Setp. 27, 2009 — Recently a young couple we know had a quiet civil wedding before going off to work on a large ranch in another state, where the groom has been working for some five years. They hope to come back around the New Year and have enough money by then for a bigger church wedding. She is from our neighborhood in San Juan Cosala and he is from a nearby town, El Chante.
The event took place in the bride’s family’s living room. Two women from the local government sat down at the table and had the bride and groom state a few things, like that the papers which had been prepared beforehand were correct. Then several copies of the papers were signed and thumb-printed by bride, groom, and family members of each. Here the two women from the government are leading the round of applause after declaring them married.
Then the officials left, and food and drink were brought out. It was still a pretty low-key event, since evidently the church one is the time for big partying!
The birthday was mine. I didn’t want to do a big party, so Kelly and I ended up inviting a few friends over for dinner. We’d invited various nationalities but it turned out that the five friends who came were all Americans, all in our 60s or rapidly approaching that landmark, and all people who had lived in California at one time or another. Maybe we’d all even lived in the San Francisco Bay area , not sure about that. None of them knew each other beforehand (except the other married couple knew each other).
We were all rather alternative in our outlooks, and we had a lot of good conversation about that. We talked a lot about the restoration activities coming up for San Juan Cosala.
I told the others that at a birthday party I’d had a few years ago in Colorado, I had told the story of my life in terms of defining moments, and I invited everyone to do this, to whatever degree they wanted. Here, as the chicken cooked on the barbecue, we sat around the front porch table and listened to the tales. A great thing to do… try it!