A Saskatchewan couple is celebrating 70 years of marriage, and looking back at the fond memories, challenges and lessons learned along the way.
“You have to live through it and that’s all that’s to it,” Martin Kress said, sitting in his home in Kendal, Saskatchewan.
Martin and Betty Kress grew up living eight miles apart from each other, which they describe as a long distance relationship at the time. The two would see each other at weekend dances in the town. Those dances marked the start of their long-lasting love.
“I asked her if she would like to get married to me, and she was shocked. We were only dating about a year or so and we didn’t know each other that well even,” Martin said. “So she said, ‘I have to ask my parents first’. That was the style those days.”
With her parents’ approval, Martin and Betty were married on October 22nd, 1947 in Kendal.
“There was 11 couples getting married in our town that same fall,” Betty said. “We got married at 10 a.m. and then we went to our farm and we had a big dinner: soup, chicken pie, you name it.”
“We had the orchestra come in for two hours so you could dance and have supper. Then after supper we all went to the hall and we danced till 2 or 3 at that time,” Betty added.
“It was funny in those days everybody was greeted at the door with a shot, and some boys that were in our group would go out the door and come back in so they could get another shot,” she laughed. “And then finally that was recognized and it was put to an end.”
The next chapter of their lives was raising 11 children on the family farm, which has been in the Kress family for 100 years now.
“When you think back… How did I ever do it?” Betty said. “You get up in the morning and there’s cows to milk, I could never go out because there was always babies and stuff in the house.”
“That was the big livelihood, shipping cream,” Martin added. “In those days it was a little extra money.”
Betty and Martin said they learned many lessons along the way.
“My mom sometimes said to me take a mouth full of water instead of always arguing,” Betty chuckled. “I almost choked many times because I had my mouth full of water. If I would say black he would say white and if I would say white he would say black.”
When asked what part of the 70 years they treasure the most, Martin looked over to Betty, smiled and said, “I guess living together.”