Monday, November 9, 2015

What I Did For Love

I went to the Catskills. In November. Enough said?

My darling neighbor Vicki was getting married to the equally adorable Ben.

Since I was going I offered to do the flowers.

She demurred, I insisted.

I got to bring a plus 2 along. I invited my next door neighbors, the Irishman and his 7 weeks from due date wife.

We loaded their SUV up with flowers, made our 1st Starbucks stop and with an assortment of Ted Talks at the ready plus a rocking country music playlist  hit the road.

We arrived 6 hours later, at the Full Moon resort in a wilderness reserve. All the leaves were gone. But some of the trees still had red apples shining on gnarly branches.

Friday night was all about BBQ and apple crisp, a firepit where we toasted smores and late night dancing in a tent.

Saturday morning was all about oversleeping and starting the wedding flowers an hour and a half behind my imaginary schedule.

Even with a pregnant accountant as my assistant and guest cameos from the wedding party and their relatives bringing waters and iced coffees, time was tight.

As any florist knows, 13 centerpieces, a bridal bouquet, 3 bridesmaids, 2 flowergirls, 6 boutonnieres, 1 corsage, 1 place card table arrangement, 1 piece for the programs, and one pink glass depression ware pitcher plus 4 glasses, 2 vintage bud vases and a coca cola wagon to fill takes time.

I had less than 6 hours. By the end the pregnant neighbor had learned to wrap bridesmaids bouquets and even did one wagon arrangement herself.

Plus she kept the music pumping and ran over to the main lodge to bring us back some lunch, there was also a 15 minute liedown for her. Baby not amused by her new career choice.

But we made it. Not enough time for me to shower, but enough time to change clothes and meet the other guests in the grove.

With the gentle sound of a stream behind us and sheltered from the wind, Vicki and Ben were married.

He cried, she cried, his brothers cried, we cried and smiled all at the same time.

Then there was music, and food, and speeches and more tears, more laughter, and finally we all moved outdoors where the bride and groom walked under a canopy of 24inch sparklers held by the 100 guests.

It was so beautiful they ran back to the beginning and did it again. Seriously, how often will you get that opportunity?

Then the next morning we reversed our steps leaving behind 35 degrees and mountains  covered with naked trees.

By the time we hit Baltimore there were leaves in the trees and when we got out of the car in Virginia it was in the 70's and we were kicking off  our boots and unwrapping the scarves from our necks.

I still hadn't showered, I had been squashed behind the seat of a 6ft4" driver for 6 hours and I needed to pee.

Yet I was as happy in my heart as if I had been lounging on a Caribbean island.

And the icing on the cake?

They're expecting on April 1st and it's a girl!