Today marks the date that Aimee and I were married, five years ago. Our wooden wedding, according to the system by which weddings were marked that I grew up with -- but was it too invented by Hallmark and am I just hallucinating?
Either way, it's a good thing. We were married in front of family, friends, students and other professors at Quaker Hill Church in Unity, under the care of Belfast Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, or the Quakers. As far as we know, ours was the first proper Quaker wedding in Unity for eighty years or so, the original, 1827 meeting house in which we were married having been sold to the Baptists for a church in 1927. The joke of the day was there were more Quakers in the graveyard than in the meeting-house. Our guests signed the traditional home-made wedding certificate, which Aimee had painstakingly hand-drawn herself. We had a reception at the Unity Community Center with contra dancing, my home-made carrot cake, wine, and potluck dishes.
An older Unity student, Bob, still around, who had been injured on Army service in Iraq, but was demobbed and looking for work, was our caterer for the day. He did a sterling job.
One snotty mainline, birthright Quaker guest distinguished herself by saying "you wouldn't have wine at a real Quaker wedding."
Actually, it wouldn't be a real wedding without a guest or two like that!
We never had a honeymoon. Fall is teaching season at Unity, and we are definitely serious teachers, working many long hours, especially Aimee who constitutionally cannot even occasionally do something half-assed. (I can!)
But instead we did as we always do the last weekend in September and went to the Fair.
Aimee's mom and dad, and my sister, represented the two families, and also went to the fair. It was fun to see them all wandering around. My parents were already too frail to attend, but their forty-fifth wedding anniversary was two weeks prior to our wedding. I just went to see them for their fiftieth. Aimee's dad is battling leukemia from his wartime service in Vietnam, and his health comes and goes with the chemotherapy, but he was well enough to come to the wedding and to walk around the fair a little. He is still battling leukemia, but he will almost certainly read this post.
And all was well in the world for one sunny September day, and as much as it should be as it possibly could be. Which, I tend to think, is the art of a family event such as a wedding.
Now we are tired as usual from teaching and from faculty work. Aimee is more tired than I am because I get to work outdoors a lot this particular fall. No honeymoon for us. But we will be at the fair all afternoon on Saturday, and if you're looking for us you can find us at the Unity College table in the afternoon.
And all will be well in the world and as much as it should be as it possibly could day, for one sunny September day in Maine at least.
We are very lucky to have our health and meaningful work and good neighbors and a pretty and productive place to live. This came home to me this week when I got some letters from an old buddy I had served with in the RAF, who had a motorcycle accident and was badly hurt and paralyzed.
A long time ago we used to run and hike and climb and drink together. He was very, very good at all four.
But I'm the one who can now still walk, even if I can't run any more.
I choose to walk through it all with Aimee.