|The happy couple, after the wedding (104 degree heat!)|
Let me tell you about my most memorable Thanksgiving. It happened, gee, about 15 years ago now. Besides my immediate family, my husband’s mom and dad were joining us, plus his sister—plus my brother and his girlfriend. All together ten people. Everybody had arrived, the turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, and (stovetop) stuffing were done, when, alas, we lost our electricity. We had had an early snow; it had been snowing all day, in fact. Evidently a power line had come down. This was a near travesty since, the gravy, the last of the food items to be cooked, had not been. The Einsteins and Gammons are of hearty stock. We could make do without lights or heat, but to our minds, turkey and stuffing dinner without gravy does not a Thanksgiving dinner make. Something had to be done.
|Thanksgiving turkey WITH gravy|
My sainted mother-in-law stepped in and saved the day. “I bet I could make gravy on your gas grill!” she said. And that is what she did. Donning her winter coat and snow boots, she braved the cold and snow. She stood in our back yard, mixing turkey juices with flour and water until she had achieved just the right consistency of gravy-ness. We had our Thanksgiving dinner after all. I am sure that I, and the rest of the Einstein/Gammon clan, will remember that Thanksgiving above all other Thanksgivings for the rest of our lives.
I tell you this, because a lot of memories were made this weekend. The Charlottesville region suffered a heat storm with high, tropical-like winds on Friday night. In fact, the next morning, when he could actually begin to assess the damage, Virginia’s Governor declared a state of emergency for our area. The landscape around Charlottesville looked like a giant had stomped through hill and dale, tramping on houses, and pulling up trees.
|Veritas Tasting room w/ attached ballroom/dining room|
I was to officiate at a wedding at Veritas Vineyard on Saturday evening, a day after the storm. In case you don’t know, Veritas is a lovely vineyard just outside of Charlottesville. Alas, the day of the wedding, because of the storm the night before, the vineyard had no power. And, just to make everything a little more interesting, the weather that wedding day as the day before was a sweltering 104 degrees.
|In the wine cellar|
Like my mother-in-law, though, people sprang into action with a decided lightness of heart. The hardworking people at Veritas set up generators. They brought in electric fans. Sweat streaming down their faces, they hauled in cases of wine, and moved tables and chairs. At the last minute, the bride and groom decided to have the wedding, as also the reception, in the ballroom. The ballroom was STILL hot, 89 degrees, but it was decidedly cooler than outside at the gazebo, the original site of the wedding. The wine cellar became THE gathering place for the wedding party, both immediately before and after the wedding. It was dark—although the candles were much appreciated, and no one got burned, or fell down the dim, narrow staircase. The caterers even brought food and bottled water to our cool little hide away. The photographer kept outside photos to a minimum, opting instead to use the cellar’s wine barrels as her backdrop.
All in all, I believe that this is one wedding I will remember when I am old and other wedding memories have faded. And I am also sure, that the bride and groom will have stories to tell from this day forward.