Our lives have been full of family and festivity this last week. Kate is a married lady now! Her father walked his third and last daughter down the aisle. I haven’t yet come up with a nickname for my son-in-law, dear as he is to us already. In the last week we’ve grown to love his whole family and are brimming with thanks to God for expanding our tribe in such a rich way.
The wedding itself was beautiful, for which I can take little credit, as Kate had the artistic vision and arranged most everything. The cake was baked in Washington DC and carried on an airplane to be iced near the reception venue.
Oh, here is something I did: I lent my old KitchenAid mixer to the baker-bridesmaid for mixing the icing. So much of the event was a blur to me, I can’t remember the details of the three kinds of cake that were stacked up, though I did eat a yummy slice. One layer was gluten-free, I know that.
Kate’s wedding gown likewise flew here, in an overhead bin on the plane with Kate, and only suffered minor crumpling. She and her fiancé arrived a few days ahead of time, and Pearl’s family came from Maryland early, too, so we all joined in some last-minute crafty and often orangey decorative tasks.
Fiancé helped me pick the tomatoes I’ve been neglecting lately. His parents came into town and we started getting to know them as we applied labels to the wedding favors: bottles of a special recipe of hot sauce created by the bride and groom.
Pearl’s family, plus their Uncle Dara from Ireland, are still staying with us, and for one night we had an extra four here with Soldier’s family. The house was bursting with liveliness and reunion the morning after the wedding when all the family who were in town gathered at our house for brunch, making 33 of us. Cousins and siblings who don’t see each other often were catching up and hugging a lot.
It was surprising how easily all those bodies managed to fit and even find a place to sit. Every time I thought of getting something to eat, either Liam or Ivy would come and want to be picked up. Normally they are more shy even with me, but with a houseful of unfamiliar faces they seemed to need to connect with a familiar grandma from time to time. They also liked piling toys on Grandpa’s lap, and occasionally climbing up there themselves.
Thank goodness my sisters and daughters and grandsons were taking care of the extreme logistics of feeding the crowd that included many large male teens and twenty-somethings, because I was drifting around dreamy and sublimely happy. All of my children and all of my grandchildren were right there!
The teenage boys found a football and went to the park for a while. Maggie and Annie played with my grandma’s jewelry box and mended and organized all the old costume jewelry. And some of us had a very animated discussion in which we raised our voices a few times, about voting rights, abusive governments, principles of democracy and whether Kate and her new husband have a chance of getting elected as President and V.P.
The sun came out in the afternoon, and children of all ages enjoyed Grandma Glad’s generosity with popsicles. The Maryland grandkids have been swimming nearly every day since they arrived. Here is Maggie skimming leaves and bugs off the surface of the pool…
…and here is the poor girl lying on the couch after her afternoon’s trauma. She banged her foot on the fence and it grew a painful goose egg that required applications of ice and an hour’s worth of TLC. She needed to watch “The Secret of Roan Inish” to speed her recovery. The little girl in the movie is very much like our Maggie, so we like to watch it together every few years at least.
Just before the wedding day, Pearl celebrated a birthday, and before that we celebrated Pat’s and Maggie’s birthdays a little late. For the children I baked another cake, if you can believe it, a layer cake that I’ll write about in a separate post.
It’s been a whirlwind of fun and love, and a few of us have another whole week together before Mr. Glad and I will be left Alone Again. So I aim to make the most of every day, and maybe I’ll have things to write about here, too.