By NJ Clausen
February – The month where red and pink hearts are seen all around, and thoughts turn to love. In celebration of committed and enduring love, let me introduce you to Cynthia and Steve Hatch.
Cynthia and Steve celebrate 50 years of marriage on January 30. Steve attributes doing things together, going to church and praying together, as well as just spending time together (or apart!) as factors for the strength and longevity of their marriage. Cynthia added that when recently browsing through their wedding album, she came across the picture of the two of them kneeling in the church and was struck with the realization that God knew and was truly with them in this sacrament. Having four children was also an exceptionally good reason to make things work.
Happily ever after does not mean happy all the time, so how did they surmount challenging times? Cynthia finds that spending time with married friends—not to complain about a spouse—but who are in the same place with home, family, and on the same faith journey is helpful. Steve finds that quiet introspection, and maybe some hands-on project in his shop, works for him. They stay steadfast to their vows. They laugh together. When asked what words of wisdom they would offer to a new couple starting out, they both agree listening to the other person and never forgetting the feeling of love you felt for the other person when you first committed to them will keep the union strong. For couples who are married, do not give up! There are thorns with the roses but remember…it is all about respect.
Cynthia and Steve met in 1968 while camping with their families at Lake Norman on the 4th of July. Steve was living in Greensboro; Cynthia was from Madison. They have lived in Kernersville for 43 years. When the children were younger, Cynthia taught ‘Play School’ — now called Preschool — for 12 years, which allowed her to be with her children. From there Cynthia went back to school to get her license and began work in public school as a Home Economics teacher. Some of the great pleasures of teaching are the moments that happen outside the classroom. Cynthia recounted the time she was at the mall and a former student from the clothing design course came running up to talk to her about a friend who had also taken the course. This friend was a Textiles major at NC State, and she attributed this career path to the course taken with Cynthia. Another student went on to win a $40,000 scholarship to Johnson & Wales University.
Steve worked in the kitchen remodel and design business. One of the most rewarding parts of his job was to listen to the client and give them their vision as close to what they wanted as possible. Seeing the joy on their face when they viewed the finished product brought him great satisfaction.
One of the aspects of living here that they enjoy most is that despite the growth and commerce, Kernersville retains its hometown feeling. One of their favorite memories is of the Christmas and July 4th parades throughout the years and sharing those events with their children. As the family was involved with both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, sometimes they were in the parade as well. In addition to their roles in scouting, Cynthia and Steve have been active in their church, teaching the youth about their faith, and in the roles of Eucharistic Minister, Lector and Usher. Cynthia has also volunteered at the Senior Center, provided ‘Angel Meals’, and worked at the elections. Steve has volunteered his time and talent as a handyman when needed.
When asked what their hopes were for 2021, Steve verbalized the thoughts of many: that we could get Covid behind us and travel again. They both miss their family and look forward to seeing the grandchildren in person again. Cynthia and Steve enjoy camping, taking trips together, and they look forward to travelling again when safe to do so. Cynthia also added the hope that we could move forward and all just get along… to become the united states once again.
With gratitude to their friends and neighbors for being their friends and neighbors, Cynthia and Steve laughingly recounted some of the stories that make Kernersville such a great place to raise a family. Stories such as being able to call a neighbor to watch three children when the fourth child was ready to enter the world, having an early call to borrow syrup to go on pancakes before school…the little and big things that you always remember. The things that make Kernersville a great place to live, love, and call home.