Posted by: chlost | March 29, 2011

Sunrise, sunset

Suddenly, I find myself surrounded by weddings, babies, and showers. I guess I am just of a certain age. These things just seem to happen-not to me, thank goodness, but to those around me.  It has happened before.

When I was young, it was my older relatives. Uncle Dean, or Aunt Mary. Many of these people I didn’t know. My sister even was asked to be a flower girl for a wedding. I was very jealous, because of course she got to wear a fancy dress. At one of my uncle’s weddings, my youngest sister lost one of her fancy new shoes. She is in all of the pictures with just one shoe. It stands out because we always wore black patent leather shoes with white socks.

Those weddings were fun. There would be a big fancy dinner, or we sat at tables eating cake in the basement of an unfamiliar big old church. The kids would have the run of the church basement, we’d play tag or hide and seek. We’d eat as much as we could. If there was a dance, the grown-up men would dance with me as I stood on their big shiny black shoes. I felt very grown up.

The next wave was when my friends began to get married. No one had fancy weddings. During that time, I was a bridesmaid in several weddings.  I wore some pretty awful dresses, most of them homemade.  We all either were in or attended each other’s weddings. Friends, siblings, and other people of our age got married. Those weddings were fun. There would be a fancy dinner, or a small reception in a hot and stuffy church basement. If you were close to the couple, you would be invited to the after the wedding party.  If there was a dance, I danced with as many men as would ask me.  Many times I just sat and talked with other guests. It was expected that you give the couple a gift. I add that, because my husband did not know this and did not give a gift to his friends when they were married. No one told him.

For our wedding, we had a small reception in a church basement with cake, the church ladies made salads. There was an after party at a dance hall (BYOB), open to the public where the expectation was that the bridal party dance with everyone, and the dance was the polka.  I danced in my wedding dress with as many men as I could. People gave us gifts!

Now, 30 years later, the newest cycle has begun. Our youngest son was married 4 years ago, one week apart from their best friends. We have two weddings on the same day in May. Our children and their friends are also having babies now, so there are baby showers, weddings and wedding showers. There are several more on the horizon.

Generation after generation, these events play out. In nearly every society, there are celebrations surrounding these events. As each generation moves along in life, there is another cycle. I’ve witnessed three generations of family lives.   Family celebrations. The big events that make people a family. If I think too much about the enormousness of that, it overwhelms me.  My small part of this huge thing called the human experience. A huge thing that is just a small speck in the universe.

I only hope I will be able to see my grandchildren and their friends as they continue on this cycle. I hope to dance at their wedding dance with as many men as will ask me.

In the meantime, I have a wedding shower to plan.



  1. Well catalogued. I traveled the same path and recognized the familiar settings. Loved remembering the image of dancing on the shoes of men. Some how when I did that as an adult, they weren’t as amused.

  2. Oh, what a wonderful and comfortable post. Thanks.

  3. Seems like weddings and funerals are those rare occasions where one sees distant relatives that you wouldn’t ordinarily see at any other time.

  4. This post made me smile. (And then laugh, at the repetition of “dance with as many men as will ask me.”) You’ve got lots of dancing left to do!

    I hope the wedding shower goes well 🙂

  5. Here’s to your dancing at the weddings of all your grandchildren! 🙂

    • Thank you1 We’ll see how the knees hold out.

  6. I listened to my older son and his girlfriend discussing the details of their future (several years away) wedding yesterday. It’s funny to me to think about being on that other side of it all.

    • It is still odd to me, and it was four years ago. The thing is, parents have little to say in the whole thing…especially the groom’s parents.

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