A couple of decades ago and more, this grandson was born into our family.
Of course I was quite taken with him!
More recently, but still “back in the day” when I had only five or six grandsons,
they would sometimes all be at my house, wrestling on the carpet.
This boy is the one in the middle, in camo.
His wrestling form improved from what you see here,
and in high school he was on the wrestling team. 🙂
We blinked a few times, and he had grown taller than his uncle.
Today, O wondrous day, he’s getting married! He’s grown in body and soul in the last several years, to prepare him for this…. But how can a grandma be prepared? I can only look on with thanks to God for His faithfulness, and pray for the bride and groom. (I never had found a proper blog-nickname for this boy, and now I think I’ll wait and figure out names for the two of them together.)
I have made a weekend trip to Georgia for the wedding. And I had to send word throughout Blogland of the news, and about my joy and amazement.
It’s a holy day, when a man is joined to a wife. May God wrap them in His love and grace.
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.
When our oldest children were very young, our church was an often-outdoor meeting on top of a mountain and the children usually came home with quite a bit of dirt and scuffs. For that reason I dressed them in play clothes and we saved the fancier stuff for weddings. That’s how whatever little patent-leather Mary-Janes Pearl had in her closet came to be called Wedding Shoes. She was always very happy to have a reason to dress up in them.
In the last several years I have wanted to wear a special sort of shoe to weddings, specifically something with a bit of a heel when I have held the office of Mother of the Bride. In my daily life and for every other fancy event I normally require foot gear that keeps me closer to horizontal, and I’m not even very skilled at walking in the most moderately elevated pumps.
You are probably guessing that this is all an intro to the news that I am going to be Mother of the Bride again. Yes! Glory Hallelujah, Kate our youngest is getting married this summer, and the whole family will gather from East and West to celebrate.
Not just the shoes, but the dress, the jewelry, etc. etc. have been a major challenge for me this time around, which promises to be my last MOB event. Soon I’ll be moving on to Grandmother of the Bride, and I won’t feel the same kind of pressure. Grandmothers are allowed to be invisible or at least to go off and play with the children which is lots more fun.
Anyway, wedding attire and other related and unrelated business have kept my mind occupied elsewhere than here in my beloved Blogland. After weeks of shopping, one of my least favorite activities, I have my Wedding Shoes and everything else for my person and I have breathed a sigh of relief and sunk into a chair — but I jumped up again pretty fast to start in on the housework that had piled up, and the garden.
My cousin came from PA so in preparation I cleaned up the weeds and trimmed the dead flower heads and deadwood and swept the spiderwebs off the pool fence. I spent one whole week getting ready for her and my dear cousin-in-law and it was well worth it.
The other upcoming big event, for which I won’t need heels, is a trip to Greece and Turkey that Mr. Glad and I are taking after the wedding. We haven’t ever traveled abroad together, and neither of us knows any Greek — or at least, we didn’t know any until we started studying the Pimsleur Modern Greek (short) course. Now we are pretty good at saying “I don’t understand,” which we expect to use a lot, maybe exclusively if we don’t get on with listening to the remainder of the CD’s.
We’ll be spending most of our time on the island of Crete, so if any of my readers has any tips regarding that long and warm island, they would be most welcome.
The next couple of months will be busy with all these preparations for travel and celebrations, and they aren’t the kinds of things I usually cover in blog posts, but I wanted you to know what is going on in the background that is actually the foreground. In my mind subjects will be playing Musical Chairs in a more chaotic fashion than usual, but I pray to keep them all gathered together serenely in my heart.
Soldier Son has married his true love, Joy. I am still too tired to think of anything philosophical or deep to write, except for Thank You, Lord! My son was a gift to us his parents when he came into the world, and he himself was gifted with a heart towards God, and many other graces.
His Heavenly Father has given him a woman for whom the word pure is fitting, and as a consequence our whole family, and indeed the world, is the richer for their coming together in the fear of God and under many prayers. I’m very aware at the moment that life, and His Life, is all a gift.
The setting was amazing, on a hill five miles from the Pacific, surrounded by beautiful and rustic plantings and with a long view of layered valleys and slopes.
A week before the wedding we visited the site and I took pictures of the flowers close up, but that day was too foggy for me to get views like the one above, which gives an idea of the looks of the place.
The weather is often drizzly and cool so close to the North Coast, but the sun was shining for the ceremony and during the reception, which featured not cake but — ta da! — homemade pie! Pearl and I even collaborated the day before and managed to contribute two berry pies from our family.
It was a joy to have all our children in one place, something that hasn’t happened in perhaps five years, and a bunch of us stayed up late after the wedding, sitting around the table enjoying our time together, doing nothing.
Just being thankful family. And now we are increased, glory to His Name, and feeling His love shed even more broadly in our hearts.