Saturday, June 09, 2007

3 weekends, 3 ceremonies

I was chided last weekend for neglecting this blog. Mea culpa. But I've been busy!

Two weeks ago, Memorial Day weekend, was Nate and Jess's wedding at Estes Park, CO. An absolutely fantastic weekend. There was a whole slew of ultimate players from DC who flew out, as well as a bunch of Scott and Nate's friends and their parents from Amherst, so there was no lack of fun people to party with. We arrived late Friday night, spent Saturday hiking, napping (altitude adjustment!), playing ultimate, barbequing, and engaging in a squirt gun battle. Sunday entailed, disc golf, more hiking, mini golf, and - oh yeah - the wedding. An absolutely beautiful outdoor ceremony with views of the Rocky Mountains. Nate and Jess wrote beautiful, personal, humorous, meaningful vows to each other. Scott gave a terrific toast at dinner, and it wrapped up with a *great* dance party. (Sasha was there - if you know him, I need not say more. If you don't, know that he can spark any party into high gear. A great gift.) Monday was a series of long good-byes over breakfast, and a long trip home. Pretty much everyone would have to preferred to stay in the mountains longer.

Here's Scott and I at the wedding. Many thanks to Becky for her patience in taking pictures of us!

A busy week ensued, but we had time to take in the annual free outdoor Shakespeare performance - this year it was Love's Labors Lost, done up in a 60's Beatles style. Delightful. And such a nice night to be out. I'm glad it's summer.

The next weekend was Scott's dad's retirement gala, so Scott and I jetted up to Amherst on Saturday morning. We spent the afternoon mingling with friends and neighbors at their open house, and then got dressed up for the evening gala. There were six teachers in all retiring from the elementary school, and they each got honored/roasted in a series of skits put on by the rest of the teachers. Great fun, even for someone (me) who didn't know the community. It was neat to see Sandy through a new lens, and it was neat to recognize bits and pieces that he's passed down to Scott.

We had a lazy Sunday in Amherst that included brunch at a vegan cafe (where a handful of musicians playing Irish music resolved me to finding people to play with in Davis...), shopping for gear for our upcoming rafting trip, and a rousing game of poker. Many thanks to Michael for his patience teaching me! Thirty hours after our arrival in Amherst, Scott and I had to return to DC. Still, the trip was definitely worth it.

Yet another busy week, which included a daytrip to New York for a meeting. It went well, and I'm happy it's over. We worked hard to prepare for it, so Thursday and Friday felt more relaxed. It popped up in my dreams on Thursday night though... Scott said I was talking in my sleep about how I had figured out a better way to present it.

Today I went to a memorial service for Da, my Uncle Mel's father. (My grandfather-in-law?) No flights this time, just metro ride out to Maryland. It was a beautiful service, held at their little country Presbyterian church. Aunt Flury spoke beautifully about Da. My favorite memories of him are from the weekends and holidays I got to spend with him. Always charming, eternally cheerful, never at a loss for stories and jokes. He loved to talk about Lincoln, England, where he grew up, and about his years workign in the foundry there. I was always happy to listen, and he was always happy to talk. He lived to be 91, and I'm so glad he was part of my life.

A wedding, a retirement, a memorial. Three rites of passage in three weekends. It reminds me of the importance of ceremony and ritual. Good, important things may be said. But in the end, I remember the community coming together to share an individual's passage from one chapter of his or life to the next. I feel lucky to be part of these communities.

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