November has arrived. Not sure how that happened so fast. And I don’t even want to calculate how many shopping days ‘til Christmas. Although there are already a few presents in hiding; at least I have gotten started.
Fall sports are beginning to wind down for local high schools, which means the winter sports teams are starting their conditioning. It’s a really hectic time of year and it’s not just the fast approaching holidays, there are always food drives, clothing drives, fall festivals, church bazaars, etc.
October was busy and we have successfully navigated the Halloween festivities – now we get to fall back and try to catch up a little with an extra hour of sleep on Saturday night. I think we all need it.
Perhaps one of the best events of October was getting to attend a wedding vow renewal for friends who celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary with the special ceremony. It was the ‘other Jacksons’ – the parents of my daughter Ally’s best friend and ‘unbiological sister’ Katelyn. Bobby and Edy Jackson have been together since they were teenagers, high school sweethearts who have spent 31 years together in marriage and renewed the vows in front of family and friends. Katelyn, in fact, was able to perform the service and wrote a touching and heartfelt piece about her parents.
We have been friends with the other Jacksons for years, since the girls were in school and started playing travel soccer together. We very often rode with them to out of town weekend tournaments and have a ton of memories. Santa Cruz, Cherry Island, Fresno – we have logged many miles with them, sharing exciting victories and some defeats we all still lament. (Just ask any of us about the Kickin’ Chickens; we were robbed!)
The other Jacksons are also the ones who gave Ally her longtime nickname of ‘Waffles’ – something about her problems successfully navigating a waffle-making machine at a hotel breakfast room early one Saturday morning. Luckily, Bobby came to the rescue, using his hands to catch the free-flowing waffle batter when the spout malfunctioned. Or mysteriously got broken. I just know from then on, Ally was known as Waffles among many in our soccer circle.
The girls were inseparable in high school; now both are engaged and planning their weddings. Katelyn is the youngest in her family, the only girl, with two older brothers. Ally is the youngest in our family, the only girl, with two older brothers. They had plenty to bond over to begin with and their friendship is one of those you cherish for a lifetime.
It just makes me think of how quickly the time does fly. Cliché, of course, but true all the same. When you’re in the midst of whatever it is you’re involved with – from 4-H to competitive soccer to AcaDec – there are days when it seems as though you will always be doing it. As hard as it is to juggle life, work, family and all those extracurricular activities, it is worth it. For me, the more involved you are with your kids, the stronger the bond, the better the memories.
There’s also something to be said for the bonds that help keep a marriage together for more than 30 years. Bobby and Edy have worked hard at it, supported each other through tough times, been there to share the good times and always remembered that love is the common denominator.
We rejoice with them in their vow renewal; it was an honor to be a part of their celebration.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.