Sunday, February 17, 2008

Winds - Literal and Figurative

It was 1968, and I was planning my wedding. I was also a sophomore at Abilene Christian College, living thousands of miles away from my mom and dad, making it a little difficult to coordinate all of our preparations. Wisely, I believe, I was planning a very simple wedding, so I wasn't terribly stressed out about it.

But I did have to find a wedding dress. My good friend and roommate, Chris, came shopping with me, and we found the perfect dress without much trouble. Like the wedding itself, my dress was simple; but you must remember it was the 1960s, and compared to the "flower child" weddings happening all around me, it was elegant!

We were trying to keep to a modest budget, so I came up with a novel idea for paying for my dress. Back home in Alaska, hanging in my closet, was my beautiful fox fur winter parka. It looked as if my days of living in Alaska were about to come to an end, since I was marrying a Texas boy. I might as well sell my parka to pay for my wedding dress. A lady in the Juneau church, named Ann, happily purchased my parka for an amount that covered the cost of my dress. Little did I know, at that time, that Dan and I would spend two lengthy periods of time living back in Juneau as a married couple -- the first time from 1971 to 1978, and the second time from 1998 to 2003.

Here I am, posing in my fox fur parka - summer of 1968.

My wedding dress lies, folded up in blue paper and a zippered plastic bag, in my closet. And, when we left Juneau this last time, in 2003, Ann was still wearing "my" fur parka on the coldest winter days. There were times, when the temperature dropped low, the bitter Taku winds were howling, and the snow was whipping along the streets, that I wished it were still mine. But then I would think back on that day, in June of 1969, when I walked down the aisle with my father, who placed my hand in Dan's. Though I never again wore the wedding dress, it memorializes to me our love and commitment, which, together, have cloaked us through the winds of almost four decades of marriage.

(Edit - Here's a passage from an e-mail from an Oregon friend who read this blog: "I received your blog about selling your warm jacket so that you could purchase your wedding dress. After the wedding, you had your hubby and love to keep you warm, even in Alaska. " So true!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To Foxy Grandma,

That is a beautiful picture and a beautiful writing.

Hopefully, that story will be passed on to your kids and grandkids and great grandkids, along with your beautiful Heritage photo albums of your family!!