By Tonya Fennell: Freedom Newspapers
Staying busy and knowing when to keep your mouth shut are the secrets to a long, happy marriage, according to C.P. and Ruth Jefferson.
The Clovis couple, who celebrated 61 years of marriage in January, said their marriage has been relatively easy.
“We get along well and seldom argue,” Ruth Jefferson said.
And her husband agrees.
“Yes, we’ve lived a good life,” C.P. Jefferson said. “I have no complaints.”
Although six decades have passed, the Jeffersons can still clearly recall the day they were married at the Boca Raton Army Air Force Airfield Chapel in Florida.
He was enlisted, held the rank of technical sergeant, and worked at the theater at night.
She worked in the base cafeteria and attended a show with her parents.
“We met at the theater,” C.P. Jefferson said, “and we were married seven months later at 7 o’clock in the evening.”
C.P., who is lovingly called “Jeff” by his wife, remembers the honeymoon, too.
“We stayed three days and the bill came to $31.20,” he said. “I had to write a check because I only had $20 in my pocket.”
They said they still have the hotel bill somewhere.
The couple, who have two daughters, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, said their fondest memories are of traveling the United States in a motor home following their retirement. Colorado was C.P.’s favorite vacation destination while Ruth preferred Florida.
“I sure miss it (traveling),” Ruth said.
Time has taken its toll, and Ruth is now confined to a wheelchair and living at Retirement Ranch in Clovis. But a day doesn’t pass without C.P. visiting his wife.
“I’m here two or three times a day,” he said.
The doting husband said he dearly misses his wife’s presence at their home. “It’s hard to go home, especially at night,” he said. “I miss her not being on her side of that king-size bed.”
Although they live apart, the couple said they still enjoy eating out at area restaurants and spending their days together.
“Good or bad,” Ruth Jefferson said, “we’ve never run out of something to say to each other.”
What’s the secret?
We asked eastern New Mexico residents who were married the best way to ensure a long-lasting
“Earplugs.” — Bill Morrow, married 26 years
“Compromise.” — Essie Means, married 30 years
“Keeping in touch with your girlfriends and having a night out occasionally.” — Tiffany Beers, married three years
“Just agree with whatever she says.” — Butch Billings, married 35 years
“Never lose your sense of humor.” — Nancy Wright, married 24 years
“Never let her have the remote.” — Joshua Parker, married two years