View from the Barnyard

A Tale of Two Weddings: Carli Olson and Nathan Grace, Jonathan Moe and Ashley VanDenOever

Why does it always seem like weeks will pass by with nothing to do and then you have two weddings you want to attend (on the same day), and you have to make the decision which one has the highest priority. Such was my dilemma on June 22 when my cousin Carli and Cole’s childhood, lifelong friend, Jonathan Moe, were both tying the knot. I so hoped I could squeeze in both ceremonies, but with only an hour apart, I knew even Pam Greene couldn’t drive fast enough to get me there.
Georgia, her daughter, Jody, Esther and I shared a room at the Clubhouse Suites by Johnny Carrino’s. I can’t say enough good praises for the hotel. Elegant with a fireplace in the front room for guests to eat, a cozy library (which I used early Sunday to read in.) I would recommend it to everyone – they even had gold labels on the toilet tissue rolls. Most impressive!

Carli and step-mom Jill Olson

I found out why they say the phrase “Something Borrowed.” I prepared to dress up and forgot to pack any underwear. I turned and asked Esther if they sell undies at the Dollar Store? “Wait,” I said. “I’ll call Pam and have her stop at Walmart”. This is the sign of a true friend – Jody stepped forward and said, “You can wear a pair of mine.” I asked if they were used. Jody was aghast, “No! And Dee, I don’t want them back.” Since Jody works at the Pentagon, I’ll send them to her there and shake some soda on them. That will spice up their official lives.
I was like a cat on a hot tin roof waiting for Pam to pick us up because I had the ultimate prank to play on her. My outfit was a colorful tribal two-piece outfit with a flowing skirt. Well, I put on just the top which barely covered my butt and I asked Pam to come to our room to see if my outfit would be O.K. (I bet the others she would be too nice to say anything.) Pam entered – took one look (remember the cartoon characters whose eyes bug out, fall on the floor then snap back in their sockets?). I calmly said, “Georgia thinks it’s too short,” so I twirled around. Pam ever so carefully said, “Dee, I agree with Georgia. I could see your butt when you turned around. (He-he-he.) Jody sent a picture to Janet and she commented, “If she wears that, she deserves whatever she gets.” Cruel, so cruel!
Carli’s wedding was at the Minnehaha Country Club, and the green grass with the circle of white chairs with the altar in the middle was picture perfect. The sky looked ominous, and we held our breath that the rain would hold off. We arrived at the same time with Grandma Evelyn and Arvid. Evelyn in her 80s is still one classy lady with the ability to put together the perfect outfit.
Colors for the day were black with hot pink accents. Our row of women were teary-eyed when we saw Carli and her dad, Craig, coming down the lawn together. The other important moment we were awaiting was seeing Janet Eining in a dress. She figured it was 1976 the last year she wore one. The bride and bridesmaids did an admirable job of maneuvering in their heels in the grass.
The only thing that put a damper on the ceremony was the sound system kept cutting out on their voices and crackling. I wanted to yell over and tell Garth (Mr. Fix-all) to run up the hill and do it for them. Carli proved she was no bridezilla, and she and Nathan laughed it off. When the music continued to crackle, Carli lifted her hand and made a slice, which effectively told the sound people to zip it. Carli and Nathan’s actual vows were so heartfelt, it reduced many of us to tears.
We returned to the clubhouse for beverages and we missed a picture perfect moment when we watched Craig and Jill coming up the hill in a golf cart. (Craig was hanging on the back like an old-time carriage driver.)
The reception was marvelous fun with fabulous food. (I’ve never seen a mountain of lettuce and toppings before). It was proven to Jody Bennett that even though you’re 38 years old, you can still be chewed out by someone’s mom. Doug Olson wondered if we always traveled in a pack. (Yes, we’re like wolves.) There’s always one attendant who has a raunchy speech with too much info (he should have been “gonged”), we had the minister at the next table. I ran across Casey (Wheeler) Miller and commented on her new baby’s name, Ridley Kiyanne. I said, “Like cayenne pepper? Are you going to name the next one tumeric?” (If they had 10 more kids, she and Bud could go through the spice rack.) I got a verbal tongue lashing, which I no doubt deserved. It made me giggle.
After the first dances, Garth and Sarah squired me over to the Washington Pavillion to Jonathan and Ashley’s party, only to discover that the sign, “WHS-2003” meant Washington High School reunion. Oops! It was at the Holiday Inn.
Jonathan’s dance was in full swing and I got my groove on during the dollar dance, (Jonathan owns the moves). A little boy was taking our picture and I wanted a copy, but Jonathan said, “That’s my nephew, he doesn’t have film.” Darn! I was so happy that Cole made it from Atlanta in time to stand up for Jonathan. His flight took him through Chicago (cancellation and delay) and he made it just in time for the last pictures. Whew! I hung out for awhile and was enjoying re-connecting with old friends when Cole turned to me and said, “O.K., I’m gonna start hitting on chicks, you’ll have to leave.” That’s my boy!
Best wishes to all,
Dee Baby
P.S. Carli and Nathan’s picture will have to wait. I have included the picture of Carli and Jill (step-mom) – the person we all wanted to make it to wedding the most.

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