Monday, June 15, 2015

Wedding In New Jersey

We were there and would not have missed it.

Hanna, our youngest, is the first of our 4 to extend the immediate family.  Nick and she were married on Saturday, June 13th near Deerfield, NJ.

Peg drove out a week early, the girls and I flew out on Thursday, all of us warmly and very graciously hosted by Nick's parents.  Son Ben would have joined us but he had prior commitments at Fort Benning.  A comfortable and extremely convenient place to stay, Nick's mother and aunt prevented even the most remote danger of hunger on a daily and usually hourly basis.....I don't remember being close to peckish even once.  That kitchen was a warm and friendly place in the very best way, the way kitchens are intended to be.

After arriving Thursday afternoon, we discovered that kitchen supplements were required, so Peg led the girls and I over to the Amish Market.  Presenting here my favorite section first, the section I'm doing my best to only admire, not participate in to the extent I'd prefer.....

 I AM and have been a huge fan of vegetables and now a place where I'm trying to focus even more of my efforts than I presently do.....

The market was amazing and judging by the traffic both inside and out, not a secret to anyone nearby.  We drifted over there more than once during our short stay.

Produce and produce stands were everywhere.  I knew that New Jersey was nicknamed the "Garden State" but had no real idea to the extent that's so.  Asparagus was big while we were there, big to the level that we drove past more than one 30+ acre field of tall stalks.  Back here in Minnesota we're used to 30+ acre fields of soybeans, alfalfa and field corn, asparagus as I've known it grows in 'row and a half' in our backyard gardens.  Tomato, pepper, squash, cucumber fields (fields, not patches...) were everywhere.  We zoomed past fields of crops growing that I didn't even recognize and next time will have to slow down and figure out what they were.

Food.  I experienced, enjoyed and learned a lot.  Water Ice, limoncello, kombucha were just the tip of the iceberg.  Nick's mom can cook, Nick's aunt can too but most important of all, Nick can cook.  Hanna shan't ever go hungry.

Brother Ben and our almost son-in-law taking a break from the many "remember to do this...." and "what about/have you?...." details.

Friday morning Peg was anxious to show we Coop's "The Shore", the key shared with us to the home that's been in Nick's family for generations.  We were barely inside when the warmth and memories of the place came flooding through me.  In so many ways it reminded me of the home, not all that different than the one Peg's family has shared on the shores of Lake Superior.  Not yet a husband back then, rather still a suitor, Peg's glow whenever we were near or in that house is something I've tucked away and since shared with our children.  There in Ocean City, it was easy to imagine the memories and feelings were so very much the same.  Near water, a place where families gathered, living closer and more happily together in smaller spaces than they possibly would or could anywhere else.   Photos on the wall, nick-knacks on the counters, countless cooking/meals imagined.....there was a warmth there that had absolutely nothing to do with the 90 degree temps outside.  It's a warmth I'll tuck away and remember.

Back outside, we proceeded down the street to the Ocean City Boardwalk.  We didn't walk the entire distance but we were close.  Family Friendly, obviously so, it's no wonder that on summer weekends the place is crowded.  By noon on a June Friday, there were families biking, surreying, and hiking, just plain busy everywhere.

 Dune preservation after 'Sandy'.......

Friday evening's Wedding Rehearsal went well, the Deerfield Presbyterian Church a beautiful building and sanctuary, Pastor Ken only making it more so.  There was more than one treasure here.

The couple to Be......

Almost a bride but not quite......

After the practice, we all went back to Nick's parents' home for a cookout.  Evan and Mia, Nick and Hanna's Ring Bearer and Flower Girl were enjoying a skilled and controlled game of Kick and Catch outside.

Saturday was of course Wedding Day.  Handing off our daughter was a proud and emotional moment, though the hand I passed her to more than ready for the task.  The afternoon was in only one way challenging for me because there were photos I wanted to take and couldn't.  My duties, ability to carry and use a camera, etc. made it hard.  The pros were there and they were doing that which only they know how to really do (many thanks Joe and Alex!).

My camera did manage to capture a few shots though...

The Reception was held at the Cecil Creek CSA (Garden State, right??), a perfect place for us all to gather and celebrate.

You may know some of  these people that were present at the reception .......

The Couple on their way to one of the Hay Rides....

Mark and his crew at the farm made the evening special....excellent food, drink, service, the facility....those bacon-wrapped scallops and his application of just the right amount of pesto on my plate that he prepared solely for me...Whewee!! An outdoor Reception that made no concessions to bad weather topping it all off.

Sunday morning, the new couple opening some gifts....

We are blessed to be part of Nick's family and proud to have them as part of ours.  Peg and I have known Hanna to make some very sound and thoughtful decisions in her short years.  Nick has obviously been her best and all of us wish them lifetimes of happiness and contentment.

Our distant view of downtown Philadelphia from the airport terminal.....New Jersey was very good to us and we need to get back when our time there isn't as focused!


  1. Congrats to all! Always a lot of good stuff at an Amish market. The reception was on a farm? How original...

    Being at the Philly airport I'm sure you must've stopped at Revzilla!

    1. Thanks Richard, it was a very successful outing. I had no idea about Revzilla. We walked in, sat down and were on the plane 30 minutes later.

  2. Coop your words painted a picture no photo could capture. Congratulations.

    1. Karen, Thank you, very kind of you to say.

  3. Very nice Doug, congratulations! Our son and eldest is getting married in August. There will be tears of happiness.

    1. Thanks much David and congratulations to your family! There were more than a few of those Saturday afternoon with our group.

  4. Beautiful wedding photo. I bet more than one tear was shed by a proud mom and pop.

    1. Brandy, thank you. There were some tears, yes. During the father-daughter dance I'm sure there were other people in the room but I was aware of only 2.

  5. Coop - I tried to post this last week, but blogger was not cooperating, so here goes again. Congratulations to the happy couple, your daughter was a beautiful bride. I wish them many happy days filled with sunshine together.

    1. Thanks much Dar, appreciate that. They've had a great start, hopefully things will only get better.