“A tentative short story.”

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Recreating a time from the past can be an adventure.

Malcolm & Ethel Marshall, lived thirty-three wonderful years in a beautifully appointed retirement transitional housing community.

They both retired at the ages of 67 and 65, and they are parents of three adult children, grandchildren and a couple of great-grandchildren. They were veterans of the US Army during World War 2, and they traveled the world in their retirement years.

They began with cruise ships for several years, then decided to drive through the interiors of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Parts of Russia, the Fareast and all of Southeast Aisa.

After 10-years of travel, they returned to the US and bought a Winnebago motorhome traveling throughout SouthAmerica, Central America, and Canada several times over, logging more than one million miles.
Malcolm was 94 and Ethel 92 when poor eyesight and their advancing age forced them to give up the keys to their motorhome and return to their condominium in their retirement community.

They became monthly featured speakers talking about their travels, displaying their thousands of photos and movies to residents in their community.

Local senior organizations, call upon them to speak and the local television stations profiled their travels. AARP and the Automobile Association of America honored the couple for their travels and their presentations. They were the darlings of the retirement community inspiring retirees to take to the road and travel the planet.

To celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary, Malcolm asked the facilities manager to assist him with setting a scene reminiscent to an afternoon in San Diego CA, during the Spring of 1943 when he proposed marriage to Ethel.
Malcolm asked if the groundskeeper could spread a layer of sand on the patio behind their building next to a chaise lounger and he would purchase an electric palm tree and a step stool.

The manager agreed, crossing her fingers telling him we can hope for a warm afternoon.
Malcolm said he would ask for mother nature’s cooperation with temperatures above 60-degrees.

On the first Saturday in April, after lunch, the temperature was 70-degrees with the sun shining brightly onto the patio. Ethel and Malcolm strolled arm and arm, and as they approached the patio, Ethel asked Malcolm. Who put the sand on the patio?
Malcolm said don’t worry about the sand and guided her onto the lounger. Ethel noticed the fake palm tree, and she began to cry.
Malcolm used his left foot to move a 3-foot step stool sitting in front of the palm tree, to the side of the lounger and he slowly lowered to his left knee.

Malcolm took Ethels left hand with his left hand while pulling from his shirt pocket a gold band and slowly pushed the gold band onto her wedding finger in front of the diamond-encrusted wedding ring.

Malcolm asked, “Ethel Marie Ferguson, will you again marry me, Malcolm Marshall so we can live happily ever after until the day we die.” Ethel said yes and they, kissed and hugged with tears streaming down their faces.

Several of the staff and other residents had gathered to watch Malcolm propose marriage to Ethel, and there was not a dry eye on the patio. The manager walked over with a box of kleenex for the couple, and the groundskeeper helped Malcolm to his feet.

As the couple walked back to their room, they were applauded by the residents and staff.

Several hours later back in their room. Ethel asked Malcolm why did he propose to her on the patio. Malcolm seated in his lazy boy assisted chair, look up from his paper and said. “I read it in a magazine.”

Ethel smiled and said thank you, Malcolm, for the early anniversary present.

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