[I don’t have one picture from the wedding on our camera. Hey bros or friends, if you have one, could you email it to me so I could insert it here?]
Condensed Version: Last Thursday night a huge windstorm hit the Puget Sound region which left 1.5 million people without power. One of the worst areas affected was the rural community near Taryn’s house and the site of the wedding. Flights were canceled, our motel was without power, the restaurant providing food for the rehearsal dinner was without power, the winery (site of wedding) was without power. The day before the wedding we were scrambling to find a place for the wedding. Three hours before the rehearsal we were searching for a place to rehearse. The Lord provided those places and the wedding on Sunday evening was exquisite.
Cedar (and rhody) uprooted in Taryn’s front yard
Details: Jessie, my gifted florist daughter-in-law, and I traveled Thursday to Taryn’s house so Jessie could begin arranging flowers for the wedding. The flowers were delivered safely just hours before the storm descended. We stayed in a motorhome that night as the tempest roared (the Advent winds begin to stir with sea-like sounds in our Scotch fir). The wind groaned and shook the RV. We woke early and surveyed the damage: a huge cedar down in the front yard and four trees down in the back pasture. A different angle and the tree could have easily landed on the master bedroom and turned the weekend to tragedy. The horses were alive and hadn’t gotten out. There was no power; Taryn’s family had a gas stove that provided heat.
As Friday unfolded, the extent of the storm became manifest. It soon became evident that we would need to start developing a Plan B. The cell phones were constantly in use as we worked through endless details in succession, one after another. [I humbly recant my rant about loathing cell phones.] We found a Costco that had power where we could at least purchase food to feed the group assembling at the house. This Costco had gas for sale and there was a line a mile long in both directions. Welcome to Soviet Russia! The off-ramp from the highway moved at a snail’s pace, at the rate it takes to fill a car tank with gas. Back at Taryn’s house we grilled burgers, lit candles, and ended up sleeping on the dining room floor in borrowed blankets and sleeping bags.
The Saturday morning dawn was quiet and dark. Sea-Tac had reopened and my siblings were arriving. We trekked down to pick them up, in yuckky, non-showered bodies. A 1907 hotel in downtown Seattle had rooms and power so we dropped people off and worked our way back to homebase. Don’t even get me started on Seattle traffic.
A friend with bridal connections suggested a facility for the wedding that was available Sunday evening, but not available for a rehearsal Saturday night. Cell phones roamed and the search for a rehearsal continued. A church graciously allowed us to use their sanctuary and all the participants in the rehearsal were notified of the change. We started making phone calls to the 200 guests to inform them of the new venue.
On Sunday afternoon Jessie did the most spectacular job making the new room perfect for the wedding. She harvested greens from the downed cedar and firs and arranged them with magnificent skill. The wood paneled walls were decorated with swags; the fireplace and mantel provided a focal point; bouquets of red and white roses, calla lilies, white daisies and deep red roses in tall, slender vases were on every table. The soft light of votive candles, dozens and dozens of them, made the room twinkle and glow.
The sweet, clear tones from a harp and violin played Christmas carols as the prelude. There was a hush as the mothers were ushered in to the tender notes of Silent Night. Taryn was radiant on her father’s arm as they proceeded down the aisle to the music of O Holy Night. Both fathers spoke words of blessing to the couple. Our pastor, Bonnie’s husband, gave one of the best wedding sermons I’ve ever heard. My brother Dan sang, lovely as usual. Vows were made, rings exchanged, communion received, pronouncement made, the kiss, and then the smiles…… Carson and Taryn were incapable of straight faces. Smiles and laughter and good cheer and celebration and Joy to the world.
~ ~ ~ slices of joy ~ ~ ~
• the moment before I took Collin’s arm to walk the aisle, Taryn’s mom leaned over and whispered, “You know what this means? We’re relatives now.”
• singing Be Thou My Vision with wobbly voice thick with tears of joy
• watching all the groomsmen sing the first verse of Be Thou My Vision from memory. There is something about men singing which melts me. These young men were handsome, manly, and quite comfortable singing a hymn.
• dancing with my husband, eyes full of wordless wonder
• standing with Taryn’s mom, arms around each other, watching our kids dance, soaking in the moment
• the body of Christ ministering in countless ways. People pitched in to help and friends far away prayed. It’s so good to be part of community where burdens and joys are gladly shared.
• memorized scripture which came to my frazzled mind and comforted me:
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.
He gives us beauty for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning,
a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness,
that we might be trees of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord,
that He might be glorified.
• sharing the experience with all but one of my siblings. Deep belly laughs punctuated our time together. Here is a random family picture of us at the hotel together. I’m in the middle, my brother Dan is by the window trying to get wireless connection to find a motel closer to the wedding.