Sunday, March 13, 2016

Dress Boot Camp
Oh, boy.  Here we go again.  After the ordeal of finding mother-of-the bride dresses for both daughters' weddings, I never thought I'd be doing it again.  This time as a daughter of the bride. Life is full of surprises.

My mom at 79 is getting married again.  Hers and Warren's romance started after Christmas.  In three weeks they were engaged. Everyone who hears their story can't quit grinning. What a delight to find love again at this season of life. 

My mom has her dress. She scored with the first one she tried on. She looks regal and radiant in it.  I told Warren he was going to have a beautiful bride.  He said he's counting on it.

Mom and Warren
I don't have a dress.  There is nothing in my closet that fits, save for two pairs of jeans. One badly torn at the heel, the other a hand-me-down that has a bleach spot on the knee.

I admit it, I've put on a few pounds. I don't blame myself entirely.  I let up on working out after Paige's wedding.  I told myself, "You know I wouldn't have to work this hard just to stay healthy."  I shared this insight with a friend.  She told me what no one should ever say to a woman who is working to stave off the inevitable menopausal pot.  "You know, Jacci, you could gain 20 pounds and you'd still be skinny." That's all I needed to hear. Twenty pounds came on with absolutely no effort at all.

So, here we are. I need to find a dress to wear.  Dress shopping is an activity that makes me want to curl up into a ball sucking my thumb. It's about as fun as getting a root canal, having a colonoscopy, or standing in line at Walmart.

The thing is I do have a dress in my closet that would be perfect. It's the one I wore for Brad's wedding last year. It was a small miracle I found it.

I procrastinated until the last minute to find a dress for his wedding.  I was in denial when I told myself that if I worked hard enough I could wear one of my mother-of-the-bride dresses.  I realized as the days counted down to the wedding that it wasn't going to happen. Unfortunately, the week before the wedding I was down for the count with the flu, in bed feverish and shivering. I was too sick to go shopping and wondered if I'd even be well enough to make the flight to California.

I made a miraculous recovery the morning Landon and I were to leave. I put on Facebook an urgent request to borrow a dress. Several friends graciously delivered dresses to my house. 

None looked too good. I had woefully misjudged my size. Since there was no time and no other options, I stowed three of the dresses in my luggage and hoped for the best. Maybe if I sucked everything in and wore a jacket I could make one of them work.

We made it to California and spent the evening with Brad and his family. The next morning I tagged along with the guys to pick up the tuxes.  I walked into the little boutique and saw a clearance rack of dresses marked 75% off.  I looked through the dresses, not daring to believe there'd be one that would work. 

There it was. A beautiful dress, in the right color, in the right (realistic) size, and 75% off to boot. It even had a little jacket that covered my granny arms. I went into the dressing room.  I held my breath. I got it zipped!  Hallelujah!

The neckline plunged a bit immodestly though.  Not to worry. A wedding guest staying at our hotel had baby-sized safety pins and a needle and thread.  Saturday morning she pinned the straps up and sewed the neckline of the dress to my bra. Voila!

Brad and Karen's wedding was beautiful.  I wept at the reception.  I felt so blessed and honored to be part of their day. Wearing a dress that zipped made it all the better.

When Mom and Warren announced they were getting married, I smiled. I wouldn't have to go dress shopping.  I'd wear the one I had found for Brad's wedding.  I just needed to get it altered and dry cleaned.

I tried it on this morning. Dang it. I can't get it zipped. 

Heavy sigh. I have eight weeks.  Dress boot camp starts tomorrow.  

Mother-of-the-Bride Dress #1
Mother-of-the-Bride Dress #2

Dress photo from

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Never too late for love

Next weekend my sister and I are going with our mother to shop for her wedding dress.  Not a dress for my sister--she's married already. For my mother.  At 79 Mom is getting married again.  She's downright giddy about it.

Dad's been gone for three years now. Mom says Dad was her life. They were engaged when she was 16 and got married after Dad returned from the Korean war.  She was 18 and just finishing her senior year of high school. They were about to celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary when Dad passed away.

Even though Mom missed Dad terribly, she was determined not to hole up in her apartment pining away. She stayed busy, heading up activities at the assisted living center, leading a Bible study, traveling, and spending time with family. 

In the months leading up to this last Christmas though, Mom began calling me more often than usual--sometimes several times a day. She was lonely. She said she'd like a male friend, someone just to have coffee with.  Where she lives, the women outnumber the guys five to one. She said it would be nice to have a guy to talk to once in awhile.

Mom spent the holidays with her brother's family in Nebraska. When she returned, I casually asked Mom if she had found a guy to have coffee with.  She kind of hesitated and said there might be somebody but didn't give a lot of details other than he didn't drink coffee. I pressed her for more information. She told me he was 89, but he was like no other 89 year old she had ever met.  He had so much fire in him. Huh. I wondered what that meant.

A few days later, I stopped by her apartment. I asked if she had heard from that gentleman again.  He had actually stopped by that day. She told me who it was--Warren. We've been friends with Warren's family forever. I thought they'd make a great match. They know all the same people and have similar backgrounds. Warren had lost his wife just before Mom lost Dad.  

From there the romance progressed at an alarming speed.  For the next two weeks, I heard reports from Mom on how well they were getting along.  They could talk about anything with one another. She didn't think it was supposed to work this way at their age, but they were absolutely smitten. I thought it was cute. 
Mom told Warren she'd never get married again.  Well, that didn't last long.  By the third week, they were talking marriage. Mom joked with Warren that it was Leap Year.  On Leap Year, she said, the women get to ask the men to marry them.  Warren asked, "Well, are you?" Mom said, "Will you?"  And Warren said "Let's do it."

Two days later on Mom's birthday, January 25, Warren got on his knees and officially proposed. That afternoon they were picking out the rings and applying for the marriage license. They were told at the license bureau that they would first need to get premarital counseling before the license was issued. They could get a license without it, but it would cost considerably more. 

Since neither had gotten counseling the first time around, they figured it wouldn't hurt.  So with almost 123 years of marriage between them, they drove over to see the pastor to sign up for premarital counseling.

They stopped at our house afterwards. Mom was right.  Wearing a black leather jacket and hiking boots, Warren looked much younger than his age.  I say he's a Clint Eastwood-kind of 89. Warren still splits wood, works on his tractors, travels, and takes out his four-wheeler and snowmobile. He even goes hiking in the Rockies, for crying out loud.

I don't get many calls from Mom anymore.  In fact, I have to call her. She's too busy with Warren these days. Ten years older than Mom, Warren is going to keep her young.  

They are looking forward to the time they have together. Mom's getting her passport. Their first trip will be to Calgary for their honeymoon.

The wedding is set for May 7th. It will be just their children, grandchildren, and great-grands (whose numbers combined remind me of Abraham's descendants traveling across the desert).

Warren and Mom have their families' blessings.  We wish them much joy in the years ahead.  Who knew that mature love would be just as fresh and exciting as young love?