By JANET HEIM
The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — A wedding anniversary marking 43 years together is a milestone in itself, but David “Ink” and Mae Bowers’ story goes one step further.
Not only is their marriage thriving, but so is a plant that was given to them as a gift for their Aug. 3, 1968, wedding.
It was recorded in their wedding book as a gift from Pearl Myers, a friend from Williamsport, who is now deceased.
“It’s like part of the family,” Mae said.
The plant came in a ceramic pitcher and saucer, painted in a fruit motif, although Mae has transplanted it over the years as it has grown.
“It even has the original dirt, “Mae said.
When her husband asked what she wanted for their anniversary, Mae told him she wanted a photo of them with the plant.
Their two daughters took them out for dinner at the Airport Inn to celebrate.
The plant has become a fixture on the fireplace mantle of both homes the Myers’ have owned during their marriage — the Lappans Road home where they lived for 32 years and raised their family, and their current home off Maugans Avenue.
Their children have been photographed over the years with the variegated plant, which they believe might be a dieffenbachia, based on an Internet search to identify it. At Easter of this year, their youngest daughter had her children’s photo taken with the plant.
Friday is watering day and Mae, 83, uses an unusual technique on this plant. She puts about 12 ice cubes around the top of the soil, so it waters the plant slowly and evenly.
It started as a way to save water because they only had a cistern when they lived in the country. It seemed to work so well that Mae started using the technique with the ferns they water at church.
Mae said that they went to Branson, Mo., for a week and in the excitement of packing, she forgot to water the plant. When they returned, it was drooping and she told her husband she thought she killed it. But a double dose of ice cubes perked it up in no time.
“Everybody when I tell them thinks it’s artificial,” Mae said of the plants’ longevity.
Mae, whose maiden name is Moats, graduated from Hagerstown High School in 1946. She was a widow with three children when she met Ink.
Her first husband died when she was two months pregnant with her son, Keith. One of Mae’s daughters, Jo Ellen, had special needs and did not live with the family. She died in 1992.
About eight years later, a friend persuaded Mae to go with her to The Improved Order of Red Men’s Club in Williamsport, Mae said. She met Ink’s niece there and they invited some people back to Mae’s house one evening.
Ink, now 74, and a 1955 Williamsport High School graduate, was part of the group. When he went to sit on one of the stools in Mae’s home, it broke.
He immediately offered to fix it and despite Mae’s objections, he took it home, made the repair and returned it the next day, asking her out on a date while he was there.
The couple dated for five years, with Mae in no rush to remarry and more concerned about her children. With her daughter Linda (Domer) through high school and Keith then 13, Mae and Ink started planning a fall wedding in 1968.
Their daughter Kellie (Root) was born in 1969. They have six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Courtesy: The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)