Erin and Jason met at a Fall River city council meeting. They love their city, friends describe them as champions of the underdog and they are two of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. I experienced their kindness first hand, but over-hearing stories their friends told painted a descriptive picture of their generosity and compassion. Hell, when Erin learned vendors working at The Plimouth Plantation weren’t allowed to have the lobster mac n’ cheese and filet she tried to give me hers. And when a late shuttle bus pushed everything back she apologized to all of her guests as she walked down the aisle towards Jason. These two were wonderful to be around, and I’m so glad I could even attempt to make a record of what it’s like to know them. Congratulations!
Two weeks ago The Wall Street Journal sent me to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital to visit with victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. I met Beth Roche who watched her daughter cross the finish line just before the first blast severely damaged her left leg. Beth is hoping she’ll be able to go home soon, but when I was there she was still waiting on another surgery and more rehab. Beth talked to us openly about her injury and what she is going through, but the only time she got emotional was when she talked about her new friends and the difficult challenges they are facing. She considers herself lucky. She also knows just how difficult her recovery will continue to be. “When it gets tough you go minute by minute, not day by day,” Beth said.
I met Caitlin and Courtland for the first time at the engagement session. I’m always amazed how after a few hours two strangers feel much more like friends. Starting with drinks and ending with sore feet is a great way to get to know people. Visiting the locations significant to a college courtship also helps. Can’t wait for Caitlin and Courtland’s wedding in September!
Tyler wasn’t sure if the new wedding ring would affect his guitar playing. He serenaded Kate at their reception and based on Kate’s happy tears I’m guessing it didn’t make much a difference. The sky was blue and there was a comfortable chill in the air that day. The distance between the church and their reception at Linden Place was close enough that a parade of family and friends followed them on foot from the First Congregational Church. The whole day was really beautiful. Congratulations, Kate and Tyler!
Our nephew Jacobi is learning to spell. He definitely knows his letters. With a little help he was able to write everyone’s name at our Mother’s Day bar-b-que on Sunday. He was even able to write C-H-A-N-N-I-N-G. You can see it just below his toes. And his hand-writing is almost as good as mine.
Shannon told Jason she was going to make her own dress. She even had a busted-up decoy hanging in the closet. She would occasionally talk about how difficult it is to make your own gown, and in the mean time she had selected a beautiful (professionally-made) dress to surprise him with at the alter. But even professionally-made wedding dresses aren’t always the easiest to get into. Shannon said she felt like she was being “burritoed” as she put it on. Both Shannon and Jason had great senses of humor. Jason walked into the Willowdale Estate and said he just had the perfect last bachelor meal: meatloaf with extra sauce from Boston Market. With that these two were ready to get married. Neither of them were looking forward to being the center of attention. That’s not an uncommon sentiment among the couples I work with. Which got me thinking how much more comfortable everyone would be if they had a dog like Boo to calm their nerves. Boo would make a great wedding-day therapy dog.
Zev contacted me well in advance to invite Brooke and I to his and Maureen’s Mexico wedding. Zev is also a wedding photographer (a very talented one) and knows our calendars fill up quickly. He also specifically told me not to bring my camera. I appreciate the sentiment, but I promptly ignored him. However, I did bring one camera instead of three, and I brought one lens instead of five. I try to force myself to have my camera at the grocery store, so I wasn’t leaving it at home while I was in Tulum.
Maureen and Zev know how to plan a wedding and take care of their guests. Although our default was idling on the beach, we also joined in on freshwater cave snorkeling, morning yoga, and salsa dancing lessons that Maureen and Zev setup for us. But the best part was the honor of being invited to their intimate wedding and being there when they made a big commitment in a small circle of family and friends.
My parents live outside Charlotte. Both their children and grandchildren live in Massachusetts and have never lived in Charlotte. We get to spend a week in Emerald Isle, NC with them, and since my sister and I married Yankees that means the best chance for everyone to spend Christmas morning together is if Mom and Dad come north. What I’m doing here is trying to convince myself that I’m not a bad son for letting more than four years go by since last visiting my parent’s house. Even if we see them two or three times a year it must be nice as a parent to have your children under your roof even if it was never theirs. Worse yet, my reason for being in North Carolina was to attend a workshop. I added on an extra couple of days to go to the NASCAR Hall of Fame with my mom and smoke some ribs with my dad, but I’ve got some catching up to do if I expect to be a contender for Son of the Year.
I love starting engagement sessions in people’s homes. When you’re trying to make pictures meaningful and intimate it sure helps when that is present in every part of the frame. Kate and Alec live in Coolidge Corner, so after steeling our nerves with a beer we ventured out to explore their neighborhood. I don’t think they were trying to kill me when they took me up Summit Avenue. Regardless, I survived the steep ascent, and the pictures we took along the way were some of my favorites. My time with these two was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait for Kate and Alec’s wedding in October.
For 10 years now I’ve lived in relentlessly cold climates. I’ve heard from others about winter hobbies and their importance to get through months of ice and darkness. But I never implemented what I learned from those with snowshoes. Hunkering down and returning to the human race once you remember what grass looks like is easy to let happen. But this year I got winter hobbies, and I have to say the past few months have been pretty easy. I joined a basketball camp (yes, like the one middle schoolers go to but for adults). I also signed up for improv classes. With both these activities I learned there was an extreme lack of play in my life. I’m not just talking about relaxing or hanging out. I’m talking about losing self-awerness to live a little more viscerally.
This isn’t all to say I’m not ready for spring. As soon as it hits 55 degrees I’ll be outside working on my first sunburn. Believe that.