1. My Little Brother’s Wedding
Allow me to set the scene—a horse farm in bucolic Pennsylvania, a white tent set up in a pasture, the historic farmhouse in the distance, nothing but fields surrounding it. Upon entering the tent you enter a world complete with bar, cocktail tables, lounge areas with real sofas, a large wooden dance floor, the tent entirely draped in espresso brown and baby blue fabric, tiki torches lighting the border, floral arrangements and hurricane lamps gracing the tables, Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceilings.
Most amazing was that the bride, along with a crack team of expert decorators, and a few friends and family members, transformed the space from empty white tent to wedding wonderland in 24 hours. Seeing that transformation and helping it to happen was one of the highlights of the weekend for me.
Other highlights: Going to the liquor store with the groom to pick out the wine and liquor, him saying to the sales woman, “Anyone drinking White Zin doesn’t know anything about wine, so just give me the cheapest one.” Driving the groom to the wedding in Grandmom’s Caddy; giving a surprise toast to the bride and groom, as the groom had done at my wedding; having the DJ (unprompted by me) dedicate a song from me to the rest of the party; dancing the night away with my niece, with the bride and groom, brothers, aunts, parents, friends, my husband, by myself.
Best of all was seeing my little brother so happy, and knowing that he has married the perfect woman for him, a woman who is warm, kind, funny, loyal, sweet. Nothing could be better than that.
2. My Brother-in-Law’s Wedding
The Ackermans don’t mess around when it comes to weddings. This was not just a wedding, it was a ten-day affair, complete with a visit from the California Ackermans (see below), a week at Camp, the Ackerman Compound on Lake Ontario, barbeques, brunches, a rehearsal dinner, all culminating in the wedding on July 11. The wedding ceremony and reception were beautiful, of course, but for me, the highlight was the dance floor. Not since my own wedding had I seen a dance floor jam-packed from song one until the last song of the night. And never had I seen a deejay bow to the crowd’s request for one more song at the end of the night. But Mike “the magician” Corbett, played an encore of “Big Pimpin” at the special request of the bride. If you had seen the bride, you’d know why. She was stunningly beautiful, regal, but in an accessible way, floating around the dance floor with her subjects. I was truly in awe of her, which only increased when she chose Big Pimpin to end her wedding reception.
3. The Novel
I have been working my hiney off on the novel this summer, with great result. Since July I have plowed through editing the second two-thirds of the manuscript, and am close to having a quasi-finished product, which is as scary as it is exciting. Being able to focus exclusively on the novel again for a few months has been amazingly productive and satisfying.
4. Surfing after Hurricane Bill
My surfing has really come together this summer. Not only can I stay up on the board, I can paddle for and catch waves, at least some of the time. I wasn’t stupid enough to think I could go out on the day we had eight to ten foot waves during Hurricane Bill, but I did go out the day after, when they were still quite large. It was the furthest out I’d ever been, and the waves, though giant, were breaking gently, allowing me to hop on at any point, have some killer rides. It was my best day of surfing ever, yes, epic.
5. 4th of July Weekend with Sophie
Sophie, my beloved niece who lives all too far away in California, came to Narberth with her parents and her Uncle Dan for 4th of July. Our little town prides itself on its 4th of July celebration, complete with a fair and a kick ass fireworks display. We hosted a barbeque, watched the fireworks from my Grandmom’s yard, and capped off the fun by a visit to Ocean City. Sophie makes everything fun. My favorite quote of the day was my friend Melissa saying, “Jewel, I knew you were obsessed with Sophie, and now I know why.”
What’s your top five of summer?