Tag Archives: wedding

Pumpkin’s Progress–2013

Howdy, all! Oops, just back from my dear niece’s country-themed weddin’ — so much fun and I guess I’m still talking cowboy. I wish Rachel and Johnny many blessings, especially as Johnny heads off to boot camp in a few days to join our armed forces.

Behold, HRH King Arthur
Behold, HRH King Arthur

When we got back to suburbia from our travels, we were pleased to find that this year’s giant pumpkin was doing very well. Giant pumpkins put on weight very, very quickly (up to 20 pounds a day for the size we grow) and it’s noticeable when you haven’t seen it for a few days. As of today it’s about 200 pounds–just a baby in the competitive world. The world record pumpkin in 2012 weighed in at 2009 pounds. Yes, you read that right, two thousand and nine pounds, and was grown in Rhode Island. Click here to see one ton o’gourd.

Last year at our local agricultural fair (Four Town Fair), we were beaten out for King of the Pumpkin Patch by a kid–a KID! (WTG, sweetie!) But Mr. Suze and the Crown Prince, who have claimed for the last several years that this will be the last time we grow them, were undeterred and dutifully ordered seeds and some kind of organic fertilizer, which they apply faithfully. Every day they go out and bury the pumpkin vines as they grow and put down new roots so the plant can suck up more water. And it seems to be paying off. In just a few weeks, King Arthur will be off to sit on his pallet throne and we’ll see who takes home the prize.

So, wish us luck. Wish me luck as I prepare to turn in my first book to my wonderful editor–I had no idea it would be so hard to call it done (for now) and let it go but I can’t wait to see her suggestions to make my book way better. And wish my niece and new nephew much luck and love as they start their life together (or apart, temporarily). And for all of you, dear Scribelings, blessings of the harvest season!

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The Family Memoir

Several years ago, my cousin’s youngest daughter got married in a fabulous setting deep in the heart of PA — it was a living Andrew Wyeth painting:  a sparkling pond, rolling green hills, deep blue sky, old red barn silhouetted against the blaring hot sun, a rustic stable opened to provide a dance floor and seating where you could take the barbeque that was served on the adjacent side porch.  A little stone house where the bride had the privacy to dress.  A hundred friends and family, kids running around, playing ball, playing games.  People rocking out on the lawn.

And there I was, sitting with my husband, thinking:  this perfect day, when, maybe, someone is found dead in the pond;  or maybe that little girl in the yellow dress disappears and someone doesn’t want the mother-in-law to write the family memoir.

Honestly, it was the best wedding ever.

And subsequently, a couple of years later, my cousin asked if I’d like to read those memoirs, with his mother-in-law’s permission.  This was such a privilege.  The author is in her 90‘s;  she wrote about 28 single spaced pages.  Her voice, dry, humorous, pragmatic, came through so clearly. And there was so much more under the surface that I wanted to know. And I wanted so much more of HER — her reactions, her responses, her true feelings.

What a gift to her family, that she’s able to translate her memories into words.  I told her all this when I wrote back, and that I hoped she’d continue to add to the memoir, more of her, more of what she experienced, what she felt. I had particularly strong feelings about it because now that my parents, and aunts and uncles are gone, there’s no one left who knows all my family history.  And no one who had the wont, the patience or the will to write it all down. They were children of immigrants who’d had unspeakable childhoods and just didn’t want to talk about it — ever. So a first wife we were never aware of, a brother whom no one knew was really the child of a first marriage, a runaway child, — all nebulous stories dredged up through cryptic statements over the years which told no more than that.

I was struck forcibly that I knew nothing, really, about our grandparents in either family.  We do have my maternal grandfather’s immigration papers from which we make inferences and piece together some of the story,  but dad’s history remains opaque: I know his mother came from Romania to join her sister in America.  She was the second wife of a man with two children. Her husband died very early in the marriage after she bore him four children.  She never wanted to talk about any of it.

My sons know everything about their dad and me, but I never thought, maybe never maybe could envision a time when my parents wouldn’t be there to answer questions.  And for some reason, one never asked.  Later, when I got curious, my mom didn’t much want to talk about it either.  Or claimed she didn’t remember.

I now have a bound booklet of those memoirs, complete with pictures.  How lucky my cousin is that his mother-in-law decided to talk about her life in a concrete and lasting way.  It inspired him.  He now wants to aggregate as much of our maternal family’s history as possible.  I’m happy he wants to take on that pleasurable task and I‘m hoping he can fill in some of the blanks.

But better than that, it leaves me (selfishly) free to contemplate the fictional problem of who was killed at the wedding and the even greater pleasure of writing it..

As you can see, I’m obsessed by my family’s history now. What about your family?  Is someone writing a history? Researching the family tree?  Have you ever been at an event where you were plotting fictional murders while talking to your husband’s boss or a relative you hadn’t seen in years?

Thea Devine is the author whose books defined erotic historical romance for which she was honored as a Romance Pioneer by Romantic Times.  The Darkest Heart, Pocket/Gallery, June 2011 is her 25th novel. Visit http://www.theadevine.com for excerpt and video.

Nice Day For A White Wedding

Hello, friends, Susannah here. 

Have you checked the television listings lately?  Do you know how many wedding shows there are?  Neither do I, but here’s a partial list:  Say Yes to the Dress. Wedding Cake ChallengeAnd my personal favorite, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.  This last is a show about Travelers (Gypsy) culture in Ireland, and it is absolutely fascinating.   And the movies: Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Wedding Date, The Wedding Singer.  That list could go on and on and on.

This past weekend I attended my brother’s wedding.  Now this wedding broke with tradition in a lot of ways.  The couple did not have a large budget, so the nuptials and reception were a very small outdoor affair — just family and a few friends attended.  The bride’s family, for many reasons, was not able to assist her with the preparations, so my mother, my sisters, and I stepped in to help.  Mom hemmed the bride’s lovely, simple gown.  Among the rest of us we prepared a dinner, attached balloons to the tent that our menfolk set up, arranged tables and chairs for the guests, and created a head table for the bride and groom.   

When I found out there were no flowers, not even a bouquet for the bride, I thought, Not on my watch!  Unacceptable!  So I grabbed one sister and a pair of scissors and we denuded Mom’s flower garden.  Some white phlox and Shasta daisies arranged in Mason jars tied with ribbons in various shades of blue, and we had some lovely table decorations.  A dozen roses with baby’s breath from the supermarket were transformed into an arm bouquet by placing the stems in a wet paper towel inside a plastic sandwich bag, then covering the mess with a wrap of white ribbon.   I think it came out pretty well, and the bride was delighted.  After the ceremony, instead of a first dance, the newlyweds sang a first song to each other via Karaoke machine.  You know something?  That’s what they wanted, and it worked.  Sorry you missed my three sisters and me singing our theme song, Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man, with our new sister-in-law.  Really.  Ya shoulda been there.  (And no, don’t ask.  None of us can remember when or why that song became our standard.  It just is.  Here’s a hipper version, if you need it.)

Why are we fascinated by weddings?  Same reason we read romance novels.  I think it’s because a wedding is so full of love, hope, and promise — the first day of a Happily Ever After that we get to relive with every new bride and groom.  

Tell us your favorite wedding anecdote — if you don’t have one of your own, then appropriate somebody else’s.   We Scribes love Love!