“Happy 50th Anniversary” – by Debbie Ambrous

Today is our 50th wedding anniversary!  Yes, I admit that Jim and I are that old, well Jim is anyway.  Since he will be reading this, I must confess that I am two months older than he is.  I needed those two months to catch up to speed, put up with him and stay cool and collected with Jim as husband in this fifty-year marriage.   We are very happy, but we have had more than our share of troubles, grief, sadness, worries, pain and anxiety!  Patience, a sense of humor, commitment, hope and solid faith kept us together!   Words cannot express the thanks due to family and friends for their help and love.

Now that you know that we are not perfect, I will go on with the story.  You say I am repeating the obvious??!  With the big 50 approaching, I searched for someplace in the mountains, or by the ocean, that didn’t require a ton of money and wouldn’t be crawling with people.  I was getting nowhere in total exasperation with my anniversary travel search, and I whined to Jim:  “Why did we ever get married in July?”  In bewilderment he said, “I don’t know but if it was a bad idea, it must have been mine!”  Jim apparently subscribes to the theory that it is usually best to confess the truth right away.  His mom did a great job!

(Photo left of the words on the reverse of his graduation photo which Jim gave to me in high school.)




Moms and Dads are not fully appreciated by their children until much, much later.  Our middle daughter sent a Hallmark card with very true sentiments:

Children seldom understand the trials their parent’s face, the dreams deferred, or sacrifices made until one day when they are grown with grown-up choices, too, and realize the debt they can’t repay.”

As for Jim and I, we would only hope for strong children following a path of truth and integrity.  (The photos in the collage are quite old, but full of memories.)Now, about that beautiful, peaceful place for our anniversary, I never found the place!  So, we are saving for another cooler, less crowded and less expensive time.  We did find a fun place to visit this week in Birmingham after a doctor visit – the zoo!  Doesn’t that sound like an ideal place for us?  No, they didn’t chase after us with a butterfly net, thinking we were escaping when we rushed to the car.  But here is a surprise, since we arrived at the end of the day our senior rate was only half of the normal priceI don’t know what we will be doing today on our anniversary, but we will try to find fun even though we can’t fly to Paris, Bordeaux, Marseilles or Montreal.  The story below is a re-post of the second story shown on the French Opportunity website, another “Anniversary” story.  The pictures were somehow lost, so I have added a few.  This month is an anniversary for my blog.  I have now written and posted stories and photographs for FIVE YEARS!  The first story was posted on July 18, 2012.

July 24, 2012 – Sleeping later than usual on Sunday, I found Chef Jim in the kitchen with a hot griddle cooking Belgian waffles.  Butter, Nutella and Bonne Maman raspberry preserves, all favorites of mine, were already on the table along with a folded piece of paper beside my plate.  When we were seated for our superb breakfast with hot coffee on the table, I opened the paper and saw it was a “Happy Anniversary” note he had created with different fonts and colors.

I gushed over his note and artwork, and Jim said: “I was worried that you would think it looked more like a graffiti ransom note and expect it to say, ‘Here’s Jim’s right toe.  Leave all you got by the creek bank if you ever want your Chef back.’”  I promised him that it would be worth it to have his cooking.  I noticed a P.S. on the paper: “It isn’t easy to find a card in this little town of Opp unless it’s your birthday, or you’re feeling sickly or recently died.”  Then I knew why I had the artwork/graffiti paper by my plate instead of the usual Hallmark anniversary greeting.

As if this wasn’t enough for a lady on her anniversary, Jim had promised to tag along for some antiquing in Florala, a short drive down the road south from Opp.  I was on a mission to get blue Mason canning jars for my good friend Elizabeth.  We drove on down in our red Jeep with our air conditioner blasting on our hot anniversary day to: Warehouse Market Mall, 23380 Fifth Avenue, Florala, Alabama

An old washtub planted with yellow flowers welcomed us at the doorway, and homemade birdhouses swung on a post.  A gourd birdhouse painted with blue flowers had the most curb appeal. The storefront seems small, but once inside the displays just go on forever. Bored husbands and children can wait in a seating area and play checkers.

Anniversary present suggestion for Chef Jim:  Honey for my Belgian waffles and buttered biscuits.

I knew the display I wanted, so I moved quickly to the shelves of blue canning jars, some with lids and some without their lids that rusted away, or were lost long ago. I found four with lids for Elizabeth, my friend in Florida, and I called to report the happy news to her right away.

Cobalt blue Milk of Magnesia glass bottles were shining under the shop lights on another shelf along with tiny bright blue Vicks jars.  Yesterday’s medicine bottles are today’s designer accessories.  I thought Elizabeth would like the dark blue bottles, and I was considering some for myself when Jim read my mind and said: “Are you really going to buy Milk of Magnesia bottles?”“I think the bright blue will be pretty on the secretary in the bedroom with the blue toile curtains, I explained.”   I wonder, do they have Milk of Magnesia in France?


Jim threatened, “Wait till your mama hears that you paid $5.00 for a Milk of Magnesia bottle!”        “Now, just a minute here!  My mama is not hearing anything about this!  Besides, she would only be puzzled as to why I paid $5.00 for an empty Milk of Magnesia bottle.” 

Thanks for joining us!  We love y’all!

28 thoughts on ““Happy 50th Anniversary” – by Debbie Ambrous

    • Pam, aren’t you the helpful one? You and Joe have the very best honey any honeybees ever made. I don’t know how Land Honey Company always has the best! Thanks for sending Jim in the right direction? Did you know that Deborah means “bee”? All the best, Debbie

  1. Happy anniversary from Charlotte and Ken. Didn’t realize you guys were married several months ahead of us. Love yall ,dear friends

  2. Congratulations! 50th is a milestone. May you enjoy 50 more. We celebrated our 50th last year. Looking back, didn’t the time go fast! Thanks for your interesting stories. You and Jim have an enjoyable sense of humor.

    • Kathy,
      Time did fly by so fast!! Now I understand much better what my parents meant when they made that statement. Jim was voted as having best sense of humor in high school, so I should have known what I was getting into. I meet him equally on that playing field some of the time. Thanks for your happy message! Debbie

  3. Congratulations. I still remember your wedding how beautiful you looked and how happy you both were. I hope you have many more anniversaries. Miss you. God Bless. Love , Judy

  4. How well I remember that day, but it can’t be 50 years! Memories are good, love you guys. Happy Anniversary and many, many more Love Sara

  5. I have loved all your stories about France but this truly is my favorite !!! Happy anniversary!!! I love u guys very much!

  6. Happy, happy 50th, time really does fly. You also have a long shared history to enjoy together. We enjoyed being a little bit of your shared history,dear friends.

  7. Loved the blue canning jars. It reminds me of a couple of old bottles we found dumped in a ravine behind our house in Ohio. One was a square cobalt blue bottle embossed with, “JOHN WYETH & BRO”, down the side. Of a half dozen bottles the best one is a taller greenish, rectangular bottle. Embossed on it is “DR. KILMERS SWAMP ROOT KIDNEY LIVER & BLADDER REMEDY.” That one sent us spending more time in the dump !

    • Rebecca, I certainly will! We have been in the shop and I have some photos shot there which are just marvelous. I have been with my husband and friends several times. The “One-Eared Rabbit Shop” is a pleasure to visit, atmospheric and filled to the brim with goodies. I will be sure to greet you next time I am there! Please keep on visiting A French Opportunity, as well. All the best, Debbie

  8. Been knowing you”ll for over 50 years. You”ll are a great couple. Looking forward to the future that our Heavenly Father has promised. Happy Anniversary Larry and Becky We have 46 years together and counting!

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