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Love is in the Air – How Did He Propose?

Posted on: February 2, 2023

by Nordine Sanders

Our love story began on my best friend’s front lawn in Oakland, CA. It was the first day of my high school senior year. Late that afternoon we were sitting on my friends front lawn eating a cupcake, when a car, a blue 1938 Chevrolet coupe with two boys inside kept driving by. We were flattered at the attention of course. They finally stopped and that cutest one asked the question, “can I have a bite of your cupcake?” Now, you must remember, we were seventeen. They got out of the car and came over. The one who had spoken earlier, was named Rod. We found they both lived in a house about five doors up the street. We dated off and on for about two years.

Rod was just staying with his friend and his family. He went back to his home in the Central San Joaquin Valley near Fresno. For about a year our romance was “long distance”. Telephone calls and love letters.
(Oh, how I wish I had kept those.) Rod made an occasional trip by train to see me; he had to catch it about 2:00am, getting to Oakland about 7am or 8am.

Rod and Nordine black and white photo from their wedding in 1963He moved back to Oakland in about a year. He worked in a foundry in the city and lived in a couple of different “room and board” homes in the area.

Finally, the day came when he asked me to marry him. It was on New Year’s Eve at my home. My parents had gone to a party. My longtime friend and her boyfriend were over with us at the time. At midnight, he took me into the other room, took an engagement ring from his pocket and asked that special question. “Will you marry me?” I happily said yes. My parents were happy as well, but hesitant. Rod was born with a heart condition and his doctors had told him that his life expectancy would be around age thirty years.

Apparently, God had a different idea. Rod spent our first anniversary in the Stanford University Hospital having open heart surgery. It has always seemed that for us, each time we had a serious problem, there was a new solution.

On the day of our wedding, we made a vow before God, to love, honor and obey through sickness and in health. (The sickness part wasn’t so much fun) We have kept those vows for, going on sixty years, come May 19th this year.

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  • My grandmother lives at the Ventura Townehouse and I feel confident that she is in good hands. They get her to her appointments and provide any aftercare that she may need. Everyone there is friendly and like family. I feel like I’m at home when I go there to visit her and eat with her in the dining room.

    Stacy B.
  • Recently, I visited my Mom from Chicago. Each day I offered to take us out and about in Ventura. We found ourselves having such an enjoyable time at the Townehouse we didn’t leave. The dining room was so lovey to enjoy with her friends. Patios welcoming and the activities kept us busy. We laughed and had fun all day! Thank you everyone for making me feel at home and making my visit special. It’s always hard to leave my mom. But not as hard when I know she is so happy! Until my next visit!

    Janie H.
  • Staff is very helpful and always concerned about my Mother’s needs, the interior and grounds maintenance is exceptional. Dining provides healthy menus to choose from. Front desk staff is always friendly and helpful. Best decision we ever made was bringing my mom here.

    Kelvin F.