The words “quiet” and “adventure” seem like an oxymoron, don’t they? Usually, when we think of adventure, we think of something, well, adventurous. Somehow, though, 80-year-old Fran Putnam of Castle Hills has a talent for transforming life in general into a path of quiet experiences.
“Jay and I just had our 62-year wedding anniversary,” Fran said – quietly, of course. “We’re both from Alabama and went to the same church and school. I was 18, and he was 19 when we were married.”
Jay worked for IBM in the division that handled, among other things, contract jobs for NASA. The position sent the Putnams to a variety of locations, including three years in Singapore.
And Singapore was…
“We loved it,” Fran said with a definite tone of fondness. “I will admit the food required some getting used to. We never learned the language, but we attended an English-speaking church where we made some wonderful friends.”
Let’s pause just a moment and take stock of something Fran has now referred to twice. Church. She and Jay attended the same church in Alabama. They settled into a church in Singapore. We could be uncovering the source of Fran’s (and Jay’s) element of peaceful and steady quietness.
The couple lived in Huntsville, Alabama, where Jay was involved with the space program. They lived in Arizona and Maryland. Fran figures they’ve pulled up geographical stakes about every 10 years.
“It didn’t matter where we lived,” Fran said, “because wherever it was, it always came with a warm church family and friends.
“We moved here to Castle Hills North 12 years ago. Jay, of course, was retired long before that, and we were trying to decide where we wanted to live on a more permanent basis. Maybe Alabama. We tried that for four years. Then Joey, our son in North Carolina, decided for us when he told us he and his wife were expecting triplets. We didn’t talk about it very much. We started packing for North Carolina.”
Grand-triplets would probably push most grandparents to make quick decisions.
Unfortunately, Joey lost his job in North Carolina but didn’t need much time to find a new one in Plano.
“They started getting ready to move, and Jay told them we’d be right behind them! Today we have seven grandchildren and three greats.
“I asked Jay if he was ready to move after we’d been here 10 years. After all, settling somewhere new every 10 years was what we’d done in the past. He said no, he wasn’t going anywhere.”
As always, the Putnums have their close-knit church family and are still active in mission work. One of their closest church family friends is also their across-the-street neighbor, Karen Jacobs.
“They are awesome,” she said. “For one thing, they are true givers and always ready to help. Mr. Jay gives us valuable advice on home projects, which is just one example. Both are full of wisdom, and they are so appreciated in the community. My husband and I spent four years in India for his job, so we shared a common experience.”
Everyone had a scare at the end of May this year when Jay fell while doing lawn work at the church.
“He fractured some ribs as well as his pelvis,” Fran said. “He’d already made plans to attend a church conference on June 11. That didn’t give him much time to heal, and most people felt he shouldn’t push himself.”
She added, “He went.”
There have, indeed, been adventures in the Putnams’ lives. They’ve just gone through them quietly, led by steadfast faith and supportive church families across continents. There is an obvious, and somewhat enviable, peace in their souls and that, indeed, is a wonderful thing.