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Giving thanks for nice weather and an anniversary

For The Madera Tribune

The writer and her husband, circa 1979.


Fall is my favorite time of year. Typically my power bills are lower because it is cool enough to not need air conditioning and still warm enough not to use the heater. I love it when autumn rain clears the smog from the air and the fall colors are blazing.

So many important things have happened in my life in the fall. I was born in the middle of October and the two men I love most in the world, my husband Fred and my brother Brian Hill both have November birthdays.

Fred and I were married the day after Thanksgiving in 1979. He said at the time he would never forget our wedding anniversary because it is always the day after Thanksgiving.

That day is now known as Black Friday. Some genius mind-trust in advertising working on Madison Avenue is probably responsible for adding the term Black Friday to the American lexicon.

When we were married, Fred had just been hired for a permanent job in the engineering department at Madera Irrigation District. I am married to a very logical man. His new job came with family medical insurance and retirement benefits. They also gave employees who got married three days off with pay.

We drove to Reno on Thanksgiving day and were married the next day. We spent the rest of our wedding day touring the Harrah’s Antique Car Museum. An interesting fact I learned that day: When one restored antique car drives by, it is pleasing to the eye. Tour a museum with 500 classic cars and the next stop is a town called sensory overload.

When we returned to our hotel room a light bulb over the table was burned out. I called the front desk and said this was Mrs. Nix in Room 417 and could maintenance send someone to fix it. I was trying my new name on for size. Very few people have called me Mrs. Nix in the last 38 years. Our wedding photo shown here was taken in the lobby of that Reno hotel by the desk clerk.

Growing up, if an adult was close enough to be familiar, the honorific “uncle” or “aunt” were tacked on in front of their first names. Otherwise we never called our teachers, or any other adult, by their first name. I got into big trouble for telling my classmates that our first grade teacher, Mrs. Seagraves, was named Peggy.

Superstition tells us on her wedding day the bride needs something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. I carried my mother’s wedding gloves (old), flowers made by my sister-in-law, who owned a flower shop, were the something new and something blue. I borrowed a pair of earrings from my best friend, Robin Beban. She borrowed earrings from me when she got married, too.

One old adage states a lady’s name should only appear in the newspaper three times, when she is born, when she is wed and when she dies. I am thankful times have changed and this notion has gone the way of the dinosaur.

After we were married I submitted the information to The Madera Tribune. I looked forward to having the newspaper clipping for my scrapbook. Imagine my disappointment when the announcement appeared in the paper, the 10 inches of copy was spread over three columns.

During this season of Thanksgiving, be happy with the simple things, with friends and family breaking bread together. Look around the table and take a lot of photos. Some of those precious faces may not be there next year.

I know I sound like a broken record but please be careful on the roadways this holiday week. The Thanksgiving holiday is the busiest travel weekend of the year. Adult beverages and other intoxicants do not mix well with operating a motor vehicle. Stay safe, dear readers, for you are some of the things for which I am very thankful.

Have a great weekend.


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