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October 14, 2011

A Wedding, and Cake

in life


[Wedding cake, October 2011.]

It’s hard to believe a week ago right now I was driving through the rolling hills of Northern California along Tomales Bay in the bright sun back to Sebastopol with Kate and Emily, talking of this and that (mostly, food, including quinoa) and sipping on an iced coffee from Toby’s, eagerly anticipating that night’s party. Eagerly anticipating, too, the next day’s wedding — but we were trying not to get ahead of ourselves. So rarely are we all together it was a gift just to have that hour-long trip on a Friday afternoon, all of us experiencing that funny combination of sleepiness and nervous energy. I tried to appreciate it as such, though a week out, I am wistful for it today. Still.

I got married last weekend — how strange to type that out: I got married last weekend. And so married I am now: for real and for always. It is a thrilling, marvelous thought.

People say your wedding day passes in a blur, that you will hardly remember it at all, and some of that is true but. But. It’s not always so. And it was such a lovely day. Somehow — and I shall remain eternally grateful for this — I remember nearly every bit of it, from the morning run with Emily along the backroads to sitting around the table while Kurt made an omelet and we drank Hardcore Espresso coffees and ate bagels my dad had fetched, and then on to getting prettified in town and devouring lunch in the car on 101 South on the way to the wedding listening to (of course) classic rock in a caffeinated haze. And arriving and seeing my boss and her partner having a beer in the pub and chatting with them … my friend and officiant arriving (thankfully!) early and how glad I was to see him … Emily putting together my cake she and my brother had ferried in from the city in its five (!) tiers … slipping into my dress and having Kate and my new niece do up the buttons and getting ready together … drinking a clandestine glass of champagne whilst watching guests arrive from my room above … sitting on the window seat and hugging the amazing girl who did the gorgeous flowers and affirming we are friends, like really

And all the rest of it, too: the hilarious and fun ceremony, hiking up my dress and walking out to Muir Beach for photos after and lunging for my silly veil as it nearly blew away in a gust of wind, hugging nearly every single person who came, most of whom I’ve known for years and years, the delicious dinner, the beautiful cakes, dancing to ‘Rude Boy’ (our Yosemite backpacking anthem), Kurt putting his arm around me every so often, all the sweet speeches, and, oh yes, the incredible feeling of peace that comes with marrying the best person for me, the only person for me, really, and how lucky I feel, still and always.


[Cake, sliced, October 2011.]

We got married at the Pelican Inn in Muir Beach, as place that has long been ‘our place’ and which was really the only spot we could imagine having a wedding. It’s a little faux British pub perched near the beach and just up the road from Stinson — we had our ceremony on the lawn and cocktails after, before moving inside to eat by candlelight (happily, most vegetables and the bread came from the Green Gulch Farm and Zen Center just next door). After a few days of rain, the sun shone and it wasn’t even too cold (you never know along the coast); Northern California put on a show for my out-of-town visitors and I am so glad it did.

It was mainly a community effort, as the best ones often are: my mom made her famous spanikopita to serve with the appetizers; our wonderful brothers read their assigned poems as only they could do (and a spontanous reading by my sister-in-law completed it all) as well as did countless little tasks; my mum-in-law made an English fruit cake and Emily made a flourless chocolate cake; my new husband (!) hand-painted each place card; our aunts and uncle and cousins provided invaluable moral support; old friends who arrived earlier in the week provided good company as I finished the cake; my beloved best lady was a whirlwind of energy and good spirits (as was her husband).

And then of course there was all that jam, which became the unofficial theme of the wedding … but I will let my NPR story detail that a bit more as I’ve already gone on about it here (note: make the jam cake).

What I am left with, along with just a smidge of cake, is an enduring feeling of love — that day, and the days leading up to The Day, I simply felt surrounded by love. I was buoyed by it. I kept saying thank you probably ad naseum. But it’s really all I can still say, inarticulate as I sometimes can be — just, thank you. I hope I never forget that feeling of gratefulness; I don’t think I will.

If it won’t bore anyone too much I will probably be spilling out little memories as time goes on and it settles a little more … it’s still so fresh. We had a few days up in Tahoe just afterward to lounge and swim and drink champagne while the rain came softly down outside. My husband (!) had to go to China for work soon afterward (sob!) so I am in Sebastopol for a few days visiting with my parents and uncle who is here from Florida. It occurred to me today that I haven’t cooked in a week, so tonight I will: roast chicken, mashed potatoes, sauteed shallots and green beans, a big salad, roasted cauliflower, a vegan pear-apple galette. Simple things, but that is my wont. We’ll drink cold white wine — it’s very hot in Sonoma County this week — and eat leftover wedding cake and remember, just a little bit more …

Recipes, soon, and hopefully more photos, too. Did I mention? It was really a fantastic day.

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