December is the month of “making merry.” And we had a good start.
It was a beautiful wedding. The day dawned ugly. It rained all morning. But later we saw patches of blue and a few streaks of sunshine. There was hope.
Before two o’clock, it was all clear at Timbercreek Acres. And at the Peach Barn, everything was ready.
I will not go into full detail. After all, the bride is my granddaughter. I may be slightly biased.
But it was beautiful.
The wedding was held at the edge of a forest of evergreens with a lake beside it. At the entrance stood a poster that said: “Welcome to our unplugged ceremony. We invite you to be fully present; so please turn off your devices.”
Guess what. Everyone complied. All phones and gadgets were safely and respectfully tucked away. I liked that, very much.
The atmosphere was peaceful despite the excitement. It was solemn. There was a gentle breeze. The bride made her entrance on the arm of her misty-eyed father. There was an audible sigh from the guests. And a lone cello played “Stand By Me.”
The pastor who married the couple was their youth counselor in middle school. He knew them well. His manner was intimate, at times funny. You could feel the love.
At the reception they served a pasta dinner, gently spiked punch, and sweet tea. The souvenirs were beribboned glass vials with the ingredients for hot chocolate and mini marshmallows. After the meal, guests were invited to help themselves to cups of freshly brewed coffee or chocolate served from a truck parked under the trees. On that chilly night, the hot beverages were most comforting. And I loved that country touch!
The next day, we had a family lunch at Fresco Italiano, took lots of pictures and drove back to Atlanta. My three-month holiday was officially over.
The wonders of travel
And just like that I am back. Flying home on ANA was wonderful. Their service is world class.
I got home just in time to mark a milestone. There was one more candle on my cake.
But I can’t complain. Aside from a few aches and pains, I am well. I am “all there” and I feel incredibly blessed.
Life lessons to share
Over the years, I have learned:
That my family is the essence of my happiness and my life.
That as children grow up, they need boundaries.
That it takes more than giving birth to make a good mother.
That it does not diminish a parent to cry, admit a mistake or apologize to his children.
That if you mess up as a mom or dad, you cannot give up. You must keep on trying.
That your children should be seen and heard. Especially by you.
That grandchildren are an extension of your life, and great grandchildren an added bonus.
That it is difficult for grandparents to keep quiet. We have so much to say. It may be better for us to speak up and ruffle some feathers, rather than wait until it’s too late. The jury is still out on that one.
That integrity has gone out of style.
That character is doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, even when no one is looking.
That it takes character to remain silent and not complain when credit for a good thing is given to someone else, when it really should be yours.
That it takes wisdom and humility to take the seat of least prominence.
That love is never wasted. Never.
In every season of your life, be kind. Always.
Age does not give you permission to be rude.
Do not be stingy with compliments.
Do not pretend to be what you are not.
Life is short. Go dance in the rain. Have that messy ice cream cone. Eat the gooey chocolate bar. And don’t worry. You can clean up later.
Wear outrageous colors. Walk barefoot in the grass.
When you feel lonely, sing in the shower. Write a poem.
After a certain age you are entitled to sleep late. Take naps.
Hugs are good for the soul.
Smile at a stranger.
Make it feel like Christmas for someone any time of the year.
Watch the daybreak. Be inspired.
Allow yourself to be mesmerized by a sunset.
Don’t chase after a love that has walked away. Grieve if you must, but move on.