Ice, ice, baby! Aaaaaah...I have missed my ice packs, and this morning, I loaded up some Ziploc bags with ice from the machine at the hotel, and I'm getting REAL relief! It's going to be a big day, getting Little Princess's wedding reception ready. Does it sound like work? Not with my family! The grandkids are such willing workers, and we all have so much fun together that my only concern is that these days are passing much too quickly. Oh, dear. I feel tears stinging my eyes. I cannot get enough of these good people.
The weather gods have smiled upon us, relieving us of extreme heat and humidity this week. That always makes for happy summer days in the south.
Wedding plans are moving full speed ahead. Natalie has so many last minute details to oversee, and Jackie has been managing "command central" for these last six months from her dining room table. I think they're nearly worn out, but are hanging in like the pros they are. Sunday will be a day of collapse, and hopefully, relaxation for all of them.
We stopped at Rockfish Gap Country Store, my favorite little gift shop. Bridger and I continued our tradition of trying on hats. It's just something Beidler kids do with their folks. When I paid for my gifts, the clerk asked if I were from around here.
"Well, ORIGINALLY, yes, but we're here from Utah this week."
"You look so familiar to me. Something about the way you moved your face just now."
"I went to Nelson County High School."
"You're Denise Beidler!"
Ha ha ha. I had just reconnected with Kerry Swanson. We had survived Algebra II together when I was a senior and she was a junior. What a small world. (I have no idea what I had done with my face that triggered her memory. I can only imagine. From the candid pictures I EDIT of my myself, it could have been any number of embarrassing ways I contort my face. It was probably my "drunk look." That's the picture I delete the most!)
We had a nice lunch with Dad and Jackie at the Briar Patch Restaurant. I kept repeating, "I'm so HAPPY."
Dad said, "No wonder. You haven't been planning a wedding. I'd be happy, too."
Dad loves to tease us, reminding us his psychiatrist says he does NOT have to discuss wedding plans with ANYONE. He doesn't have a psychiatrist, but I do believe the voices in his head keep him going!
I keep hugging everyone (tears again) and trying to store up some of this positive energy for when I feel lonely for them when we go back to Utah. (Dang, I don't want to ruin my makeup!) It has been two years since we've all been together, and I have missed the camaraderie of my family.
My parents have such wonderful friends. Jackie's Ya-Yas, her girlfriends since childhood, have stepped up to the plate, and gone the extra mile by preparing food for the reception, and arranging flowers, and too many other things to list!
|Denise, Miss Marsha Honey, Natalie|
My favorite teacher, Miss Marsha Ponton, became a friend of the family when she took on being a 4H advisor to my group in high school. Miss Ponton and a couple from church prepared a wonderful Italian dinner for all of the Beidlers to enjoy last night at Ascension Episcopal Church. What a blessing that was for us all. We simply showed up, ate a delicious meal, and enjoyed one another's company for the entire evening. It was so sweet to watch the grandkids surround Granddaddy and laugh and visit. Whoever made the seating arrangements and place cards knew what they were doing. (Thank you, Miss Marsha Honey.)
|Granddaddy, Bridger, Tatiana, and Rowan|
Marsha began our evening by reminding us of our shared history...I was the first of the Beidlers in her 8th grade English class. She reminded each of us where we sat in her classroom, remembering Eric was in the back by the windows, and definitely had attention issues. Eric agreed that he had ADHD before that was a common diagnosis! Miss Ponton remembered that December Monday when I came to class to announce that I had a new baby sister named Natalie. Jackie had Natalie the night of the 8th Grade Christmas Dance. I will never forget that!
I am absolutely rambling, and I am doing this for me, not you poor souls who peek in to see what I am writing. There are so many details I want to remember.
I can't wait to hear how Bridger and his cousins slept last night. The kids swear they're staying in a haunted house. There is a graveyard on the property, and that has them very concerned. We've taken pictures of the enormous cicada skins left behind on the trees at the family home. A lightning bug landed on my hand last night in the car. I felt like I had received a blessing from heaven. Catching bugs on warm summer nights, and keeping them in Mason jars for a night light, are some of my favorite childhood memories. How I miss lightning bugs turning the backyard into a magical fairy kingdom at dusk.
I need to go down for breakfast. I happily noticed that peanut butter is offered on the breakfast buffet, and also that grits are available! I love my peanut butter. Miss Natalie will be here soon to whisk me away to the reception hall. We're going to transform it into a lovely backdrop for a celebration of her wedding day. This week just gets better and better, and unfortunately, faster and faster. "Backward, turn backward, o, time in your flight. Make me a child again, just for tonight." (Thank you, Elizabeth Akers Allen.)