Mike and Susan Holmes 33 Years Together

Watching Dr. Who on Christmas has become a family tradition for Mike and Susan Holmes and their three daughters, Lindsay, Paige and Megan.  An ROTC picnic on October 23, 1983 brought them together during their freshman year at the University of Texas.  Susan’s sister was dating an ROTC cadet and, when there was an ROTC picnic, Susan and her roommate tagged along.  Susan caught Mike’s attention right away.  She was beautiful, and he decided right then to ask her out. After flag football, he gathered his courage. He asked both Susan and her roommate out to the Red Tomato for an Italian dinner that evening. Thirty-three years later, they are still in love.

Both are fans of British comedy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Monty Python. Their shared sense of humor has been important in their relationship right from the start.  Mike did 75% of the talking on their first date, and does to this day. That is the way they like it. He proposed not quite three months after they met. Susan said, “We’ll see.” With no car and a tight budget, extravagant dates were not part of their courtship. They enjoyed long walks on campus, especially to LBJ Hill. They would take a bottle of wine, hike up the grassy hill, and enjoy the fountain’s light show. They completed their degrees before tying the knot almost four years later.  Mike, an ROTC graduate, entered the Army.  Their first duty station was Ft. Drum.  It is hard to get more isolated than that!  It was an impossible place for Susan to use her degree in Fashion Design and Marketing.

They are spontaneous and love to travel.  In the early years of their marriage, they would pick up and take a two or three day trip with 15 minutes notice. They especially liked to spend the weekend in Kingston, Canada, just a three hour drive from Ft. Drum.  Mike, with the support of Susan and the girls, served his country for 30 years and retired as a Lt. Colonel.

Growing up during the ‘70s and ‘80s, Mike and Susan had seen many temporary relationships and the emotional toll it takes. Their 33 years together have not always been smooth sailing.  They credit the commitment they made to each other while still dating that they would always communicate and work things out. Relationships matter and are worth the hard work it takes to maintain them. They are very proud of their daughters, invested in their community, and are looking forward to some more spontaneous travel times in their future together.

They have lived in Vail for ten years, feel at home here, and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Susan loves the weather, sunshine, and the landscape. And then, there are the goats. The girls are grown, but the goats, besides being incredibly cute and mischievous, are a reminder of the busy times when Lindsay, Paige, and Meagan were at home. Meagan was in 4H and looking for a project. Guinea pigs or goats, mmmm… Mike admits he thought goats would be great. They started with three about six years ago, and now there are eight. They are like members of the family, and for sure, would vote to remain in Vail as well.

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J.J. Lamb