Monday, September 24, 2012

the days after

Wherever I look, I see signs of this past weekend.

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I couldn't bear to abandon the wedding flowers and so I grabbed a bunch to take home.

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Oh, and my absolutely sweet nosegay of prairie flowers that I wore Saturday. Placed now by the market honey bears. And one of the postcards adorning the table.

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And since I did get a comment here saying that there's no photo of me in my Mother of the Bride dress, I asked Diane to share hers on Ocean. So, here's me, walking down the aisle with the New York film director (wink inserted here) who shuns formal wear. My glittery Zappos shoes you will have seen in an earlier post. They match the antiqued stones on the Crew dress (coincidentally). Hours of shopping cut back to a fifteen minute session on the Internet.

photo by dianalouisa

Events don't usually linger with me in this way. But of course, this is so different. You could say not much changes after a marriage (if you've already shared a residence, or vacation, or trauma, or even a boring afternoon with not much going on). And yet, because of the way we've organized our social world, our family lives, the way we go about structuring our future -- the act of marriage does make things feel very different. I can see this even more now, with my daughter's wedding,  than when I myself married. I was twenty-three then -- an age that doesn't predispose one (certainly me) to think much about, say, setting up a retirement account. Of course, people don't need marriage to feel intimately connected to their partner, but for those who can and do choose to go the marriage route, I think the 'after' stands in stark contrast to the 'before.'

There is, too, a more practical reason why things are still lingering in my head. They say a Polish wedding lasts forever -- well, now, this American one has spanned three days: from rehearsal celebrations on Friday to the full day of festivities on Saturday, culminating with the post wedding Sunday brunch that her dad and I threw for the out-of-town guests and the wedding party. So yes, today you get more pictures of people, faces of loved ones, against the backdrop of the downtown Merchant -- an eatery that opened its doors for our group and prepared market omelets to order, brioche french toast, machaca burritos, pastries and who knows what else. Oh, I know what else -- mean bloody marys and some of the best secret recipe mimosas ever. With sunshine, yes, sunshine streaming in the lovely old room.

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And so here we go again, this time we're enjoying a post-wedding brunch:

First, let's take a look at the bloody marys -- the drink of choice for much of the younger set.

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To the omelet station next. Protein!

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And then a blur of other foods.

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It's easy to move between tables. For a while, my girl's college friends (everyone of them now living either very east or very west of Madison) convened with her for what must be a familiar routine of chatting around a table.

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Others sat, moved around, refilled plates of food...

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... or just lingered in one place or another -- and by the way, isn't it curious that if one person stands in a certain pose, others will follow? May I present the crossed-arm threesome:

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It was, for me, a time to sit back a little with my out-of-town friends.

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These are easily the most tranquil times. Nothing can go wrong anymore. Not here, not now...

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...because there's always a hug waiting for you if things get to be a bit hectic. Here are Mr. & Mrs.:

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I asked my friend to take this next photo -- of my girls and their guys, towering over me on the path of life  (which is as it should be).

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And it's over. After? -- you ask. Well, we have just a wedding trickle left. Sunday evening, my own out-of-town friends and I gather with the family of one of them and I slowly unwind. Someone else is worrying about food, about presentations, not me, not me.  Heirlooms… plum cobbler…

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And, too, my older girl's friend from New York is still in town, so that on Monday evening I'm downtown again, eating with her (and, too, the Mr. and Mrs.):

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But, work is again starting to dominate. Even at the farmette, though here, the routines are always charming and always with an eye toward where the sunshine can help us along. (Consider Ed's latest project  -- of creating a roaming breakfast nook that takes maximal advantage of the position of the sun, especially in wintertime. For the next few months, for instance, we'll be eating our morning meal here and do notice the two bridesmaid bouquets hung out to dry.)

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So, this morning's breakfast:

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And, too, I have to return today to some modest amount of garden watering. It has to be done. The flowers -- they need someone to care for the roots, so that the plants will  bloom repeatedly in years to come.  (While Farmer Lee, in the meantime,  plants garlic out back.)

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But I struggle in getting myself to think forward rather than back. I force myself to remember that really, weddings are there to set the stage for the future and it seems like cheating to be so wrapped up in the recollections that are so much about the merriment of it all. 

And still, it was a hell of a good bit of merriment! No question -- one color-filled weekend of great moments that stick with you, wel,l really --  forever.