Fifty Years

An awfully momentous event went relatively unnoticed over the weekend. My folks celebrated their 50-year wedding anniversary.

The “relatively unnoticed” part is that the big celebration is going to happen in early August. That week, all of us kids, all of our kids and spouses, Mom and Dad, are headed up to Estes Park to a couple of cabins at the YMCA of the Rockies.

 It’s a place we spent lots of summers when it was just three kids, them, and a station wagon. Now, the trip will involve four families coming from three cities….12 people, several cars and probably a couple of plane flights.

Check out these pics, from very early in their marriage…

Man, were they young and stylin’

I have no real way to quantify what fifty years means, except to note that these days it seems an extraordinary achievement. It’s also a bit strange to imagine that I’ve been around for most of that journey with them. I’m trying not to think too deeply about that so as to avoid associating my personhood with the word “50” for as long as possible.

One thing I love about watching my parents these days is how clearly they enjoy spending time with each other. They keep busy with a great many things, between their own interests, the lakehouse, and kids/grandkids in three different cities. But, first and foremost, they love being with each other, and it’s really wonderful to see.
 
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad.
Love, Eric
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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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