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The Yellow~Ribbons Project - Quilters who care

The Chuppa Quilt

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I really can't believe that it is over. All those months of preparation, and it was done in 2 1/2 days. After the last person left about 4PM on Monday, we spent the late afternoon policing the grounds, taking down the reflectors and caution tape and signs, stacking the traffic cones, putting the tiki torches in the barn and getting rid of the luminaries. Boy! That sand sure is heavy, especially when you are as exhausted as we were. We also returned all the beautiful black garden furniture ( chairs, tables, lounges) to the neighbor who loaned it to us. It took 3 car-loads to return it all. I still have to polish the copper tiki torches, clean the candle-wax off the hurricane shades and return them with all the other stuff she loaned me.

Doesn't the chuppah quilt look great? We had a force field set up so that no birds would fly over and drop their loads on it! I didn't even have to ask -- within half an hour after the ceremony the groomsmen had it taken down, folded, and put in the house.

I cried during the katubah signing, when the rabbi mentioned Justin's Jewish name, because I was standing under my father's photo, and Justin took Daddy's immigrant name as his own. It didn't last long though, and I was prepared with a lovely hankie I had gotten ready just for that purpose. I didn't have to use it again.

I didn't cry during the service, but I was holding on hard to Allan's arm and to Matthew standing behind me, and that bolstered me. I was very aware of the ambient sounds -- a car going by, a crow cawing twice from one tree and then a moment later doing the same from another tree, and then the sound of the steam engine from at least 4 miles away, the other side of Ringoes.

But everything was just as I imagined it would be -- the sun low and filtering brightly through the trees, mostly all the folks who matter to us there to share the day, the eloquence of Justin and Carin as they spoke the loving vows they had written to each other, the sincerity of the rabbi, the food, the music, the toasts.

The tents were finally taken down and removed Tuesday, and except for a few brown patches in the field in back there is almost no way to tell what a wonderful party was held here this past weekend.

I took all the disposable cameras from the tables in to have them developed yesterday. I picked them up today and am really disappointed in the quality of the photos. The shots of folks sitting around the tables were ok, but the flash attachment on those cameras doesn't really function from more than 4 feet away. So many of the photos of people on the dance floor, or full body shots just didn't turn out well. Some of the younger people, Carin's male cousins, wasted a lot of prints taking self-portraits up their noses and down their throats -- not exactly what we'd want in our albums, but definitely what you'd expect from 17 year old boys. The 3 rolls of film from my camera were all good, but they were all taken on Saturday and Monday, with just a couple of our granddaughter Sophie taken Sunday morning. Nothing from my camera taken Sunday night, unfortunately. I am impatient to see what the professional photographer comes up with. And I know at least one guest video-taped the entire day and will give us a copy.

Carin looked incredibly beautiful in a white satin bias cut slinky gown,entirely backless, a gardenia in her long hair and no veil. I kept thinking of Carol Lombard, or Claudette Colbert -- all those gorgeous ladies from the '30's. Nary a ripple of excess flesh in sight! She always commented on how she loved those fast-talking dames -- I had no idea that she would look like one at her wedding.  She was absolutely gorgeous, and they looked so much in love. Justin surprised me with his eloquence with the vows he wrote and spoke. I blubbered just a wee bit right then.

My niece did my makeup and it really did the trick. I toned down the Kabuki look she does on herself and tried to do on me. Ignoring the double chins that show up in the photos, my eyes look wonderful, and I still have cheekbones. I've got to figure out how to do that myself, although it may be a little late for that!

Now that it is all over I may have a fairly normal husband to deal with on a daily basis, and a life without (too much) stress. However, I will be spending the entire summer watering zillions of potted plants!

I can't wait to catch up with all my friends again, and talk about other things besides wedding plans.

Judy in Ringoes, NJ




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