Friday, December 23, 2016

Song for a Winter's Night

          Winter's solstice has just passed. Christmas Eve is drawing near, with year's end close at hand. It gives me pause to remember Gretta and let the lyrics of a Gordon Lightfoot song speak to me one more time before I contemplate the future.

internet image

First and last verses of
"Song For A Winter's Night"
Gordon Lightfoot
The lamp is burnin' low upon my table top
The snow is softly falling
The air is still in the silence of my room
I hear your voice softly calling

If I could only have you near
To breathe a sigh or two
I would be happy just to hold the hands I love
On this winter night with you 
And to be once again with you

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Little Surprise on Wedding Day

Gretta's smile was like a magnet.

Preface: It’s been a tough year in losing Gretta, but a big part of my therapy is to remember the good times and happy times. I’ve decided to share some funny moments in this blog and in the next few to come. We liked to laugh, but Gretta had a rule that I couldn’t tell her anything funny if she had any food or drink in her mouth, because she didn’t want to choke.

So here’s the first of a few anecdotes:

A Little Surprise on Wedding Day
by Gregory E. Larson
Greg and Gretta’s Wedding day – February 7th, 2004
St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
Mission, Kansas

           With five minutes to go before the bride’s procession, brothers Dan, Tim, and I were in the side chapel at St. Michael’s. The priest said it was our holding pen until he came in and gave us the high sign. Excited and nervous, I looked around the small, modern room that was designed in a style similar to Frank Lloyd Wright’s - a very different space than the big, traditional sanctuary that awaited us.

          I spied a pedestal with a sleek, ceramic bowl, and picked it up to inspect the piece of art. As I tipped the bottom up to see if it was signed by the artist, I was rudely greeted with a whoosh of water cascading down the front of my black suit.

          Tim had an incredulous look on his face. “What are you doing?”

          Dan exclaimed, “Holy Water!” Then we all laughed.

          I put the bowl back on its pedestal and we quickly mopped up the water with some tissues, leaving the soggy mess under the chairs. Immediately the priest knocked on the door and said it was time to go.

          That’s when I understood why people wore black clothing to formal occasions. It hides accidents. We walked out to stand in front of all the family and friends seated before us, and my smiling bride began her walk down the aisle from the rear of the church as the organ music swelled and filled the sanctuary.

          The ceremony was a happy occasion (the black suit dried quickly), and Gretta was all smiles. At the end, we proceeded out of the sanctuary, toward fellowship hall for food and music. I noticed the church custodian in the narthex and motioned for Gretta to wait just a moment. I leaned over to the custodian, and spoke in a hushed and nonchalant manner, “Oh, I noticed some tissues on the floor in the chapel. Some kids must have been playing there. You might want to check it out.” I turned to Gretta and said, “Don’t ask, I’ll tell you later.”

          The reception was alive with harp music, a buffet dinner, and lots of friends and family. I realized my brothers and I were the only ones who knew about the splish-splash in the chapel — just our little secret. The wedding festivities ended and Gretta and I were full of anticipation to leave on our honeymoon to Jamaica. It wasn’t until we were driving to the airport that I told her about the incident in the chapel. That was just the beginning of many laughs we had together over the years. Holy Water! Who would have thought that I’d get an informal baptism just in the knick of time, before we said our wedding vows.