If you had 15 minutes, could you come up with ten of the 100 most memorable days of your life? Your wedding day, your kids’ and grandchildren’s births, if any of those categories even apply, are in a whole separate category of awesomeness.
As someone with over 26,000 days (yes, that’s 72 x 365 and change) on this good green earth, I have seven that come immediately to mind (in chronological order).
One, my first date at 19 with Hannah Kraai at a fall dance at Severance Gym at the College of Wooster; it seemed like no one else was in that crowded gym that night,
Two, floating down the Salt River on tubes on a September Saturday with my Arizona State guys in the dorm, Rich, Steve, Art, and Nobes, loudly singing the Marseillaise (French national anthem),
Three, learning Robyn had a 90% chance of recovery after her leukemia diagnosis at the age of four (she’s now 38!),
Four, Molly and Tip’s wedding,
Five, Donna Ellis introducing us to the spiritual community Unity,
Six, climbing to Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park with Hannah, and
Seven, Will and Laurel’s wedding.
We love our weddings. And today we have another one! Our family friend of 31 years, Brandon Kyker is marrying Ashley on the grounds at the Biltmore Estate. Their wedding will be outdoors followed by a casual reception at the Salvage Station, a onetime salvage yard for old cars, odd trucks, and metal of all sizes. How cool is that! The answer: Very cool!
There were many building blocks to our friendship with Brandon. I met his dad, Big Steve, when we were undergrads at Arizona State University in Tempe.
He from Virginia and I from Jersey were a part of a group of five who were on our own each weekend when the other guys in the dorm, who lived locally in Arizona, left for home. We had a lot of time on our hands on weekends (see #2 above).
Moving back to Virginia, Big Steve made sure his family came to Maine every summer. Hauling a 24’ trailer with their GMC Yukon, Steve and Amelia with Brandon and his kid brother Justin fit right in on Chases Pond Road, playing cards and doing some heavy lifting (for example stacking wood with us). Then, the Kykers always went on to camp at Acadia National Park. Relentless in their commitment to our friendship, they usually brought friends of their boys along for these ten day road trips.
We met Ashley when she came come with Brandon and his friend Vbo to Maine in late December. Staying with us for the overnight in York on December 30, they were on a mission to wake up very early January first in Bar Harbor to be the first ones to greet the New Year sunrise on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park; which legend has it is the first place the sun hits American soil each morning.
Back to the wedding at hand. Since showers are in the forecast today, a white wedding tent is set up on the front lawn of the Inn at the Biltmore. Though overcast, the rain holds off and 25 minutes later Brandon and Ashley are husband and wife.