Unfortunately not long after we moved into our home Karen came to tell us that her marriage was over. Phil and I were very saddened by this turn of events although we had had doubts as to how strong the marriage actually was as we felt at times that Karen's husband was rather hard on her, but you don't interfere without other people's lives unless called on to do so.
Karen continued to live in the house in Trigg and fortunately she had a car as she would often drive down to our place for a meal, or on weekends, and occasionally stay overnight. The little car she had suffered from carburettor problems and we would get a phone call from a public phone (no mobile phones in those days) with a call for help as the car had broken down. Off Phil would go, find Karen and her car and he'd fix the carbutettor, sometimes temporarily with a safety pin. The main thing was to get the car going again until it could be fixed properly We've had some good laughs about that car over the years, like the time the police pulled us over when Karen and I were off to night school. That is a story in itself but all ended well without any problem.
At about this time our next door neighbour introduced us to the game of badminton. Phil and I both really enjoyed playing so off we would go each Wednesday night to a hall in Melville to play. There were probably about a dozen people that played regularly so we had plenty of games and, although not experts, we usually managed to hold our own and had loads of fun. We would take it in turns making supper each week and would then sit around and enjoy a cuppa and biscuits and have a chat between games.
There were two young men that played regularly, both of whom I really liked, and I thought perhaps it would do Karen good to get out and suggested she may like to join us on Wednesday nights for a game. Both these young fellows were about Karen's age and.....well, you never know do you!! They seemed to get on very well together. Karen brought Christie with her and she would sleep peacefully while the rest of us played badminton. She was always a wonderful baby and so well behaved.
Another thought I had to help make Karen's life happier was to arrange a really nice 21st birthday party for her. Phil agreed it was a great idea and when we asked Karen she too liked the idea. We hired a hall, and caterers and decided also to have an MC who could provide music for dancing. . We asked family and friends, including the badminton crowd, (they between them bought Karen a badminton racquet) and I believe all present enjoyed the evening immensely. My mum said she would look after Christie so Karen could really enjoy the evening. The little one came to the hall for about half an hour and then Phil popped her in the car and drove her to mum's home.
I made Karen's dress and she had her hair done specially for the party; she unfortunately was not happy with the hairdo, but, although I thought she looked different, I also thought she looked very beautiful.
This is Karen with her Uncle Len (my adopted half-brother) who at that time was 65 and not long retired. He was always very fond of Karen.
It would seem one of the young men from badminton also thought Karen rather special as he asked her to go out with him. On their first date he took her to the drive-in movies where the film "Jaws" was showing. Karen, who had and still has a phobia about sharks, came home and told me that she spent most of the evening with her head under the dashboard of the car as the film was so scary. I teased her and said "He probably hoped you'd cuddle up to him", and in return I got THAT LOOK!
The friendship grew and after some time they decided they would like to marry. They found themselves a house and were married on a lovely sunny November day. Once again I made Karen's dress and also the one Christie wore on the big day.
Over the years their family grew and we then had four wonderful grandchildren, 3 granddaughters and a grandson. Karen and her hubby are now proud grandparents of three themselves.
I often sit and think about how pleased I am that I introduced Karen to those two young men, one of whom chose her as his lifelong partner and proved to us to be a wonderful son-in-law. There may have been a few bumps along the way, as there is with any good marriage, but the two of them are always there for each other and I am really happy for them.
The first kiss after the ceremony:
The happy couple:
I have been told Karen and I look alike but neither of us can really see the likeness:
This photo, also taken at the wedding, is one of my all time favourites. It is my mum (Karen's grandma) and my son Steven (Karen's brother) obviously sharing a joke together. Unusual colour but maybe something to do with reflection off the water?
Another favourite of mine is this one with little Christie looking so gorgeous:
This last photo is one Karen chose to show on this post. Another one of her much loved Grandma Win (my mum); who was 80 when this was taken:
I hope you have enjoyed my story about our lovely daughter. Next week perhaps the story of son Steven, or perhaps not. Lots to tell there so much to think about before 'putting pen to paper' so to speak.