I left New York and drove north to Maine to stay at my parents’ house and see my family and help out with the many wedding preparations. Amy sewed her own amazing dress and I helped her sew silk tulle ruffles for a few days. My parents were putting up a gazebo in their back yard for the wedding. My grandfather built the gazebo himself in the nineteen-fifties, and my parents were married in the gazebo in the sixties. In the seventies a Virginia Slims ad was filmed in the gazebo, in my grandparents’ back yard. The gazebo has been in storage, in pieces under a blue tarp since the eighties. All the pieces had to be stripped and sanded and re-painted and put back together. It was a great collective effort, and in the weeks before the wedding dozens of family and friends came to the house to help sand and paint and build.
On Wednesday night my mother sent me to the bus station to pick up an out-of-town wedding guest. When I got there the surprise guest was MIKE! He wasn’t supposed to be coming to the wedding but he had found a cheap ticket at the last minute, and for weeks he had been emailing with Judy and secretly plotting with my family to come to the wedding and surprise me! Everyone except for me knew about it! I had no idea my whole family could keep such a secret. As soon as Mike arrived he was drafted into service to help with cleaning and preparations. Amy and I baked and assembled and frosted a four-tier wedding cake with orange custard filling and caramel butter frosting. It used sixty eggs, all collected from my mother’s hen-house.
After two weeks of craziness and hard work from dusk to dawn, the wedding turned out completely perfect and fun. Every single thing was just as lovely and enjoyable as it possibly could be. The sky was blue and the weather was pleasantly warm, the ceremony was sweet and succinct, the hors d’oeuvres (made by my sister Alicia) were most delicious, my parents’ yard was filled with well-loved family and friends and good people. Everyone was in a fine mood.
George made lobster salad, asparagus, and roasted vegetables for dinner. The cake did not fall over on the way to the table, as I had feared it might, and it tasted wonderful. Amy had made Italian cream limoncello to drink with dessert. Many toasts were offered by friends and family. After everyone else went home, the last of us sat late into the night at one table and finished the limoncello, in the giant tent glowing with candles in the dark yard.