Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Fourth

Our church typically has a huge picnic on the Fourth, at the home of some folks who live right on the river and have a huge yard with gorgeous willow trees for shade. This year was no different. A couple of hundred people came to enjoy each other's company, watch the kids play traditional picnic games, and eat.

But there was a little twist this year. The picnic ended at four o'clock and the wedding started at five. Yes, the wedding. My good friend, Jami, and her dashing beau, Clyde (bet you didn't know that dashing and beau and Clyde could all go together in this century, did you?), were to be married on the lawn next to the river, as an extension of the church picnic.

We were nervous about the weather. Although the temperature was to be in the 90's, the forecast called for scattered severe thunder storms, damaging wind and large hail--not exactly what you want for an outdoor wedding. But aside from some wind whistling in the microphones, the show went on without a glitch. In fact, one of their chosen songs for during the ceremony was "The Waltz of the Winds" and it took on new meaning as the graceful willow branches danced over our heads.

The whole affair was fairly casual, with most of the guests in shorts and sandals. The bridesmaids wore cute little short dresses, classic navy blue with white polka dots. The men wore khakis, short-sleeved white dress shirts, and navy bow ties. I felt like we had stepped back in time somehow. All of the party wore huge single gerbera daisies in place of a traditional boutineer or corsage. The groom was set apart with long sleeves and an ivory vest and Jami herself strode down the aisle on the arm of her dad in a simple, flowing ivory dress, clutching a fistful of small white daisies. She was barefoot. It was really beautiful, in a crisp, clean, fresh, summery way.

Our favorite bluegrass band provided the music throughout and played again for the reception, a massive potluck/BBQ served under white tents across the yard. The whole event was really nice.

After the wedding, we came home to put on long pants and shirts and spritz ourselves with a little bug spray. Then we headed out to the Florence community fireworks show, something we haven't done since we moved to Montana. It was a true community affair, the kind where you are constantly running into people you know. It reminded us only a little of the Fourth at the Fort that we always did in Vancouver, though. The crowd, if you can even call it a crowd in comparison, was casual and spread out. Kids ran around (there was room to run around!) with glow necklaces and sparklers. The only "concessions" booth was a free snow cone stand sponsored by the fire department. You know my kids were quick to jump in line.

The show itself was really great, more than I expected from the little Bitterroot Valley. We were all gathered on one of the baseball fields in the park and the fireworks were shot off from the next ball field over, so they were right over our heads. We could put our heads back against our chairs and stare straight up like we were at a planetarium. It was really lovely and we all enjoyed it.

All in all, a good day.

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