Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The "Yes, Virginia, There Is a God" Wedding

Mr. and Mrs. Rodger and Susan (Hart Carlson) Leys. It doesn't get much better than this! Especially mid-October on a gloriously cool, sunny, autumn day.

We started with the rehearsal dinner at the Spaghetti Warehouse where the bride and groom-to-be threw a party. Not all my family were yet in town but those of us who were, joined the drama. Drama is a good word! Donica and I had the cousins sitting across from us, hooting and hollering (below top). If I ended up a bit dramatic myself, you can say I was in good company. I love these family get-togethers!

The surprise of the night, though, was to see Dan and Glenda from my childhood days (below bottom)! They both grew up with us in my dad's church and eventually married. He, in fact, was my very first date back 45 years ago. He's a Head and I'm a Hart, so it makes for a good story. Ha. One of their daughters died of cancer earlier this year--a long, grievous saga we all went through together. But their youngest, gorgeous, "unexpected" daughter, Cami, was with them at the wedding (with her German pen-pal friend!), rounding out the joyous occasion for me.

The next day, before watching Ohio State beat MSU (boo hoo), Don, Ruth, Pete, Donica and I went to the reception site to mass-produce the floating-candle center pieces. If Ruth had done it by herself, she wouldn't have made it back to the game in time. Just like that, it was done and we made it back just minutes before kick-off. Boo hoo for MSU but the following game between UM and Penn State was a big HOORAY! even if we got to see only the first quarter. Maybe there's hope for MICHIGAN after all. We'll see.

I didn't take pictures during the 4:30p wedding ceremony, of course, nor could have I. I totally lost it at Here Comes the Bride! That wasn't the song played but in the lull before Susan walked down the aisle on the arms of her daughter and son-in-law (Shari and Garland), all the tears for her happiness welled up within me. After 23 years of waiting, she had her day! And how touching that Susan's granddaughters, Kate, Emma and Laura, were her bridesmaids, along with Shari as Matron of Honor and Garland as a groomsman. Mom and Dad (resting in peace) were beaming somewhere amongst us. They needed no invitation!

The reception following was quite the party I didn't expect. Yes, there was the usual cake-cutting and first dance.

But from that point on, once the dancing started (yes, dear Baptist Dad, we danced!), and a few drinks were downed (yes, dear Baptist Dad, we drank!), the party began. The cousins were quite the hams, worse than the rehearsal dinner because they were now joined by "the others." I particularly loved seeing the kids dancng with their parents (like Ruth with Pete, below right) and lamented the fact that I never once danced with my (dear Baptist) dad. (I did dance with my (dear Baptist) mom when she had Alzheimer's years ago and didn't know better.)

Of the eight siblings, all of us were there but two (Susan, of course, Nancy, Jim, Ruth and I). Bennett (resting in peace) was sitting with Mom and Dad, I'm sure. The rest of us were grining from ear to ear. Maybe I was the happiest (outside of Susan!) because I was the closest in age to her and because I was so glad Donica came home from Europe for the weekend to share it all with me/us. Thank you, Donica.

Congratulations, Susan and Rodger! I don't care what anyone else says, you were a gorgeous bride. And Rodger will do you right this time around. I feel it in my bones.


  1. You write from the "heart" Ginnie Hart. And that's why your blog is so very interesting to me. You are indeed authentic and it shows in every post you make!

    Prairie Girl

  2. You're welcome, of course, Nate! Sorry you couldn't be with us to hoot and holler with the other cousins!

    And thank you, Prairie Girl, for your kind words!