Last Wednesday afternoon I came home from running errands to discover Pat was taking off to Lynchburg at the news of a train derailment that sent tanker cars carrying crude oil into the river, setting the river itself on fire.
At some point Thursday afternoon, watching him speak to various news outlets, I couldn’t help but notice he was wearing the same clothes he had left the house in the day before. In one of our brief conversations, I asked if he had a clean shirt. No. Well, I couldn’t let my husband continue to talk to national press in the same shirt for days on end. He quickly corrected me with ‘international press, not national’. That sealed it. I packed him a bag, got Edie in the car & Lynchburg bound we were.
I’ve been asked a number of questions about what my husband does, what the impact of this event is going to be on the river. Pat is the Upper James Riverkeeper, making him the eyes and ears of the James River. He monitors and advocates for the river, working with local governments as well as multiple stakeholders from the headwaters to the fall line in Richmond, where his counterpart, Jamie, the Lower James Riverkeeper takes over. As to what the impact of this event is going to be, I honestly can’t answer that question. Pat and I didn’t talk about the event as much as we talked about the husband and wife logistics of how Edie’s orchestra concert went and whether or not he was going to make it to my cousin Mark’s wedding in Baltimore this past weekend.
The errands I was running Wednesday afternoon were wedding related – with Edie being a junior bridesmaid and Pat set to officiate the wedding – yes, officiate!- I was making sure we had outfits, accessories and shoes for the big day. I did not want to leave anything until the last minute because I knew Friday morning we were going to have to get up and hit the road. Rehearsal was at 6 pm and I wanted us cleaned up for that.
Thursday evening, Pat called to tell me he wasn’t sure he could make it. I called Mark to give him a heads up (after first calling my friend Allison, who’s husband Peter is a priest in that area, to line up a back up plan). Friday morning, when Pat told me he just didn’t think he could make the wedding, I told him he had to call Mark and break the news himself. He said he would do that. Twenty minutes later, he was calling to see what time the ceremony was on Saturday – he was pretty sure he could get away to make that, but not the rehearsal. I’d like to think he just couldn’t tell Mark no. So Edie & I set off to Baltimore, just us girls, on the second leg of our first warm weather roadtrips of the year.
From there, it was complete and total wedding fun & madness. We stayed with my cousin Molly, sister of the groom. She and Edie girl are huge buds, so while they ran around doing bridesmaid things together, I hung with Molly’s awesome boyfriend Patrick and got some serious quality time in with the best man, Andy Friend. The weather was beautifully perfect. There was loads of family and good friends, lots of laughs, some happy tears and best of all, Pat showed up in time to perform the ceremony.
The wedding was beautiful and just as it was wrapping up there was a quick storm. The storm dashed the idea of a bridal portrait with a sunset, but it did give them this:A rainbow. Certainly a good sign.
Everyone looked so lovely – we really do all clean up well. There were so many compliments on Edie girl, who is quite the young lady these days. I really only take partial credit for it as her manners have always been better than mine. We’re thrilled to welcome Christan into the family officially. I long ago told Mark that if he did not plan on keeping her around, he was going to have to break it to Edie himself. She has adored Christan, whom we call Ginger, since first meeting her. She also adores Mark, calling him HER cousin, not mine, since she thinks he’s closer in age to her. (He’s not. He’s 15 years younger than me, 17 years older than her.) This confuses folks when she announces he’s HER cousin because they can’t figure out the relationship. Edie has a loose definition of the word, that’s for sure, because as she called Sean & Danny her cousins this weekend, there were some that were confused as to how we were all related. Technically, Sean & Danny are not our cousins, but they are cousins to Mark & Molly, who are our cousins. Therefore, to Edie, they are cousins. Make sense? Good.This morning was back to the swing of things. The house is a wreck and I woke up to realize we were out of TP. I suspect Pat’s schedule will be heavily focused on Lynchburg, an hour south of here, for the coming weeks, if not months. I think I’m going to pack a bag and put it in his work truck, just in case the need for a clean shirt arises in the future. I’ve got homespun to make successful in just over a month. The garden needs to go in, there is end of school everything and when I thought she was packing to go to the wedding, turns out Edie was pulling all her dolls out of her room to be placed in the attic. So add cleaning out the attic to make room for dolls to my list this week while I get a handle on this whole baby girl growing up thing in the midst of spring madness….