Tribune Print Share Text

A song in their hearts

Couple celebrates two decades of love and marriage

Created date

February 8th, 2016
Joe and Skip Cutshall
Joe and Skip Cutshall

Joe and Skip Cutshall have been married 20 years, but Skip still gets goose bumps every time she hears their song.

“We heard ‘Cuando Caliente El Sol’ for the first time in Cancun and loved it,” says Skip. “Every time we see a mariachi band, we ask them to play it for us.”

Music and dancing brought Joe and Skip together more than two decades ago.

“We met in country western dance class in 1994,” says Skip. “I was living in Pecan Grove, Tex., and Joe was living in Lake Jackson. We both took dance classes in Houston.”

Joe, for his part, says he felt something the first time he took Skip’s hand.

“Her hands were so pretty,” he says. “I noticed them right away.”

Good timing

Joe was less than two years out from a divorce, however, and wasn’t ready to jump into another relationship.

“We saw each other at dance class twice a week for more than a year,” says Skip. “We were friends but nothing beyond that.”

Things changed when Joe called Skip in July 1995.

“He asked if I wanted to go out for dinner the following weekend,” says Skip. “Then he called back the next day, and said, ‘Why wait? Let’s go out tonight.’”

The couple soon realized dancing wasn’t the only thing they had in common. They each had two children, and they both loved to travel.

“Joe has two daughters, and I have a son and daughter,” says Skip. “All our children were in college or on their own when we started dating.”

Joe and Skip ventured out to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Hawaii together.

“We were free to go in a way we hadn’t been for years,” says Joe. “It was good timing all the way around.”

Planning for the future

The couple began talking earnestly about their future. On a trip to Cozumel, they picked out a pre-engagement ring together.

“Our children could see how happy we were and readily accepted the other,” says Skip.

A justice of the peace married Joe and Skip on March 1, 1996. The couple spent their honeymoon in New Orleans before returning to Skip’s home in Pecan Grove.

Fast-forward 20 years, and Joe and Skip are still making plans together.

In 2014, Joe and Skip began considering another move, this time to Eagle’s Trace, the Erickson Living community in West Houston.

“Skip’s parents lived in a continuing care retirement community in Philadelphia, so we were familiar with the concept,” says Joe. “We like the idea of having extended care available on-site, so additional care is available if we need it at some point.”

The couple also didn’t want to be a burden on their children.

“We don’t want our kids to worry about us later on,” says Skip. “We know we’re in a good place.”

Twenty years and counting

Joe and Skip joined the priority list at Eagle’s Trace in January 2015, putting down a fully refundable $1,000 deposit to reserve the floor plan of their choice.

“Jodie [Schroeder, sales counselor] called in March and told us a two-bedroom, Jackson-style apartment was available,” says Skip. “We moved to Eagle’s Trace two months later.”

As the couple prepares to celebrate their 20th anniversary next month, it’s easy to see that love has followed them through the decades. They often walk around Eagle’s Trace hand-in-hand.

“People say we’re joined at the hip,” says Skip. “Joe’s my best friend and soul mate.”

“We enjoy each other’s company,” adds Joe. “We’d rather be together than anywhere else.”