But clearly they were from Houston and recognizable as such to many Southern folks. They are gorgeous! (Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty gorgeous people from Natchez and they have their own social hierarchy!)
I have to say the Bishop who performed the ceremony was great and quite a good sport. In the pre-wedding interview with my cousin and his intended, the Officiant did his job well. Knowing these two were not practicing Mormons, he had to tactfully discover the nature of what the bride would be wearing. There are pretty specific standards in the Mormon church about what the bride can wear in her wedding…legs, arms, neck and shoulders are to be tastefully covered. I wish I could have seen his face when my new cousin-in-law described her lovely, Houstonian, strapless, designer gown. Bless his heart, somehow he worked it all out, maybe even in honor of my Aunt, long gone now, but a well-known member of this church…who knows.
The wedding task, assigned me by my cousin, as his only relative present for the ceremony, was to choose a short reading.
My self-imposed task was to say something leading up to the reading that might bring these three groups together. YIKES…but, I love a good challenge. I really wanted to do this right! My cousin is much more like a brother to me. I lived with him, his brother, and my aunt and uncle for many years when I was young. They became my immediate family.
I have officiated at several weddings myself and I know that nothing brings a group together faster than shared laughter, but I had to do some research because I did not want to be disrespectful to the LDS wedding guests who came primarily because they loved my cousin’s mother. My Aunt had a big hand in starting the Mormon Church there in Natchez years ago and these people still remember her! I wanted to make sure it was proper to laugh out loud, to applaud, and to rebel yell in a Mormon “Meeting House”…not that I could have stopped my cousin’s longtime Natchez friends from cheering at the end…He is 68 years old and this is his first marriage so this was a Big Deal!
I guess my research paid off because apparently the short comments I made before the reading were a hit. At the reception, at least one member of each of the three distinct groups gave me positive feedback on what I said during the ceremony.
Anyway, the whole thing went off without a hitch…Well, except there was that mix-up about who got to use the limo from Dunleith to the Mormon Meetinghouse, the Houstonians or the Bridal Party. The out of town guests were all staying in one of Natchez most famous Antebellum Mansions, and the Hummer Limo was the transportation to the church.
lighting in the Mansion’s rooms
That was a slightly stressful 15 minute wait for the Bride’s arrival, but she and her beautiful maids showed up and the ceremony was short, sweet, and as predicted, raucous at the end!!
The reception was lovely also. Again, in memory of my Aunt and Uncle, it was held in our childhood home. Beautiful string quartet, fantastic food and the successful blending of those three fairly distinct groups for an evening to remember! My aunt, uncle and other cousin would have been thrilled to see the transformation in their home, especially given the reason for it.
All in all, an amazing ending to the Natchez part of our trip. We piled in the car the next morning, bright and early, heading for home!
I’m responding to a Challenge from a blogger I admire. Another great way to get the writing juices flowing. She posts 4 questions that we are to answer, with or without photos. Here are this week’s questions (with my answers). If you already know me, you will be able to guess which of the questions got me thinking the most!
(I’m experimenting with changing text color so hopefully my answers will be in BLUE!)
What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.) The POTATO! I can’t think of a single way a potato can be prepared that I don’t absolutely LOVE. Maybe because my mother was born in IDAHO and most of my ancestors are IRISH! I’ve loved potatoes since I was a kid when my Dad would fry up a bacon-onion-egg-cheese-potato mix. He’d hand us a salted, raw slice for crunching on while we waited for our favorite breakfast!
Are you focused on today or tomorrow? Lately, neither. I am apparently focused on yesterday for a while. Reminiscing, revisiting, reclaiming, reuniting, remembering…all things I’ve spent this year doing, and enjoying every minute of it!
I’m slowly writing up stories from the Epic Roots Road Trip we took this summer.
If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?
I would ask John RayYoung:
“What beliefs did you get from your father Joseph Young, that you passed on to your son, my great great grandfather, Brigham?”
“What did you teach him about religion?”
“What did you model for him about the treatment of women?”
What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
I was inspired this week by my friendship with Karuna.
If you have not seen her blog, she shares an amazing spiritual journey and is becoming quite adept at photography!
Our history is so long, with its ebbs and flows, and yes, bumps. I love knowing someone for a really long time. Karuna is the reason I started blogging and I am so grateful. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process, even when writing about difficult subjects.
Bright and early on the day before we were to leave Natchez, Mississippi for home, we took the Toyota van in for an oil change and return-road-trip check up. We expected this to be a quick, hour long process as we were booked solid with last minute wedding preparations for my cousin’s nuptials and reception that evening.
After some time waiting they came and told us we needed a new radiator, that this one was shot and that it was leaking coolant everywhere. News to us as we had seen no leaks and had had no problems. They showed us the huge puddle of coolant under the car and the supposed damage to the radiator.
There’s a saying that applies to men, about certain body parts being held in such a way as to trap said man.
I don’t know what the comparable saying is for women…”they had me by the ovaries“???
But anyway, clearly the radiator was NOW hemorrhaging fluid so we had to agree to a new one…which they of course, had in stock, right? So they said anyway. After waiting a few more hours of crucial wedding errand time, they finally informed us that the new radiator had to come from Vicksburg, a mere hour and 25 minutes away. So they gave us a loaner car.
Right up until their closing time, which coincided exactly with the wedding start time, they still had not received the new radiator. This was no small deal. We had to make the trip from Mississippi back home to Washington to arrive on a very specific date. This delay could mean the difference between safe driving each day of our 4 day trip, with a nice sleep over in a motel…or driving straight through, pretending we were in our 20’s when we could actually pull off that sort of thing!
It all worked out but was definitely touch and go, and very stressful.
Even though it felt like we were in a hidden camera episode of 20/20 or 60 minutes, busting unethical mechanics who break your stuff and then make you pay, it was hard to be mad at the place since during the waiting time, the service manager approached me in a panic having just found a tiny feathered intruder that had knocked itself out flying against the huge windows in the waiting room. She asked if I could help her by holding it for a minute. (Did I have a SIGN on my forehead or something? The number one thing on my Bucket list?? “Hold a Hummingbird!”)
When we finally had to go, I put the little guy in a box and set it outside in the sunshine. Sure enough, fortified by rest and homemade nectar, the tiny intruder flew up, up and away! I can still feel those tiny feet in my hand.
I went on a vacation. I called it our Epic Roots and Reunion Road Trip. I thought I would write something clever and entertaining each day like I read from others, but it turned out to be impossible to write. Every day was filled with unexpected adventures and absolute necessities, the latter defined completely objectively!
Now I am home and though I am still savoring many highlights from the 34 days we had on the road, I have no clue where to begin writing about it.
So instead of saving the best for last, I’ll start with the last important event we had, which also happens to be one of the very best!
I got to meet one of my very favorite Bloggers!!
It all started when her photography caught me eye. Each week, she’d post for the weekly WordPress Photo Challenge. I loved her photos, truly a talent, but even more, I loved her words and philosophy. So I started commenting on her site, then following her.
If you have ever had it happen, you know what a special treat it can be when you come across someone who articulates exactly what you think and feel, but a lot better! It makes for a great friendship!
I asked her once if she’d be willing to engage in an actual conversation with me about a particularly laden topic and I don’t know if she batted an eye, but her resounding yes was instant.
I think that exact exchange started a real friendship. We decided to do it in a phone call but then of course, life happened and we have yet to have that talk. But the connection has built anyway. And we will get to that talk someday.
While planning, I noticed on the map for the Epic Road Trip, we were passing right through her town on our way home so guess what? James and I spent a lovely afternoon with her. She is so sweet and kind and generous. She was completely prepared to make up the guest room for us, even though she had just spent 10 days or so caring for her grandchildren whose parents were busy in Houston in the Harvey aftermath.
Unfortunately for us (but maybe lucky for her) we were on a dead run from Mississippi back to Washington State so we all settled for a short but memorable visit.
I had brought her a piece of art she had seen in a picture on my blog and she gave me one of her photos, enlarged and stunning!
Especially for you Helen! I have a great story about this song but when I looked it up, I found that many, many others do also.
To become a practitioner in the kind of therapy I do takes a ton of personal work first.
You have to practice what you preach. You have to model behavior you hope to see in others. You have to be impeccable….ALL THE TIME! Not just in front of your clients.
After 30 years of practice, I figured I had this one down, until my wonderful therapist/mentor/teacher/”Mom” passed away! She is the person who first shared this song with me and it became my anthem for myself, and eventually for many clients. But when Elaine died, I had forgotten all about this song.
At her memorial, with hundreds of people there, someone told me they got a “message” from Elaine that I was supposed to go up to the front of the room and lead the group in a song.
I said “WHAT??”
First of all, I do NOT sing in front of people after a traumatic high school event where my choir teacher broke my heart and spirit by telling me to please just lipsync because my voice was so bad.
And second of all, how was I supposed to know what song!!
I resisted…but my training kicked in (and maybe a little “fake it ’til you make it” self-love).
I’m not one to ignore channeling or messages from beyond or whatever it was, so I marched up there, and without a second thought, I belted out THIS VERY SONG! Clear, loud, and, later I was told, even on key!! I lead the group in singing several rounds because anyone who knew Elaine, knew this beautiful song! (I still get goose bumps remembering this moment!)
That action, compelled somehow by someone else’s belief in me, finished one more piece of work for me that had lingered all these years!
Close your eyes when you listen and imagine these words coming from the person you most need to hear them from.
Well, I’ve been gone on my Epic Road Trip for so long, I feel overwhelmed at the thought of catching up…with reading all my favorite blogs as well as restarting my own. But I saw this on https://dailymusing57.com/2017/09/22/thursdays-special-traces-of-the-past-9/ and was inspired.
Early in our trip we went to explore the ruins of a beautiful, mysterious Antebellum home in Mississippi, right off the Natchez Trace.
Here’s a slideshow of The Windsor Ruins, though the feeling while standing there cannot be captured digitally (or on film).