Category Archives: Gatherings

Weddings and Rice

As I was walking out of the co-op the other day, I looked down to see a large splotch of rice in the parking lot. The kind of splotch that can only be achieved by having your bag of rice break open while you’re carrying it to the car (you can guess why I know this).  My first thought was that the local birds would be happy but then I remembered that supposedly uncooked rice is bad for birds, which is why they throw birdseed now at weddings.

Then when I got home, I discovered that YA had received TWO “save-the-date” cards.

Wedding reminder #3 was when I was watching Cake Boss that night and one of the bakers (sorry I don’t watch this enough to know any of their names) was celebrating a milestone anniversary with a big party and a wedding cake. When the couple began to cut the cake and feed each other, I cringed, hoping they wouldn’t smash the cake into each other’s faces.  I detest that.

So all these wedding reminders in one day made me think about weddings how the traditions have changed over the years. My first wedding, which was completely orchestrated by my mother, was fairly traditional.  Church, gown, reception, cake (unsmashed), lots of people I didn’t know.  My second wedding was the exact opposite, we met the judge at  Good Earth restaurant and were married at the table with our server, Philip and the server from the next section, Sarah, as our witnesses.  Honeymoon at Day tons that afternoon.  I am much more fond of my Good Earth wedding memories than my traditional ones so it makes me wonder why so many brides and bridegrooms adhere so stickily to all the “musts” when getting married.  Why not do something different, stretch their boundaries, find things that are meaningful instead of just traditional. Those of you with psychology degrees, any ideas?

If you were planning your wedding today, how would you like it to go? (Like all good fantasies, money is no object.)

Tissue Time

I went over to Tom and Lori’s last night to help them with some last-minute packing. When I got there, Lori handed me a small bag with my name on it.  “We got this for you at the State Fair.”  What you need to know is that Lori and Tom love the State Fair as much as I do.  We usually meet up once or twice a year, although we don’t spend long periods of time together, as we like different things.  They love to shop in the Grandstand and Lori loves to sit through lots of radio shows.  Oh and she loves Math on a Stick.

When I started to open the little bag, I said “this isn’t going to make me cry, is it”? They both said no but as you can guess, it did make me cry.  A little rock with the Chinese character for friends.  It’s exactly the kind of item that I would never acquire for myself but will now keep forever.

So we cried a little last night and I’ll go home mid-day today to wave goodbye as they depart the neighborhood – so probably some more tears at that point too. Remind me to take tissues.

What can make you tear up?

Hole in My Heart

Although I think of myself as flexible and resilient most of the time, there are some changes that I just don’t like. My friends and loved ones moving away is right up there in the “I hate this” stratosphere.

Lori and Tom live 2 doors up from me. I knew right away when I moved onto the block 29 years ago that they would be good friends.  They championed me when I was divorcing wasband #2, supported me during the adoption process.  Lori is a rubber stamping buddy of mine, we share reading as a passion and I’ve been drawn into one of her favorite charities, Mission Haiti.  Tom more often than not does my snowblowing and now that they are moving to an apartment in Chicago, he is even giving me the snowblower.  YA had a ton of hand-me-downs from their 2 daughters (which really helped my finances back then) and we did a lot of activities together when the kids were all younger, including Supper with Santa, trick-or-treating and many backyard neighborhood get-togethers.  They are two of the kindest, most generous people I know.

This move to Chicago has been coming for a while. They actually rented the apartment a year ago but a health crisis kept them here until now.  Their oldest is in Cincinnati with the only grandchild, Lori’s work has offices in Chicago and Tom does programming work from home, so the Windy City seemed like a good next step for them.

But it doesn’t make me happy, even if it’s good for them. I know how to use e-mail and texting and even skype, but it isn’t the same as just running a couple of houses up.  So on Friday I have a chunk of time blocked on my calendar that says “cry on the sidewalk” as I fully intend to go home to wave them off as they depart Minneapolis.

Who would you have move closer (or back)?

Good Fortune

Fortune cookies, while a fun novelty, don’t always register for me. Most of the time that YA and I have Chinese food, it is at home, delivered by our favorite place, Fresh Wok.   YA loves cream cheese wontons, which I consider dessert; this combined with the fact that the fortune cookies are always at the bottom of the bag, they are usually overlooked until after we’re full.

I have some good friends who are moving this week, so this past weekend, I took Chinese take-out over to them so they would have one night when they didn’t have to cook. I decided to make it an early Chinese New Year party so brought lucky money envelopes, red paper plates/cups, the works.  When I was setting things out, the fortune cookies were actually on the top of the bag so I put them each of our place settings.

Here is what mine said:

“Because of your melodic nature, the moonlight never misses an appointment.”

Lovely, although in terms of it being a fortune, all I can figure is I’d better keep being melodic or the moonlight will miss an appointment?

What fortune would YOU like to crack open?

Going Forward in Life

I know from discussions on previous New Year’s Days that we are not a big resolution group. Around our house, New Year’s Day is traditionally the day we take down the tree, put away the ornaments and other decorations and generally straighten and clean up.  It feels like a fresh start after the big holiday season so it’s easy to understand how folks can spend time taking stock and deciding how they’d like to go forward in life.

No particular ways I’d like to go forward, although I will note that 2019 was an abysmal year for keeping up communications with the people in my life. Not sure why, it wasn’t more busy than usual, but in looking back I realize that I did more responding and less reaching out.  So maybe I’d like to change that.  If this is a resolution, then so be it.

If there are resolutions in my past that I managed to keep, I can’t remember. I assume that most of my former resolutions remained as resolutions and not life changes. This means I don’t have a game plan based on past experience for making a change.  I guess I’ll just have to wing it.

Have you had any spectacular resolution failures? Or success?

Giving and Receiving

Well, it is Christmas  Day.  We will rendezvous with daughter later this morning in Bismarck  and haul her home. Then we will open presents and she will presumably fall asleep until supper.

We have three presents for her under the tree, and one from her to  her dad. My present from her was a tomten with a 2 feet tall hat that doubles as an Advent calendar.  All we got for each other was our fresh,  mail order  Christmas  tree. Son and family will get their presents next week when we travel to Brookings. I appreciate  that in our family we only get each other simple, useful things. (Daughter believes it is essential that I get something tomten related every year). The cats got nary a present, as they  share the tree with us.

What did you get? What did you give? What were your best and worst Christmas presents ever?

 

 

Worth Doing

Gustav Holst is reputed to have  said, in reference to church music and musicians, that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. I know I have reported this on the Trail before, and it was once again brought home to me last evening at our Lessons and Carols service.

It went quite well, actually, given that the new music and worship director had never done a service like this before, and that the bell choir director was miffed because she thought she and I should have planned it. I helped to smooth things out between the two of them and found as many readers for the lessons as I could. We had two 8 year old girls read lessons, and they did a great job. I also enlisted a very theatrical guy from the Episcopal church to read, as well as with our family lawyer and me and Husband. (I tried to get the UCC pastor to read, but she was having 16 people over for dinner last night).  We had an impromptu children’s choir for the first time at this service, along with a flute player, a clarinet player, our assistant pastor on trumpet, and  a violin player.  Husband sang a solo from a Finnish folk hymn Lost in the Night.  The choir sang and the bell  choir rang.  All the music was appropriate for the service, and the director curbed her tendency for evangelical  praise music.

We never had a dress rehearsal, but it all fell together. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked and everyone left in good spirits.  The bell choir director and the worship and music director  embraced after it was over. I hope as you read this you can think back to programs and pageants from your past.

What is the most elaborate thing you have planned?  Any stories from past pageants or programs?