Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Honeymoon teamwork in the Treehouse

I’m grateful to live in an age when without blinking an eye two women can ask to spend their honeymoon in our treehouse. Younger readers may take such a thing for granted, but years ago there was a fair chance that a hotel or B&B wouldn’t accept an unmarried couple of any sexual orientation. Gays or lesbians would have to present themselves as friends and would be given a room with two beds.

            But not anymore. When Sarah reserved the Treehouse with her new wife Sommer, we had a nice flower arrangement waiting for them and a half-bottle of champagne in the refrigerator. No worries about champagne—they brought a full bottle of their own. We welcomed them with hugs and congratulations.

            H and I are planning the wedding of our older boy, so I picked the brains of these experienced event planners, taking notes as they spoke about their nuptials. They’ve been together for six years and spent a year and a half sorting out the details of the Big Day, a country-elegant ceremony and party for nearly fifty guests in Sarah’s mom’s back yard, just down the road here in Lincoln. They coordinated outfit colors (they both wore white dresses, and the attendants wore coral), food (plenty with lots left over), decorations (they made their own tikki torches), flowers (they won bouquets in a silent auction), tent with tables and chairs (they knew someone), music (the same someone), and even a flowery arbor (with help from Sarah’s mom) to stand under as they exchanged their vows. All great ideas we’ll consider as we approach our son’s wedding.

            Sarah is ebullient and petite and wears her hair in a chin-length bob. Sommer is willowy with a mane of curly locks and irresistible sky-blue eyes. Both in their late twenties, I imagine these two smart and creative young women putting their heads together through cold winter evenings as they worked on their wedding. One of their guest favors was disks cut from thick birch branches to use as coasters with their initials and the wedding date stamped into the wood. While Sommer hammered in the numbers and letters, Sarah shaded them in with a graphite pencil. Teamwork seems to be the mantra for this duo.

On Saturday they needed all the teamwork they could muster when a surprise storm popped up at Fern Forest. Dark angry clouds scuttled across the sky, and the wind came on with a ferocious strength, bending over trees and turning their leaves inside out. The howling sounded like a tornado, a rarity here in Vermont. When I went out to cover the Adirondack chairs because rain had started pelting down, gusts nearly lifted me off my feet. I had to decide whether to run to the treehouse to scoop up the newlyweds and bring them into the house, or to save myself.

At the same time, Sarah had felt the treehouse swaying precariously. The house is bolted to four strong maples, and it moves when the trees move. The wind was so strong that those trees were doing a salsa dance. When she yanked Sommer from the treehouse, Sommer grabbed their little cooler with the champagne (well, why not?), and they dashed for the main house. Adventuresome gals that they are, they sat on the covered deck, sipped their bubbly, and watched nature carry on like a banshee.

Supercell storms like that one go by fast, leaving us without power in their wake. Luckily, we have a generator. When the rain and wind subsided, the pair drove down the hill to their house to check on their cat and then retreated again to the treehouse, which hadn’t sustained any damage. Nothing rattles these two—not storms, and certainly not planning a wedding gala.

During their three days with us we talked about ceremonies, decorating, and feeding four dozen guests in the most efficient and gracious way. There was no mention of the fact that they were two women on their honeymoon. And what difference does it make? Having been married to a guy for nearly three decades, however, I gave them a bit of marital advice. Gender doesn’t matter, but there surely will be storms. And when they come, remember the three most important F-words in any relationship: Fun, Forgiveness, and—well—you know.

Best wishes to you, Sarah and Sommer, and may you have a long and happy life together.



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