Family Wedding

We spent last weekend in one of our happy places....Knoxville, Tennessee.  We never really need a reason to go "home."  MILove still resides there.  So, checking in on her and her "Honey Do" list is always reason enough.  On a rather happy note, another of the Rust cousins got married.  Mr. Snark was the first...and twenty-three years later, we have another.  That's a LONG time between weddings, isn't it?  But when you consider the age gap of thirteen years between them, it makes a little more sense. 

 Curly willow....what is it about a willow tree?  I've always been fascinated by them...charmed, even.  There's something very romantic and dreamy about them.
 So, yours MILove (aging so gracefully it's almost sinful) and her sister...the MOG.  Let me tell you a little bit about her...she's always been such a sweetheart to me. 
Always encouraging.  Always fun.  She is a master craftswoman...she once made a baby quilt...all of her own design...that depicted our beloved Smoky Mountains at night.  All sorts of different colors and textures of fabrics to bring the scene to life.  She even stitched the constellation that would have been shining the night the baby was born.  It was a work of art. 
She makes pumpkin butter that I would bathe in and a BBQ sauce that I would use when the pumpkin butter ran out!  She's been through the storms and the fires, she's faced down the curve balls and played the rotten hand that she's been occasionally dealt.  She's a steel magnolia, that one. 
 Amazing what a nice shirt will do, isn't it?  Don't ask me about Y1's hair...we think it may be applying for it's own zip code, soon.
Oh, this man of mine!  Tomorrow's his birthday...half way to ninety!  I hope the next half is just as good! 
 Lovely fountain in the pond next to the wedding site.  Y'all it was HHHHHOOOOOTTTTT!  That pond was tempting...but being that we were all on our best behavior, we all abstained, but GLORY, I am SOOOOO ready for cooler weather!
 Our own personal Hobbit!  Hester the Great...just passed a pretty big birthday....she's eighty-five.  I cannot adequately convey what a treasure she has been to my foursome.  I know she was tickled to see another grandchild get hitched.
 Sweet little gazebo
 Presiding over the ceremony was MILove's youngest brother.  He, like the willow trees, has always charmed me...from our very first meeting.  We were so pleased to have him as one of our groomsmen at our wedding.  He gave, quite possibly, the BEST wedding sermon EVER!  About halfway through the ceremony he said, "Ok.  This is where the Disney version ends.  Boy and girl met...fell in love, faced obstacles and their love triumphed.  'Happily ever after' doesn't exist in the real world."  If I thought my plastic folding chair would have borne my weight, I might have stood on it and cheered!!  Well, probably not, because we were on our best behavior.  Nonetheless, I was THRILLED to hear him say that.  That wasn't all...the gist of what remained was that life is messy, difficult, unpredictable and unkind.  Marriage doesn't make any of this easier...sometimes, it makes it harder.  And take a page from Y2's book...he said this..."God didn't give us marriage to make us happy.  He gave us marriage to keep us holy."  Made this Baptist girl want to SHOUT!!!!!  We get caught up in the wedding...the dress, the flowers, the cake, the veil, the music, the colors, the candles, the shoes, the rings...and we forget about the marriage.  This LIFETIME commitment gets overshadowed by the events and trappings of ONE day. Then and there, I decided that I wanted our Right Reverend Uncle to say words over me and Mr. Snark when our Silver rolls around.  Don't have the first, sweet clue how we're going to mark it, but I want this precious man helping us do it.
 Here's our Cousin.  He was a squirt, when I first met him.  Precocious...curious...inquisitive...SMART!!!  Always in motion...not eating any kind of green veggie, if his life depended on it.  We were at a family gathering and he was sitting (for a scant moment) in the grass with me and was educating me on honey bees.  "Cousin YankeeBelle, if you'll notice the wings of the honey bee."  That little conversation kept playing through my head as I watched him during the ceremony.  He only had eyes for his Dearest they were the only two on the he could have sopped her up with a biscuit!  It was precious.
 I love this shot..."Come on, Unc...say the words...say the words!"
 He said the words!
 I am told that all of the lilies at ANY Disney park...ANYWHERE...come from this farm in the hills of northeastern Tennessee.  Of course, early September is way past season for day lilies, but I'll bet it's a fine display.
 Beautiful day...but HHHHHOOOOOTTTTTT!
 The Giant and his Lady...may they know more joy than sorrow, more sun than rain...but when sorrow and rain comes, may they have courage and grace.
A YankeeBelle of these days, I might go into business...but probably not.  I love doing veils for friends and loved ones. 
Someone was being funny and recently mentioned that Y1 is the same age as Mr. Snark when he and I met.  HA...not...we aren't planning any Boyo weddings for any time soon.  I swannee...a dozen grey hairs were born with that little "joke!"