Lindbergs relish the simple things together this Valentine's Day

Polly and John Lindberg have been married for 59 years. - Rebecca Mar/Staff Photo
Polly and John Lindberg have been married for 59 years.
— image credit: Rebecca Mar/Staff Photo

Polly Lindberg was going with someone else at the time when she met the man she would marry. John Lindberg, a doctor, was in town from Chicago for his colleague’s wedding to Polly’s sister in Des Moines, Iowa.

“That’s when Polly became a person of interest to me,” said John.

The Korean War was just getting underway, and John was called to service in the Navy. He met Polly for a “hamburger date” in St. Louis, Mo., where he stopped before going overseas, and where she was in nurse’s training. After only two or three dates and exchanging a volume of letters while John was a Navy medical officer assigned to an Army field hospital in Germany, the couple got engaged eight months later.

“That’s a little unusual,” said Polly, smiling. “I would have never ever told anyone to do that.”

The couple was married on Oct. 27, 1951, the same day that Polly became a licensed nurse. After relocating to Mercer Island in 1957, they settled into a cottage on East Mercer Way before moving to a house on 85th Avenue S.E., where they resided until acquiring an apartment at Covenant Shores seven years ago. They were among the first members of the Mercer Island Covenant Church. The couple has five grown children, including one set of twins, and 13 grandchildren.

The Reporter recently sat down with the couple in their home.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

Nothing really special. We both love to read, we both love to travel on the train — across the Rockies. For our anniversary we’re getting on the train. Simple things are a great pleasure to us; going out for coffee, visiting with friends, going for walks — our favorite walking places are along waterfronts.

What is something you didn’t expect after getting married?

In terms of the marriage relationship, I would have to say I had no way of expecting that being married to Polly would be so much fun for so long. We have committed our relationship to the Lord. We are dependent on the Lord for the love He has provided to us and the love we provide to each other. If two people are committed to the Lord, their relationship is stronger. Here we’ve lived together 59 years as husband and wife, and it’s still great — we highly recommend it.

All of our children are adopted. We’re wonderfully thankful — if you have children and desire children, then one way or another to us is not a big deal. We feel very gifted to have their presence in our lives.

Have you ever been apart?

Not for any more than two weeks, when I went away on Reserve duty. To leave for two weeks at a time, with five kids (at home), was a big order.

John’s brother, Bob, is a nearly identical twin who also lives at Covenant Shores. Polly, what is it like, being married to a twin?

We have a lot of fun with that. Even to this day people get them mixed up, here.

What do you want people to know about being married for so long?

You can disagree, but to me, everything is attitude. An attitude of gratitude has gotten us through everything. A sense of humor, I think, is vital to any relationship. We both have a forgiving spirit, but there’s not much to forgive. We don’t have a clashing relationship. A lot of people have fights, but you have to know how to fight — we just aren’t fighting people. Both sets of parents were happily married; when you grow up in that atmosphere, you’re more likely to have that.

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