Forty years ago today…
August 19, 2012
On August 19, 1972, Bet and I stood under the towering maples in front of the main house at the farm while Bet’s dad and her brother Don, both clergymen, read the wedding ceremony. I was pretty scared. I remember muttering, “This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening.”
My best man, Dave Prebble, responded: “Be quiet.”
My dad had the tree on my side removed about twenty years ago because it overhung the house, but Bet’s maple is still tall and strong. She scolded me for wasting water when I soaked its roots a couple of times this summer, but I insisted it’s easier to replace a well than it is a mature maple tree, especially when it’s the one we were married under. Both tree and well seem to be fine after the near drought.
This morning and throughout the day we kept coming back to how hard it is to believe that forty years have slipped away since that small afternoon ceremony under the maples. We had no inclination to repeat the weekend honeymoon trip to Picton (as students we both had summer jobs), though a larger expedition may be afoot before too long.
So this evening we bundled the dog into the car (no longer a red 1963 VW Beetle, alas) and drove to Westport for ice cream. Yes, they serve until 8:00 on the corner opposite the Cove Hotel. We parked amid a flock of classic sports cars, but my attention was stolen by a cherry red Miata in front of us. When the owners arrived it turns out that they gave up their MGA for it seventeen years ago, and have babied it ever since. I suggested that there might be lots of nice Miatas available for purchase. He agreed, and added that they are “dirt cheap.”
A few cautionary comments occurred on the trip home. I think Bet’s afraid of another three months of compulsive computer searches like the interval before I broke down and bought a new fishing boat with her blessing. It wasn’t that she wanted a boat. I think she just wanted the scowling over Kijiji files on the laptop and the wild goose chases to end.
Just before dark we gathered at the back door to watch Emily-the-Resident-Wolf eat pears in the orchard. Bet had noticed her sitting in the field behind the workshops when she walked the dog. Then the wolf disappeared, only to turn up under her favourite pear tree, hurriedly filling up on the ripe fruit. She waits until Bet and Cagney are inside the house before she moves in for desert.
So after forty years Bet and I are still together, but we’re not doing very well at keeping the wolf away from the door.