It’s been two weeks of firsts, though the wedding last weekend that David and I officiated was the third for each of us. But it was the first time we’ve done it together, and many of the guests commented on how nice it was to have a married couple perform the ceremony of marriage for another couple.
The most impressive first of the wedding was hiking with the bride. The original plan for the wedding was to do it on Neville Peak in Epsom, the proposal location and also a frequent hike for the bride when she visits her aunt and my friend Alison. But getting all the guests to the summit wasn’t going to work, so instead a hike after the wedding was planned. The hiking option was announced on the invitation: ceremony at 2:00, hiking or cocktail option at 3:00, reception at 5:00.
Would anyone really choose hiking over cocktails? The ceremony wasn’t very long, so there was time for both. After photos and drinks, the bride bustled up the train of her embroidered and beaded gown and walked down the driveway and started up the dirt road to the Epsom Town Forest, headed for the beaver pond a mile uphill in the col between Nottingham and Fort Mountains. At least half the wedding guests followed, still in dresses and suits and shirts and ties. It was a merry sight.
A one point a young family passed us on their way down the trail and were surprised to see a beautiful bride in her white gown, sparkling and magical. The two little girls stared and the parents stood behind them looking puzzled.
“It’s like a fairy tale,” the father of the bride said and the girls kept staring. “It is a fairy tale,” I said, then pointed to the bride. “And she’s a magical goddess.” The bride smiled, the groom smiled, we all resumed hiking.
The next day David and I went to pick up Emilio, who spent last week with us on a camp on Northwood Lake. Friday afternoon, as we were getting ready to drive Emilio home, he and David made a list of all his “firsts” of the week and wrote them in the cottage guest book.
- first almost tornado (the wild thunderstorm that hit Northwood Lake last week)
- first world cup on the water (every float trip from the dock to the beach featured pretend competition between world cup teams)
- first time wearing goggles to search for a lost swim ring
- first overnight in a tent (three of the five nights he was here)
- first time sleeping in a sleeping bag (it got chilly at night later in the week)
- first time catching a fish
- first cotton candy ice cream (left behind by his uncle Sam)
- first personal password for a Kindle (he’s reading “Dog Man”)
- first ten minute river of minnows swimming past the dock (gorgeous and extraordinary)
- first time surfing on a boogie board (Emilio stood on his own for over 10 seconds)
- first time a bald eagle has flown right over his head with a fish in its claws
- first snapping turtle sighting (a big one!)
- first time seeing a scuba diver in a lake
- first time watching a huge crane lift felled trees (see first first)
- first time kayaking in David’s kayak
So many firsts, so much fun. It’s been a great couple of weeks.