A Wedding In The Neighborhood

It all started last Wednesday. The sweet couple, Mr. and Miss, from across the street started working on their yard. They trimmed the trees; shaped the bushes; fertilized, mowed and watered the lawn; swept the sidewalks; and finally pressure-sprayed the fence. The are both teachers and so have summer days available for yard work. But this was all day in the Texas heat!

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Then on Thursday, everyone in the neighborhood received a lovely decorated, typed letter from Mr and Miss explaining that they were having a wedding at their house on Saturday. They hoped the music and noise would not disturb anyone and also hoped we were as happy for them as they were.

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Friday brought more cleaning outside and inside the house across the street. Windows were washed, carpets steam cleaned, rugs aired. Mr and Miss were in and out numerous times with bags of goodies going in and bags of trash going out. All was aflutter with action and purpose.

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Looking up and down the street, I saw several of the neighbors out sprucing up their yards and tidying things up. Was it for the wedding? I thought so. I’m sure we were all trying to make the neighborhood look as presentable as possible for the impending nuptials.

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That evening we saw signs going up on the block. The one on the corner read, “Wedding This Way” with an arrow and the one at the house gladly announcing “Wedding Here!” All seemed ready.

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Saturday morning, all was quiet at the house. I’m sure much was going on inside but from across the street, it looked very calm.

Next door however, a garage sale was occurring. Cars and trucks were busily driving up and down the street, dropping off the eager shoppers. Was this going to interfere with the wedding? Would there be enough room for all the guests to park? Was this going to be a major clash of events? Neighbors were worried.

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But just as the garage sale closed down, guests began to arrive for the ceremony next door. All problems were averted. All manner of people happily entered the house – adults, elderly, children, even a couple of babies.

The block was filled with cars and trucks. Not one more vehicle could have been parked on the street. Something was definitely happening!

As the sun began to set, all the lights in and on the house were lit. Then the lights in the trees of the backyard were turned on. It was quite a spectacle. Everyone was indoors witnessing the exchanging of vows and rings. I imagined it to be a lovely ceremony with friends and family closely gathered around the bride and groom. Nothing but love and good wishes being expressed. Hugs all around.

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As darkness set in, the Mariachi Band arrived and all the celebrating moved to the backyard. When Gramps and I took our regular evening walk, we were serenaded with music, laughter, singing and hoorahs around the entire block. It was a lovely summer evening with a slight breeze. We walked in silence and just listened to the happy, magical sounds coming from the backyard across the street.

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The whole neighborhood experienced it with joy and gratitude. We’d never had a wedding on the block before. We somehow all felt a bit involved in the great joy, bonding, care and outcome of the event. We wanted it all to go well for Mr and Miss and ultimately be what  they dreamed it would be.

The merriment of the backyard with the good food, good beverages, good people, good cause, good entertainment went on til about midnight. Nothing rude or rowdy. Just lots of laughter, music and singing. People having good clean fun with families in attendance.

When it was done, it stopped and everyone left very graciously and politely. No problems there. All behaved themselves very well. They did leave with smiles on their faces, humming in their throats and bit of a jig in their step.

Sunday morning with the bright light of day found the house across the street very quiet. The sign out front, reading “Wedding Here!” still in place. The only reminder of the previous days’ activities.

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Monday morning the two, now Mr. and Mrs. were off to get ready for the opening of school. They seemed different but looked pretty much the same. Or did they seem the same but look different? I’m not sure, but something was definitely different.

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I hope something in their life has changed now that they are Mr. and Mrs. living in the house across the street. They know what it is. They wanted it. Now they have it. Becoming Mr. and Mrs. will do that for you.

And the neighborhood rejoiced!!!

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Get Me To The Beach On Time

The day before the wedding of my son and his Sweetie. A hectic day! A busy day! A full day! A fun day! A frantic day! A wonderful day!

It started with a family breakfast at Grandma J’s room. (She and I have had so much fun planning and scheming this wedding for months. We have become truly good friends.) She made fabulous cinnamon rolls for everyone and the kids were sporting their new pirate flip-flops.

After tummies were filled, all non-essential personnel headed to the beach. The rest of us began last minute preparations for the wedding ceremony, and the rehearsal and dinner that night.

Let’s see, the day before, Grandma J, New Sweetie and I had made gift pails for each room for the wedding guests. They were filled with Irish beers and Irish water. The kids are convinced the Irish water turns your tongue green! I never heard of Irish water before. I wonder what makes it Irish? Also some lovely suntan lotion, seashell shaped chocolates, a koozie with the wedding logo and green cups with the wedding logo.

We also made pirate pails for each child in attendance. Each pail had a shovel, a pirate eye patch, pirate themed candy and popcorn, stickers, tattoos, small wooden plaques,

bubbles and anything else we could find with a pirate look to it. They were so cute, we each wanted one ourselves, but they were only for the kids. Darn!

Can you tell by now that the wedding has a Celtic theme with a pirate subtext? Perfect for a beach setting, really.

Anyway, back to the day before – off we 3 musketeers (2 moms and bride) went in search of flowers. New Sweetie wanted sunflowers, which were actually growing everywhere along the roads and in every open field. We discussed cutting them, but they just weren’t big enough. Unbelievably, we found the most gorgeous huge sunflowers in a local grocery store! Is that actually possible? AND all the extra flowers for ALL the arrangements! Right there – next to the fresh fruits and vegetables! The gods were truly with us!

Buying all the liquor was a different story, however. It seems EVERYONE must be ID’d at that store and New Sweetie did not have her D.L. with her. The cashier was about to make her put it all back, when I came to the rescue. That’s right, I had to show my ID to buy beer and wine for the rehearsal dinner! ME!  65 year old Granny! I was tinkled pink! I haven’t been carded in 35 years! Made my day!!

Back at the beach, friends and family continued to arrive. Hugs and kisses all around. Meeting and greeting.

Time for the rehearsal – no presiding judge. Seems she typed the wrong town into her GPS and ended up farther away than when she started. No problem. We had the rehearsal dinner first. We are nothing, if not flexible!

The dinner was a catered BBQ outside on a large two tier wooden deck with a grand view of the ocean at sunset. Lots of conversation. Lots of laughter. Lots of fun. Lots of love. It was perfect.

We never did have a rehearsal! But that’s okay. We had everything else. We had everything that mattered – each other.

Tomorrow – a wedding!

The Gathering Of The Clans

The big day is almost here! The wedding of my son and his Sweetie. The wedding will be on the Texas coast at sunset in 2 days with about 50 people in attendance. The excitement is building! The plans are coming together! The clans are gathering!

One of the greatest things about a family wedding is seeing all the relatives you haven’t seen since. . . . well, since the last family wedding. And we haven’t been blessed with one of those for years. We have spent time with our precious family members during this time, but now we get them all at the same time and at the same place AND dressed nicely. It doesn’t get much better than that! Well, actually, it does when you add good food and the reason for the gathering. Now that’s a primo event!!

Because this wedding is at a destination location and is occurring after school is out, many people are bringing their children and staying for the weekend. We estimate at least 16 kids from age 4 to 15 years old. This will add a special flavor to the occasion and keep us all from getting too formal and hoittie-toittie. The children will most definitely remind us adults to relax and have fun, and not get too wound up in the details of the wedding.

Family members and friends are coming from all over the state, surrounding areas and from several days travel away. My niece and her husband have made the ultimate sacrifice by driving 2 full days in a car with 5 children to join the festivities. But our family is not whole without all the parts, so everyone desperately wants to be together.

Once a person becomes a member of our clan, they are forever and always a precious and irreplaceable part. They are loved for who they are and not just what they produce. We can never do without them again or tolerate life if they leave. They are family.

This wedding  is not only about the joining of 2 people we love but also the joining of our 2 families. My son gains a wife and 2 sweet sons. Gramps and I will have 2 more grandsons. The other family will increase by a son-in-law. Then there are numerous cousins on each side, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters.

What a magnificent thing this marriage ceremony will be! The binding of 2 people, 4 lives and more than two dozen members of family. I can hardly wait! Two more days!