Yes, this is us, 31 years ago today with my mother and Gus's parents. Being the nature girl that I was, we were married outside under the trees at an old Mansion in New England that has since burned down. I made my wedding gown and veil, picked wildflowers for my bouquet, and wore ballerina slippers for shoes since I always wanted to be a ballerina but didn't have the training or the body for it. Otherwise, I would have gone barefoot!
Our wedding was the first wedding Gus had ever been too. It was raining that day in New England except for a sunny ribbon right across the upper half of Connecticut, where our wedding took place. When the reception was over we picked up all the loose envelopes from our gifts, got into Gus' VW bug, and drove north. I opened the envelopes while Gus drove to see how far we could go for our honeymoon. We had over $500, which was a ton of money in 1977, so we headed to Bar Harbor, Maine after stopping in Massachusetts and Freeport, Maine along the way. There, we spent two nights in Hinckly's Dreamwood Motor Court, which amazingly is still there today. Perhaps someday we will go back and retrace our honeymoon trip which lasted 5 days before we returned to our new life.
On the day we returned from our honeymoon we stopped by that old mansion to see some friends. One of my "friends" was a big old maple tree that grew at the edge of the property. I named the tree Methuselah, since he was so old. His huge tree arms use to reach down towards the ground where I would swing up onto his branches and clamber into the center of the tree, which was like a little room. In the summer his leafy branches provided shade that cooled me, in the autumn he was ablaze with color. Methuselah was my solace and refuge whenever I was sad, angry, lonely, or even happy. I would sit up in the center of his arms and scan the Connecticut country side, or watch chipmunks scampering about on the stonewall beneath. The day of my wedding I thought of going to say good-bye to Methuselah and climb him one last time, for I knew I was changing from a child to an adult. However, I didn't go see my old pal. Now, as I stood on the Mansion property I looked in horror at Methuselah and I new I would never be able to climb him again. While we were gone on our honeymoon a strong storm blew through, knocking old Methuselah to the ground. He lay in pieces across the wide expanse of the lawn and already work had begun to saw him up into firewood. The winds of nature may have knocked him down, but I always thought Methuselah died of a broken heart.