Sometimes people just know when it's meant to be.
That's especially the case for Dawsonville residents Dorothy and Loy Rouse.
"We dated Saturday night, Sunday night, Tuesday night and Wednesday night," Dorothy said. Thursday night, the couple slipped off to get hitched. In August, the Rouses will celebrate their 74th wedding anniversary.
They are possibly the longest-married couple living in Georgia.
"We just decided on the spur of the moment that was it," Dorothy said. "We have had good times."
The couple met Aug. 19, 1939, before a campmeeting at Lumpkin Campground in Dawson County. By their fourth date, they knew it was meant to be.
They slipped out after campmeeting on Thursday, Aug. 24, and went to Dawsonville Justice of the Peace Oscar Vaughter's home, where he married them. Loy was 18, Dorothy was 17.
"We didn't stay together the first night we got married," Loy said. "I stayed at home and she stayed at her grandmother's." It was the next day the newlyweds told their families of their nuptials. Although they hadn't met each other's immediate family, both families supported their marriage.
"My mother loved him like he was one of her own," Dorothy said. The couple stayed with Dorothy's grandmother for a while shortly after they married. They also lived with Loy's family for a period of time.
Like most married people, the couple has had their share of ups and downs. In 1944, Loy was drafted to serve during World War II. In addition to having to worry about her deployed husband, Dorothy also had to take care of their three young children.
"I was watching the mail all the time," Dorothy said, explaining how she was always looking for letters from her husband. When Loy returned from service, he went to work as a truck driver for Weathers Machine Works. He retired from the company in 1985.
After the couple's five children were grown, Dorothy became a nurse with Cobb General Hospital, where she retired in 1987. Thirteen years ago, the couple left their home in Lithia Springs and returned to Loy's family property in Dawsonville, where he was born and reared.
The couple maintains 12 acres of land, and at 92, Loy is still mowing the grass and tending to their garden. He also enjoys working on carpentry projects. While Loy works in the yard, Dorothy knits, crochets and sews.
The couple also enjoys getting out during the week.
"Wednesdays, we go to McDonald's for the music morning," Dorothy said. "Saturday, we meet a group at Chick-fil-A for breakfast, and Sunday is church." The couple attends church at McKees Chapel.
Except for Loy's knee and Dorothy's shoulder problem, the Rouses are in good health. They attribute their good health to "everyday living" and eating lots of vegetables. One thing they've never done--celebrate an anniversary.
"We're just always busy from one thing to something else," Dorothy said. The Rouses said they consider good health and good friends their gifts.
In addition to their five children, the Rouses' have 10 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.