Well, it’s happened. Last week I missed my first self-imposed deadline to have a post published by Sunday. My excuse? It got hectic. The backlash was minimal, nonexistent even. A missed deadline in my new life is pleasantly uneventful. I think I actually basked in it: I missed a deadline. My previous escrow-life would not have been as forgiving.
So what allowed such a slip? It wasn’t scaling Half Dome, or landing in a third world country. . . Like most things, it was a matter of choice. I opted for 100% wedding immersion: The closest person we have to a son, Lucas, just got married. If I hadn’t realized what a “son figure” he was before, it became evident when he walked with his mother Emily, down the aisle. I heard Woody gasp, then choke, clear his throat, and sigh. I saw tears of joy. I saw tears of pride.
I’m fairly certain Emily & I fit the definition of soul sisters. Our 25 year relationship has evolved through pets and kids, jobs and unemployment, crafts and crap, happy times and difficult. I never thought our sisterhood would expand to her siblings, but that’s how I feel – how we feel. Woody is just as much a soul brother as I’m a sister. Or, is that just creepy?!
Anyway, with Luke’s dozens of cousins, plants of aunts, flights of friends, in this last week and a half, we chose a mission to enhance the Portland destination for a little more than a wedding. (Please don’t get me wrong, the wedding-thing alone was plenty worthy.)
It Starts With Strawberry Pizza
I’m pretty sure celebrating Sarah’s 25th birthday was the beginning of the whirlwind . . . we had pot roast, mash potato, garlic bread, Brussel sprouts and strawberry pizza. I didn’t burn anything that day, and our assist with the strawberry pizza went great. This wasn’t a big event, but it was the kickoff to several family gatherings and opportunities to be hostess, florist, tour guide, and simple clan fan.
I had never prepped for an 80 person picnic before, have you? Basically, you take the general picnic guidelines – sandwich makings, chips, watermelon, sweets, drinks and salads – and fooftuplet it. And you delegate. Annie, Mark, Bev – you each make a fruit salad for 30. Greta, Sarah & Carli – you make two boxes each of brownies, and so on. Add games, sunshine, one broken arm, and you have the real deal picnic.
For out of town guests, we shared our Portland scenery by hiking the 4T Trail. Fourteen of us climbed, played, sang and hiked our way through town. It wasn’t as clear a day as we hoped, but it didn’t damper the enthusiasm. A jewel encrusted piano was waiting at the top of Council Crest – what more fitting tune than the theme song to Pirates of the Caribbean? We reunited with the “non-hikers” around lunchtime and gathered at picnic tables at Burnside Brewing. Nothing like wrapping up a hike with some crafty Portland brews.
On the day of the wedding, the 8th, we hosted a brunch. As the groom, bride & attendants prepared for photos and walking down the aisle, the rest of us gathered at Emily’s for the prefunc. With help from friends & family we made two Mexican chorizo casseroles and two berry French toast casseroles. There were croissants, fresh fruit, bacon (at least for those who were fast enough), and fresh juice. A gorgeous morning, the party shuffled around to capture the best shade & breezes.
The wedding was beautiful in every way. We are still floating with joy at the joining of these two wonderful souls.
Judging by the enthusiasm and emotion, we were not the only ones “floating”. Everyone came together to encourage and congratulate the happy couple.
We all danced, we reminisced, we looked forward to the future. Woody had a particularly emotional day. He hit the bed and crashed. Didn’t even have the stamina to shoo the cat!