Fifteen years ago today I walked across the crisp morning grass from the Winding Brook Motel -- where I talked all night with close friends -- to my apartment. I was regretting those last few drinks, but not the company, the time, or the conversation.
My sister, Colleen, styled my hair in a twisted up-sweep with a single row of cream tulle flower buds on one side, and I wore a two-piece winter white dress, made by Mom, with buttons of twisted satin cord.
I was thinking all morning about the bigger ceremony at the Rockingham Meeting House, not realizing at the time that it would be the small family service in a Chapel that would stand out in my memory as our union.
My Aunt Patty was there to read.
I walked on a runner of tapestry and had made dried floral swags and wreaths with fresh pears and apples for the pews. In my hands a bouquet of wildflowers.
There was a trumpet solo and a pretty girl's voice in Ave' Maria.
My Dad was there to hold my hand.
Friends and family came from far away to celebrate with us in New Hampshire. I missed some people who couldn't be there. I remember thinking that.
We filled a canoe with ice, beer and wine. Then emptied it.
My sister Ann made (and brought!) black bottom cupcakes -- my childhood favorite -- to serve instead of cake.
We took linens from the tables to sit on the ground and watch the sun set. After dark there was a potato launcher with glow sticks.
The motto was: "Dance or die!" It was a cold evening on that hillside.
Fifteen years ago I made a promise: two became one.