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Column: Tying the knot

Whatever way people tie the knot, the memories last a lifetime.

“People are weird. When we find someone with weirdness compatible with ours, we team up and call it love.” – Dr. Seuss

In Canada, while December is when most couples get engaged, August is always the most popular to be married, with 23 per cent of weddings taking place that month. This statistic must be true since I’ve heard of several weddings just in the last week—and I don’t get out much. Of course, I could be noticing them more because my nephew Tyson is getting married soon. He and his fiancé Nicole are beginning their married life here on the farm, and we couldn’t be happier for them. The wedding will not be elaborate, but with an artistic array of gorgeous flowers, hand-crafted specialties created by the pretty bride, and a homemade dance floor. I know it will be a beautiful and memorable day.

When I got married 20 years ago, I kept the costs down every which way I could. I made my own cake, and with help, prepared all the fare for a tasty meal. A few folks even contributed a plate of food, most notably my Uncle Dick (of peanut butter and onion sandwich fame) who proudly carried in a brimming plate of raw, sliced onions. Who brings raw onions to a wedding feast I ask you? The ramifications of such a gift could have been nasty, but fortunately not many people eat mounds of the odorous vegetable like my uncles did.

Dear Uncle Don took all our special photos and brought his guitar to play with my new husband’s son, Todd on drums, and his wife Melanie on keyboard. Thanks to them, there was dance and merrymaking long into the night.

Some 60 years ago times were different. I don’t know much about my Godparent’s ceremony, although I imagine it was simple and straightforward. But I do recall Lois telling me about their honeymoon, when I was about 13. Strange stuff to tell a child, you may be saying, and yes, it was rather strange, but not in the way you might think. After the happy event, the couple set out for Loon Lake, Saskatchewan to spend an idyllic week camping—in the back of a grain truck. Yes indeed, once a few stray oats were swept out the back, the end gate slid in place and a canvas tarp stretched tight over the top, it was perfect. Can you imagine? Even as a youngster I was appalled by this information. But wait, the plot thickens.

Lois, the most frugal woman I’ve ever known, saw immediately that they had parked their “camper” in the midst of bushes laden with fruit. Dusky, purple saskatoons hung in great fat clumps and ruby-red raspberries were so ripe, they were dropping to the ground. She couldn’t let such bounty go to waste, and sent her new husband, Dugald, to the nearest store for a portable camp stove, sugar, jars and a huge pot. Then, they spent their mornings picking the fruit and afternoons canning it. Not everyone’s idea of a romantic getaway, but it worked for them.

However we may celebrate a wedding, each one is an expression of love and commitment, where memories are made that last a lifetime. Some wedding memories, such as the pervasive odour of onions wafting across a crowded dance floor, could just as well be forgotten, but every event is remembered for something different. Mine just happens to be bad breath.

Helen lives on the family farm near Marshall, Saskatchewan. She is a writer, columnist and works in education. To contact her, go to myprairiewool.com or write Box 55, Marshall, SK. S0M1R0