25 July 2011

Adventures in Sub-Saharan Virginia: A Wedding Story

Ah, summer.  Long days. Hit nights. Vacations. Travel. Hit nights. And hot days.  Chillaxin'.  And hot days and nights.  We all love summer, right?  What better time than to load up the car, throw the chillun in the back, and road trip out of state for family visit and a wedding!  Woot!  That is precisely what I did this past weekend.

Well, I'll tell you what would be a better time:  a road trip that doesn't start in the afternoon of one of the hottest, if not THE hottest day so far this year around these parts.  A road trip on said hot day during which the car air conditioner stops working about a half-hour into a 4-1/2 hour road trip (excluding dinner break and hopefully not getting any speeding tickets).  A road trip on which I have a nearly 7-year old daughter in the back with nothing but a Leapster to keep her occupied.

It. was. hot.  Like, hell hot.  "Hotter than the Devil's hatband" as my dad often says.  Temperatures were in the triple digits and humidity was near or at 100%.  Not to put too fine a point on it, it sucked donkeys.

I had left straight from work and in an effort to save time skipped going back home to change into shorts.  I ended up driving down the highway with my pants legs pulled all the way up to my knees, and leaning forward in my seat so I wouldn't sweat out my kidneys.  The Wee Lass usually complains about wind in her face but this time she had her window down all the way, face into the breeze blasting through the opening.  From time to time I would glance in the rear view mirror and see Her Royal Cuteness lolling around like a boneless Weeble, slumped in her booster seat with tongue hanging out.  Fortunately, I did have some water on hand, and we topped of big cups of iced tea at our dinner stop.

The drive through Virginia was, to my relief, not as bad as it could have been.  Traffic cooperated, and to her credit the Wee Lass complained almost nil.  We sang songs and looked for traffic signs.  Amazingly, we arrived at the ancestral Gumbo homestead with sanity intact, if a little soggy and wrung out.

The next day was wedding day, for my nephew (Son of Big Bro) and his fiancee.  They had planned an outdoor wedding, on the water, and the show was going to go on.  Poor things, there was no way for them to know that on their wedding day, the temperature was going to be over 100 degrees.

Did mention it was hot?  Like hell hot?

But in the end, it really wasn't that bad.  The wedding party held up well, no one fainted or threw up and the ceremony was beautiful.  My nephew is quite a handsome lad in a tux (and taller than I am!), and the bride...well...the bride was in a word, gorgeous.  Watching the two of them exchange vows, and the emotions that crossed their faces, reminded me of just how precious love is, and what we as human beings can mean to one another.  For a few minutes, the heat and the discomfort and the fatigue of travel disappeared, and we all basked in the radiance of love.

It was wonderful.  I know my Big Bro was watching from somewhere, with pride, at the joy that is his son and my nephew.  He was there, too, I think, because we carry him in our hearts.  

Later, as the newlyweds were leaving, we blew bubbles and wished them well.  Their road trip is just beginning, and it is my dearest wish that it be a long and fruitful one.

Sometimes a little adventure is what we need, to appreciate the quiet beauty of life all around us.


  1. So it was hot? Like hot, hot? Or just hot? Oh...wait. Like hell hot. Gotcha.

    Picturing you with the pants up to the knees? Well, that's a whole other sort of hot. Hawt hot. Not.

    I do love a wedding when no one throws up or faints. Because splatter pattern is icky on white satin.

    Here's to hoping they have a wonderful life together.

  2. I can attest to the heat you're talking about, being a Blacksburg native and current resident. After spending an afternoon in the sun yesterday, I'm beyond ready to kiss this summer goodbye and welcome in the cool breezes of fall.

    If you ever get the chance, come to the Blue Ridge Parkway around September or October when the leaves are changing. I promise it will be beyond worth your trouble.

    I'm new to your blog and completely addicted!



"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

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