Steve and I spent yesterday at Grandpa & Grandma Hornaday's house in Eugene, Oregon for an early birthday celebration for Grandma. They've been helping me find a lot of pictures, stories, and family tree information for my geneology project I've been working on. We had a blast looking at all of the great pictures, and reading some of their stories they had put to paper years ago. I wanted to share the following story with you because it made us laugh so much, but also reminded us of how awesome it is that God has a great plan for each of our lives that will affect so many that come after us. I believe Grandma wrote it in 1998. They've been married nearly 59 years now! Enjoy!
The Day I Noticed My Husband-To-Be
By Jeanette Hornaday
Leo & Jeanette - The Dating Years
Things seem so different now to what they were forty years ago. But one thing has not changed; that is, a good single man is still hard to find. Your friends and family try to help you find just the guy you should marry. My brother Wayne, saw in Leo Hornaday the kind of person he wanted his sister to date and began to set his plan in action. In the spring of 1954, I noticed the young man who was to become my husband two years later. From that time, my life began a process of shaping into what it is today.
It was a beautiful spring day in Arkansas. My brother who is three years older than I said, "Net, How would you like to go on a picnic with me and some friends?"
I said, "Who all is going?"
He listed off a few of his girlfriend's family, some of their cousins, and some good friends. I thought about it and decided that it would be fun and a chance to get out in the spring weather. Little did I know that this was all a plan to get Leo and me together so we could get to know each other. I had met Leo several months before but never paid much attention to him.
We met at the Hornaday house and went by carloads to their fishing cabin at Boiling Pot located on the Ouchata River. (*Cathy made a point of telling us it is pronounced WASH-uh-taw, not OUCH-uh-tah as Steve rebelliously read it the whole story.*) You may have guessed by now that it was arranged that I was to sit in front with Leo. His car was a 1950 Studebaker coupe. It was blue with an airplane nose, smoked a lot, and had lost its hood.
I felt a bit guilty because I was dating someone else, but my guilt only lasted for awhile because around the Hornaday clan you always have fun. Leo has three brothers and four sisters. (Lavonna, Leo's sister, later married my brother Wayne.) That day, somehow or another, they saw to it that where Leo was, I was. Leo and I were willing to comply with their wishes. When we went for a hike with several couples, he held my hand to help me over the rough places. He even went so far as to let me sit on his knee so I wouldn't get my jeans wet on the river bank.
**Sure!! I'm sure he really went out of his way to let a cute girl sit on his lap! Grandpa! You smooth talker!**
We had a wiener roast for lunch, and who could resist a marshmallow roast over those hot coals? Leo's little brother Jack set his marshmallow on fire. While trying to put it out, he slung it off the stick and hit Leo on the back of the neck. I was his nurse. It wasn't much of a burn, but he made the best of it, and I gave it a lot of attention. We enjoyed each other's company and had a very good time. It rained and Leo put a beach umbrella down by the grill of his car to keep water off the motor. Late in the afternoon, we headed for home. This time it didn't require any arranging. I took the front seat by Leo.
I learned later that Bobby, Leo's older brother, told him, "You two made a nice looking couple, especially when she was sitting on your knee." Leo's only comment was, "She's too young for me."
That day started something for Leo and me. Three months later, we began to date regularly. If I had looked around for months or maybe years, I would not have found another man like him.
What has made our marriage last nearly 42 years? (Now almost 59!!) We have never spent much time trying to figure that out, but we have never had occasion to have to figure it out. Somehow love, trust, understanding, patience, a common faith in God, and three Studebakers - make it four - must have had a lot to do with it.
I believe they've had a few more Studebakers since she wrote that story! =) What a wonderful beginning to such a great life! After they got married, they had five kids.
Left to Right:
Leo, Jeanette, Linda, Robert, Roy, Larry, Wayne.
Robert married Cathy McIntosh and they had Stephen (my amazing husband!), Jonathon, and Michael. I'm not including a full family photo. I saw the following pictures and I couldn't resist posting them though!
Steve was so excited to have a baby brother (Jonathon).
Then he realized all the kid did was cry. Poor big brother.