Sunday, April 27, 2014

Long Days and Short Years

The days are long but the years are short.

I read that quote today on twitter from a mom looking at a cap and gown strewn across her daughter's bed.

And I thought of a wedding we attended last weekend.


See the pretty wedding gift in the back seat of the car? I love that paper.
We left the house pretty early on Friday morning, Good Friday, and took off to cross several state lines. We were heading into the heart of rural America and looking forward to a long weekend of food, fun, and festivities, not necessarily in that order. 

The wedding was one of J's oldest friends. We have known him, and his parents, for a {very} long time. We met at church when I was carrying J and his friend was just a wee baby - his mom had just had him. These guys have grown up together sharing lots of memories - church youth group, play dates, birthday parties, vacations, bonfires, shared dinners with each other's families, mountain hiking, rock climbing, school, sports - you name it and they have done it together. 
This weekend was about celebrating his friend and his lovely new wife. 

But it was also about saying goodbye. 

Becoming adults, their friendship is going to change a bit. One of them having a spouse, their friendship is going to change a bit more. And living several states away, their friendship is going to change even more. 

J  and another groomsman drove out on Thursday. K and the Man and I joined them a day later.  Although we did not see J until the wedding. He was busy doing wedding party things. 

Instead, the three of us did some touristy things and drove out to Amish/Mennonite country.

We spent several hours wandering back roads, looking for nothing and finding lots of things - beautiful landscapes, friendly people, delicious food. And cows. Lots of cows.

On Saturday morning, the three of us found a bakery for breakfast. A friend of ours had told us they had the best sticky buns around. We were willing to do a taste test so we drove straight there for our first sample. 

They were good. Very good.

We bought three packages to bring home, a shoofly pie, and a peach pie. Along with the two sticky buns we ate at the picnic table outside.

While we were sitting there, a young Amish girl came up to us with a blue gingham lined basket filled with pieces of soft pretzels. Soft, warm, chewy, salty pretzels.

Oh me, oh my.

I looked at this sweet little Amish girl and asked if the pretzels were freshly made. Eyes big, she nodded yes. Then I asked her if they came from that truck over there, the one that said "Freshly Made Pretzels" and, again, she nodded yes. 

So we walked over to the truck and promptly bought five pretzels. While we were waiting for the two Amish women in the truck to get our pretzels, I told them that they were not playing fair by sending out the cute little girl with the basket of warm, soft pretzel pieces as samples.

They laughed and took my money. These ladies are professionals at marketing.

After that, we meandered around the countryside, taking side road after side road. No particular destination in mind. Getting lost but not worrying about it because we had our iPhones with us.

We found bakery after bakery, sampling sticky bun after sticky bun. My goodness, those women can bake bread.

Three bakeries later, we had four more trays of sticky buns to take home, several whoopie pies, some cinnamon buns, and two packages of freshly made local cheese.

Clearly, it was time to leave.

The wedding Saturday evening was beautiful. As all weddings are.

The bride lovely, the groom handsome.

Parents holding back tears. Some successfully, some not.

Like the Man and I, the parents of the other groomsmen were feeling our own heartstrings tug.

We know that someday soon it will be our turn to give our sons away to their wives. Our turn to watch them leave their first family and start their own.

As it should be.

The bride and groom praying together. 

Their first prayer as a married couple.
The days are long but the years are short.


Yes, they are.

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