The Lodge at Grand Junction residents Carol and Wayne Selfors will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary on July 10. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the Lodge residents of six months told us how they fell in love, and how they stay in love:
“Wayne was friends with a couple who I was friends with, and they just kept wanting to get us together,” said Carol. “I guess we finally went out just to get them out of our hair, but I knew right away when I met him that he was somebody I could marry.”
When they first met, the two learned they had several things in common. For one, they both grew up in small towns: Carol was from a small town of 500 people in Northern Minnesota, while Wayne hailed from Minot, North Dakota.
“Minot’s out in the middle of the plains, so it was kind of an interesting place to grow up,” Wayne said.
The couple married in 1965 and stayed in Minneapolis, where they met, for the first part of their marriage, then moved to Grand Junction in 1973. There, Wayne took a computer job at the U.S. Department of Energy, while Carol worked at Fairview Hospital and at a local rural hospital. The couple also had three daughters together.
“When I was five years old, I decided I wanted to be a nurse,” said Carol. “That’s what I always wanted to be and that’s what I became, and I worked for 50 years as a nurse. Wayne was highly involved in computer management. Our jobs were what kept us here in Grand Junction; we’ve just loved living here.”
As someone who has been married for close to 55 years, Carol offered some personal advice to couples looking to make their relationship last just as long. “Just be open and kind to each other,” she said. “It’s also good to have some similarities in your background.”
In addition to being from small towns, Wayne and Carol are each both Scandinavian and Lutheran; Wayne agreed with Carol on the importance of having traits in common.
Something else that has kept their relationship so strong for so long, added Carol, is the couple’s faith in God and their involvement in the church. Also, she said, “back when we got married people didn’t get a divorce. Now everybody’s getting divorced.”
Wayne’s secret to a long, successful marriage, he said, is being happy with Carol and wanting for nothing in the relationship. “It’s satisfaction,” he said. “There was nothing I ever criticized her for.”
Wayne also agreed that their mutual faith in God helped their 55-year relationship to last and flourish.
Now that they are residents of the same senior living community, Carol and Wayne said they keep their love alive by doing lots of activities together, including playing cards, watching television and eating the delicious food cooked in the Lodge dining room.
“I wish we could live there,” Carol joked. “Everything I’ve eaten has been good; I haven’t had anything bad.”
When asked if they had special plans for Valentine’s Day, Carol said they don’t need to set aside a particular day to celebrate their love — they do so year-round.
“We just know that we love each other,” she said. “We don’t have to celebrate a lot of stuff like that.”
The couple will, however, be attending the Lodge’s special Valentine’s Day dinner on February 14. The dinner promises to be a festive celebration in honor of love, and residents can invite their families.