Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner

(035:  Dad & Mom, preparing the centerpieces.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner both went off without much of a hitch.  M the Younger, M the Elder, and I got a bit of a late start heading to the church for the rehearsal.  We had to turn around and head back home when we were a mile or so away from the house in order to pick up the gifts M the Younger forgot to put in the trunk of the car.  It didn’t occur to any of us that we could have phoned one of the folks staying at the house and asked them to bring them along when they came to the dinner.  We invited all of our out-of-town friends and family to attend the dinner and their timing to leave the house was about an hour later than ours since they wouldn’t be attending the rehearsal.

As I mentioned in the post regarding the rehearsal dinner, M and I had forgotten to work on some of the smaller details of the rehearsal dinner such as decorations.  After running out for some flowers and vases earlier in the day, we decided to place rocks in the vases as a sort of homage to M the Younger and his degree in geology.  I thought I had a bag of polished river rocks somewhere in the storage room, but was unable to find them so we resorted to using rocks from the property which worked out as well once we put water in the vases.  All rocks look pretty good when wet and/or under the water.  It gives them a shine they don’t have when dry (unless, of course, they are polished).

I haven’t written about this here at the blog but I think most of my readers already know that my mother has cancer.  The fact that she was able to come to the wedding astounds me.  She was a real trooper making the long trip out here (an 8 hour drive in the car).  Her body is still trying to heal from the chemo- and radiation-therapy so, when at home, she spends a lot of time resting and sleeping.  The last time I saw Mom (prior to the wedding), she had lost her hair due to the chemo and was just finishing up the radiation treatments.  Although she has lost a little more weight since that time, her hair is beginning to grow back and the wedding celebrations seem to have perked her up quite a bit.  She made it through some long days and evenings without so much as one complaint that I’m aware of.  Because of some other complications it is difficult for her to eat.  She soldiered through that as well, and I’m very grateful to the kind people who helped out at the rehearsal dinner and at the reception when it came to finding and preparing food that Mom could eat.

The rehearsal at the church went well.  Sister Ann Marie, who was in charge of the rehearsal, walked everyone through their parts.  My granddaughter Emma was the flower girl.  Her father was one of the groomsmen.  Emma did a fine job at the rehearsal, walking slowly up the aisle.  She was aimed (so to speak) at her father, knowing that Emma was likely to do okay as long as she knew she would be with her father at the end of the aisle.

Once we finished at the church, the two M’s and I took off for the Mustard Seed Market & Cafe where we held the rehearsal dinner.

(The Mustard Seed Market as viewed on the Wednesday prior to the rehearsal dinner.)

If you’ve been reading the blog during the preparations for the one big thing the groom’s parents are responsible for — the rehearsal dinner — you may remember that when we originally arranged to have the dinner at the Mustard Seed there was a restaurant upstairs, above the market.  A month or two before the dinner we found out that they had closed the restaurant and were using the upstairs as a banquet facility for parties, meetings, etc.  I was slightly worried when I heard this, and the news that they had a new chef added to that worry as we had sampled the foods we planned to have on the menu for the dinner and were looking forward to the foods we picked out.  The closing of the restaurant brought a change in the menu.  It was too late to change the venue so we crossed our fingers and hoped that the food would be in keeping the Mustard Seed reputation (fresh, local if they can, wonderfully prepared food).

The change also meant a buffet rather than a sit-down dinner.  In order to accomodate as many different tastes and foodstyles (such as vegetarianism) as possible, we decided upon the asiago chicken, penne pasta alfredo with roasted peppers, roasted seasonal vegetables, and roasted and herbed red-skinned potatoes.  This came with a small salad ba.  Bread served at the tables.  We had beer, wine, coffee, tea, and water served at the bar.

(Bar at the Mustard Seed Market & Cafe.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Shortly after we arrived we had everyone find their place at the tables.  We tried to mix up the family and friends so people from both sides could get to know each other.  The rehearsal dinner is said to be a time for both sides to relax and get to know each other outside of the formalities of the wedding day.  That was what we were aiming for.

Toasts were made.  M did the first toast, introducing everyone with a little tidbit about how they are related to the bride or the groom, followed by a toast to the bride and groom.  The second toast was done by the bride’s older sister, A, and the third by the groom’s older brother, C.  Both did a fabulous job.  I was surprised and impressed by C.  I’d never heard him speak in front of others before (something I know he has to do frequently for his job), and I thought he did wonderfully well.  Everyone kept the toasts relatively short due to the lateness of the dinner.  (The rehearsal had to be held at 7:30pm to give C time to arrive from where he lives  (a 2-1/2 hour drive) with his daughter (my granddaughter), the Exquisite Emma.  Dinner started around 8:30pm.)

I had a good time, getting to know Mere’s family and friends, and being able to reconnect with my own family and friends who had traveled to Ohio for the wedding, some of whom we haven’t seen in a while.  The food was delicious and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  There were some gifts exchanged later in the evening, including a lovely collection of photos gathered together by A (the bride’s older sister) in order to put together part of the family tree on both sides.  I had participated by coming up with prints of photos starting with M & I and leading to his parents and grandparents and my parents and grandparents.  M the Younger and Mere were both thrilled with the gift.  A did a marvelous job of framing the photos and laying it all out on a table that was hidden from view until she was ready to present the gift.  It was a thoughtful and creative gift.

(A sampling of the family tree gift given by the bride’s older sister, A.)

M the Younger and Mere gave out gifts to some of us as well.  Mere’s mother and I each received a lovely heart-within-a-heart necklace from the couple.  M the Elder received a Daisy Air Rifle (BB gun) along with a slingshot as back-up for harrassing the geese.  When M the Younger handed the gift to M the Elder it was thoroughly wrapped, and M the Elder, kidding around, said, “Gee!  I hope it’s a BB gun!” (imitating Ralphie from A Christmas Story) not knowing that it was a BB gun.  Hilarious, but you probably had to be there to appreciate it.

The groomsmen received the 20th anniversary edition of Super Soakers as gifts, along with DVD’s suited to each and popcorn to eat while watching the DVD’s.  M the Younger originally planned a Super Soaker fight, but that didn’t work out due to the lateness of the evening.

I’m not sure what the bridesmaid’s received as gifts.  I must have missed that part of the evening or Mere did it another time.

The evening ended shortly after 10:00pm.  M the Elder, M the Younger, and I were out of there by 10:30pm.  It took us close to an hour to get home and we all went to bed for what we hoped would be a good night’s sleep.  I knew I had an early morning ahead of me and suspected sleep might be elusive due to all the excitement.  I was surprised to find I slept quite well for most of the night and had no trouble getting up the next morning (the wedding day!) shortly before 6:00am.

Pete and Repeat — An interlude

(034:  Pigeons against a reflection of the sky.  Akron, Ohio.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I’ve been writing up some of the details of the wedding celebrations and as I go along, finally checking what I posted during the celebrations, I realize that I often repeat myself.  Once I figured that out I was going to go back and change things.  The thing is, I often do that in my everyday life so I decided I will leave it as it is.  It’s more realistic in terms of being more me that way.

I’m a bit like the old joke:

Q:  Pete and Repeat are sitting on a fence.  Pete jumps off.  Who is left?

A:  Repeat.

Q:  Pete and Repeat are sitting on a fence.  Pete jumps off.  Who is left?

A:  Repeat.

And so on and so forth…

As I write this (but not necessarily when I post it), rain is coming.  At least I hope it is.  The garden could use some watering.  The pond holds up better when we’ve had the occasional rainfall, too.

M has gone out to mow the grass before the storms roll in.  I spent  about a half hour raking weeds out of the pond earlier.  It’s good exercise, moving that heavy rake filled with weeds and pond muck.  It’s dirty exercise too.  I had splatters of pond muck/mud all over me by the time I was finished and mud in my toes from standing in the pond.  I raked up a turtle during my first pass through the weeds.  He was about 4-5 inches in length and must have decided that playing dead was the best recourse.  I put him back in the pond, thinking he’d swim away after the trauma of being lifted out on a giant rake.  I waited about 30 seconds, giving him time to scoot.  I put the rake back in and whaddyaknow, there was the turtle again.  Back into the pond I sent him.  He sat there near the edge, his head poking out of the water.  I nudged him with the rake, hoping he’d swim off.  No go.  He continued to sit there.  I worried that I’d hurt him or killed him when I raked him out of the pond.  I reached down to pick him up and his head suddenly went under the water and he finally swam off.

I forget why I sat down to write this little interlude.  Maybe just to record things as they are now before I go back in time.

I started this post yesterday.  The rain is here.  No doubt the garden is soaking it in.  I’m not feeling well today, but that is likely due to overindulgence in a lot of things over the past week or so.  Today is a very good day to start getting back on track with the Healthy Living Plan.  I’m not up to a lot of exercise, but a row or pedal around the pond if/when the rain stops would be nice.  I’m hoping to pull some of the baby bok choy for dinner.  (Note to self:  Take a picture of the bok choy.  It’s looking good and worth showing off.)

I’ll be back later today or sometime tomorrow with more details on the wedding celebrations.


(033:  The Ohio & Erie Canal.  Akron, Ohio.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

It’s quiet and the house feels empty, almost an alien feeling after the past few days.  I find it hard to believe all the hoopla occurred over the course of only six days.  That’s just short of a week.  Time is a strange thing.  Sometimes it feels like the time has zoomed by.  Sometimes it feels like it’s been months since there was a sense of normality about life, the universe and everything.

M is back at work today.  The last of our guests (Wayne, Gisela, and Connie) left this morning.  Izzy and Bella (the cats), who are a little put off by visitors and changes in routine, are napping.  As for me, I can’t quite appreciate the silence just yet.  I’m fitting myself back into regular life.

I’ll be keeping fairly busy over the next few days, getting caught up on laundry and putting the house back in order.  The garden needs weeded, as does the pond.  I had M get out the giant rake for me so I can start on the pond today.  It’s a good day for it, sunny and expected to be hot.  If I happen to fall into the pond while pulling out weeds, it will probably feel good to cool off.

There’s so much to write about in terms of the wedding and all the people and events surrounding it.  I’m not sure where to start.  While I think about that, I’ll leave you with a bedtime conversation, edited a bit for personal reasons.

You want to know what my favorite part was?

What was your favorite part?

When we were riding to the church with the kids*.

Why was that your favorite part?

It was like old times, just the four of us together in the car.  It will probably be the last time that happens.

Yes, probably.

I was with the three people in the world who I can most be myself with…




I love you.

I love you, too.

*”The kids”:  Our two sons.

Fading Rose

(032:  Fading rose.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

No time to write.  Still have family and friends here.  We’re going over to Akron today to walk the trail that runs through part of the city and then hang out for a little while.

The spiral stairs that we hoped would arrive before the wedding were delivered today.  M and I will be working on installing those after everyone leaves.  The stairs will get us from the dining room down to the new deck.  (As it is now, we have to walk around the front of the house or go out through the basement door to get to the deck.  There’s no access from upstairs.)

Hope to have time to write about the wedding soon.  Thanks for all the comments and visits.  🙂

(The photo above includes one of the roses from the reception decorations.  The bride’s colors were lavender and sage.  The rose is beginning to fade a bit, but it’s still beautiful.)

The day after

(031:  The Newlyweds.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Too tired at this point to write so just enjoy a look at the newly married couple.

Wedding Day

(030:  Morning of the wedding.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I was up at sunrise this morning.  It was peaceful.  There was a heavy fog outside, but I could see a hazy version of the sunrise colors behind the fog.  Everything was hushed and muffled, the way it is in a heavy fog.  As you can see from the photo above, the fog has lifted and it’s a beautiful day.

The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner all went off without a hitch.  The church is lovely (it was the first time I’ve been in the church where M&M are getting married).  The dinner was fun.  The Mustard Seed Cafe, where we had the dinner, did a wonderful job.  The food was excellent.  The toasts (speeches) were great.

I have to leave in a little while to do the hair and make-up thing.  Wish me luck.  I have no idea what I want to do and will probably make up my mind at the last minute.  I’m really hoping my stylist will have some ideas about my hair.  She’s usually pretty good that way.

I better remember to tell her to use waterproof make-up.  I’m fairly certain I’ll be shedding (more than) a few tears of joy throughout the day.

P.S.  Thanks for all the notes and well-wishes.  I haven’t had time to respond but have been reading them.  🙂

Rehearsal day

(029:  Rehearsal dinner venue.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

It’s the day before the wedding and things are pretty quiet in the house right now.  The groom-to-be is taking a nap.  The first wave — family, who arrived safely yesterday — are on their way to check in to the hotel where the reception will be held tomorrow night.  The second wave — friends — are on their way and should arrive around 4:00pm.  M the Elder and his sister are outside planting flowers that she brought for us (black-eyed susans).

My mother, a real trooper, managed the long trip out here pretty well.  She’s looking good today.  She even went with Dad for a short walk down to the pond and back.  The plan is for her to take a nap at the hotel and then they (Mom, Dad, and my brother Matt) will meet us at the church this evening.  Dad, as a deacon of the church, is going to be performing the wedding ceremony tomorrow.  He’s thrilled to pieces that M the Younger asked him to perform the ceremony and has been fussing with readings and such for the past few months.

This morning M and I picked up the flowers for the centerpieces for the rehearsal dinner.  I’m afraid we didn’t plan well for that and it was a spur of the moment decision to run out, grab some flowers and vases, and then decide how to make it all look nice.  We were so busy concentrating on other details that we didn’t think about decorations.  We put some rocks in the vases (M the Younger’s degree is in geology) and it all looks decent enough.

The photo above shows a little of the room where we’ll be having the dinner tonight.  I took it on Wednesday when we went over to look at the room and finalize some of the details.  We’ll leave early for the rehearsal so we can drop off the flowers and a few other items, and set up the place cards on the tables.  We decided to mix everyone up so we’ll have a chance to get to know each other a little bit before the wedding.

I only have a couple of things I need to do here before we leave this evening.  I have to wash and replace the sheets on the beds for the incoming friends.  And I have to make a hash brown casserole for the brunch we’re having here tomorrow for the groom and groomsman and our side of the family and friends.  I’ll miss most of the brunch.  I’ll be off having my hair and make-up done while they’re all chowing down on pancakes, cherry pudding (more like a cake than a pudding, but it’s called pudding), fresh fruit (loads of strawberries), and the hash brown casserole.  They’ll be carbo-loaded, that’s for sure.

The weather has gone from rainy and gloomy to beautifully fresh and clean.  The sun is peeking through the puffy clouds and the air has dried out.  It should be a gorgeous day tomorrow.