Senator Patrick O'Connor was on hand at Linden Ponds this week to congratulate Arlene and Arthur Constant on the occasion of their 70th wedding anniversary and to present them with an official citation from the Massachusetts Senate in recognition of the many years they have spent together.
"We were really surprised. We consider ourselves ordinary people!" Arlene told the Hingham Anchor. Their family also celebrated with them at Linden Ponds.
"It was an honor to meet Arlene and Arthur, and I’m wishing them more happy years ahead," O'Connor said.
The Constants first met in 1949 and were married in 1951. The couple purchased a house in Quincy and raised their three children -- Steve, Susan (Zax), and Amy (Klausmeyer) -- there. They are looking forward to many visits from their nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren in the future.
Arlene recalls their children playing outside and biking a lot with neighbors when they were growing up and taking walks with them and their friends in the Blue Hills. "We'd go for a hotdog at Howard Johnson's afterwards!" she said.
After living in their Quincy home for 60 years, it was time for a change, even though they loved living there, Arlene said. "It was hard bringing those bundles up and down the stairs, and we were getting older, so we decided to move to Linden Ponds. It's one of the best things we've ever done. They have a wonderful walking area with gorgeous trees and gardens, and everyone is so friendly and gets along. It's like a family here."
The Constants shared their thoughts about how to enjoy a happy marriage. "Being together is great," Arthur said. "We have similar interests."
Good communication "is the key to a good relationship," according to Arlene. "We get along well. Instead of arguing, we sit down and talk about [whatever's bothering us]. Arthur is very quiet and peaceful."
The Constants enjoy walking together along with art, classical music, participating in lifelong learning and other classes, and playing games at Linden Ponds.
Arthur particularly enjoys reading and being a member of an environmental group there.
Both place high priority on family and supporting every member. "Our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are very important to us," he said.
Arlene said that they feel "fortunate in our world today to have wonderful kids. So much goes on that isn't very good, and our family has brought us a lot of happiness. We're all very close, and I love each and every one of them. They give us such pleasure."
Their grandchildren range in age from 21 to 35, and their great-grandchildren are ages 6, 5, and 3. "The kids are very good with each other. It's special," Arlene said.