Off the Press

September 18, 2012

By David Hayes

It’s not hard to cook up a lasting marriage

David Hayes
Press reporter

My wife Michelle and I celebrated our 17th anniversary in August. While we’ve more than doubled the national average, we’re still young ‘uns compared to some of the couples The Issaquah Press has featured in recent months.

The paper has been celebrating along with some local couples who’ve hit some mighty milestones in their marriages. Each was kind enough to also share their secrets to staying together all these decades since tying the knot.

Preben and Ruth Hoegh-Christensen celebrated their 70th anniversary Aug. 2. Their secret was to make sure there was give and take in their marriage, and after an argument to always kiss each other goodnight before bed, never going to sleep angry.

Betty and Tom Gentsch marked 60 years together Aug. 30. Their oldest son Tom explained their longevity was simply walking down life’s path, wherever it led them, together.

Also celebrating their 60th anniversary in August were Claire and Ed Loranger. Their secret? Extreme patience.

Bud and Lorraine Cochran said what helped them last 70 years (on May 2) was a lot of patience and respect.

I like to think there’s two main things that have kept Michelle and I together all these moons — I make her laugh and I share the cooking duties.

I’ve learned what tickles her funny bone, so it’s easy to turn a criticism into an ironic introspective over how she’s wrong and I’m right in an argument. (But like most successful couples over the ages, I still let her win the majority of quarrels.)

Being a member of the typical nuclear family growing up, my mom did all the cooking.

Guys, that doesn’t work with today’s modern sensibilities.

My wife is a wonderful cook (as evidenced by my ample belly) and I’d let her cook each and every meal. But sharing the cooking duties keeps things fresh, not to mention it’s also fun.

You could take cooking lessons — the Issaquah PCC Natural Market, for example, offers weekly classes for $30-$55 each.

If you want to break the bank, you could get an associate degree in culinary arts at the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Seattle for $24,000 and up.

Or, you could just dive knife first into the kitchen with a family recipe and make it your own. Using that plan, when a quick meal is in order, I now offer up regular servings of that culinary classic “stuff on rice.” I also like to brag I can recreate just about any recipe with no culinary training. I just can’t guarantee it’ll look exactly like the picture when I’m done.

But a good meal doesn’t have to originate from the kitchen. This summer, the absolute best thing I’ve ever made came from the grill when I smoked a brisket.

So, whether you follow my advice, or take the recommendations of the really successful marriages in our community, the template is there to experience your own long-lasting union.

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