This past weekend our youngest son, Nicky, married Faye, a woman all of our family adores.

There was a reception for out of town guests on Thursday at Joyride Brewery. The 32–person wedding was in our backyard Friday night and the reception for 150 was Saturday night at The Holiday Theatre. It was wonderful but there was a point where I felt I either was wearing too many hats or needed a few more heads.

Host Hat: we spent months fussing with the gardens; tubers hibernating over the winter were planted in spring and by the time of the wedding we had large, tropical looking elephant ear plants growing on the path where the bride was going to make her entry; there were vines of wisteria, hops and morning glories we needed to weave over the garden gate arch, etc. There was a catered dinner to coordinate, a bar to tend and a million questions to answer on the wedding day.

Officiant Hat: it was my privilege to “preside” over the wedding itself; to carefully prepare a ceremony that would ring true for our family including my ex-wife and her husband.

Father Hat: I was two feet away from my son and daughter-in-law sharing their beautiful, thoughtful vows and tears with each other. But I really couldn’t be the blubbery mess that his siblings and other parents could be since I would still need to be able to complete my sentences.

Grandfather Hat: This was the trickiest one since when the grandkids show up I am usually fair game and not wearing a lot of other hats. After the ceremony, the newlyweds retreated to the upstairs loft to sign the marriage license and then have some time alone before joining the party. As I was coming down the stairs after signing the marriage license and on a mission to make requested adult beverages for the couple, the youngest (7) and most precocious grandchild appeared on the stairs going up.

“Where are you going, Honey?”

“I want to see Nicky and Faye.”

“You can see them soon, but right now they just want to have a little time alone and together.”

“Alone and together is a contradiction”, she said as she was angling to get past me.

“What I mean Honey, is they don’t want to see you right now, or anyone else.” She had done a quick about-face after “don’t want to see you” and before “or anyone else.”

Failure Hat: I thought I’d just crushed the spirit of a tender one, no matter how precocious and strong-willed. I tried to reconnect with her during the night but she wasn’t having it.

Cleanup Hat: After 32 people leave, there is a mess even if they are not particularly messy people.

Set-up Hat: Saturday morning getting ready for the big party at the Holiday that night.

Grateful Parent Hat: Seeing how much our five kids adore each other despite having gone through a divorce; listening to our son Chris give a hilarious and moving toast to his newly married brother; seeing our kids and friends dancing with my sister in her wheelchair.

Exhausted Pastor and Highlands Church Member Hat: I told staff not to count on me at the 9:00 service but Leanne and I got to soak in God’s goodness together at the 10:30.

Husband of Newly Retired Wife Hat: I’m going to enjoy this one. Monday we went for a long walk and talk without having to rush and get ready for work, went out for brunch at our favorite greasy spoon then to the afternoon matinee (air-conditioned) of Crazy Rich Asians.

Brother–In–Law Hat: Widowed three years ago from a wife he cherished, Leanne’s brother is getting married this weekend in South Dakota. That will be the last of five weekend weddings in a row I’ve had.

Smart Aleck Hat: I’m glad everybody is falling in love, but all at the same time people?

Nothing But Love,