The evening of the wedding the house looked very nice and was adequate in every way for the occasion. It was a dull Presbyterian service. A piano and violin were used for music. The best refreshments that Dorr and Zeller and Peckman could prepare were served. There was no champagne - only punch and coffee. The 22nd of February was pleasant. Our new minister, Dr. Sneed, officiated. I think our old and highly regarded Reverend James H. Brooks had retired or died and Dr. Sneed had taken his place. I do not recall who caught the bride's bouquet, but I was the first of the bridesmaids to marry. Leonard took his bride to Florida, the longest trip they ever took. Afterwards they went to Michigan year after year. Vie did not like Florida and felt they were spending too much money. She urged Len to shorten their trip a week, and they returned to the Houstons’ home. In all of the thirty-eight years of their married life they never had an apartment or a home of their own. Some of our family told my well-loved brother Len to assert himself and get away from Mrs. Houston and have a home of their own. He was in a difficult position. Vie became pregnant the first year of their marriage. She had a strange attitude toward childbirth. Instead of feeling joy over the prospect as Len did, she acted as though she was ashamed of it. She kept the secret from her mother as long as she could. No doubt her dominating mother filled Vie full of all of the travail but none of the joy that the Bible tells about this important subject. Although a beautiful layette kept her mother, sister, and herself busy sewing those nine months, Vie never spoke hopefully. Various symptoms developed that were not quite normal. She overcame most of these as the nine months passed. Days of waiting and still no baby. Then a still-born child was delivered. Vie suffered from uremic poisoning for weeks and never had another child.
(Fate deals strangely with us and we should not judge one person's attitude toward life by that of another. However, I ask pardon for injecting a premature statement in the story of my life. My ill health was improved and an abdominal operation made me able to have a child. Three years after our marriage we moved to St. Louis. We lived in three different boarding houses during the nine months of my pregnancy, gloriously happy over our prospect. I would not go to mother and was determined to live on the little we had. After a difficult birth that might have been the end of both mother and child I bore a normal baby.)
Some people thought Vie had a jealous and envious nature. She was a close friend of Emma Whitaker who lived across the street from the Houstons on Washington Avenue when we were children. The friendship between Vie and Emma continued even after Emma married Sam Davis whose family was richer than the Houstons or the Whitakers. The friendship continued till their deaths. Mrs. Sneed, wife of the minister who married Vie and Len, remained her friend. Neither Mary Semple nor Mattie Sproule kept up a close friendship with Vie. These two and I were the maiden ladies who continued going to Charles O’Fallon’s houseparties until we all married. If Vie had ever been able to ask her friends to their home informally she and Len might have been asked to chaperone some of the houseparties. Vie was a member of the Wednesday Club and this was her one way to entertain. She was hindered because of her mother, Mae, and Mae's boys. It was too bad they never had a home of their own. Vie’s propensity for criticizing people, especially me, was bad. If she paid a compliment she always added a “but.” We sometimes called her "Vie the butter.” I told her nephew that Vie and I never understood each other. He said she was very jealous of me. This astonished me because they had so much more money than we ever dreamed.
They resented the prediction that some of our family told Len. Len yearned for a house and garden in Ladue or some place where he could relax and work in a garden. He could afford this but never got away from his dominating mother-in-law. They did get a cottage in Charlevoix where they spent every summer. During the last ten years of Len’s life they enjoyed one of the nicest cottages of that resort. Vie lived a few years after Len died. She made her cottage even more perfect because she could get rid of all of Len's fishing equipment which he enjoyed. She was afraid to go in a row boat with her fisherman husband. July 16 was Leonard's birthday. Each year when he wrote to thank me for my birthday greeting he would say how much he would like to have me come and see their perfect cottage. Vie never asked me until a year or so before Len's death. I had spent two weeks with friends at Wequetonsing nearby. An invitation came two days before I was leaving for St. Louis. Vie asked me to come to lunch. I would have had to leave before breakfast and return too late for a meal at the Colonial Hotel at Wequetonsing. I did not go but was sorry not to see the cottage.