Category Archives: Getting to know you

Perfect

written July 26th…

So I am now a Mrs. I’ll be sticking with my own name just to confuse traditionalists!

Yesterday was…. well, since I blew the suspense with my subject, perfect. Unless, of course you are sarcastic and believe that everyone sees the world like you do. In that case it doesn’t sound so great! But it was… It honestly couldn’t have gone any better. Here’s the lowdown:

Morning:

Running around like headless chickens was not how I wanted to spend my wedding day, but I can’t say that I was surprised. Ian had to go to the dump for a last load of yard waste, pick up coolers, beer, ice… I had to put money in the bank (desperately!), get some hair pins and prescriptions, pick up balloons and run to the craft store for fake flowers, birds and eggs. I had tried to make papier mache flowers for the cake yesterday morning and thought “I’m going to end up killing someone if I keep trying to do these in such a state!” So I chucked the idea and went fake instead. What a relief!

We had no idea what to expect for weather. Earlier in the week there had been reports saying that we were due for 100+ degree days and winds up with up to 50 mph gusts! Then later we had a 30% chance of thunderstorms and we could even see heavy clouds staring us down in the distance. Awesome. (That, by the way, is sarcasm.)

We had people over doing film testing (we had some cinematic friends film with some hoity-toity equipment!), setting up tables, chairs, chandeliers and well-wish origami cranes in the altar/hoopa and flowers.

The altar/hoopa in it's beginning stages

The altar/hoopa in it's beginning stages

My sister and her boyfriend made little fishes and bubbles to go on the fish booth “curtain” and then we didn’t end up using those pieces… Ah well… When we finally took a second to stop the hunger shakes we ate delicious, but hurried, leftovers from one of our many times out . SO MUCH TO DOOOO!!! It was overwhelming.

Finally, after everyone had used our one shower or had gone back to their homes/places where they were staying to clean up I was able to step into the shower myself to hopefully send some stress down the drain and get a breath in the meantime. I still had no idea how I was going to do my hair beyond curly and up. Luckily both (curly and up) were easy and worked well together. My hair was done in about 3 minutes, make-up – perfect, dress (and tricky under garments) – on! I managed to get both sets of toenails painted and one hand before someone started knocking on the door.

Ian joined me in getting ready as he, too,  got a shower and then a little trim, then set out to calm the anxious crowd who oohed and ahhhhed at his swanky, Great Gatsby attire.

While I finished up with my sister’s help a friend put together my bouquet of  Stargazer lillies and baby’s breath. It was gorgeous and exactly what I had wanted!!

The brides fragrant bouquet

The brides fragrant bouquet

On to the next….

Show time:

Finally, I walked out of the stifling bedroom (curtains were closed due to tricky undergarments and the air of surprise) into the house where there were just a few people waiting. Already, I knew that Ian and I were going to be show stoppers! I asked him to get everyone rounded up (people in their seats, parents and sister ready to walk down the aisle) and we headed out the door. I could hear mumbles and oohs and aahs from the crowd, but my mind was still reeling! Did I get this done, oh, I forgot that, is it too late to…. Oh, well.

Heading out to the aisle

Heading out to the aisle

Ian walked down the aisle with a parent on each arm, sitting them in front. I took a deep breath, sister on one arm, father on the other until we reached the seating area where we had to go one by one.

As I was trying to calm myself down I looked at this beautiful place that we had created under the embrace of dozens of old hazelnut trees. It truly was awe inspiring. I didn’t think it would turn out so perfectly. Two or three chairs to a side, gauzy netting framing where we would take our vows and a chandelier over our heads.

People turned to watch as we entered. I came through last. I could smell the earth beneath my feet and the heady, syrupy perfume of the stargazers in my hands. And then I was there, standing next to this handsome young man that wanted to spend his life with me. I could tell he was avoiding looking anyone in the eye for fear of losing it. Me, too.

At the altar, Chris, our friend and officiator, took a second to look at us both and then began…

After Chris’ opening Frank, Ian’s long-time friend and best man, was going to get up to speak, but seeing as how his wife was about to give birth he wasn’t able to join us. He did however send a letter on with a good friend to be read at the wedding. While the letter was full of “geek” information it was a lovely sentiment in the end.

Next, Ian’s parents stood up and said a few words about how happy they were for both of us and how they fully supported our decision to commit to each other.

Mara speaking her heart and getting ready to read

Mara speaking her heart and getting ready to read

My sister was last to stand and say something. She was pretty teary-eyed as she told us how happy she was and how much we mean to her. Then she read a poem by Gary Soto, “Oranges.” Beautiful, beautiful! Without being frilly and overly sentimental the poem did such a wonderful job of showing the quiet beauty that is love and the small (and sometimes big) sacrifices we make for love.

And then, the main event! Our vows.

Ian balked earlier when he saw that I had four pages written and ready to read. I could tell that he felt bad that he had just one. I wasn’t worried about it in the least.

I went first talking about how wonderful Ian was because he’s never manipulated or lied to me. He’s always treated me with respect and I know that I have the freedom to go and do whatever I want and I know he will support me with those decisions and be with me when I come home.

Ian reading his vows

Ian reading his vows

Ian’s vows had a lot of the same sentiments that I had made but that’s because we already have had a sort of unspoken understanding of how we both work separately and together. That’s why we’ve worked so well together these past 6 years.

I knew Chris would do a beautiful job. He has a very sentimental side and I know has the utmost respect for Ian and myself. He described how our love is much like a tree…

Marriage is a tree with real roots and branches. It soaks the sunshine of the best days and it grows outward. It drinks the rain of the storms that are sure to occur and expands its roots and grows stronger. It moves in the winds that life sends us every day, and flows. It stores its energy in a safe place when cold and snow and winter times come, and provides a place to go deep inside for warm solace.

HUSBAND AND WIFE!!!

HUSBAND AND WIFE!!!

After pronouncing us husband and wife, etc., etc. my father asked if he might say something. He hadn’t wanted to talk during the ceremony because what he wanted to say was lengthy. That embarrassment we all feel about our parents started to poke at me, but it needn’t have, what he had to say was beautiful. He said that he has looked over me and been worried about me for so long. My health has been his topmost concern for years. He shared with everyone a little pair of shoes that he’s kept of mine since I was 3 years old. Now, because of Ian, he feels at peace knowing that Ian will be there for me through whatever may happen. He knows, too, that Ian will keep him informed if anything should happen. We will look after each other in the best and worst of times. It was truly heart felt and if people in the crowd hadn’t been crying before (which I understand everyone was crying) they certainly were then…

Papa giving his blessing

Papa giving his blessing

And so the celebration began!!

TO BE CONTINUED…..

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Critters and Creatures

We have a nice little piece of property, but even if we didn’t we would still have lots of extra “friends” roaming around our garden. Cats are one thing but we’ve had many other kinds of visitors.

This last winter we had quite a few mice. And who wouldn’t want to be where it’s warm and there might be a crumb on the floor or a garbage bin to poke around in. Never mind that there are two cats… CATS! Amaya (our black cat) and Ollie (our white with black polka dots) certainly worked overtime this winter. They would either leave us a gift (I thought it was a toy and reached down to pick it up!) or they would hang on to their prize for dear life even if it was still… well…. wiggling. Ew.

Now the only visitors that we have in the house that aren’t our kitties are what we hope are birds nesting in a hole in the NW eve. It still sounds creepy with all that scratching about…

Early in the spring we had a wonderful and colorful surprise of loads of warblers that made their way through to warmer places. Their stay of a few weeks was a lovely, cheery and colorful experience. They’re so tiny!

But aside from those friends we’ve had visits by the nocturnal branch of the bird family. Owls. One night when outside hanging out by the campfire/fire pit we heard a massive amount of feathers float down from a telephone pole. It was a huge owl that had landed on the ground to catch a mouse. It looked at us completely nonplussed and just observed as if we were some sort of mild oddity… but not really all that interesting. Still he/she hung out for a bit and I managed to get some quick shots:

Mr. Barred Owl

Mr. Barred Owl

Turns out he’s a barred owl, relative to a spotted owl. Actually the barred owls are coming from the east coast and are threatening the habitat of the spotted owl. Go figure. This owl makes a lovely “who cooks for you” call.

We’ve also been seeing lots of western screech owls this spring and summer. These owls are adorably small, but I still wouldn’t want to mess with them. We’ve been hearing strange sounds at night in the tree just outside our bedroom window and thought it to be bats. It’s a squeaky, dry, hiccupy kind of sound. Last night we discovered while sitting out in the cool evening that the sound was actually coming from the western screech! Normally they make a trilling sound that quickens as it goes. Try to imagine a ping-pong ball getting dropped. It’s a light sound that gets faster as the ball starts to settle to being on the ground. Now imagine that kind of sound but on a note. That’s what this owl sounds like most times. We’ve heard them calling with that sound and getting a response in slow, low tones from a different area. We figure it must have to do with mating.

But back to this sqeaky owl sound… We figured out that the noisy owl was a baby and the owl that kept leaving and coming back (presumably with food) was the mama. We watched the feeding process over and over. They didn’t seem to mind us very much and Ian even got into a mimicking game with the baby while he was waiting for mama to come back!

Downy baby screech

Downy baby screech

Ian and the baby having a 'conversation'

Ian and the baby having a 'conversation'

Mama screech (she looks intense!)

Mama screech (she looks intense!)

We hope that we get to see more of them. Supposedly they nest in the same spot for years. Maybe we’ll get to see baby grow up!

Quickie

Just a quick note to say “testing… testing…” Are you reading? Are you enjoying? I’m never sure when I suggest that people check out the site if they actually do. I’d love to hear what you think, answer questions, fix things in the blog, etc. Easy to comment! You can do it!

(It would make me happy.)