With arms outstretched...

Compartment 14B

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Toot, toot!

2004-08-24 - 1:00 p.m.

Wuh-oh. It looks as though I’ve been slacking. I’ll take my lunch hour and catch you all up at least partly on my trip.

First of all, yesterday? Tired. Very tired. Four days of sleeping on air mattresses and futons, in rooms with other people and two cats and various midnight noisemakers trooping through, do not a rested Shawna make. Not to mention that I came straight to work when my plane touched down. That having been said, I really did appreciate the hospitality and looking back I have to say that spending those days together preparing for the wedding really did give me a sense of familiarity with the other guests and added a lot to the enjoyment of the wedding itself. Staying at the house, sharing tasks and eating meals with everyone was a great way to get to know people and it wouldn’t have been the same experience without it.

When I had originally offered to go and help with the setup, I had assured the bride and groom that, having gone through it myself a year ago, I’d be a handy person to have around. I further added that I was a pretty dab hand with flowers and decorating. So I wasn’t surprised, really, to be put in charge of all the site decorations when I arrived.


When you arrive at a wedding site two days before the event and discover yourself to be put in charge of all the site decorations, you might have the underlying assumption that you will be handed a bunch of stuff and told, “Here they are, put them up this way,” or even given some creative license with a, “Put them up however you see fit.”

Do you expect to be told, “I’d really like it if you could use flowers from my garden and my neighbour has a garden you can use as well.”? No supplies, no specific flowers, no containers to put flowers in, not even a theme or a colour scheme.

I took a day to take inventory both in the garden and the house, and another ˝ day to plan, design and get approval from the bride, then one full day of actual physical execution of my vision. I will totally toot my own horn here, the place just rocked. I am totally proud of what I pulled off and all I had to have them pick up for me in town was a $2 roll of fine wire.

Let me repeat that: using only what was on hand, I decorated the wedding ceremony site and a reception tent for 50 people on a budget of two bucks, plus a loan of some Christmas lights and two galvanized pails from a neighbour. Oh yeah, I’m the MAN. I'm Martha freakin’ Stewart without the fame, fortune or prison time.

Hopefully pictures will be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks.

More later…

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