Farm Happenings
Comments 2

A Valentines Story

In our family, we have been blessed with amazing examples of what love and marriage look like. Public displays of affection vary from couple to couple, some are reserved and quiet, some more fun and quirky. No doubt these couples have worked through their various problems, and life is never sweet flowers and chocolates 24/7, but an observer can tell these marriages have been blessed.

Wedding Day

The Appel Family on my parents (Rich and Ann) wedding day. From left to right we have, John (the Cheese Maker), Elaine, Rich (the Farmer), Ann, Beppe, Pake, Rena, and Gerald.


John and Ruth

My husband and I have only been married a couple years, so we’re still a little green, but I find it interesting to see and hear how these relationships work in so many different ways. Even more so, the true sap in me loves to hear how these love stories began! Therefore, when I came across the story of how my grandparents met and fell in love, I was excited for a glimpse into one of the marriages I respect the most. I hope someday, my husband and I will be that little old couple, so full of wisdom and love that our family can’t help but notice.

Beppe traveled to the US in December of 1955, aboard the ship the “Ryndam”. It was during this trip across the ocean, she met a group of Dutch young people. Years later at church, she spotted one of her friends from the ship and went over to say hello!

“He was surprised to see me and then introduced me to his friend, Jack Appel. It was love at first sight for both of us. On our first date, we went to a roller derby which was so new to me. I’d never seen anything like it! On our way out, a huge crowd pressed in. Jack said to me, ‘Here, hold on to my coat, then you won’t get lost.’”

And then this story came up!

“On a Saturday evening I babysat for friends. I washed and set my hair, pinned up flat on my head. Then Jack came over! He noticed my embarrassment and then we both laughed. I could be myself no matter how I looked, which was such a good feeling. That evening we kissed for the first time.

There was never any doubt in my mind we were meant for each other, even though now I could not go back to my family in Holland. The Lord brought us together and that was all that mattered.”

-Audrey Appel



  1. Jan Westra says

    Hi, I really like the pictures! Last Monday I visited uncle Jim (Jint) in Allegan, MI, the man on the right hand side of the Beppe and Pake wedding picture. Family matters. Thanks.
    Jan Westra (Netherlands)


    • Hi Jan! Thank you for giving us a name! I had heard he was a relation but didn’t have time to confirm a name with Beppe before the post! Thanks for reading along!


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