We met on October 30, 1982 through a mutual friend, and it was "love at first sight"!
We started dating and soon became dance partners on a local clogging team (Capital City Cloggers)! Here we are in our clogging outfits back in 1983 (see photo).
We dated off and on for 5 years and became engaged on October 30, 1987—exactly 5 years since the day we met. We were married on February 20, 1988.
We don't have any children—well, not the 2-legged kind anyway! We have a 4-legged fur-baby, though! Her name is Missy (see photo) and she's a Shorkie-Poo (Shih tzu, Yorkie, Poodle). We had two others that we lost a while back… Dusty was a Lhasa Apso, and Crystal was a Cock-a-Poo. We miss them terribly…
We also have been "foster parents" for orphaned baby squirrels through St. Francis Wildlife! We rehabbed the babies until they were old enough to be released back into the wild—so very rewarding! From 2003—2015 we raised and released over 70 baby squirrels! We had 5 that were non-releasable due to physical limitations. Rocky, Charlie, and Tiger were flying squirrels—so adorable! Muffin and Peanut were grey squirrels. For more information on the proper care of orphaned baby squirrels, please see Care for Orphaned Baby Squirrels.
We are members of Celebration Baptist Church. Jacki is involved in the Worship & Creative Arts Team there. We just love it!
We both worked as Computer Programmers until Jacki became sick in December of 1989 with what we thought was "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" (CFS). We struggled for over 6 years, with Jacki remaining very sick—the main symptoms being dizziness, spaciness, and severe exhaustion. She even had to resort to using a wheelchair to go anywhere for any length of time. Finally, in late 1995 we learned about "Environmental Illness" (EI) and "Multiple Chemical Sensitivity" (MCS). We found a doctor who specializes in EI/MCS and in January of 1996, we made a 9-hour journey to Boca Raton, FL, for a week of testing, evaluation, and treatment recommendations. This doctor discovered that Jacki has many allergies and is especially sensitive to everyday chemicals in the environment. He believes this was caused by a series of events through the years that placed a strain on her immune system: living in mobile homes (formaldehyde exposure), working in a "sick building", and taking lots of antibiotics and hormones (which weaken the immune system).
We left Boca Raton with a renewed hope and much to do! We've had to eliminate all chemicals from our every-day environment—using only non-toxic products for cleaning, personal-care, etc. We've removed all our carpeting and replaced it with ceramic tile (carpeting is very toxic!). We've been getting rid of any furniture made of particle-board because it out-gasses formaldehyde into the air. We have to avoid people wearing perfumes and other scented products, as Jacki will have a strong reaction to the chemicals in those products—varying in severity from simply causing burning eyes and face—all the way to causing severe dizziness, weakness, blurred vision, numbness, difficulty walking due to "jelly-legs" (ataxia), and even hallucinations! Needless to say, this has really changed our lifestyles! However, since we've avoided chemicals as much as possible for many years now—along with Jacki receiving "healing prayer" and learning about the "spiritual roots to diseases"—she no longer reacts as strongly or as often as she used to, praise God! We fully expect the good days to continue to increase and the bad days to decrease over time. It takes quite some time for the immune system to heal from this kind of chemical assault, but the effort does pay off! (See our "MCS Information Pages" for more information and Jacki's complete story.) P.S. to the story: In 2010 we discovered Jacki has actually been suffering from chronic Lyme Disease all this time! However, it is very hard to treat after so long.
What has kept us both going through all these struggles is our deep faith in God. We have put all our trust in Him, and He has never let us down. He constantly reminds us that He is still in control and still cares for us. (See our "Our Christian Faith" pages for more about this and for strengthening your own faith in God—or to learn how you, too, can have peace with God.)
When we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, Gorden surprised Jacki with a gold heart locket in which he'd put two sequins from her wedding dress about 5 years before! When we were selling the dress, he'd found the sequins on the floor after the buyer had tried the dress on, and he put them up and saved them all those years! He doesn't want people thinking he's "mushy" or anything—but when he does sweet, thoughtful things like this, his true "mushiness" shows through. :)
You can find out more about what we're up to by visiting our Facebook pages:
We also have a YouTube Channel with some of Jacki's original songs, including Dusty's Song (Precious Little Friend), Make a Joyful Noise (an upbeat Gospel song!), and a song Jacki wrote in tribute for her parents after her mother passed away. You can see our videos at: