As Downhome celebrates our 25th anniversary this year, well be sharing our joy with our readers through unique contests and special giveaways. Our first is the Silver Sweethearts Contest, where we asked readers who were married in 1988 to come forward with their wedding photos and a funny story from their 25 years of marriage. Thank you to all who responded we had some great chuckles around the judging table. In the end, we found Keith and Lisa Jessos story to be the best example of the funny moments marriage can bring especially when its blessed with children. Keith and Lisa have won a beautiful set of his and hers silver Bulova watches, courtesy of our friends at Alteens Jewellers in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.
We also decided to include Janet and Greg Dukes entry as an honourable mention because they provided such a great mental image! Thanks to artist Snowden Walters, both stories are colourfully illustrated.
Congratulations to the Dukes and the Jessos, and thanks again to all who entered. You can view more of our favourite Silver Sweethearts entries by clicking here. May you all enjoy at least 25 more years together in love and laughter.
Keith & Lisa Jesso's winning story:
We were married on December 3, 1988, when Keith was working as a lot attendant at a car dealership and I was a university student. At that time, Keith was the only one earning an income and minimum wage in Newfoundland was $4.25/hr. We often question how we survived and the answer is simple: parental charity and, as proposed by the staff at Downhome magazine, a great sense of humour.
In 2000, Keith joined the RCMP and our family was transferred to northern Alberta. Both our children had led a somewhat sheltered life in Newfoundland, but more so our son, Matthew, who was nine at that time. His sister, Meghan, then 14, often accused us of babying her younger brother. This became more apparent when, shortly after moving to Alberta, Matthew came home from school and emphatically announced that he did not want to participate in sexual health education, which in his school curriculum was labelled Theme Five. However, like many parents we dodged our parental responsibility and, with a sigh of relief, signed the consent that allowed his teacher to explain.
The next day was Friday and we took the children out for pizza. We just had time enough to settle into our table and glance at the menu when Matthew began to sob. In unison, Keith, Meghan and I asked the usual questions: Are you sick? Did something happen at school?
To which he responded, Today we learned about Theme Five. Then, in a broken voice wrenched with both disbelief and disgust, he said, I cant believe you and Dad did that twice!
There was utter silence for about three seconds followed by hysterical laughter. Then Meghan proclaimed she was too grossed out to eat, and Keith launched into a spiel about making sacrifices when you want children. The waitress came by, took our order and, if she found the Newfoundland family who frequented the restaurant a little strange, she was tactful enough not to comment. Theme Five became a family euphemism and on many occasions a way for us to censor movies and television. Even today our children will respond, Theres no Theme Five in it. Extended family and close friends have come to know and understand its use. It has definitely been the funniest family moment in our marriage.
Honourable Mention: Janet and Greg Dukes, Lincolnton, GA
Sometime in the 1990s, our aerial antenna needed adjusting to pick up the local channels better. Greg and I had to climb a ladder to the roof and loosen the metal band around the chimney. While Greg held and rotated the antenna, I went in the house to check the reception on the TV, then Id yell up to Greg out the back door and either say yes or no to the position. After about the fourth adjustment, I went in to check the TV and it was perfect, and actually on an interesting show that I liked. I sat down and started watching it. Five or so minutes later, the phone rang and a neighbour who lives about one mile behind our house asked if Greg was OK. I responded Yes, why? My neighbour said he could hear Greg yelling something for the past several minutes and that he sounded like he was in pain. I then remembered that Greg was still on the roof holding the antenna, waiting on me to come help him!