In moments we will be heading back to the airport in Minneapolis-St Paul after a delightful wedding for a beautiful young couple, the bride the daughter of one of my first Madison friends. She was another mom adopting from China who I “met” on one of the yahoo groups that were ubiquitous during the 90’s and early aughts. Her four Chinese daughters entertained the young Julia and accepted her as one of their own. The bride provided child care for Julia through high school, on vacations from college and up until the day before she went to D.C. for a summer internship.
It was wonderful to be at her wedding and I have to admit, it was wonderful to be at a wedding in general. I talked to guests who I didn’t know and was seated with a family I had met in Madison but who moved to Minneapolis before David died. It took me awhile to place them. I remembered their son first, younger, very charming and bright.
The family’s oldest daughter brought a boyfriend who was seated next to Julia. This very kind young man listened to Julia talk about Japanese cafe’s, anime transexuals and her preference for boys who look like girls. He asked questions and did not once tell her to be quiet and eat her dinner. This young man is a keeper!
Julia hugged everyone—bride, her sisters, her mother, and other folks who talked to her. She also danced with all the other young people and woke up this morning with loving to dance at weddings on her lips.
Driving to and from the airport and the wedding venue, I watched the passing landscape. I recognized that I was back in the midwest, upper midwest to be specific. The styles of houses and lot sizes, the layout of blocks and neighborhoods all spoke to the places that I no longer line it. I felt a measure of comfort, a recognizable ease. How much of what I recognized, I had, at one time, complained that it was not what I recognized as home. Places leave their impressions, leave some emotional residue of themselves. Places attach to people, and although I never fell in love with the midwest landscape, I did love and care for and about my friends there. And so, the mere returning to the general place brings up good memories of people.
We are in the slim minority who is wearing masks. Except for the wedding, we’ve worn our masks in airports, on planes, during Lyft rides and in the hotel until we got to our room. We did not wear them during the wedding festivities. We took them off for a few airport meals. It is a mark of the time that I these were considered actions. I was willing to take the chance at the party but not otherwise. I feel so aware that some other decision could be argued — but boy, was it good to be with people and have a good time.
This is the first chapter of this weekend coming to a close. Tomorrow begins the set up for Cheshire and Justin’s baby shower. Lots of set up work for Monday’s party, and loads of anticipation as friends from many different places are joining us.
Oh, it will be good to give and get some hugs!