Rosalind Schaeffer woke up on this Valentine's Day to find hearts on the mirror in the apartment she shares with her husband, Jerry, at Atria Hearthstone Retirement Community in Topeka.
Rosalind and Jerry Schaeffer have been married 70 years. They say Valentine's Day is every day of their lives. (WIBW / Doug Brown)
"We never get tired of each other. We never get bored with each other," Rosalind said.
These aren't newlyweds. The Schaeffers have been married 70 years. Jerry says, to them, February 14th is just another day.
"It's no different than any other day because Valentine's Day is every day of our lives," he said.
Rosalind and Jerry were among 24 couples Atria honored Friday with a special luncheon. All of the couples have been married more than 50 years. In fact, they had a combined 1450 years of marriage among them.
Rosalind and Jerry may not have seemed destined to join those elite ranks at first. She says they met in high school, but didn't date then.
"He just kept teasing me," she said.
However, the two were friends and, when they attended the same college, the friendship blossomed into love.
Perhaps that, Rosalind says, is a lesson.
"The secret to a long marriage is being best friends first," she said.
She ponders a bit more and offers this additional advice.
"I guess the secret is listening to the other person, having a good sense of humor and not always thinking you're right," Rosalind said. "And have fun. Seventy years and we're still having fun."
Jerry says he knows he got lucky.
"It's the most important thing in my life," he said. "I couldn't have found a better wife or a better companion."
The Schaeffers are recent transplants to Topeka. They are from New Jersey and retired to Florida. But with no relatives there, they took their son up on his suggestion to relocate to Kansas, putting them near their grandchildren.
"We've never been happier," Jerry said.
Which brings us to their final piece of advice for a marriage that stands the test of time.
"We never feel our age," Rosalind said. "In our heads, we're 20 to 30 years younger."
To which Jerry quips, "We wish!"