Date: Sat Sep 2 22:59:04 EDT 2000
The day before John & Elsa’s wedding paired a lot of events with a relaxed attitude. Elsa had a definite mental image of what she wanted her wedding to be like – like Meg & John’s, in Little Women – and Saturday, September 2, 1989 reflected it.
I remember months before, when Elsa got a letter from Peggy soon after she and John had announced their engagement. I was napping in my room; she sat down to read it to me. She had hoped Peggy and Jack could make it to the wedding, but was prepared to understand if they could not.
“They’re coming!” she yelped.
Continuing to read, she practically leapt out of her chair. “And Jim and Renee are coming!!!”
And a few seconds later, “And so is Karen!!!!”
I threw off the covers & jumped up, then we did a little dance of joy around the bedroom, we were both so stunned and excited.
All of the Peddicords came and all of the Ripleys, even David. The Ripleys had not seen Karen Peddicord Jackson, who lives in Nevada, for many many moons and ended up flying on the same plane all the way from San Francisco without any of them realizing they were in the same cabin with a Reynolds clan cousin.
Saturday was filled with family and friends and magical moments. We had a smile-filled breakfast with the Peddicords. Jim & Renee and their girls and Karen were all staying at the nearby Marriott, but Jack & Peggy were camped out right across the street from our house, at Donnette and Garth Glenn’s (they gave us the use of the hall since they were at the shore that weekend).
Elsa put the finishing touches on the nibblings and sippings she would serve that afternoon at a tea honoring her bridesmaids and all the women who had done so much work on her wedding. She was happy and calm. She also put the finishing touches on the Groomsmen’s Party that would be held at the same time across the street. The bride was a busy lady.
I cannot remember a single thing about the rehearsal. I know I was there, but not a thing comes to mind.
After the rehearsal came the tea party and I do remember a lot about that. So many women and, of course, her four bridesmaids – Whitney, who was her maid of honor: Karen, who was her senior bridesmaid; Mackenzie Pitcairn, who’s been dear to our hearts since she was born; and Jamie Reeves, one of the children Elsa “baby watched”. Not a one was from Bryn Athyn, PA – Whitney was in her 2nd year at Barnard in NYC, Karen hailed from Australia, Mackenzie was living in Iowa and Jamie was just “down the street” a piece in Jenkintown.
It was a happy, humming group that gathered afterward at our house.
Elsa had ordered a beautiful cake from her favorite bakery – Bredenbeck’s in Chestnut Hill. Peter, who did an incredible job of being everywhere he needed to be plus a few places more, picked up the cake that morning along with a generous assortment of wedding day breakfast goodies the bride had ordered from Rolling in Dough at the Farmer’s Market.
It was a really beautiful cake. Elsa had the four girls put their hands on hers to cut the first piece, which she gave to yours truly. Each of the girls were given a book – Ophelia’s World, A Little Princess, A Secret Garden and Corgiville Fair – and a box, each picked out for each girl. Each woman was given a Christmas ornament that Elsa had spent hours picking out, tailoring each gift to its recipient.
Even all these years later, I still feel gypped that while I took an after-party nap, Peggy, Karen and Elsa hightailed it across the street to the men’s party and had a high old time.
Supper was take out – a Chinese banquet. John went to pick it up from China Bowl in Rockledge and Pam opted to go with him, to get a better idea of this fellow.
While they were gone, the rest of us watched a video made earlier that summer of Peggy & Jack’s 40th (I think it was their 40th) surprise anniversary party out in Missouri. The guests were squirreled away out of their sight and the night before the party, we all gathered for steamed crabs which friends from Baltimore had flown out. The video said it all – while everyone around me was talking back and forth, there I was, happily picking my way through a great heap of crab. It was so much fun to watch the video with the whole family around, the Peddicords and myself giving a running commentary.
One of my all-time favorite photos was taken by Elsa that evening. It is of Peter, Peggy and I, dishing out the Chinese food and laughing with complete happiness. It is a marvelous picture and captures the feeling of the evening.
I almost forgot that Robert and Sue Smith, our neighbors, had us over earlier in the evening for cocktails. The whole of “Smithville” was in fine fettle. I called our cluster of abodes “Smithville” because Julie & Eunice Smith, Willie Smith, Phil & Mina Smith, and “Po” & Sue all shared our driveway. Smithville indeed.
Eleven years later, am still smiling at the memory of so much love and easy going happiness. That time felt and feels like it was other worldly, a gift to us all from a heavenly Host. Everyone made it happen and everyone seemed touched by its beauty and spiritual grace. I was, and am, blessed to have been part of it.
I remember Lockharts and Peddicords and one Murphy lolling around the living room that night, having a high old time. John’s best man was there, too. It was another happy, happy day – and the best was yet to come.
Am off to what I am sure will be happy slumbers – Mrs. Raymond Lewis Lockhart