We partnered with Coyote Creek Steakhouse & Saloon this Valentine’s Day season to share some wonderful stories of love. We sat down and talked with couples at several different stages of marriage, including lovebirds with over 60 years of wedded bliss.
We encourage you to share your love story or a photo of your Valentine on our Facebook page and tag it with #ShareTheLove.
This July Jay and Penny Hammond will complete 37 years of marriage! They grew up in New York state and then moved to Texas where they raised their family before moving to Rock Springs 10 years ago. You have probably seen them at Cowboy Donuts making the donuts we all love.
They sat down with me to share a little about their love.
How did you meet?
Jay: We met in high school. We grew up in a fairly small dairy farm community in Holland, New York. It’s a little south of Buffalo.
Penny: I really wanted to go out with Jay but I think he had been burned by a few girls so he wasn’t really interested in dating. I kinda spurred things on. My brother was dating a friend of mine that knew Jay. I told her it would be fun to go on a double date so she set things up. Jay went on the date with me and then I made sure I didn’t let him go after that.
When did you know he was the one?
Penny: I think I knew right away after a couple of dates. I don’t remember anything specific, simply that I loved him and I wasn’t going to let this one go. I also loved his family when I met them.
What is something you really appreciate about your spouse?
Jay: I appreciate her hard work. We always work hard. She is a great mother and wife.
Penny: Jay’s sense of humor. When we first met, I noticed he had a crazy sense of humor. He’s always been funny. We have worked hard together.
What have you done to keep your love strong over the years?
Jay: We continue to serve each other. People say a marriage is 50/50. We believe it’s more than that. You have to go beyond the 50 mark. It’s more like 100/100. It’s not about what makes me happy it’s about what makes Penny happy.
Penny: Communication. It is always important to communicate. Working together.
What advice do you have for new couples?
Jay: If you get in a fight, don’t send her home (chuckling). Seriously, though, we go to church and learn how to live. They teach things like forgiveness and the 10 commandments. If we actually apply those things in our lives instead of just listening to those things on Sunday, life will be a lot easier. How often is forgiveness preached and yet people don’t know how to forgive each other?
If you’re dating someone and there are some characteristics you don’t like about him or her, don’t think you’re going to marry the person and change that person after you’re married.
Penny: You can’t be selfish. You have to be selfless and give to that other person as much as you can. I have always felt that I am here to make my husband’s and my family’s lives better. Making them happy makes me happy.
A message from Ray Marini, Head Chef & GM at Coyote Creek:
We invite you to join us at Coyote Creek Steakhouse & Saloon this Valentine’s Day.
We will have a special menu that evening featuring entrees hand-selected by our head Chef. A touch of elegance mixed with the Wild West – only in Wyoming.