In this episode we interview Laura’s parents, Earl and Gail Aagaard, who have been married for 45 years. They regale us with some of their best stories and share their insight on what it’s taken for them to have a long-lasting commitment. They also answer the questions you submitted to the show!
- Mervyn Degaños, rescuer of podcast audio, can be found at Culture Slash (with Trey Jackson) and Haywire with (Leslie and friends).
- Rio Lindo is the school where Earl and Gail got to know each other as teenagers.
- Pacific Union College (PUC) is the alma mater of Earl and Gail (they are third generation graduates; Laura is 4th gen).
- Gail’s current business: Abigail House Redecorating
- Laura wasn’t kidding about Earl’s PhD work being in the Smithsonian!
- “Nenek” is the Malay name the Aagaard family calls their grandma.
- Flash Consulting with Magda Pecsenye
Download the transcript here. Thanks to a new transcriptionist volunteer, Siobhán at SED Transcripts, for this episode’s transcript!
Earl and Gail have been married since June 22, 1969, and they say their hardest year was definitely the first. Within 4-6 weeks of getting married, they left for a year as student missionaries to Bolivia. (It was Earl’s idea.) “The most important thing you can have going into your marriage is a commitment to the permanence of the relationship…so the hardships we went through bound us closer together instead of separating us.”
Earl knew from the time he was a freshman that he wanted to teach biology at PUC. That set his 13-year long trajectory. Gail followed along. Gail and Earl tell about their two years in the Peace Corps in Venezuela for Earl’s Phd research. They talk about how important their commitment to the Sabbath has been throughout their marriage and careers. When Earl finally achieved his position as Biology professor at PUC – the 13 year goal! – he immediately lost his voice for the first morning’s lecture.
Gail and Earl said their vows again at 10 years and 25 years. In between those milestones, they built their own house. In the house building budget was an earmark for marital therapy. Earl’s message (particularly to the guys):
“You may not be able to fix it by yourself; you may have to get help.”
Leslie asks for Earl and Gail’s advice to us. “Don’t stop.” “It gets better.” Gail says that the way she and Earl see the world is diametrically opposed. “That’s fine as long as we aren’t back to back, but facing each other. If we are facing each other, we are eye to eye.”
Earl and Gail answer the reader questions submitted on Facebook. Some of the answers include: “Outsource childcare,” “Laugh,” “Get over yourself.”
What I’m going to do for you
Earl makes a funny joke! Gail uses a fancy vocab word with rich family history; Laura gives Leslie an early birthday present; and Leslie propositions his wife in front of her parents. Good times!