The primary reason for our visit to Kansas was my cousin's wedding. It was scheduled for 5pm on the veranda of her soon to be father-in-law's house. For those of you unfamiliar with that season we like to call Summer, it's generally pretty hot. In Kansas, substitute always and extremely for generally and pretty and now we've described the setting for this gathering. In truth, extremely hot doesn't even really begin to cover it. You see, in the Southwest, you get hot but there's no humidity, so it's that "dry heat" which everyone says isn't so bad, but is in fact still really hot. In the east, it's muggy as hell but not quite so hot, so you're dripping wet but somehow not quite miserable. But in Kansas, it's muggy AND hot so going out of doors with any destination other than water or more air conditioning is just plain crazy.
The temperature as we pulled up to the site of the wedding was a steamy 97 degrees. When we opened the doors of the car it felt like we had just stepped into a sauna. My glasses steamed up to complete the effect. I would like to tell you all about the beautiful home of my cousin's in-laws but I was far too distracted by the sweat pouring down my face to see anything clearly. The inside was an oasis, though. Like cows clustered under the lone tree on the prairie to shelter from the burning sun, the guests crowded in the house looking out at the beautifully landscaped yard dreading the moment when we would have to go back out into a heat that rivaled the Sahara Desert. At the prescribed time, and with more than one audible resigned sigh, we trudged out to the folding chairs that were set up under tents in between the pool and the pavilion that would serve as the altar, each praying that it would be brief. Mercifully, the ceremony WAS short. My cousin looked absolutely beautiful. Especially since she was wearing practically the same dress I had worn for my own wedding. Although it is unlikely she knew that, since she wasn't there. I'm not bitter about that. Maybe a little, but I'm working through it. I digress.
After pictures of a very sweaty bunch of people, we all headed to the reception, which was held at a nearby church. When I first read the invitation, I pictured the usual church meeting hall with few frills. Boy, was I wrong. This hall was fancy schmancy. It was made to look like the piazza of an Italian town including building fronts, a grand staircase and lots of twinkly lights. Upon arriving at the church, I stayed in the car to nurse Sophie, so we were a few minutes behind most of the guests. This gave us the opportunity to make a grand entrance. And we did. Approximately 12 seconds after walking through the door, while we were still standing in the lavish entryway of this opulent hall, Sophie puked all down my arm as well as a nice sized puddle on the floor below us. Never let it be said that we miss an opportunity to be a spectacle.
The rest of the reception was lovely and, thankfully, puke-free. At least at our table. I can't speak for the other guests, since there was an open bar and people were certainly enjoying that fact. The food was tasty (is anyone surprised that food is the first thing I mention?) and I got to spend time with extended family that I don't see nearly as often as I would like. As usual, Sophie was the belle of the ball, smiling and flirting her way into everyone's hearts. Our evening came to a close around 9pm (can we kick it or what?) when Sophie ran out of nice. As we left, I was saddened by the conspicuous absence of my grandpa, who died just before my own wedding nearly three years ago. He was a smart, funny, gregarious fellow who had a laugh that filled up a room. I just know that he would have enjoyed the party.
Here's to you, Grandpa, we miss you!