad went to get their marriage license. They were under the impression that they had to wait a few days after they got it to get married. When the clerk told them that they could be married immediately, they weighed their options: a small family wedding in 3 days' time, or that very evening in each others' arms as man and wife? Romance won out over practicality.
They eloped and their disappearance caused a bit of consternation that the wedding plans were ruined, but married was married. My eldest sister was born 10 months later, in November, and five other children followed.
62 years later they are still very much a team. Mom washes and Dad dries. He tells stories and she fact-checks them. She drives and he still navigates, despite being legally blind.
That I can see them every day is something I count among my greatest blessings. That they found each other and stuck by each other so long is another. I am so glad they are my folks. Happy anniversary, you nutty kids.