Swept Off Our Feet

Thirty-five years ago — March 17, 1980 — Len and I swept each other off our collective feet and eloped on St. Patrick’s Day.

Each wearing jeans, tennis shoes, and Snoopy t-shirts, we drove lickety-split in my fire engine red Dodge Colt from Escondido to The Chapel of Happiness in San Diego where after paying $32.50 we were pronounced husband and wife. Averaging 92-cents per year, it’s — bar none — the best investment we ever made.




What’s the best investment you ever made?

© Laurie Buchanan

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110 thoughts on “Swept Off Our Feet

  1. Love the story. “The Chapel of Happiness!” You guys still look like kids and it looks like the chapel fulfilled its promise through you. Happy anniversary! (I am flying off to Florida today so must skedaddle.)

  2. Oh! What a lovely way to start this St. Paddy’s day – thanks for filling my heart with love and joy – I have a big smile on my face after seeing your smiles – onward to at least another 35 more!

  3. Your investment has paid dividends in the happiness spread across your faces. I can identify with the “swept of our feet” part as that’s what happened when Cliff and I met 49 years ago. Whooooosh! How time has flown.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day – and above all, Happy Anniversary to you both — and many more.

  4. Happy Anniversary!!!! You two look wonderfully happy!
    Seeing you was one of the best investments I ever made! One visit and I was able to stop anti-depressants after taking them for 10 years! You also motivated me to get back into the driver’s seat of my life!
    Thank you!!

  5. Happy Anniversary!
    The best investment I made was <$150 for parking and entrance to see Stephen Covey lead a session on the 8th Habit. It was supposed to be $600 for the entire conference, but my firm would not pay for it and I decided to go anyway. I missed his keynote speech at lunch, but arrived just in time to sit front row several feet from him during the session and did meet him on the break. That afternoon was a catalyst for change in my life when I decided to ditch public accounting and become a life coach. It was over 4 years ago and my dream is now coming true.

  6. Happy anniversary to you both my dear blogging friend. How young and beautiful you both look …you didn’t look bad in 1980 either lol.
    I love the idea of eloping in jeans …perfect 😄😃😀😊☺️
    It would be my mum and dad’s 71st wedding anniversary today … Do either of you have Irish connections …my mum’s side was Irish .
    Have a lovely day . The sun is shinning here in Wales …hope it is where you are .
    Oh and bunches of snowdrops, daffodils and crocus everywhere all out together …nature knows it’s your anniversary .xxx😉

    • Cherry — Thank you for the anniversary well wishes. We have Scottish roots. Close enough to Irish to really celebrate St. Patrick’s day. And you’ve been graced with the luck of the Irish today with a beautifully shining sun 🙂

  7. I’m so taken away I forgot the question …without doubt the best investment I eva made was my lovely hubby Colin

  8. What great photos and fantastic smiles! The increase and benefit in your investment shows! We’ll actually be in Escondido for a night later this week and I’m sure you will come to mind, Laurie. Happy Anniversary…my best investment was going back to school much later than traditionally, as I dropped out in my 20’s. We “couldn’t” afford it and I did it anyway. It was a big deal to me, and I sometimes wonder how different life would look had I not gone on. I’m glad I did. My husband was a good investment, too, of course. Let’s not tell him I didn’t mention him first. 🙂

    • Three Well Beings — Oh my gosh, you’re going to be in Escondido? Did you know that the word “Escondido” means “beautiful hidden valley?” I grew up in the “flower streets” — Goldenrod to be specific. I’m so glad you made the academic investment in yourself (and don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me)…

  9. Yes indeed Laurie, this is without question the best investment you and Len mutually ever made and I congratulate you both on this celebratory day. Two lovely human beings that I was privileged to once meet, and like others I just adore the back story. So, St. Patty’s day will always have special meaning, and I think that’s most fabulous! 1980 was the year then! Alas my own investment, much later (and I am now 60) in 1995 was my marriage to Lucille – a joyous event that later led to a family to seven, can’t be matched by anything in my life. 🙂


    • Sam — And I’ve had the wonderful privilege of meeting your lovely investment in person as well. Clearly you’re reaping the benefits of dividend after dividend with your lovely family! 🙂

  10. Happy Anniversary! I love the then and now photos–and how they look so similar. It seems that “the Chapel of Happiness” was accurate in your case. Wishing you many more happy years together!

  11. Happy Anniversary! And thank you for sharing this story with me. A wise investment, indeed.
    Me? In 1998, my husband and I purchased a ferry ticket to Mayne Island, BC. A wise investment that led to many years of happiness, growth and harmony.
    Wishing us both many more happy years to come.

  12. Congratulations Laurie & Len! You two have hardly aged one bit, and you continue to wear those beautiful smiles! 🙂 Today is also our youngest grandchild’s birthday. Cyrus turned one year old today so he’s getting corned beef and cabbage and triple chocolate cake with vanilla frosting for his birthday celebration here! A wonderful day Paddy Day for all!

  13. Happy Anniversary Laurie & Len

    You two do look great – happy and healthy – an excellent combination.

    As to best investments, that is a really hard question.
    In a very real sense, I have no idea, I am still alive, consequences continue to unfold from past actions, and I’m still in the dance with unforeseen consequences. I have a very real appreciation for the old Taoist story of the farmer:

    It seems to me that what we get out of existence seems to be more about where and how we place our attention and intention, than anything that unfolds in reality.

    And if I had to make a call, perhaps it was that first Kg of Vitamin C I bought 5 years ago.

    Life, for all its ups and downs, has a preciousness to it.

    • Ted — “Life for all it’s ups and downs [does indeed!] have a preciousness to it.” I enjoyed reading the Taoist story of the farmer — thank you for sharing the link. And I couldn’t agree with you more about where and how we place our attention and intention! 🙂

  14. Well, it wasn’t getting married on St. Patrick’s Day which I did do by the way – most unfortunate decision. I am so glad you and Len have had a much better outcome. Hum, my best investment? It might be that typing class that I hated so much – most used high school skill. It might be the good camera that I use almost daily. But, I do believe, my best investment has been in optimism. Regularly massaged with hard work, flavoured with humour and a sparky temper that is lightly patted down with patience it is optimism that has been my best investment. And Happy Anniversary Laurie! 🙂

    • Becwillmylife — Thank you for the anniversary well wishes. We’d been planning on a wedding, but all of a sudden, eloping seemed like a much better choice for us. We never (ever!) regretted our decision 🙂

      • You’re welcome… such a lovely story, really made me smile, especially how you called it your investment. I’d never thought of marriage like that, but of course it is a huge investment you make in another person.

  15. Laurie,, I never fail to get a kick out of your wedding story, it just seems so right for you and Len. I can’t say that the investments I made in marriage ever paid off other than the fact that I have 3 awesome daughters from the first one. My best material investment was in my first computer, it laid the World open for me. Happy Anniversary!

    • Sandi – You’ve got an out-and-out treasure trove in your daughters! And I have to say, my laptop has broadened my horizons as well. Thank you so much for the anniversary well wishes 🙂

  16. Congratulations!! You “we’re made for each other”!! You know what’s important in life and you’ve embraced it!! How lucky you are! I wish you many more wonderful years of discovery and adventures. Blessings

  17. How Adorable! And a testament to love, to listening to our hearts and going for it, to the lack of pretension and the greatness of all that matters. My greatest investment is definitely in my marriage and my family. Always.

  18. Congratulations. I think my best investment was very similar to yours, a registry office wedding with no frills and a marriage that has lasted where so many other, far fancier and expensive ones did not.

  19. Hope you enjoyed a lovely Anniversary. There’s something to be said for memorable anniversary dates. Somehow I think it makes them extra-special.

    Our anniversary date was Leap Year, and even though after eighteen years of marriage we ended up leaping in different directions, I still love that day on the calendar. It’s a reminder to jump with both feet, and your whole heart. 🙂

  20. Happy belated anniversary, Laurie! Here’s to many more years of wedded bliss to come as well…
    I recently made a good investment– I got trained as a Bio-Touch Practitioner for a mere $48! The technique has already worked wonders on both Marty and I, so the course has paid for itself multiple times over. 🙂

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