July 29, 2022
41 years—and still cookin’
It’s a marriage made in Paradise—or at least an anniversary made there.
Dottie and Tim Weber celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary in a unique way: cooking for Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) volunteers in Paradise, California as MDS builds new homes for fire survivors.
The town of Paradise, located in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, is nearly 3,000 miles from the couple’s home in East Petersburg, Pennsylvania.
Tim, 70, was a professional chef for 35 years. Dottie, 74, was a home economics teacher. It’s a match made in heaven—but they do argue about cooking techniques from time to time, admitted Dottie.
“What a great way to travel and serve other people at the same time,”
— Dottie Weber
“That does cause problems,” she said with a smile. “But you kiss and make up.”
The couple believes that having adventures together is part of the key to a happy marriage. “What a great way to travel and serve other people at the same time,” said Dottie.
Tim, who sports a handlebar mustache, becomes serious when he recounts the stories he hears from volunteers as they sit down to eat strawberry spinach salad, barbecued pork chops, and lemonade pie.
“Across the street, right here, the fire melted the side of one building but didn’t burn it down,” he said. “How did the fire decide what to burn and what not to burn?”
When Tim compares his time spent as a professional chef to cooking for MDS, it’s night and day: “This kind of cooking is not a drudgery—it’s a joy,” he said.