Few couples can hope to reach the marital milestone that Earl and Margaret Kerr will celebrate together tomorrow.
Seventy years of wedlock seems like such an inconceivably long time to a millennial like me.
But when you meet Margaret and Earl, you at once perceive how it is not only possible to last the distance, but to come out the other side infinitely richer for having had that person by your side, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.
Because Earl and Margaret Kerr are not only husband and wife, they are also the very best of friends.
Their love story actually begins about 85 years ago, as childhood neighbours in Manly Vale.
"We were born at the start of the Great Depression," Earl said.
"Nobody had any money - there just wasn't any around. And there were very few creature comforts.
"Right through the Depression it was a tough old time - but it's all we knew.
"All the kids used to play in the streets together, using someone's garbage tin for stumps, and a bit of fence paling for a bat."
Margaret's mother was famed for her talents in the kitchen, which brought all the kids to the yard.
"To get the bus anywhere, Earl used to have to walk past our house," Margaret said.
"He always used to pop in to get a piece of whatever my mum had just finished baking."
Earl would also often be over in the evenings.
"We used to sit around the wireless at Margaret's house listening to the serials - Golden Colt, Hagen's Circus, and Martin's Corner," Earl said.
One of the few true youthful pleasures at the time were the Saturday serial movies.
"It was sixpence to sit downstairs, and ninepence to sit upstairs," Margaret said.
"I was allowed ninepence, so if I walked instead of catching the bus, and sat downstairs, I had threepence to spend on lollies.
"Everyone used to roll jaffas down the aisles, and the rich kids used to sit upstairs and drop lolly wrappers on us."
The Saturday serials were a childhood institution, and skipping one day meant missing out on a crucial development in the ongoing story.
"If you played up, a big punishment was having to miss out. That was a big deal - there were no iPads or internet to catch up back then," Earl said.
By the time Margaret learned to look at Earl as more than just a 'big brother' figure, he had already been bringing in a steady wage for over half a decade.
"I started earning a living at age 11, delivering Manly dailies. I'd get up at 3am, ride my bike all over town delivering dailies and come back in time for breakfast, then off to school," Earl said.
"In those days it was every man for himself - you earnt a penny where you could.'
The pay was 10 shillings a week.
"From the age of 13 to 15 I worked on a milk cart. I was up just as early, six days a week. We couldn't afford an alarm clock so my mother very diligently woke me up on time every morning," Earl said.
"It paid 30 shillings a week. I'd give Mum a pound and I'd have 10 shillings to myself - I was in the money!"
At the age of 15, Earl entered into the print trade - an industry he'd go on to work in for the next 40-odd years, until retirement.
Margaret's mother was always encouraging her to take a chance on Earl.
But it wasn't until the night of Earl's sister's engagement party that she realised the extent of her affection for him. She was half-expecting him to walk her home, and when he didn't, the disappointment stung a little more than it should have.
"We are kindred spirits - we liked each other's company and we got along," Earl said.
After a couple of years of courting, Earl popped the question one night over a study cram session. The pair became officially engaged on Margaret's 19th birthday.
The pair wed in a home ceremony on March 20, 1951, in the romantic glow of hurricane lamps.
"We were to be married at 7.30pm," Margaret said.
"But at that time after the war, there were still blackouts. They would announce over the wireless when the blackouts were to occur."
Manly was to go dark from 5.30 to 7.30 that evening, so there was a great rush to get everyone bathed and dressed before the power went out.
But 5.30pm came and went, and the lights remained on.
The ceremony began at 7.30 as planned. But half-way through everything suddenly went dark.
"We were stunned when the lights went out," Margaret said.
"It was Earl's best chance to head for the hills, but he stuck around."
The minister went in search of a solution and promptly brought back the hurricane lamps. They were able to finish tying the knot, but their official wedding photo had to wait until two months after the event.
The pair's union was blessed with one daughter, two grandsons, and six great grandchildren.
They bonded over a love a golf; Earl is a 14-time club champion of the Mona Vale Golf Club, he even took out the Australian Senior Championships in the '90s, and together the pair have won a few mixed foursome championships at the Warringah Golf Club.
And they count themselves fortunate to have been able to travel the world.
After Earl retired in the 80s, the pair hitched up a caravan and roamed around Australia for four and a half years.
"And I tell you, when you're locked in a caravan together 24 hours a day, you're forced to get along with one another," Earl jokes.
"But in all honesty, we've had a great life together - I wouldn't change it."
"Nor would I," Margaret said, eyes glistening. "He's been a wonderful husband."
"And she's my guiding light," Earl returns.
The pair moved to the Nambucca Valley in 2013 to be closer to their daughter and son-in-law (Sharyn and Les Walsh).
Tomorrow both couples will share a combined wedding anniversary lunch to celebrate - Sharyn and Les will mark 40 years together on Sunday.
Monsoonal rain has put off other plans for now, but Margaret and Earl will honour their longest life adventure, with a 10-day driving tour of the painted silo trail in May.
Before I leave, I am curious to know whether they can offer any insight into maintaining a happy and long-lived marriage.
"Compromise - nobody's right 100 per cent of the time," Earl said.
"And good communication is key," Margaret said.
"And I think it's important to be friends first," Earl said.
"We were friends who married for love, and it's just grown through the years," Margaret said.