Sunday, June 5, 2011

Miles from home

My goodness, I've been to a lot of weddings lately. Yesterday, we drove to Geneseo to see a cousin of Bill's get hitched. Geneseo is fairly close to Buffalo - less than an hour and a half. But, truly a life time away.

The ceremony was in a lovely mid-sized Catholic church with a big painting of Mary in the apse. She had on the requisite blue cape and a beatific smile, while Jesus hung, suspended from the ceiling on a wooden cross in front of her. I've seen this juxtaposition before. It's kind of weird: Mary gazing at her suffering son.

Which reminds me... the term 'sacre bleu' (made famous by Hercule Poirot, Pepe Le Pew and, more recently Lumiere from Disney's" Beauty and the Beast"), is a rather quaint french profanity. It literally means sacred blue and it refers to Mary's garb. Small bit of trivia for you.

Anyway, it was a lovely ceremony - the priest had a sense of humor and the service was less pedantic than usual. Both bride and groom spoke loud and strong. SCORE! They were both practicing attorneys so that may have made a difference.

The reception was held about 5 minutes away from the church. I had no expectations since I don't know Geneseo at all. We turned down a lovely tree lined, hidden driveway onto the grounds of an old house - well more like a manor house. The place was in various states of repair. The proprietor met us in the circular driveway and directed us to the parking lot. He looked like a member of a 1960s psychedelic band - right down to the Birkenstocks and foot long hair. And his manner was ultra layed back.

But, it was a truly magnificent joint. A band was around the side of the house playing tunes on a covered stone patio. As I stepped onto the brick walk, "NEW YORK, NEW YORK" was being belted out by the lead singer. The patio opened up to a large lawn where one could envision croquet games being played. The house itself was perched atop a hill and the view was really spectacular.

In addition to the house, the bridal party had set up one of those enormous windowed white tents. The dinner would be held in there. And there was a winding path that led from the house to the tent.

I stole away from the guests to walk around the property a bit. While I was walking I pretended I wasn't from a nearby town. I pretended I was on a trip to another country and was crashing a local wedding. It was easy to do. I remembered being in Ravello, Italy (on the Amalfi coast) with Bill and the kids when we found ourselves in the middle of a very high tone wedding. Every one of the guests looked like movie stars. Or at least it felt that way - like we were on a movie set. I could easily transport myself to that feeling right there in Geneseo.

I thought how wonderful that we had such a magical place so close by. We travel miles, cross oceans and traverse plains to see something unique, different and truly foreign. And, here it is right under our nose.

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