Sunday, February 05, 2006

I celebrated two marriages last night. Three, if you count my own, because both of the other events reminded us of how fortunate we are.

The first event was a reception for a couple married 73 years. Think about that for a moment: Being married 73 years to the same person. The couple was married at the height of the Great Depression. Their marriage survived that, WWII, all the changes brought about at the end of the 20th C., and lives on into the new millenium. When I see this elderly couple walking down the street, they're usually holding hands. Their body language as they lean towards one another to catch what's being said speaks volumes in itself.

We're celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary this month, so it was an inspiration to us.

The second event was a wedding for a young lady of whom we're quite fond. It was one of those events which in our community could clearly be labeled "the wedding of the year." It was the fairy-tale wedding little girls dream of--a historic church beautifully decorated, the organist playing Bach, Pachabel, Handel and other classics, and a reception for over 500 people at the country club. The bride looked stunning in her strapless gown with its long train, there was dancing and food and frivolity well into the night.

And that too made us think of our own wedding, 30 years ago, when I was a college student and neither of us had much money but we still managed to pull together a lovely little affair. More importantly, we've weathered some tough times, and as I watched the young couple dance I hoped they'd be able to weather their rough patches and celebrate their own 30th--or 73rd--wedding anniversary.

Oh, and I'd had just enough to drink that I did ask the mother of the bride if she would tell me how much the 8 layer, 8 ft. tall chocolate/strawberry/vanilla wedding cake cost. Roughly. She just smiled and said, "a lot." Estimates among the guests at the party ranged from $1,200 to $5,000 for the cake.

But it was tasty.

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