I don’t get invited to too many weddings and you know, that’s okay, especially when they include travel, but I was glad to attend this one. We knew what was in store for us, but driving through Maine takes more time than Google and Apple estimate.It was a LONG RIDE! We knew ahead of time we couldn’t do it in one shot so we booked a hotel in Portland, a city we had never visited and it was my birthday, so even though I spent most of it in the car, driving in the rain, we did have some time to explore Portland before we expired.
You can’t race through Maine. The small towns and windy roads force you to slow down and enjoy the green and lakes and mountains everywhere. So on the second morning of travel, we had 3 more hours left before we could drag our luggage out of the back of the SUV and into our second hotel of this journey. As we entered the Sugarloaf Inn a young guy met us. Lee, the groom. Now 27, yes I did see the 13-year-old I remembered and the hug we both got, yes this was the warm and zany kid I remembered, even if he did let his tail go.
Lee’s dad shared Boston with me for many years when I was single and could jump into my car on Friday as school ended and spend the weekend at his very cool 4th floor walk-up in Back Bay complete with a spiral staircase to a roof-top balcony. Later when he married Janet the door was still open and I visited often. I knew their friends and Boston family, before kids and with kids.
Then Tuvia arrived my time was our time and I lost the Boston connection but family is family and when the call came that Lee had us on his guest list, I couldn’t say no, in fact my YES was emphatic!
So the place was gorgeous, the weather, perfect, and as the event kicked off we inhaled Maine with Howie’s sisters and their husbands. We don’t get to Boston but recently we have been meeting up with NY/NJ based Arlene and Joe and Carrie and David and renewing our family bonds as older and wiser? adults.
But left me share a bit about the ceremony because for me, it was unique. A young female Rabbi-in-training (RABBITS as she shared) engaged us from the start. Yes, it was longer than usual but it’s Maine and the mountains demand attention and she use them well to get us all to stop in our tracks and breathe them in as we became part of this experience. It was important for us to be a part of the story. It was important to her to tell the story of how Lee and Sadie got here. I wanted to know. I think we all wanted to know, even those who were inside the story.
Good looking kids, loving kids, Sadie’s life was right here on this mountain with her family. Lee and the young Rabbi were friends from high school, from a Brookline synagogue. The rabbi had them remember and reflect on their seven years together, sharing excerpts from their love letters when, early in their relationship Sadie was off to Greece for a semester abroad. They cried through the retelling of their story and I cried. Good thing Tuvia is never without a handkerchief. He didn’t cry, but he never looked at his watch once.
Just as the ceremony ended, we raced to the nearest bathroom. In my stall I heard someone chanting, singing. It was the young rabbi. Perfect opportunity to let her know that even though my brother Jeff, can does a great job presiding over weddings, if we ever took the plunge, she would be my first choice.
So we have a wedding under our belts. We have empty suitcases and clothes to wash, mail to read, a few bills to pay and by Thursday morning we get to do it all again as we look forward to trip #2 Israel.