Two Weddings and a Fun-for-All

Sometimes, times go by so slowly we feel that nothing is accomplished. Minutes drag into hours that seem to last for weeks. And then, there are the times that seem to flash by without even a moment’s pause. It’s not very often that a weekend goes by that I feel that absolutely nothing was accomplished. This weekend, though, seemed incredibly filled.

On Friday afternoon, I drove my little tractor over to the next hill east of Blair and helped Neil and Katrena move their garden shed over to a more permanent location. Then I helped re-cut a ditch along one side of their driveway and open up a new water diversion patch on the other side. Hopefully, our work will drastically reduce the amount of water going down the driveway and thereby reduce the amount of driveway going down the larger ditch.

Friday evening, I helped conduct a wedding rehearsal at our church building and enjoyed the rehearsal dinner with family and friends of Jared Meng and Katie Smith. A disappearing dairy cow diverted Jared’s father and brother for a while and so we ate supper first and then did the rehearsal. Worked out pretty well that way.

After getting home that night, I filled six gallons’ worth of hot water into a picnic chest so that Brett, Luke and I would have water for cleaning up after our mud run on Saturday morning.

Saturday morning started just before five a.m. for me. I didn’t need to get up that early but couldn’t get back to sleep after waking up at 4:45 so I decided to make a double batch of my super-healthy oatmeal cookies. By the time Brett and Luke arrived just before seven a.m., I had the cookies done, the waffles ready and the sausage on the table. Randa joined us for breakfast and by 7:20, the Three Amigos were headed to Grain Valley to run Conquer the Gauntlet. Lord willing, I’ll provide more details on that at another time. For now, let’s just say that was the toughest four miles of my life. If you’ve ever encountered Missouri black gumbo mud in a close up and personal way, you have an idea of what our run was like. How that much torture could be that much fun is something I can’t explain quickly.

After cleaning up a bit and changing clothes, Luke, Brett and I headed back to Blair. From there, they headed back to their homes and I headed to the whirlpool tub to soak for an hour or so. After that, I drove my Kubota over to the church property and used the blade and bucket loader to scrape away a few inches of mud that had accumulated on top of the paved access to the highway. There’s another driveway that needs some ditching and diversion work but that’s another story, too.

Cleaned up and better dressed, I headed back to the church building around six o’clock for Jared and Katie’s wedding. They had to bring in a couple dozen extra chairs from the fellowship hall to accommodate the crowd in the sanctuary, the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen there. After the initial challenges with getting the microphones to work, everything went quite well. I’ve been doing weddings for forty years and I’ve never seen a couple who more obviously like each other than Jared and Katie.

After saying the blessing for the rehearsal dinner, I headed home. On Sunday, we had our usual morning Bible study and then the worship service. Luke and Brett and I all wore our tee shirts from the Conquer the Gauntlet mud run. They reluctantly joined me at the front of the church for a few minutes as I used the race as an object lesson for the race of life. They’re good guys and tolerate more from me than they would from most old geezers.

After church, lunch and a welcomed nap, Randa and I headed over to Lenexa, Kansas, to do another wedding. This one was a private affair in a back yard for Tristan Collins and Katie McKee. Tristan has been almost like an adopted son to me since 2004, when I started working at Highland and he was one of the first study group leaders I hired. Having the privilege of doing their wedding and being with them and their families for the occasion was absolute joy. Getting to eat some of the barbecue ribs his brother-in-law grilled was a nice fringe benefit, too.

Back home just before dark, Randa and I led the horses over from the pasture back to their pens. As we walked back to the house, I looked up over the tall spruce tree. A full moon showed in the clearing sky. The smell of honeysuckle and catalpa blooms sweetened the still, humid air of the evening. Silhouettes of hardwoods framed the ridge to the west and the last bits of daylight filtered through broken clouds like God’s good grace on a fulfilling day.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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