I was just entering my room at the Stagecoach Inn in Groton when my cousin Micaela almost ran into me. She didn’t recognize me immediately, but she did a double-take and we did the girl huggy thing in the hall. She looks terrific. The last time I saw her was at her wedding, when I was pregnant with Ben. Micaela, Aletta and I are the three female Ph.D.s in the family. I couldn’t be more proud of my two cousins – they are intelligent, grounded, wonderful women and I unabashedly adore them.
Everyone was crowded into her parents’ room (my Uncle Ronnie and Aunt Ute). I was introduced to everyone. It looked like they were pretty well blasted (hee hee) but all they had left was some white wine. After a few minutes, Uncle Ronnie went downstairs with me. There was a little bar next to the restaurant where a band was playing, and he treated me to a beer.
We ran into one of his best friends there. I’m not sure how he feels about being mentioned by name, so I won’t. He got his Ph.D. in music structure and theory the year before I finished my own diss, and was the flautist at the wedding the next day. His wife was charming and fun, and I enjoyed talking with her about public school nutrition (she’s in charge of that where she is – it seems to be a lot worse in Georgia than there) and a range of other topics.
When we got back upstairs, I passed Micaela in the hall again – she was headed to bed. Her wonderful hubby Michael and her two truly adorable children were already fast asleep. She told us that the room was closed up and everyone had gone to bed.
I had a very good night’s sleep and a leisurely morning talking with everyone in the lobby and on the porch. I managed to get some coffee too (always a good thing) but passed on the sticky danish selection.
Problem! The flowers were supposed to arrive at noon, but they had a wedding rehearsal at 12:30 and then the wedding at 2:30. A tight schedule… a little too tight. So I changed back into work wear, and headed over to Gibbett Hill.
The kids were really funny to watch. Three of them were standing at the edge of the meadow. In the next meadow over there were some cows, or cattle, or bulls. I’m not sure – they were brown and kind of far away. The kids were counting to three and screaming “MOOO” at them.
The centerpieces were a little complicated to put together. There was a crystal vase, which was layered at the bottom with clear and red stones. Then we’d fill the vase almost to the top with water, carefully drop in a red orchid with a fishing weight on it, and try to bury the weight under the stones a bit. Then we’d adjust the water as necessary and put a round floating candle on the top. There were twelve of these to be done. I thought we did a good job (I had help from a few other women).
Then there were extra flowers, so I scattered a few petals around each centerpiece. That’s when Aletta found me and mentioned that they didn’t have anything planned for the top of the cake (Matt prefers pie anyway…. smile). She asked me if I would arrange some of the flower petals on the top of the cake. Here’s how it turned out.
When I finished that, I saw that there was a box of little blue candle holders open. Hmmm. A lot of unopened boxes… After some running around to find the wedding planner, I was able to find out that they were candles for the table of placecards. I pretty much destroyed my nails getting the stickers off the bottom of the candles, but I got some help and finally Aletta said not to bother with that.
The names for each of the tables were funny and clever, including for example a table Google and a table Infinity. I was seated at table -40, with my brother Roy, and Patty, and… but I’ll save that for later.
When one woman started making sure each candle and card were spaced evenly, I took it as my cue to get changed. I didn’t have much time. I dashed out to the car and set off the alarm somehow. That was charming, especially when I couldn’t get it to turn off right away.
I got changed, and gave Roy a call on my cellphone to see if he was getting close to arrival. “We’re already here,” he said, “just coming into the parking lot.” Out of the corner of my eye I saw a large vehicle entering the lot and I started waving. Right – they were already parked. I never did find out who was in the truck – I hope he thought I was an official greeter or something (ha).