Monday, March 15, 2010

Vincent and Vorleen Celebrate their 55th Wedding Anniversary

Vincent and Vorleen Vandaloop have shared each other's company for the past 54 years. Thirty of those happy years were spent in their lovely white cottage with rose trim and white picket fences on Pine Book Circle in Cloverdale.

Neither Vincent nor Vorleen drive any longer, so Vorleen takes the number 3 bus to St. Bartholomew’s School every day where she works as the lunch room manager. She’s been feeding the children of St. Barth’s for the past 24 years. Her cooking is legendary. Very few of her students toss their partially eaten lunches in the bin like they do at the Comprehensive School at the other end of the Village. Vorleen takes great pride in that fact and the several articles written about her cafeteria in the village’s weekly newspaper, The Confederacy Times. The articles are framed and hang on the wall near her small wooden desk just off the kitchen.

Last Friday was the couple’s 55th wedding anniversary. Vincent got up that morning acting as if he’d forgotten. Vorleen let it go. She was too exhausted to care. She’d been up most of the night baking several dozen of her special oatmeal with raisin cookies for the school’s annual “Tossing of the Students” celebration. She could have use the school’s ovens but her oatmeal with raisin cookies are special and she prefers to bake them at home herself. It is her unique contribution to the festivities.

Friday started cold and foggy. Vorleen bundled up tightly before stepping outside into the fog and down the cottage’s walk to the bus stop. Vincent blew her a kiss from the front window. She nodded, unable to wave due to the two large bags of cookies she carried in each hand.

At 2:00 P.M. Vorleen left the school. Her Lunch service was over and it was time to go home. She walked slowly around the back of the church. There was a cool breeze moving a thick blanket of clouds overhead. Vorleen was pleased the fog had broken. The damp was a cross her joints had to carry. She walked toward the bus stop thinking how nice it was going to be to put her feet up in front of the fire when she got home.

She got to the bus stop a few minutes before the scheduled pick up. She closed her eyes and drifted away.
“Excuse me, but is this the number 3 bus?” she heard a familiar voice ask. She opened her eyes. There in front of her was her husband Vincent, holding one red rose. “Happy Anniversary dumpling,” he said with a smile and a twinkle in both eyes.

Vorleen and Vincent rode the number 3 home together holding hands on the back seat. Vincent started the gas fire while Vorleen separated herself from her scarf, coat and sweater. She sat down in her chair and let Vincent rub her aching feet. They spent the rest of the afternoon keeping the fire and each other company. At 6:30 they dressed and took the number 3 bus to the village centre. They walked the two blocks from the bus stop to the Kicking Donkey Pub where Vincent had a table reserved for himself, Vorleen and two of their dearest friends.

It was a nice quiet meal making a lovely 55th anniversary for Vincent and Vorleen Vandaloop.

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