Sunday, July 20, 2008

Paint the Cabin

It was Jim's idea to take the Fourth of July weekend and spend it painting the cabin. I'll have to admit it needed it. The last time we painted it was 1993. Jim and I had gone there last winter to paint but it turned out to be too cold for the paint to stick and too cold for us to stick with it. This time, we brought Linda, Marilyn, Jay, and Ann to get the job done. We began scraping the old flaking paint. After about an hour, we noticed the women were gone. We found them inside watching a movie Linda brought with her. Realizing we going to have labor issues, we rented a power washer from the local Home Depot store.
We still hadn't decided on color although this had been a topic for years. My parents had always had the cabin painted a mint green color. In fact, they painted all their houses mint green. Although it's not a bad color, it was unanimous that it won't be that color again.
Shortly before lunch on Saturday,we were all on the south side with elbows, rollers, and brushes swinging when Ann looked behind her and quietly said to Marilyn "there's a bear". We all looked back and less than 100 feet from us was a brown bear lazily scratching its side on a tree trunk watching us paint. Linda and I scrambled inside for the cameras. By the time we got back outside and shot, the bear was ambling off back into the woods.
Although I had my doubts we could get the job done in three days, we did (for the most part). Everybody is happy with the color. On the way home Ann told me that she and Jay were talking and decided not to let the cabin go so long before it's painted again. They decided they would do it again in eight years. I told her I would mark that in my calendar. How little the younger generation knows about the mystical relationship between painting and procrastination.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Carol and Steve Hitched

Late afternoon on June 28 vans lined up at the hotel to ferry those who chose not to drive to the wedding site. Steve gives last minute instructions to drivers.
Ann made the wedding cake and had gotten it the 165 miles to Flagstaff in one piece. Now she clutched precious cargo as the van careened over the rough forest road.
At the site on the beautiful Hart Prairie, guests milled and enjoyed h'ordeurves awaiting the event.
When the time was near, wedding goers strolled through the Aspen trees into the meadow to view the ceremony.
From the distance, the bride approached escorted by her brother James.

From vows they wrote, Steve and Carol pledged the rest of their lives to each other. Professional photographers shot the newlyweds while I shot photos of the professional photographers shooting the newly weds.
After the ceremony, there's nothing like a game of croquet to start your married life. It didn't last long. I think the balls were lost in the tall grass.
Ann's wedding cake weathered the trip well and looked stunning decked out in native flowers
In the not too distant past, Steve and Carol toyed with idea of a pirate wedding theme. They even went to Mexico to look for a pirate ship. The pirate wedding never materialized but Aunt Linda just happened to have some pirate hats and eye patches with her. I think she carries them with her all the time just in case she needs to board an enemy ship. They came in handy now giving Steve and Carol a taste of the pirate wedding they might have had. Personally, I think this wedding was far better than any pirate wedding could have been and no one risked injury from a hook in the face on the dance floor.
You wouldn't want to run up against these two buccaneers in a boarding party now would you?
The Blue Grass wedding band played into the night.
When the pluckin' and strummin' began, the guests took to the dance floor.
In my opinion (the only one that counts in this blog), of all the weddings I've been to, this was the best. Putting a wedding together in the middle of the forest was a monumental task, but Steve and Carol pulled it off. The ceremony, the food, the band, the location, and the weather couldn't have been better.

Congratulations Steve and Carol

Sunday, July 13, 2008

One Day Away

Steve and Carol were getting married in the high forests north of Flagstaff. Marilyn and I drove up to Flagstaff the day before the wedding. Shortly before reaching the hotel, a spatter of rain hit the windshield. Dark clouds covered the northern sky. The wedding was tomorrow, outside, in the woods and there was no backup plan. The rain stopped as quickly as it began as we arrived at the hotel. Steve already told us that yesterday he had to change location since the caterer decided the truck couldn't go back into their original site. Steve had to call all the vendors and get word out to the guests to tell them the wedding wasn't where they thought it would be. He also had to find a new location and get forest permits. After checking in, we contacted Steve and drove out to the site. There was only three miles of dirt road once we left the highway.
A giant white tent against the forest green told us we had reached the spot. Dark clouds still loomed over the San Francisco peaks.

Steve took Marilyn and me to the site where the ceremony would take place. It was an open meadow, through some aspens, a short walk from the tent.

Suzy had been camped out for the past four days in her RV which served as a mobile command post. Of course, the entire operation had to be moved from the original site to here yesterday, but she appeared settled in.
There was still a lot to do in setting up the reception area under the tent. I helped Steve hang some lights he purchased while David ran his weed whacker around the area cutting the prairie grass down to wedding size. A little while later some of Steve's friends showed up with cases of beer and liquor.
Members of the "Patriotic Canine Patrol" supervised the activities.
Tomorrow's the day.

Birthday Slide

The birthday slide continues as Ann turns 23. Last year she realized that things are downhill after 21. This year she had to make her own cake. At least the birthday slide hasn't affected her creativity.