Lifelong love birds Charlie and Annie Muise get asked a lot how they’ve managed to stay together for 80 years.
But the pair from Tusket, N.S., says there’s no mysterious formula.
“Oh, there’s no secret. I mean, we work hard, and that’s all I can say,” Annie told CBC’s Radio Maritime Noon on Monday.
Charlie and Annie are both 100 years old and marked their 80th wedding anniversary on July 13.
They celebrated with a party at their daughter’s place, and then returned home to the house they bought together 75 years ago — for $2,000 — in Yarmouth County, near the southern tip of Nova Scotia.
Charlie and Annie met at a dance.
“It was a church supper,” said Annie, jumping in as Charlie tells the story.
“That’s when I first saw you, but I didn’t talk to you then,” responded Charlie, who remembers being smitten right away.
Annie said Charlie looked pretty good, too.
“He was handsome and good-natured, so I liked him. Then we fell in love,” she said.
The couple, who lived a few kilometres away from one another, were married in July 1942. Just three months later, Charlie boarded a ship overseas to serve in the Second World War.
“Every chance I got I would write a letter or even some little notes,” said Charlie.
Annie, meanwhile, sent him care packages every month of chocolate and cigarettes.
While Charlie was overseas, Annie spent time working for her aunt in the U.S. and saving money.
When Charlie returned home on New Year’s Day, 1946, the couple started looking for a home to call their own.
“And then we bought the big house, it’s quite big, and we paid $2,000 for the house, and that was from the money that Annie had saved while I was away,” Charlie said.
Together through the tough times
Annie is the family’s accountant, and said raising eight children meant being very careful about spending.
“I was raised during the Depression, so we had to save everything,” she said. “Nothing was lost … and we work hard.”
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The pair have lived a lot of life, side by side. There have been difficult times when they had to be apart or struggled to pay the bills.
“But after a while you know, it got better,” said Charlie.
So whatever life throws at you, Annie’s marital advice is simple: “Be true to each other. That’s the main thing.”
“I certainly agree with that,” said Charlie.