Here in the Palouse, I'm surrounded by folks aw-shucksing and gee-whizzing all over the place, not to mention primping and washing and ironing and rehearsing to beat the band. My favorite rehearsal of the week was when a few of us high-tailed it down to the barn to practice clapping for Turk, the Percheron who will pull the buggy full of bride and groom across Pullman tomorrow. We clapped to beat the band for that beautiful high-stepping giant horse and I fell smack dab in love with horses all over again, just the way I did when I was a little girl and thought there was nothing better in the whole wide world. My sister, a fellow clapper, told us that a couple weeks ago when her husband and daughter were driving the buggy across campus, a young man saw them on the street and yelled something at them. Because of the clomping of the horse-shoes, they couldn't hear what the man was saying, so they stopped the buggy, and asked him to repeat himself. "Is that a real horse?" he asked.
Yes, my friends, a real horse, and a real buggy as well. From a real ranch driven tomorrow by a real cow-girl, followed by a wagon full of wedding party. We got that horse all rehearsed, got dresses all ironed, the deviled eggs all made (yep, 12 dozen deviled eggs...but don't ask me how I feel about them!). And in a little while, when the wedding party tumbles out of this house toward town for their own rehearsal, J and I will make our way to Spokane to pick up more family members from the airport.
Have I mentioned how much I love such celebrations? I'm feeling a little sad at the moment that my sister doesn't have any more daughters because we may not get to do this again. I'm not sure her son will want her to make a wedding dress--at least not for him! And who even knows if he'll marry in this town. And that means that this may be the last wedding I ever go to in my hometown. And...J and I are staying in a motel tonight. A motel in Pullman. My family moved to Pullman in 1965, and tonight will be the first time I've ever stayed in a motel here. I don't know if I can even explain how strange it seems.
But then I'm feeling a little nostalgic all the way around right now. Downstairs I hear my son and his cousin-best friend talking sports. The bride and my youngest daughter, her cousin-best friend, have already driven into town on some last minute errands, and E and her cousin-best friend are working on hair in the bathroom. I don't think these young adults get how very special it is what they have between them. They grew up with this amazing community, these built-in best-friends, and it's blessed us all to watch that community grow and expand as significant others join them. And I love that too. And I even love that they don't get how unusual their relationships are, the ease and comfort, the ridiculous, sometimes (or often?) off-color dinner conversations, the inside jokes and incessant teasing, the sarcasm.
These six young people, and their other cousins as well who have joined them in this community, have been quite the picture of the body of Christ. Standing up with each other, for each other, sometimes TO each other. Going out of their way when one the others need them, and gladly so. I love all these things. And this wedding and this whole week is one more example of that community lived out. And what I know is that though this may be the last wedding I go to, my kids will be going to the weddings of the yet to be born kids' of these Palouse cousins, twenty-years from now...and gladly so. OK, so will I, if I'm not in heaven, clapping my hands.