My, It Was a Wedding

by

The setting was perfection:

All the elements were in place:

The bride was properly teased:

The Executive Porta-potties checked out — tile floors, CD players, air-conditioning. Ready for take-off:

All that was left was for the perfect theater to begin:

Kitty, the bride’s mother, on the arm of Christopher, the bride’s brother

Ruth Hunter and Son/Groom, Cliff

And the Bride, Kate Oechler, and her dad (my brother) Michael

And since the internet suddenly is working magnificently, here are some other of my favorite photos:

Great-grandmother Carol (my sister) takes the littlest member of the family off for a bit of TLC.

The Bride’s brother (my nephew) Christopher plays and sings and surprises his parents with their favorite song. Chris spent most of the rest of the festivities, playing and singing, with his band and then around the campfire, along with a whole host of other family members. What joy, to come from a family of musicians.

This is my cousin, Doris, at least 8 years older than I am, second in line for the family jewels (wherever they are) and still a pip! As you can see. After dinner she and her (older) sister Betty and Jer did most of the dinner plates while I, um, socialized. That’s Kitty, the bride’s mom, right above Doris’s left shoulder. Doris and my mother worked alongside Dad and a bunch of other family men to make the “camp” habitable, back in the late 60s and early 70s. She not just family; she’s my sister.

It’s probably not fair to show brother Mike at exactly this moment, but I can’t resist this photo. I think he’s probably wondering if there’s enough champagne for everyone. Or maybe he just spotted a blade of grass that needed mowing.

I didn’t take many photos after the ceremony — there was all the food and the salutes to the couple and their families and the talking and socializing and figuring out who was who among the 100-plus guests and then there was music. And more music. And a fine dance floor (the outline of all those feet can still be seen in the grass) and fine music to dance to and all kinds of people to dance with — if one didn’t want to, anther did. The home-brewed beer was better than any beer I’ve tasted and the only reason I didn’t drink more was I kept putting my glass down to dance. And at 11, when the band shut down, the music started up around the campfire. I dragged Jer home (that’s my story) at 2 AM and slept as if I had just had one of the best nights of my life. Which I had. Which I did not memorialize in photos because I was too busy enjoying.

Today is Wednesday; the wedding was last Saturday. I’ve got two paintings begun and notions about what else I want to do. Mike and Kitty have provided us with everything we could possibly want for a six-week stay; and Jer just did a humongous shopping trip down at the big grocery store in Lock Haven. He had to ask where to buy wine in a small PA town, but he found it and came home with perhaps enough vino to last me out our stay. (Kitty might have to help me drink it, of course). The neighbors have lent us their security key for the computer, the flotilla of ducks and the flope-flope herons are patrolling the creek and the birds keep singing their hearts out for us.

Life is good.

–June

20 Responses to “My, It Was a Wedding”

  1. Sally Says:

    Wonderful!

    Like

  2. Barbara Says:

    In these days of over the top weddings and nasty brides this was like the first ice cream cone of the summer. Lovely….

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    • juneu Says:

      Thanks, Barbara
      the only over-the top element was the (IMHO) the porta-potty, which was the size of a single wide trailer, having real tile on the floors, hot & cold running water, 3 stalls (in the women’s side), air conditioning, and a CD player. I laughed until my sides hurt, as did everyone, including Mike, who ordered the thing. Of course, given the old house, the state of the septic system, the amount of beer that flowed, and the 100plus guests, it wasn’t over the top at all — it worked just as planned. As did everything else. Thanks for checking in.

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  3. Susan (Scruggs) Tedde Says:

    Dear June – Last time we were out at camp I was thinking that we really should start a journal at the camp where visitors can enter their names, date and a few stories to share with the next visitors. Unfortunately I didn’t have a good notebook to start the process. I think it would be wonderful if you left some notes and memories there that we could read and add onto next year when we visit again. -

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    • June Says:

      HI Susan,

      I’ll try, although my preferred writing method is on the computer. Between this blog, the art blog, and Facebook, I seem to be writing altogether too much already. Good to hear from you.

      Like

  4. Kitty Says:

    What a wonderful salute to camp and to the newlyweds. Thanks June! I’m ready to help with the wine.

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    • June Says:

      Kitty, you and I can probably make Jer make another trip to the store, now that he knows what he’s looking for.

      In Portland, the grocery stores carry wine, so he had to figure out the PA system all over again. The first bottle I opened is very nice indeed — you’ll have to come up soon. Well, as soon as you stop being sick and tired of thinking about being at camp:-)

      We haven’t quite recycled every last thing left behind yet, but by tomorrow, I think all will be gone. I’m very impressed with the recycling being done up here.

      We just heard the sound of geese from the Crick — it’s dark out there, but one of them must have had a nightmare. Or saw a fox!

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      • janetl Says:

        Ah, yes. The Beverage Store. Haven’t thought about that in (mumble mumble) years.

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      • juneu Says:

        Ah, yes, Janet. We couldn’t remember our way around — beer distributors, state liquor stores, take out six-packs…. Each state has its own lobbyists.

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  5. Tani Miller Says:

    What a wonderful day it was!

    Tani

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  6. Kathy Says:

    Sounds like a fabulous time was had by all. Camp looks wonderful. All of Mike’s hard work (and worrying) was worth it. I envy you your time there. I think my kids were 4, 7 & 10 the last time we stayed there. Now they’re 20,23 & 26, I say we are long overdue for a trip “up the crick.” P.S. Nice picture of mom, talking – with her hands of course. The older she gets the more she reminds me of your mom :)

    Like

    • June Says:

      Hi Kathy, the camp does indeed look wonderful, although it also looks much the same. My favorite change are the big tree trunks killed in the storm that Mike has left standing as “nurse” trees and snags for birds and insects to enjoy. The birds love those trees — all pitted and full of holes. And they are beautiful in the way old whitening tree trunks can be. They are definitely going into my paintings.
      I loved the photo of Doris — she has only gotten to be a more distilled self — not changed, just more so. I really do think of her as a sister, and she certainly is part of the family in a larger sense than the cousin relationship might indicate. We had a great time together and I’m sure she and Betty will be up again soon.

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  7. Olga Says:

    Life can be so good sometimes – glad you are enjoying. What on earth are the marvellous-sounding flope-flope herons!?

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    • June Says:

      Olga, I call them “Flope-flope” in a kind of private joke — it’s the way their wings seem to move and they navigate the airways. The herons are actually great blues and greens, according to a book I’m reading. I have seen the great blues but, if I’ve seen the greens, I didn’t know it. I”m starting to appreciate the binoculars we have been left with. The house looks out at the scene in the first photo, with the river (“Pine Creek”) just at the base of the green mountain behind. We can sit on the porch (“deck” to us west coasters) and watch all kinds of creatures navigating the water.

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  8. Diane Says:

    All so beautiful, I’ve a tear in both my eyes!

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    • June Says:

      Diane, the only time I cried (except from laughing so hard) was when I first walked into the old house. Although it has been stabilized and upgraded in all its basics, the decor was the same, down to the very old, very, um, tacky, and very sentimental-making wallpaper. I had to excuse myself for a few minutes to regain control. This is seriously old home week and old home territory — with new connnections through weddings (some that took place some time ago, when I wasn’t around).

      Like

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