Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Moonshine Honeymoon

I am now a married woman.  I am a wife.  I have a new last name.  All of the paperwork hasn't caught up to the new last name yet, but that will come with time.  And paperwork. 

But you're not reading this to hear about paperwork.  Paperwork schmaperwork.  BORING!  You're reading this because of two words - moonshine and honeymoon.  Right?

But let's start with a pic from the actual wedding.  We got married on New Year's Eve morning.  Here we are with the minister, R, my maid of honor, C, and G's best man, W.  First off, notice how handsome the groom is!  Thank you for noticing.  I think so, too.

I have received a lot of compliments on my dress and how I looked that day.  My friend, P, picked out the dress, and my daughter, S, did my hair and makeup.  Oh, and you can't see them, but my friend, J, loaned me her gold shoes to go with the dress.  All very good.  All very needful for me.  And those all account for the something old (me!), new (dress), borrowed (shoes) and blue (my eyes).
A couple of other things about this pic.  First of all, the glass dome that you see in the front center of the pic has a look like it's a really cool, glass, chocolate fountain wannabe, but it's not.  It's the top of an ice tea dispenser.  Second, the wedding took place at W's beautiful home.  It was a small, intimate ceremony, and we would have had it at my house, but W sent me this text in early December with the Top 10 Reasons why our wedding should be held at her house, so how could I say no?  And I have to say that with moving G that last week before and the various other things we had to do, it really was such a blessing for W, S and P to host and plan and execute the wedding and reception.  I could never thank them enough.

I want to show you one other pic from the wedding.  This is my son, S, and his fiance, A, singing for us.  It was a wonderful moment, and it brought tears to my eyes.  (PS - they are getting married in 108 days!)

And then we were off on our honeymoon.  We didn't have tons of time, so we went to Branson, MO, which is a favorite place for G.  I hadn't been in over 20 years, so I was interested to see how it had changed in all that time.  I won't tell you everything about our wedding night (of course!) but I will say this.  Ringing in the new year with 500 of your closest friends in party hats with noise makers, tigers, magicians and balloons all dropping from the ceiling is truly a once-in-a-lifetime surreal event you wouldn't want to miss.  Ok wait...I just reread that sentence and I need to clarify something.  Tigers were not dropping from the ceiling.  There, I know you can all rest easier now.

On New Year's Day, time stood still as we watched fly fisherman dance on the old White River bed near Lake Taneycomo.  I'd never watched fly fishing up close, but G explained the "dance" to lure the fish.  The sun was warm and all was wonderfully quiet as we repeatedly watched the catch and release.  It really was a moment where clocks stopped.  Such a rare treat.

Much of Branson had shut down for the season, but that was ok.  That meant we had much less traffic and got more individualized service.  We did some shopping.  G likes to shop.  I've never liked to shop, but with G it's fun.  Even to shop for clothes for me is fun.  Ladies, I know some of you will roll your eyes at this, but I have never liked to shop for clothes.  (Shopping for purses is a whole other blog post...I hate learning a new purse even more!  And NO!  Purses are NOT accessories...but I digress).  Anyway back to shopping with G.  We will look around a bit, and then I will go into the fitting room with about 7 things to try on, and think "well, that's quite a lot to try on.  I'll never be able to decide what to get!"  Only to find that as I come out with one thing on, G has picked out 5 other things and charmed the saleslady into picking out 7 things herself.  So I take those 12 things in only to step out in 2 of them and lo and behold, 8 new things have been chosen for me to try on!  It's crazy I tell ya!

And now the rest of you ladies are all saying, "Uh, duh, Deb!  That IS shopping!" 

Really?  It is?  Who knew this?  Not I...

We ate good food, too.  We didn't do any chain restaurants - went all locally owned.  We had some good, old-fashioned fried chicken.  And we had some Mexican and some nice smoked ribs and pulled pork and then Italian on our last night there.  I think I like honeymoon vacations.  I think I want to do this again sometime...

On our way home, we stopped off briefly at an old friend of G's in Springfield.  Our visit with J was truly one of the highlights of the trip.  G used to work with J.  And then J quit to go re-up with the military and spent time in Iraq driving some sort of very big truck like thing with 40 wheels or something.  (My son-in-law, K, could tell you in a heartbeat, but I can't recall the name of it!  Hello, my name is Deb, and yes, I am a chick!)  Anyway, in the 4 months this veteran was in Iraq, he encountered 9 explosions, the last of which should have killed him.  He has back, leg and head injuries that have left him permanently disabled.  But like so many other heroes, he doesn't let that stop him.  For example, he volunteers with project Healing Waters and takes other disable veterans in the Springfield area out to fly fish.  They fight him sometimes and the day trip out may cost them a day or two afterwards in pain, but it's good for all of them to get out and quietly dance with the fish.  J claims that he could teach me to fly fish in 5 minutes.  I may have to take him up on that.

But, get this.  That isn't all this veteran is doing with his time.  I would have never expected to hear this next question when I stepped across the threshold of his home, but here goes.  Ready for it?

"Would you like to taste my moonshine?"

Excuse me?  What?  Did he just say "moonshine"?  And in the context of offering for me to taste it?

Now how many of you have ever had that question posed to you before?  I can think of 2 people in my life who may have had that question posed to them before - my friend, O, who I affectionally refer to as Father Time, because the man knows just about everything there is to know about just about everything - just ask him, he'll agree!  And my friend, K, who can catch fish - nay he attracts fish when no one else can catch a thing.  But other than O and K, I don't know of anyone who would have ever been asked, "Would you like to taste my moonshine?"  OK, wait, maybe my son-in-law, K, who has the most amazing connections of anyone I've ever known, but other than those 3, I can't think of anyone else.

So, what do you think I said?  Not that I'm a big drinker or anything, but shootfire, yes, I said Yes!  I've waited 50 years to hear that question...I'm not passing up a chance like this!

And it was good.  It really was.  I'm not a liquor drinker, and I could never sip scotch or shoot whiskey, but J's stuff was nice.  I think they call it "smooth."  He uses high quality ingredients and reverse osmosis water and adds in lots of love and care.  Don't worry none.  He's not sellin' it!

Then he uncorked a bottle of cabernet that he aged.  I'm not a dry wine drinker, but this had almost no tanins.  He said he followed a 16th century monk recipe, and I'd never tasted anything quite like it.  He then insisted on giving us a bottle to take home.  (We will be holding a raffle soon to see who gets to share this with us!  Stay posted for ways to enter!)

So that was our Moonshine Honeymoon in a nutshell.  G took pics, but they're pretty much all of me, so I figure we don't need to post 'em here...I could take a pic of the bottle of wine, but it's just a simple bottle - no fancy label or anything like that.  But it doesn't need one.  Cause it's what's inside that counts. 

And that's pretty much what is always true, so that sounds like a good closing line.  It's what's inside that counts.  What's inside the veteran who doesn't give up but keeps on living and giving to others.  What's inside the heart of the paperwork (whenever that gets done!)  What's inside the friends and family who give of themselves to help make our wedding day so special.  What's inside the moonshine.  What's inside the honeymoon.  What's inside the marriage.

Here's wishing all of you a moonshine honeymoon of your own!