Georgia Wedding Weekend

post date: April 24, 2009

We have come to Rome, Georgia, a beautiful town about an hour northwest of Atlanta, nestled into the rolling hills that will become the Smoky Mountains up around Gatlinburg, further north into Tennessee and North Carolina.

We’ve gathered for Dave McKee’s wedding. We have known Dave and his family for a long time, partly because they attended the church in Oak Park but even more because Dave spent a good part of his high school years at our house. He hung out with Josh and Mark in the basement where they played video games and generally carried on as boys do, emerging only to raid the refrigerator. Yesterday in connection with something or other, Marlene commented that raising three boys meant two things–noise and food. And we had plenty of both, all the time.

So Dave is not only a friend but he is like a member of the family. When Mark and Vanessa got married in 2007, he was in the wedding in California. So when Dave and Laura Kate got engaged, they asked me to perform the ceremony, which is being held at the Berry College Chapel in Rome. Mark will be the best man. Just a few moments ago Mark called to say that he and Vanessa had arrived in Atlanta and as soon they picked up the tux, they were driving to Rome. Nick will be here late tonight. Josh and Leah will fly in from Dallas tomorrow morning.

It’s a wedding plus an all-too-rare moment when our family will be together. In life you go through stages, and we are now in the stage where we know that we’ll all be together for only a few days each year. I know that some families end up living relatively close together. I would be happy if that happens, but you can’t count on it, so here we are in northern Georgia, gathering to launch Dave and Laura Kate on their lifetime journey together and to celebrate seeing our friends and to enjoy being together as a family.

Meanwhile there are practical realities to attend to. I packed my own bag yesterday, something I generally don’t do because I wait until the last minute and then forget something. Marlene went shopping an hour ago and called me from the mall to ask a simple question. Did I remember to pack a tie? No, but I did remember my black shoes that go with my suit. Just as I typed those words, Marlene returned with a tie plus a few other items.

What else? It’s hot here in Georgia, hotter than normal for April, and it’s beautiful, a great weekend for a wedding. 

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Ray Pritchard
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