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Lance and Mary, marry.

Christmas 08

87 Hawthorn

Need I say more?

Ok, let’s do this..

Once upon a time there was this very sad, weary, 40-something lady. Blessed with 2 wonderful kids, a fun job and living in an amazing community. She had it all, right? Wrong. I was so sad, empty, lonely… I felt bad that on the surface, to others, I looked like I ‘had it all’. Then why was I so depressed, empty and miserable? Β 

Fast forward to; kids off at college, divorce final, ex remarries 2 days after divorce is final….and my life after 45 begins! Don’t get me wrong, I loved being a mom, especially the early ‘stay at home’ part! With kids like mine, you’d love it too. You raise your kids in hopes that they’re happy, healthy and independent. Hoorah, I was a success in that area of my life!

I use to watch ‘chick flicks’ and ‘love stories’ and read the latest romantic novel and wonder if that was all just pure fiction. I was witness to many happy couples and envied their union. My own parents had a love story that I wished to replicate.

Without going into the sorid details of separation, reuniting, another separation, finally, divorce…. insert a casual dinner with my favorite workpal, Tina, and her life long guy pal, Lance. Wow, he was not your average Joe! I won’t even try to explain him, those of you that know Lance, know that when they made him, they broke the mold. We both went through sad, tough, gut-wrenching divorces. Marriage was the furthest thing from either of our minds. Time past, I realized this is the man I want to grow old with. He felt the same about me, but didn’t resubscribed to conventional standards for relationships. Why should we marry just because every says we should? I joked that I didn’t like being a 50 year old with a boyfriend. I realized I just wanted to be like some of the couples I envied, old and happily married. That didn’t seem like a good enough reason to be married tho.

Those who know me, know I hate being in charge of events, galas (festivals), too much planning, work, energy and money spent. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoying taking part in my friends and family’s ‘big days’. My daughter recently got married. I am SO proud of her frugality, and thankful for the many contribution of time money and efforts from friends and family. Thanks to the help of many villagers, Kristie got her storybook wedding. Mary got to go home to her peaceful, content, happy life in Idaho!

My friends know that, if given the choice, I’d rather be married than just a girlfriend, but they also know that I was fine not being married.. I tried it once, it didn’t end well. I shutter at the thought of a couple people telling me I shouldn’t move to Idaho with Lance until he marries me… I guess they thought they were giving wise advice (unfollowed and unappreciated, though it was). Being here in Idaho with Lance, I feel contentment and I’m very happy that we were able to make this journey together. None of our neighbors here are married. People don’t seem to care about those details of a persons life. I don’t believe it was an issue to God either, but it’s between Him and us. Society, and righteous folks seemed to make it a big deal. Their problem, not mine.

OK, today is October 13th, my favorite # is 13, cause it wasn’t anyone elses ;-). We’re headed to the courthouse to apply for homeowner tax exemption, get the tags for our new Subaru and pick up Lance’s brother from a car place. On the way to town Lance asks if we can ‘have a pragmatic discussion’ (damn, where is that, when I need it). He said he thinks it’d be a good idea if we got married… holding back the tears I listen to why and say ‘ok, sure, if that’s what you want’ while inside I’m doing a happy dance!! So, in my sweats, no make up (which is the norm these days) we go to the property tax office, the tag office, then the marriage records office. Boy, am I glad I chose to shower this morning!!

Marriage license in hand, zero blood given, no birth certificate asked for, we’re given directions to the judge’s chambers. Let me insert here, how NICE each and every government personal was. OMG, they were so kind, caring, interested in us and truly helpful. Not to ‘dog’ the government personal we dealt with in AL, but it was like night and day (as has been our experience each and every place we’ve gone). We went on a hunt for the presiding Judge Stowe. It became a comedy of errs. We went through a few metal detectors (me 3xs with one checkpoint, I had to hide my scissors and screwdriver outside each place. Hey, I didn’t know I’d be going into a courthouse today, much less getting married). After a long goose-chase, with the help of some very caring ladies in the security dept, we gave up on finding a ‘free judge’ and decided to walk across the street to The Hitching Post. Being the frugal chick that I am, I didn’t want to spend the $ to pay someone to fill out the paperwork and pronounce us husband and wife, but we were both anxious to get’er done. Lance voted for the ‘no-service’ Mary asked for the shortest service. Lance was kind enough to oblige me the saying of ‘I do’ (I believe when it was his turn to answer THE question, he said ‘I most certainly do’) A sweet old preacher man took care of us (he informed us this place was indeed lucky because he was married there in 1959) He filled out the necessary paperwork, then did a short but sweet ceremony as brother Kirk tagged along on our journey while studying for his motorcycle license test. While filling out our paperwork before the ‘ceremony’ the preacher was kind enough to answer some motorcycle questions for Kirk.

Lance married Mary (and vice-versa). He’s cool with me not being Mary Knoechel (gwad, I’m too old to go through a name change.) If it was worth the effort, I’d change back to my maiden name, cause I like it and feel that’s who I really am, but yeah, it really doesn’t matter. It feels weird to think of him as my husband. He’s still my knight in shining armor, saving me from my ho-hum, head in the sand life. He challenges me to think, learn, grow, be honest with myself and others and become a better person. What more could I want?

Thank You God, for allowing me this opportunity to grow old with a very interesting fellow who just so happens to be my husband.

photo by


About Lets Go To Idaho

Me, Mare, empty nester, flew the coop (& heat) of Alabama and landed in northern Idaho. Bought a house without setting foot in the state. This blog was created in the summer of 2011, as my beau, Lance and I were packing to move to north... Many things, big and small, have happened since that blistering hot July in Bama when I began this blog. Read about our whirlwind adventures. Our real life love story. The good, the bad, the silly and the crazy things that happen to us.

11 responses »

  1. Mary! HUGE congrats and hugs to you and Lance. I knew he was the right man for you to grow old with since he rescued my computer! Love to you both up in Idaho.

    Also, I am so enjoying your blog. It makes me happy to see you stretching writing legs. πŸ™‚

  2. OK, so that post totally made me tear up! Guido and Lance are on the same page on the subject of marriage (“why do it cuz society says we have to?”), but I say that’s the very reason it’s romantic that they went through with it for us. (OK, it was PRACTICAL for them too, but the obliging of the ceremonies is the romantic part! And the “I most certainly do” in your ceremony … tear, tear … so sweet!).

  3. PS – Lance is one LUCKY dude! I’d have married you if I could’ve. πŸ˜‰

  4. I’m one week into planning a tiny wedding and already getting stressed out by outsider’s (unsolicited) advice. I envy what you and Lance did! I’m very happy for both of you. πŸ™‚

  5. Congratulations to both of you!!! I was going to respond to your email with a few more comments and decided to check out your blog link that you had posted in it and there I was checking out your latest news!! I was so excited to share it that I ran upstairs to tell Chris instead of posting or emailing….. We both wish you all the best and feel you make a great couple! Love the pictures. Welcome to North Idaho and may you have many years of enjoying each other, the peace and the “eye-candy” as we have. I has been great meeting you!

  6. Oops! It has been great meeting you!

  7. that was the best chick flick I’ve ever read. congratulations:) Ang

  8. Mary, I’m so happy for you. Best wishes for a long happy life together….

  9. Sweet, sweet Mare ~ you deserve every bit of happiness that you’ve found!! In fact, it sounds like Lance and you very much deserve each other. I do hope I get the chance one day to meet this wonderful man who has made my friend so very happy! I am so happy to see you finally “at home” (so far away from home) where you belong, with who you belong! Now you have it all πŸ™‚

  10. beautiful! i’m so glad you found each other and will be that old married couple hanging out on the porch together someday. you are inspiring.


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