The Running of the Brides

June was traditionally the most popular month to marry, and still very common. This is, in part, because the goddess Juno, for whom June is named, was the protector of women in all aspects of life, but especially in marriage and childbearing, so a wedding in Juno’s month was considered quite auspicious. 

The idea of June weddings also comes from the Celtic calendar. On the cross-quarter day of Beltane, or May Day (May 1), young couples would pair off to court for three months and then be wed on the next cross-quarter day (Lammas Day, August 1). Youths, being impatient, prompted the waiting period to be moved up to mid-June and the popularity of June weddings was born. 

Of course, June also (usually) brings good weather so it was (is) easier for guests to travel by horse-drawn buggy or airplane. 

I got married in June, so it must most certainly be a good idea. We were young and impatient, just like the Celts. Forty-two years later we are not so young, but more patient.

I love this photo – Thai brides-to-be competing in the ‘Running of the Brides’ event in Bangkok, Thailand. Six hundred people competed in the race, which gave away prizes worth two million baht or $61,000 US dollars. This race actually took place in December, which means about now, some lucky bride has already had or about to have a fancy-pantsy wedding.

Martin Luther said “Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.”

If every married couple truly lived that line, it would change the world. 

*Wedding Bell Blues

I read an article in USA Today about a woman who was arrested for DUI while heading to her wedding. Apparently she caused a minor accident and when police arrived, was immediately under suspicion of intoxication.

Hmm….a couple of things.

One, it is somewhat sad to think of a bride, adorned in her beautiful dress, driving herself to her wedding.

Two, it is a bad sign if you need to be a bit buzzed before you slur “I do.” It is also a bad sign if you are intoxicated BEFORE the wedding reception.

I once attended a wedding where the bride vomited on the stage, in the middle of her vows, onto the pastor’s shoes. I was impressed that the wedding continued and the groom actually kissed his new bride, smack on the mouth.

Sadly, that marriage ended about three years later.

Women, take a hint. If you are sick at your stomach and vomiting at your wedding, you may want to pay attention to that.

If you are drinking alcohol in excess, right before you get into your car and drive to your own daytime wedding, you may want to pay attention to that.

Marriage is not for sissies. Marriage is not for the faint of heart. It is for the strong of stomach and for those wanting to walk without crutches.

It is being in the trenches and emerging with dirt on your face. But a smile, too.

I have been doing it for 42 years. If practice makes perfect, we should near perfection at about the 70 year mark.


*For those of you over the age of 50, you will remember this gigantic hit song by the Fifth Dimension. Check it out on YouTube.




Valentine’s Day

I have amazingly delightful childhood memories of Valentine’s Day. I’m sure some of you remember finding a shoebox at home and decorating it with red construction paper hearts and pink tissue paper and cutting a little slot in the lid for your classmates to stuff your box full of cards. Oh, how fun that was!

I’m a bit of a romantic, so even in second and third grade, I believed that those valentine cards were carefully and intentionally selected by certain boys in my class. Yeah, right. In reality, those cards were done under duress the night before with a mama standing over that boy forcing him to write out those cards. He randomly chose those cards ~ bang, bang, bang. Done.

By fifth grade, I think we were still doing this. At that time, my crush was Robbie B. I remember being appalled when I discovered that everyone in the class received a smattering of about four different varieties of cards from him (and everyone else). You know how they went, something like “Carrot you see that I’m plum crazy about you?” I thought that was a special message just for me. Be still my heart. And be still every other 5th grade girl heart in my class. C’est la vie.

I still love Valentine’s Day. I have been making a heart-shaped cake every Valentine’s Day for the last 15-20 years. Mike loves it. He brings me home red or pink roses. I love the color red but when it comes to roses, pink ones are my fave. I also give the boys Reese’s heart-shaped candies and often a pair of socks or magnets or something fun.

I have a little wooden sign that I hang on a door during Valentine’s week. It is red with white and silver hearts and simply states: Love is all you Need. Well, you certainly do need love, but a little income and shelter from the storm and food on the table, is also kind of important. Although, true love should bring those things naturally.

The Robert Bringhurst poem, These Poems, She Said, states this:

Love means love of the thing sung, not of the song or the singing.
These poems, she said…
You are, he said,
That is not love, she said rightly.

It is not the song, as Robert Bringhurst said, love is of the thing sung. It is not the flowers or the heart-shaped box of chocolates, it is the heart behind that heart. It is the motive, the thought, the soul. Anyone can buy a ‘thing’ representative of Valentine’s Day. The real show of love is what happens the other 364.

Chew on that this Valentine’s Day. It is far less fattening than a box of chocolates.

Moon Love

I love the moon. I do not know when this love affair began.

I have memories of being in junior high school, looking out my bedroom window at night onto the yard below. The moon shining through the trees nearly took my breath away. There is no hue like it. It is pure and perfect.

Since I have a slight aversion to summer, part of my moon love may be that evening brings coolness and soothingness and peace. The winter moon draws me, too.

Every season it draws me. It woos me and calls me. Sometimes I answer with lightness and a smile. Other times I answer in silence and grief.

I’ve seen the moon in the mountains. I’ve seen the moon on the sea. I’ve seen the moon on a flawless, snowy corn field, the ice blue beams turning that snow into diamonds.

But perhaps my favorite place to see the moon is in my own back yard, peeping through those dark, tall branches. I position my head on the pillow so my face can bask in the glow of the moon. Long after I am dreaming, it leaves me to bring peace and light to another.

Now, I must share some fascinating moon facts with you:

If you could fly to the moon on a Delta jet (new hub idea, Delta), it would take you two weeks, three days and 18 hours. Can you imagine being on a fight that long? I hope they have good movies and plenty of peanuts.

Spacecraft travel is a little more efficient and takes about three days.

The earth is nearly 50 times bigger than the moon.

The surface of the moon is covered with craters from being bombed by meteorites and asteroids for millions of years. Some of those craters are tiny, but the largest is 600 miles across. SIX HUNDRED MILES! That is like driving from Cincinnati to Kansas City. The moon also has huge mountain ranges, nearly the size of Mount Everest.

In 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin spent a couple of hours walking around on the moon. They left scientific instruments and all of their rubbish, which will remain there forever. Or at least until Rumpke gets up there and empties the can full of Cheetos bags and Pepsi bottles.

Because there is no air on the moon there is no wind and no weather. The footprints made by astronauts will last forever unless someone disturbs them.

Ahh…there it is. Another reason I love the moon so much. Being a writer and a romantic (a burden, at times), I love the poetic notion of footprints made that will remain forever.

When we love with all of our beings, those loved ones plant footprints on our hearts that remain forever. Wind, fire, rain nor storm can remove them.

So the next time you see the moon, think about the love in your heart. It is put there to stay.

And if you get an opportunity to look through the largest telescope in the world, which is in the Canary Islands of Spain, let me know if the astronauts were drinking regular Pepsi or diet Pepsi. Just curious.