My dad has always said, “You don’t need hills to find hillrods!” Never was there a greater item of proof than our brief hotel stay outside of Akron. We should have known we were in for a treat when we arrived at our room and had to slalom through the multiple removable pick-up, truckbed toolboxes filled with ice and beer that inhabited the corridor that led to our room. If that wasn’t enough, a handful of screechy, grubby kids tore out of adjoining rooms, where the sounds of Playstations and country-music-playing boomboxes poured into the corridor. We were virtually surrounded by innumerable numbers of intoxicated adults milling between a host of rooms. Unfortuntately, the fact that our room was the temperature of a meat cooler when we entered meant that the air conditioner could not serve the dual purpose of drowning out the thoughtful bunch. Things grew more comforting when the phone continued to ring off the hook, because as we were to find out one of their own had been staying in the room that we now inhabited for the night. Our consolation was a reduced charge. Fortunately, we were able to salvage some shut-eye after about 1:30 AM. Morning came a little later than normal, then it was back on the road.
With little more than a day to go before Ali and I stake our claim in the land of matrimonial bliss the prospect of matricide looms large across the horizon of that narrowest isthmus. Since we arrived in Chicagoland, things have moved at a breakneck pace, easing to a nice steady busy that will inevitably ratchet up to an altogether chaotic frenzy.
All things considered, la Maestra has been spot on in her management of all event aspects. It is the “others” that continually complicate and create a mild, but nevertheless monotonously present, unease. Generally, people have been extremely gracious in their offers to assist, yet the omnipresent spectre of the ill-informed do-gooder lingers at the moment. My mother is in a particular state, since she will be playing the hostess. Still, Ali has accounted for everything in her bulging binder (Those of you that have seen it know exactly to what I am referring.). If only my mother would recognize that everything has been planned to letter and in an effort to minimize any responsibility on her part, since she is, in fact, the hostess. Never one to trust with any sense of ease, Janet remains a wreck and her skittishness has become a contagion, infecting my sweet bride-to-be somewhat. What we are really fighting is the possibility of some roguish act of whimsy on the part of any possible do-gooder.
On the host-site front, I must mention that my parents have done themselves outstandingly proud in transforming their yard into quite a majestic setting of subruban liesure. Of course when we opted to hold the wedding at their house and yard, we were both of the opinion that little was in landscape preparation. My parents had other ideas, as the deadline of a larger event provided the stimulus to overhaul their entire yard. Part preparation, part conclusion to long-lasting desires that they both harbored, they reenvisioned the look and feel of the landscape and realized it with dramatic results, thanks in part to the Olmsteadian inspiration of Bryan Eastman (brother to one of my best and oldest friends). While it is next impossible to realize the full effect of the transformation without “before” shots, I will let the new work showcase itself.
Also, we managed a little pre-wedding family fun with an a short venture to a minor league baseball game. Courtesy of Ali’s dad, a group of us headed to enjoy the Kane County Cougars, an Oakland Atheletics affiliate, and a spectacular post-game fireworks display. The boys seemed to enjoy our great seats behind the plate, despite their fading with fatigue. I for one got to chat-up some of my best friends Lisa and Vince.
One simply cannot say enough about one of my absolute best friends, Vince. His assistance can simply be summed up in a single word, “Clutch!” Anything and everything that we have asked him to help us out with has been nothing short of exemplary. Among the highlights of his contributions, the program that he designed is a stunningly beautiful piece. He thought of everything in the design, as he mentioned upon presenting it, “And it easily fits into a 5×7 picture frame, as a keepsake.”
It is a two layer piece with a transluscent vellum upper displaying all the vital information, backed by a firm cardstock lower, featuring a prominent daisy blow-up, which folds over to create a binding, complete with grommets and a ribbon, holding the whole kit together. He really outdid himself and thoroughly exceeded our expectations; however, a photo will have to be forthcoming. More than that, he will also be filling in as the ceremonial videographer, as the original, my friend Sean, got a new television gig in Fresno and cannot make it. Ultimately, he has been so much the utility player extraordinaire, that Ali even asked if Vince might do some last minute tailoring of her dress.
That’s all for now folks. More to come.