Thursday, March 5, 2009

Beautiful Wedding, Radical Welcome

Several months ago we had received a save-the-date card for an upcoming wedding in my family (daughter of a first cousin). My cousins had been reminding Sarah and I about the wedding being sure that we would be there. The last time we were together one of the cousins asked if we would mind helping during the reception (this is a family thing as the family usually throws the reception). The aunt of the bride has been emailing us for at least a month letting us know what was going on and where we would be staying while we were there. She wanted us to be sure that we arrived early so that she could be certain we were seated with the family in the church.

The wedding was this past weekend in my home town. The family had made reservations for Sarah and I in a new inn in town. It was a small, new and very beautiful place. The inn is located in a former cow pasture across the road from where I lived as a child. All the cow stuff had been cleaned up long ago and a golf course had been built that surrounds the inn.

We checked in at the inn, rested a little while then got dressed for the wedding. We arrived at the church early as instructed by the cousin. We got hugs from several people and two little ushers took each of us by the arm and whisked us into the church. My cousin came into the church (we were early). We thought we were in the family area but she wanted us closer so she moved us up closer. Other cousins came in and were seated all around. There was whispered greetings from everyone close around.

The music started. A little country western music then the bridesmaids came down the aisle to Pachelbel's Canon in D, the Wedding March started and the bride drifted down the aisle on her father's arm. She was stunningly beautiful. When the preacher asked, "who gives this woman," all the bridal attendants, mother, father and a few others answered, "WE DO!" All the words were said, the newly married couple was introduced to the audience and departed the church to rousing a country western song.

We all hurried out to the place the reception was being held. My cousin asked Sarah and I to help serve the drinks. Lots of other family members were helping with serving food or cake or something. We got to see everyone there since everyone needed something to drink. We got lots of hugs and got to see lots of folks we normally don't get to see very often. The mother-of-bride-cousin came through after a while to be sure we stopped serving drinks and got something to eat. We got our food and sat with my aunt and uncle (grandparents of bride). The band started playing and the usual first dances occurred.

This was one of the most diverse crowds you would ever see. People were dressed in everything from formal wear to dressy clothes to jeans, shirts and boots. Everyone was equally welcome. A tall rather large gentleman in jeans and boots hit the dance floor as soon as the all the first dances were completed, he grabbed the bride and was twirling her all over the floor. She was laughing and he was clearly having a fun time. I asked the bride's mother who he was and she replied, "Uncle Dickey (no lie that was his name), the groom's uncle. Uncle Dickey was a great dancer and stayed on the dance floor most of the time. Everyone was dancing with everyone. All of sudden, a little boy about 4 or 5 years old hit the dance floor and really put on a show. Everyone cleared the dance floor and he took over. I knew immediately who his grandfather of my cousins who loves music and dancing and was known to be the center of attention as a child. A little later I found the little boy's grandfather and we had a long conversation. He was really proud of the grandson but did say that that was the first time he had taken over a dance floor like that. Somehow I doubt it will be the last.

The band announced that it was time that the bride and groom were to leave but they were only pretending to leave for pictures so be sure to come back for more dancing after the pictures. They had really long sparklers they wanted lit as the couple pretended to leave. We were all crowding out trying to get the sparklers lit when we noticed a man with an oxygen tank!! I just knew we were about to light up the sky in that part of the county. Some how we avoided exploding his oxygen tank.......he was as intent on lighting his sparkler as everyone else. The pictures were taken. I lingered outside talking with relatives a little while then went back in. Finally, Sarah and I decided that we were tired and needed to let the younger ones close down the night.

As we were leaving, all the relatives kept telling us how much they appreciated us coming, how much they appreciated the help........thank you, thank you, thank you.

We returned to the inn and Sarah decided we needed a drink in the bar before retiring. I noticed one of my cousin's sons (the father of the little boy who had taken over the dance floor) that had been at the wedding. While I knew his father well, I did not know this young man very well. I had seen him at only a few family events over the years. He smiled at us as we came in. After a few minutes he came over to Sarah and I asked, "which one of you is my relative?" I confessed that it was me. We had a nice long conversation about his little boy and lots of other family. Finally, Sarah and I decided we needed to get some sleep and went up to the room.

We are so lucky to have a loving, caring wonderful family. AND we really had a great time! We are looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve Eve and the ventriloquist act.

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