My Folded Valentine

Bob and Marilyn Thayer, married 50 years, are seen here still in love and holding their custom-made valentine. “He’s a great conversationalist,” said Marilyn. “He can talk to anyone, about anything. I love that. I just hang around and listen to him talk. He even likes to talk to me.”

Over 225 years of committed love stories were shared while crafting at the Gulfport Public Library, Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m., February 5. Special Projects Librarian Ashley Johnson taught eager participants how to create personalized valentines using the art of Iris paper folding. 

While Johnson taught, crafters talked. Any fly on the wall would have been inspired by the tales of love – not just romantic love, but tales of friendship and family as well. 

The only couple in the room had a story worth repeating. Bob and Marilyn Thayer, snowbirds from Mexico, New York, worked on their valentines, periodically checking their own progress with the other. A very unassuming couple at first, they shared their story of 50 years of love. 

“I think with our generation, you made a vow and you committed. You said ‘For better or for worse’ and you meant it. There have been better times and worse times, for sure, like anybody. But, if you’re committed, you work through whatever,” said Marilyn. “And then you get to a point, which we achieved quite a while ago, where it’s just really good company. You don’t have to worry about anything.”

When both of their boys moved out and they became empty nesters after 20 years, the Thayers took their first vacation by themselves to Tucson, Arizona. 

“I was openly scared,” confessed Marilyn. “What are we going to talk about?” she asked herself. It was that vacation where they realized that they genuinely liked each other – not just as parents, team coaches, or PTA organizers – but as themselves. 

Cathy Struzynski, Mary Jo Sheridan and Mary Pavlicin learned the Iris paper folding method at the Gulfport Public Library, February 5, taught by Special Projects Librarian Ashley Johnson. Iris paper folding is a paper craft technique that involves folding strips of colored paper in such a way to form a design. The center of the design forms an iris—a shape reminiscent of the iris diaphragm of a camera lens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *