By Becky Nelson
The second big wedding of the family decade is here. Saturday marks the marriage of our son to an amazing woman who is firmly planted on the road to success. We couldn’t be happier to welcome her to the family. We are extremely proud of our son, who has grown into manhood preserving his sense of humor, focus on what is right in the world, love of beauty and the farm and who has already made his mark as a valuable community member and pillar of family value.
His is the second marriage that we have been a part of right here on the family farm. Our daughter was married here to the most wonderful man we could have imagined for her. The May day was beautiful, and the months of planning, prepping, mapping, scheduling and the days of angst and nervousness culminated in one of the most special days I can remember. Since that glorious day, they have started a family and shared their love and their joy of life with the rest of us with an amazing little girl and an equally amazing little boy.
As we head into the day today, celebrating the love of our kids, it is impossible not to think about the love and commitment that have marked generations here on the farm in our family since its beginnings in the 1700s. These first settlers to this land would think it extravagant and over the top with the numbers of people involved in these affairs. The crowds, the food, the tents, the music, the dancing and the cost would probably make them shake their heads.
Knowing the blood running through my veins that enjoys a good celebration, I might be surprised with their reactions. Many would probably join right in the excitement, and our thoughts of them will have them here in spirit, I am sure. Those who have left us in our own memory certainly will be here to celebrate their grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins as we send a toast and a cheer to the newly married couple and enjoy the company of our family and friends on this most special of moments.
The field where the tent is erected has been tended for months to get the surface mowed and ready for the reception. We have tried our best to keep the farm running at the same time, with guests picking berries right next to the place where the event will be held without knowing a thing about the planning and prep. Not only is this the place where our daughter also held her ceremony and reception, but it is a place of family heart where we often picnicked on the massive rock in the middle of the field and shed many drops of sweat when we mowed, raked and hayed the grass and plotted, planned and planted the raspberry patch. The planting of the raspberries was one of the last big projects in which my father was a part in the farm, so the place holds a lot of feeling for me.
The field at the top of the hill where the ceremony itself will occur today holds a special place in my heart as well. When a little girl, I spent early summers there with my grandmother, picking wild strawberries with the sun on our shoulders and the grass tall around us as we looked for patches of the tasty treats. I remember the scoldings when I sat in a patch or tipped a bucket, but I also remember the sounds of early summer as the birds chirped and the sight of clouds scudding in the sky and Mount Sunapee off in the distance, the smell of the soil and the grass beneath us and the excitement of finding berries.
Today will build more memories with the two committing themselves to each other and to the tenets and promises that marriage holds. We will celebrate all the commitments that came before them and the commitments and celebrations to come. I hope your weekend will be as eventful and as enjoyable as ours is today. I ask that God bless you all as we are blessed and I look forward to enjoying our farm as a place of excitement, relaxation, celebration and promise instead of a place of toil and work as another couple in the ninth generation of folks living and loving on this land starts their own partnership.
Becky is co-owner of Beaver Pond Farm in Newport, New Hampshire. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org