My parents, Greg and Maryann Pongrac, will celebrate their silver wedding anniversary next Wednesday.
These past 25 years have been well spent, if you ask me. Together they have planted gardens, canned fruits and vegetables, enjoyed countless homecooked meals and argued over who makes the best fried fish.
And you know that two people are in love when they are hungry for the same type of food without even knowing it.
There have been days when my dad has returned home from work and asked my mom what she made for supper. Her response—meatloaf, for example—convinces my dad that they have psychic powers.
"No way! I can't believe you made meatloaf," he'll respond. "I was just thinking about how hungry I was for meatloaf today. What made you make meatloaf? I really can't believe that you read my mind like that."
I can't help but laugh when I overhear these conversations. I can only hope that one day I marry a man who believes that we have psychic powers. I guess it would also help if he has a great recipe for shrimp alfredo, too.
Mom and dad also take great pride in their canned fruits and vegetables. They are known throughout the land (by land, I think I mean Shade Township and a few places beyond) for their pickles and spaghetti sauce. If my sister and I need to make friends, all we have to do is give away a few cans of food.
Kidding. But their canned goods really do go over well, especially amongst Chelsey's college friends. Chelsey and her best friend Ashley have even established a new food group that they refer to as Pickles and Popcorn. You can only imagine what their dorm room at Mount Aloysious smells like, right?
The biggest compliment that you can give my mom and dad is that you like their food. It's almost as if such a compliment reaffirms how well they work together as a team. Team Pongrac.
My parents will be the first to tell you, however, that things aren't always pickles and popcorn. Sometimes they fight and don't want to be in the same room. Sometimes my mom can't stand how my dad snores. Sometimes my dad doesn't like when my mom hangs clothes out to dry and expects him to pick them up if it rains (usually he doesn't make it in time).
But for as much as they have loved and lost, they have continued to love and gain. They are part of a sizable group of friends and family members who have hearts as big as theirs. Their marriage has been full of more blessings than shortcomings, and I hope that trend remains consistent.
My sister and I grew up in a household full of love and support. We can't thank our parents enough for the example they've set for us when it comes to marriage. Love, trust, tolerance—it's all included in what we've learned from them. They have made 25 years look easy, so here's to another happy and healthy 25 years. Cheers to Team Pongrac!
Oh, and on behalf of my mom and dad: If you happen to have any of their canning jars, they would like to have them back. Thank you.
(Kayla Pongrac, Stoystown, works at Laurel Arts, Somerset. Her new photo was taken by Vitaly Potseluev.)