Thursday, September 25, 2008

Saturday: The Day Arrives

Saturday morning Dan was knocking on my bedroom door by 6:00 to roust me for the day's activities. We needed to spread table cloths, set out the flowers, and generally do all that last minute stuff. Dan started the day by welding two steel rods on the end of steel poles to make support stakes for an awning (originally a tarp with a grommet in the corner); but then the wind picked up and tore a grommet out of the tarp's corner, causing a heavy pole to crash to the ground. It wasn't a particularly warm day anyway, and we were relieved that the pole had chosen to miss everyone and everything around it (including the cake lady, who was trying to shield the cake from damage with her body), so we decided we didn't really need that awning anyway.

The pig roaster was supposed to to have had the pig on the coals before we were up, but Sara came out of the house around 6:00 and found him still asleep in the back of his van. I don't know exactly what she said to him, but he was sure doing his best to look busy and stay out of her way by the time I got there a few minutes later. We all thought it was good for her to have a constructive use for accumulated tension.

It must have helped, because she was absolutely calm when she came around the house a couple of hours later and quietly informed me that the pig was on fire. I ducked around the corner, and sure enough, 6' - 8' flames were rising from the roasting pit. The pig guy was just kind of crouched next to it looking thoughtful, as if he couldn't decide whether or not to break out his marshmallows. "Is it supposed to be?" I asked. "I don't think so," she answered. She had that resigned, placid tone people get when they have moved past their limit for deep emotional response and can only manage a stunned acknowledgement of events. It was actually pretty funny. But Dan said afterwards that only the really fatty parts (snout, hooves, ears, and other parts that weren't destined for the table anyway) were destroyed, and the raging fire might have helped catch up the cooking process after its late start. In any case, everyone later said the pig was delicious.

We got to the point around midmorning where everything was in good hands and we could gracefully retire to get cleaned up and dressed. We even managed a calm few moments for some "before" pictures before last minute details started to pop up. In spite of concerns, Mom got there in time to prepare the bouquets (although we forgot to have her do a boutonniere for Dan). Sara's bouquet included one of Grandma B's hankies as a "something old," and it looked great. Dan had some trouble with the tie we'd had made from the dress material, but he did a quadruple-Windsor knot (which we all though sounded more like a figure skating move) and snipped 4" off the tail end, and it looked fine. And away we went.

It was a very good day. I'd never attended a Unitarian service before, so it was interesting to hear a prayer which was not a call for help so much as an affirmation that the world is as it was meant to be. I couldn't help squeezing Dan's hand as Sara walked down the aisle, and there were tears of joy from several sources. For just a few hours, the world was exactly as it should be.

The reception band was excellent, and I especially enjoyed some sweet fiddle waltzes done by the matriarch of the group. I tried dancing with Dad a couple times, but confirmed once again that I was completely inept on the dance floor - and by my choice of partner, raised a suspicion that there might be a genetic component involved. But the other couples in the square dance laughed along with us, and the little girls capered around in their silk "butterfly wings," and everyone had fun, and all was well.

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