I haven’t been blogging much other than woodworking stuff but to fail to blog about Evan’s wedding would be a fathering fail of Biblical proportion.

It was great.

But of course a few details are in order.

Because Cassie had family in Hollister, they had the wedding in Branson. As a result, family and friends who may not otherwise have made the trip actually decided to do so and make a little vacation of it. The attendance; therefore, was high.

Melissa had worked on the rehearsal with her usual gusto and the rehearsal and subsequent dinner were flawless. The ceremony and reception were at the Keeter Center on the campus of College of the Ozarks and the rehearsal dinner was at the ‘official’ hotel: The Grand Plaza. It was pretty cool to have half the entire 8th floor occupied by friends and family of everyone. Plus the breakfast buffet was open from 7 till 10 and I was up there for the entire time every day. There was always some family member or friend coming in who I could talk to.

There were many little flourishes that set the event apart and provided for memories. Melissa had printed and framed a banquet table’s worth of photos of Evan and Cassie at all ages which everyone seemed to enjoy looking at before the rehearsal dinner started and she had printed them all up into a book which was a surprise gift for them after dinner. Further, she had bought little Arkansas Razorback shirts for the flower girls and ring bearer sort of as a joke on those who were from Missouri but they were well received (one of them was seen the next day at the outlet mall wearing it). I had made their wedding cake topper for them (Han Solo and Princess Leia) which also brought many positive comments.

Melissa had prompted certain people to prepare some remarks to give after dinner; a few were funny stories but most were sentimental feelings delivered with voices choked with emotion. It was a good experience all around.

It was a rainy weekend but Saturday afternoon was clear and sunny for the wedding and reception; after that none of us cared about what happened with the weather. Good thing too since it started raining cats and dogs early Sunday morning and never really stopped. We left on Monday at mid-day and it was still rainy although as we got back into Oklahoma, the rains stopped and it got back to the usual August 100 degree temperature.

After Evan and Cassie left, we struggled with what to do under the rainy conditions. The shopping venues were mobbed as if it were Black Friday. We ended up braving the crowds at the outlet mall and then going to one of the little-known shows with Mel’s sister and my brother (plus spouses and Erin). This bit of dinner theater proved sufficiently entertaining to make it worth doing and we got a very good souvenir photo out of it. One of those goofy ones.

A hundred little things happened to make the weekend memorable. I look forward to having Cassie as a daughter-in-law. I will leave them alone for as long as I can to allow them to get used to their lives together. I look forward to the future.

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Saturday was the day for Cassie to graduate and since we had not yet met her family, we chose to go over there and attend the ceremony and meet the parents.  And grandparents.

That all went well and we feel better for having met them.  We then drove down to Steve’s near Winslow to spend the night.  It isn’t that far back home but his farm is so pleasant we hated not to turn down an invitation.  Now that his house is truly complete, he’s turned to a more active use of the land and has a small number of cows and some chickens.

We took walks around the property which was pleasant enough for me but, to a land owner, is necessary to make sure that all the fences are still up and in good order.  A cow with a strong enough will can make short work of a fence.  We also fished in the pond for awhile.  Trips there are always more relaxing that a weekend at a B&B so we try to take advantage whenever we’re invited.

Mother’s Day was spent in driving home.

All this week, Erin has been in Washington DC and while her twitter feed has been pretty sparse, the other kids on the trip have inadvertently kept us up to date.

Well this holiday was quite a time – we have a new fiancé’ in the family after all. We only got to see Cassie when they came over after Christmas to get her ring sized at the jewelry store but that was enough. We had bought tickets to see Mannheim Steamroller and we all went although we were all a bit underwhelmed. Still, we got out of the house and that was worth something – we had not really done much of that up until that point. Too many college bowl games perhaps.

I had good intentions for doing something productive during the break but apart from taking down the Christmas decorations, I can’t point to much of anything. I did go out into the garage and run some wood through the surface planer but I have much more to do. I decided that our Christmas tree is ridiculously old (I can remember buying it when the kids were still preschoolers) and that I would put it out on the curb (after the mountain of other trash that has accumulated because they only come once a week during the largest trash-generating week of the year. Not that I’m bitter. )

But at least, that’s one thing I will not have to drag back up into the attic. I think I’ll start replacing all my lights with LEDs as well so that should be fun. One day I’d like to figure out a way to make it easy to put up the lights outside but I haven’t come up with anything yet.

I have had to sit on this news because I sort of knew it was in the works but now the truth can come out.  This is the biggest Evan-related news since he was born:  he is now engaged to be married to Cassie.  I am really excited – I feel like I’m getting a new daughter.  One who is already grown up!
He recently (December 1) asked us some questions about diamonds and where he might be advised to do his shopping. But on Friday, the 14th, he popped the question.