A couple sat close to one another, chairs touching. The woman was nestled up against his shoulder like a young love-bird on her honeymoon, face beaming. Her hair was a soft silvery grey, his beard a snowy white.
Curtis “Curt” Downing, and his wife Cathy, have been married for 25 years, and have enjoyed a busy life together.
“Our children introduced us,” Cathy said. “They were neighbors and they thought that we should meet each other.”
Cathy explained that Curt’s wife had died, and she had been alone for 10 years.
Our kids wanted us to have a blind date but I didn’t really like the idea, of a blind date,” Cathy laughed.
They decided to get in touch via phone, which is how they discovered that they shared a lot of the same interests.
“That’s when I thought, ‘well maybe I will meet him and go out with him,’” Cathy said
“We like the outdoors, we share our Christian faith, we love our family, and fast cars. Curt had a Camaro when I first met him. He was a good driver back in the day,” she reflected.
The two decided to get married shortly after they met. “We knew,” Cathy said. “We didn’t want to wait.”
They drove down to Texas, and got married in Del Rio, where Curt’s best friend from boyhood lived. He and his wife stood up for them.
“He’s a God-given blessing, that’s for sure,” Cathy said fondly.
Curt was asked what he loved about Cathy. After a moment, he said, “She is beautiful, nice and fun.”
She said Curt used to be a mailman and would come home and tell the stories of what had happened that day. He had a lot of funny dog stories, Cathy added.
“It was so cute because our grandkids would all say, “Oh Grandpa, tell us the dog stories again!”
He could have written a book of memoirs of the life of a mailman, but he never did.
“I wish he would have,” Cathy said, and added that he could write really well.
“The kids used to call him Mr. Britannica.”
Curt had already retired from the post office when Cathy met him. He just had a paper route, which was a night job, Cathy said. Then, nine months after they were married, Cathy quit her job.
“(So) we had all the time to be together,” she said.
She said that she and Curt traveled a lot together, but found time to spend with their families. Curt had five children and Cathy three. Together, they have 18 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Cathy said that they used to all live close to one another, and “we used to watch them when they were little, it was fun.”
Curt had taken his kids on trips to Canada when they were young, and on occasion when Cathy and Curt would go to Canada, some of their kids would come with the grandkids.
“We used to go to Canada every year for a canoe trip,” Cathy said. “There were a couple times when the canoe flipped. One time we flipped out in the Sturgeon River. Fortunately, it was where the water wasn’t really deep. So, as soon as it flipped, we hurried up and threw all of our gear out of the canoe so it wouldn’t get all wet.”
It’s been a fun 25 years, living with Curt, Cathy said happily.
Six years after they were married, the couple decided to start a farm in Centerville. Curt got the idea after a visit they made to Britain and Scotland.
“That’s where he saw the cows, and that’s where he got interested in them,” Cathy said.
That was one of the reasons they moved to this area, was for the farm, Cathy explained.
“We raised Scottish Western Highland cattle,” Cathy said. “We got the cows, raised them and sold them, raised them and sold them.”
“It was fun,” she said.
They still have the farm, although they only have two cows now.
While they do not do a lot for Valentine’s Day, Cathy said that they enjoy sharing cards with each other and sending cards to their family.
“We enjoyed doing that, didn’t we Curt?” she asked her husband. “Yeah,” Curt agreed.
“He’s a fine man,” Cathy said. “He made it easy to be his wife.”
“(In love) is the best place to be,” Curt said.
Schrecengost can be reached, by email, at email@example.com.