Northwoods New Year Experiences

Yesterday, I conducted two weddings and a funeral.

The funeral was a graveside service for Mary Smith, who died in the Chicago area two days before Christmas. I was impressed that her family brought her back to the northwoods via SUV.

It was ten below zero (without windchill factored in) when we did the service. I asked them, "Do you want the long version or the short version?" The vote was unamimous: 'SHORT!"

So we kept it short and sweet.

In the afternoon, I performed a little wedding ceremony at the church for Bret and Laura. It was a beautiful and intimate occasion.

Then, with Hannah as my helper, I made my way through snow covered roads to Spider Lake Lodge, where I officiated at the wedding for fishing great, Pete Maina, and his beautiful bride, Esther.

John Gillespie's Waters and Woods television program filmed the occasion for a future episode -- so I guess sometime in the next few weeks, I'll have my two seconds of fame.

It was a beautiful candle-lit affair, in a cozy northwoods setting. After I introduced the bride and groom, and the crowd was cheering, the producer called out: "Hey, just a second! We didn't catch everything. Can you do it again??"

So, we did a vow renewal! I joked that I'd officiated at several vow renewals (25th and 50th aniversaries) but had never before been asked to renewal the vows after only fifteen seconds.

We did it again -- and I suppose you could say that we tied a double knot of matrimony!!

After the nuptials, they took the good-sport bride (in her wedding dress) out on the ice and filmed her dropping a line. They said she needed to catch a fish to consummate the marriage.

Today, I mostly just hung around the house. Cathy and I jammed (fiddle and guitar) on some bluegrass gospel for a while. I watched the Rose Parade, washed the car, cleaned house and listened to a cd of old Larry Norman songs I received for Christmas.

For the last couple of days, our boys (Luke, Wes, and Ryan) were in Aitkin, Minnesota for a Bible Quizzing Tournament. They called with the happy news that their team made it to the championship stage quiz -- and all the guys did really well. I'm a proud pappy!


Andi Wittwer said…
Dear Mark,
What a delightful New Year's reading. Endings and beginnings are so lovely when you peel away the wrappers.
Recently I was writing to a girlfriend about how much she made me laugh. It took me back to high school days. Then I told her about how a young fellow and I were talking about "holiness": rather who is and who ain't holy. I picked up a book that God laid next to me and read "But do not think that the baptism of fire comes once for all to a man, in some one terrible affliction, some one awful conviction of his own sinfulness and nothingness. No; with many, and those perhaps the best people, it goes on month after month, year after year. By secret trials, chastening, which none but they and God can understand, the Lord is cleansing them from their secret faults, and making them to understand wisdom secretly; burning out of them the chaff of self-will, and self-conceit, and vanity and leaving only the pure gold of righteousness. How many sweet and holy soul, who look cheerful enough before the eyes of man, yet have their secret sorrows!" by "Out of the Deep" Charles Kingsley.
Isn't that the way He works? Holiness. Sacredness. Like the corn still standing in the field next to my house we have to peel away the layers to reach the sweet gold on the inside.
Anonymous said…
Your following statement--
"talking about "holiness": rather who is and who ain't holy"

blessed my soul today.

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