Sunday, October 19, 2008

Love Story, Part Six

Part the First
Part the Second
Part the Third
Part the Fourth
Part the Fifth

So you remember we were on the plane, en route to New York, right? Well, here we are, later that same day (in the same clothing, note), entering the front door of PR's childhood home... be greeted by shouts of "Surprise!" from all his high school, church and theater friends! (As soon as I could, I excused myself to the bathroom--to put in my contacts!)

They were all there, jam-packed into the diminutive living room, all eager to meet me and kiss me soundly on both cheeks. It's an East Coast/Jewish custom which was unfamiliar to this Ohio farm girl…but no one seemed to notice, and I was thrilled to meet all his New York friends. They showered us with gifts, and told me hilarious stories about his most embarrassing high school moments. We are still in touch with some who were at that party.

We toured New York with his parents, who know the city like I know the interior of my '94 Plymouth Grand Voyager, saw a show on Broadway (Lend Me A Tenor), attended the church of his junior high/high school years, and even visited his high school, where I met one of his favorite former teachers. Every person I met, every place we went, taught me more about the man I was marrying...and confirmed my adoring opinion!

Then it was on to the Ohio farm and the finalizing of wedding plans. PR approved the invitation and napkin choices...the pattern for the bridesmaid's dresses...what else? Oh, we registered for wedding gifts at a department store, and THAT was eye-opening. He was far more opinionated than I thought the groom should be! However, his classic tastes saved us from some mauve floral dishes which would be "so 80's" now, so I was ultimately very grateful.

I had a dress fitting, too. I had decided to wear my mother’s dress, which my grandmother had made for her. But it needed alteration, and we had decided to restyle the boxy waistline and add a bit more lace and pearl trim to the sleeves while we were at it. It was coming along beautifully.

Then all too soon it was back to school for the fall semester, and for me, student teaching.

But first, we had to go "Up the Tower," sign our names (along with Billy and Ruth Bell Graham's) and ring the bell, three sets of seven times, to announce our engagement!

Many friends went up with us and celebrated with us afterward at the off-campus house where PR had lived. His landlord (who lived on the main level of the house) was a gourmet chef and put out a wonderful spread. It was a great party. (And it was actually in the spring, a few weeks after our Palm Sunday engagement, but I got ahead of myself and left it out. So we'll just include it here, with all the other parties, 'kay?)

Later that semester, my bridesmaids threw me a surprise lingerie shower--oo la la! Here I am with one of the tamer gifts:

(If you can't make out the title, it's called Nice Girls Do.)

On my right is one of my bridesmaids, who is now a missionary in Hungary, and to her right is the professor's wife who, together with her husband, did our marriage counseling that same fall (and whose daughter just visited our church a couple Sundays ago, as I mentioned here). She's such a wonderful lady.

Selecting my bridesmaids had been an easy decision. I have no sisters, so the obvious choice for my maid of honor was my roommate of three years. Yep, we had been thrown together as freshmen and had never had a fight. (I still stop and see her sometimes when I pass through her hometown in Indiana!)

And I had been in a weekly Bible study/prayer group for all of sophomore and junior year with three other girls, who had prayed me through the whole break-up with Mr. Pre-Law and who had been there through the whole PR saga. Here we are together:

Their bridesmaids' dresses were being sewn by a professor's wife, but I went home one weekend that fall for another dress fitting and a shower that my mother planned. All the ladies from the First Baptist Church, who had known me since I was in the nursery, gave me their blessings and lovely gifts. On one hand, I think none of us believed I was old enough to be getting married, and on the other, it seemed like being welcomed to the Married Ladies' Club!

My final shower was given by the teacher who was supervising me for my student teaching experience. My fourth graders all thought it was so remarkable that I was engaged, so she organized a recipe shower for me so that they could all participate in wishing me joy. And I still refer to certain little recipe cards in 4th graders' best handwriting!

Before I knew it, student teaching was over, my friends were all studying for finals, and it was time to kiss PR goodbye for a week-long separation. I was heading home to Ohio for the lastest, finalest preparations--and then, our wedding!


And here ends the love story--for at least a week. We are in the final throes of painting, tiling and carpeting a new basement guest suite, and preparing for a big weekend with family in town for a service of blessing for Bantam13. On his actual birthday, we were days away from moving--so we're celebrating on his "half birthday"!

Once the drywall dust has settled, I plan to assemble shelves and unpack the final boxes into my newly carved out storage room--and y'all can pray that our WEDDING ALBUM shows up then....


Meridith @ The Road Less Traveled said...

What fun memories!!!

I found your blog on the LWG Blogroll and I'm really excited about connecting with other Christian women...

Off to read more of your blog!!

Islandsparrow said...

This has been fun to read Jeanne - What a nice custom to ring the tower bell. You make me remember all my showers and the best wishes and love from so many. I was practice teaching too and had a shower from a group of little grade 5's - their notes are hilarious!

Amy said...

Loving the pics . . . can't wait for you to 'find' your wedding album!


squarepegintoaroundhole said...

Love the love story - thanks for sharing! We've both really enjoyed it.

And thanks for the tag - mine's finally up.