I haven’t written much on the blog lately. Not that I haven’t been thinking about things to say, more that I just haven’t posted any of those things. Not lately.
It’s over halfway through October already and I am suddenly realizing my blog’s been silent all month. Thanks to so many of you for continuing to stop by. Anyhow, today – instead of trying to sort out how I got so far behind to begin with – I’ve decided it’s simply time to post some sort of an update.
Whew. Where to begin? Turns out there’s way too much for just one post.
For today I think I’ll start with the biggest family news. My brother Drew finally married his wickedly wonderful girlfriend Roxy in what was billed as “The Big Bay Wedding (of the Century),” held on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in Gambo, Newfoundland. Fortunately (and thanks in large part to my husband for paying the ticket and minding the Littles!) I managed to make it back home for the occasion. And a fine occasion it was too.
So, after 12 years of not setting foot on the island, I have now been to Newfoundland twice in the past three months. I connected to my home and family in a way I haven’t for quite a while, and now have a fresh, up-to-date mental picture of the place and people back where I come from. In other words, a picture of “home.” That’s pretty cool!
Turns out my image of myself and how I fit in with the rest of the province was way out of date. Who knew being a Newfie doesn’t have to mean a thick accent, bad teeth, and a drinking problem anymore? My brother’s group of “Thirty-something” friends are educated, engaged in world events, multilingual, and globetrotting! And many of these young people are now opting to stay in Newfoundland, where most of them even have real jobs! The outcome for them’s been so different from what went on with me and my classmates just a decade or so earlier.
In an effort to introduce us to his amazing cohort of close friends, my brother Drew made me, Shell, and Ed (another cousin, Shell’s brother) play “Cards Against Humanity” with some of his gang the night before the wedding. “Leave your inhibitions at the door, people!” Drew’s friend Laura announced as we sat down to the card table at her rented cabin.
It turned out to be a great ice-breaker! We laughed all night long. It sure is a game designed to bring people out of their shells. Basically it’s improv comedy. With a 14+ rating.
I’ll put Cards Against Humanity up as an item in the Butterflyshop as soon as I get a chance. It’s rude, but fun. My brother says you need to be a good psychologist to play it well. But I noticed it helps if you’re funny as hell, too. Not surprisingly, Drew beat everyone’s pants off – he is simply the tops in both these regards. It wasn’t long before everyone else’s black cards were spread on the table in front of him.
By the way, I should also mention that Laura, as a close friend of my brother’s, was a groomsman for the wedding, alongside her charming husband, Matt (the best man). The next day, Laura was elegant in a black dress and heels, nestled amongst a sea of handsome fellas in their spiffy tuxedos and shiny black rental shoes. She definitely held her own across the aisle from a world of frilly bridesmaids and shiny broach bouquets, too. In fact, hanging with the guys never looked so good!
Sorry, I just thought that was the coolest thing… Laura, if you’re reading this, good for you for taking on that challenging role! :) I thought that was pretty neat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a chick groomsman before.
As for Newfoundland itself (or more precisely, Newfoundland and me), perhaps it is not as far off as I have, for so long, felt. Perhaps you can “go home again” after all. In any case, maybe I can live 2,500 km away and yet aspire to visit at least once every twelve months. I might not need to set my watch back 50 years during the plane ride, either. Heck, Newfoundland – with its politically incorrect card games and female groomsmen – might just end up updating ME!
It’s all very heartening. And – as a bonus – Drew and Roxy hosted an amazing wedding. A good time was had by all. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen such an hilariously choreographed “first dance” at a wedding ceremony, too. Drew, there was some serious booty-shakin’ going on buddy! (The “shoe game” was also new to me, but apparently that’s more because I don’t get out to weddings much anymore.)
Well I should actually say that a good time was had by almost all. Shell and Ed ended up spending that day and the ensuing evening at Emerg. Ed fell and tore his quadriceps tendon an hour before the ceremony. The upshot of this was that my cousin was in surgery to repair his damaged leg while the rest of us were frolicking at my brother’s reception. A definite case of being a groomsman (Yes, he was one too! Even worse, right?) not turning out as planned! And my cousins’ presence was certainly missed throughout the evening.
Shell and Ed’s closeness to one another is enviable. Shell never left Ed’s side for a moment. She left my parents’ place in the RV with her grimacing brother and – as the rest of us were on our way to the church in nearby Gambo – Shell drove that monster vehicle to the hospital in Gander, about an hour away, on the Trans-Canada Highway. After that our only contact with her was by cellphone. She kept us updated (mostly by text messages) as the evening worn on. Thanks for doing that Shell. Mom and I were worried sick about you both!
I have to say that Shell seemed to be pretty philosophical about missing the fun in Gambo, and much more focussed on comforting her brother, who – for his part – was profoundly (and understandably!) bummed by this unlucky turn of events. The fact that he hadn’t been in Newfoundland for a long while either only made it seem worse. But – somehow – cousin Shell kept smiling even as things deviated so badly from the plan. I guess I’ll have to add this to my growing list (“nonjudgemental, kind, laid back, accepting…”) of admirable qualities my closest cousin possesses in spades.
In terms of her relationship with her brother, I can only hope that someday Boo and Lou will be there for each other (if need be) even half as much. My dear cousins set a great example of sibling intimacy and loyalty for our entire family.
I missed Shell and Ed the whole evening long! My brother’s friends are great, but my cousins are my family. For my part, I wanted them nearby during this event. And I’d been so looking forward to our reunion trailer party! The RV’s absence also meant I didn’t get to stay in Gambo as late as I’d planned (uh, all night…). I did, however, manage to get in that one dance with Drew before my mom’s friend Myra kindly drove me back to Glovertown for tea and a depressingly polite bedtime .
A silver lining of this for me was that I managed to have a great chat with Myra, whom I’ve known for many years but never talked to in such depth before. We went for a long drive that turned out to be as nice as a “coffee and confidences” date with a very best friend. So, I guess I learned that my mom is actually a pretty lucky individual. Her “bestie” is one terrific lady.
Part of what’s been great about all this re-connecting with Newfoundland has been the re-connecting with my family and friends, of course. One person I particularly enjoyed spending time with was my third cousin, Pat.
Pat’s just enough older than me (she’s about the same age as BG, my husband) to have been my idol growing up. Pat maybe never knew this, but – when she wasn’t home – her mom always let me in her room and played her board games with me. Her mom never let me near those sparkly locked diaries that were ever oh-so tempting though. Everything Pat did I longed to do – drive a car, have a summer job – and so on and so forth. Pat, for her part, was always kind to me and made me feel much more grown up than I must have seemed to her in those days. This past summer Pat and I reconnected. We even made a new tradition to go with this re-booting of our friendship: We’re going to take a “selfie” together whenever we see each other from now on! That last picture’s our wedding day one. I thought it came out great.
Well, that about sums up the wedding, right? Nothing left to saayyy…
Huh? Say wha’? Uh huh. You want to hear about the bride, don’t you? Guess you thought I’d forgotton. :)
Roxy was stunning. She was resplendent in her sparkling white mermaid gown, with her broach bouquet and her luxuriously long veil cascading behind her. But – as always – the best part of Roxanne’s ensemble was her radiant smile.
I’m not a professional photographer. I don’t have the greatest hot shot of the day (although I did see some great ones on Facebook afterwards). I’m not sure I took the most beautiful or flattering of the many, many great photos that must have been taken that day.
Roxanne is a beautiful person. She’s fun and outgoing. She really appreciates my brother, and – what’s more – I think she really knows how to keep the guy on his toes, which is good for him. I can tell having her for a sister-in-law is going to be a blast.
So. What can I give her here, today, to say welcome to the family? I’m not entirely sure how to do that.
I thought I’d close off by simply saying, welcome to our Crazy Clan Ms. Roxy. I am glad to have you aboard! And, in token of the occasion, I’d like to share a couple of my snaps of the ceremony. Think of them as a photo essay. :)
All for now,
P.S. Updated my “About” page. Those of you impatient for the next post can go check out what’s new with me there while you’re waiting. Cheers!