I'm going to deviate from my normally ag-focused rambling to share a bit of my personal life. If you haven't already noticed – I have a new last name. On a perfect, not-too-hot day, July20, I married my best friend of the last 2 ½ years, Christopher Kiel. The outdoor wedding and reception was held at our best friend's mother's pond surrounded by beautiful woods.
The afternoon wedding was preluded with gorgeous, sunny skies and a weather forecast of the same. It was welcome news because even though we had tents, there was no contingency plan should hostile weather move through. Let's just say there were many prayers for a pleasant day.
The property included a small, but air-conditioned and fully functional cabin, which served as our staging area before the wedding and as our food house after.
With the exception of some family members being a little more than fashionably late, everything seemed in order. At least until I got the call. My husband to-be, who had been setting up all day and spraying for mosquitoes, went home to shower and dress. On his way back, he checked the weather forecast and radar. We're only 30 minutes out from the ceremony and he tells me to brace for the worst. What? A line of severe thunderstorms is headed right for us, he says. Not exactly what a bride, already shaking with nervousness about getting through my personal vows, wants to hear.
I envision tents being toppled, chairs being strewn about and decorations doused. As I stepped out of the cabin to assess the skies, it was remarkably quiet and sunny, but to the west it was dark and threatening. This must be the calm before the storm, I thought. The tents were step up in an area for the reception, but the ceremony was not under cover. The red on the radar could indicate everything from torrential rains to straight line winds… maybe even hail. I wouldn't even venture to guess what my blood pressure was at the time.
However, just as farmers have found themselves helpless in nature's wrath, I did what most of you have done at one point or another – just accepted it.
Whatever happens, we would figure a way out. If we had to postpone the ceremony for a bit, we could do that. If guests had to cram into the small cabin, we'd find a way. If we had to reassemble tents and wipe down chairs, there would be plenty of hands to help.
As the skies darkened, it was time for the ceremony. The music began to play and the wedding march was underway. As I neared the beautifully decorated arbor, I threw in one last prayer. "Lord, please give us a pleasant day."
About five minutes into the ceremony, very light and sporadic rain drops began to fall. Chris and I were under the canopy of a clump of trees, but our guests were not. I feared a downpour. The wind picked up, but just as it did, it shifted and the mass of darkness moved to the south, taking the threat of chaos with it. The skies began to lighten. There I stood, with my two daughters by my side and his two daughters and son by his side, exchanging vows as the sun began to melt the clouds. Mutual friends had introduced us and the couple that brought us together served as our maid of honor and best man. Surrounded by our families and closest friends, I let go of any fears and embraced the present. This was our day.
After the ceremony, the sun fully returned and one of our friends told us that rain on your wedding day is good luck. I do believe that those scattered drops were enough to constitute rain, and my Aunt Eva, who is over 80, told me they were refreshing. Lord, thank you for a very pleasant day – in many ways!