Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


What a lovely wedding - beautiful setting, beautiful couple, my hard, cynical heart is a bit melted around the edges at all that sweetness. Don't worry, I get to go to work tomorrow, it'll be cold and flinty again in no time. ;-)

By Blogger Catherine, at 9:12 PM  

Looks like you had a wonderful weekend. You and your niece are both lucky to have each other. And weddings are such fun. :)

Like you, I love this part of the country. Wherever I travel, I'm always happy to come back.

By Blogger cathy, at 9:12 PM  

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008  

I was never blessed with a daughter, but I have been blessed with many nieces and cousins who have spent summers at Bess' Girls Camp, as BD likes to call it. Of all the girls who've enriched my summers, my niece R spent the most time with me. From the time she was 10 till she finished high school, fat chunks of her summers were spent at TheCastle. College took her to the mid-west where a certain handsome prince swept her off to Chicago year after year till he convinced her to stay there with him. They invited us all to share in that celebration and last weekend we drove to the shores of Lake Michigan to cheer them on.

We drove, because we like to poke about the countryside in the autumn, exploring new places. Once we get through the Appalachian Mts. I suddenly realized why I have spent so many vacations up and down the east coast, but so few out west. There's no going anywhere from here unless you can make it through the mountains of West Va. And I never go there without wanting to just stop and set a spell. There's another little surprise around each bend in the mountains, each twist of a gap or river or creek bed, but you never feel like you've gotten anywhere - till you do, and then you're surprised. We made it to just past Parkersburg into southern Ohio by nightfall on Thursday and plowed our way across Indiana and southern Michigan on Friday, getting here by about 4 o'clock.

We stayed at the Gintaras resort – very 1920's lake front cabin rustic - though with a gorgeous lawn

and chamber of commerce scenery for a ceremonial backdrop.

Most of the guests were staying there or at other nearby inns so we had a chance to play, to socialize, and to help with last minute chores. TheQueen and her prince were the only members of the geezer generation to actually swim in the lake, but we were also the first ones to dive in at all.

Was it cold you ask? Yes. The first 15 seconds were a fiery torture that swiftly blossomed into a feeling I can only imagine is something close to how it feels to be a seal. A sort of oneness with cold and wet. Exhilarating. Besides, no river rat like me is going to get that close to that much clear water and not dive in.
The rest of the Haile family, the part that wasn't pressed into decorating duty, was content to feed the gulls,

after a certain someone wise in the ways of outdoor play showed them how.

Everything about the wedding was just wonderful. Beautiful bride and handsome groom
loving family
interesting friends.

The event was made all the more delightful by having your room within walking distance from the reception so that, say, one could deal with the spill on the front of one's blouse –
or not. (glad it wasn't wine I spilled all over myself)
I wanted, very much, to be able to say I got in a second swim the day after the wedding, but it had gotten chillier over the weekend and we wanted to be on our way. We had those West Virginia mountains to deal with again. Threading our way through little towns sprinkled along highways and byways of what used to be the western part of Virginia, I felt I could live in any one of them in Ohio or western Maryland (we went home a more northerly route). I would need a broader vista than real mountains offer to be able to settle in PA or WVA. But truly, all of the states I visited have their charms and make me proud to be American.

Nonetheless, east or west, home is best. That's where I am now and I plan to stay here the rest of the day. Tomorrow – well. I'll think about that, tomorrow. At Tara.

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posted by Bess | 2:20 PM