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hearty congratulations
It’s good for middle-aged couples to attend weddings. There’s always the possibility that we’ll remind the bride and groom of the pleasures of growing old together—or be reminded of all the things we agreed to do on our own wedding day. You’d be surprised how useful that can be when the newness of love wears off.
That’s what we did with our Easter weekend—made a beautiful cross-country trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas and married off our nephew. The bride is an Arkansas native whose family had a long connection to Eureka Springs, known forever for the healing powers of its water. She looks at our Matt as if he were the sun, moon and stars. Caitlin is kind, funny, smart, beautiful—and she’s a Democrat. (That brings us to a grand total of three in the family—unless there’s one hiding in the wood pile somewhere, afraid to come out.) What’s not to love?

Your Wreak’n Springs, as she called it when she was a girl, is also the wedding capital of the South. Her parents were both wedding photographers and the family had a long connection with Eureka Springs through their work. One of my nieces summed up the town this way: “It’s like a college town without the college.”

We explored it’s endless shops, old hotels, and radical newspapers on a misty day that eventually unfurled in glorious sunshine, just in time to dry the ground for an outdoor wedding at 6:30 p.m. The bride looked like an angel as they took their vows with the sun setting on their faces.
Sunmoonstars combo
My guy surprised me on the way home with this handmade gift of sun, moon and stars, which he bought on the sly while we kooked around downtown with our niece. (Silence when I asked why. Don’t ask, don’t tell. That’s our policy.)

Burkes with us
Before the wedding Saturday, we visited with family, had lunch on the balcony of the Basin Park Hotel, listened to a gospel/soul concert/revival in the park and marveled at the Victorian homes and cottages.
Ours was the very quaint Wildflower Inn—my tiny house dream. When you try to picture putting all your things in a home this small, you soon realize just how abundant your life is. I would still like to try it.

When I described the piece of furniture in our cottage that substituted for a closet, my parents had a flash of recognition. “They’re called Chifforobes,” Mom said. Evidently, they were sold in the Sears and Roebuck catalogues in the early 1900s and they may have held an entire family’s clothing. As a benchmark of comparison, the three outfits I brought for wedding options fit inside comfortably.

Which brings me to another subject…remember my angst over what to wear to the wedding? About 45 minutes before we were to leave for the wedding, I went to the bedroom to get dressed. Soon, I realized that my shoes were missing.

I went to the trunk and discovered that my husband hadn’t packed them when he loaded the car. Briefly, I considered sulking. And then it hit me: I could either show up for the wedding inappropriately dressed and unhappy. Or I could show up for the wedding inappropriately dressed and happy. Those were my choices.
Wisdom prevailed. I made do with the navy kimono-sleeved sweater and ponte-knit slacks I had worn to the bride’s brunch that morning. I slapped a wad of pearls around my neck and a bracelet on my arm and went in the only shoes I had—a pair of black Aravons. Not what I had planned, but the best I could do. And I was happy and comfortable all night long.
Crescent fresco3
The wedding and reception was at the Crescent Hotel and Spa, a mountaintop resort hotel that’s been around since 1896.
zcupcake bar copy
crystal room Check out the Crystal Ballroom! And the goofball standing in front of it!
Wedding Flowers

The view from our window on Easter morning.

Have you ever had to go somewhere without the appropriate clothes? How did you manage? With pluck or not?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.