John and Denise exchanged wedding vows in John's pole barn -- (You should have seen it a few days ago-- his twin brother said.-- He had about four vehicles in here, boats, tools, supplies--) John is a plumber, and a builder (he plastered my new bedroom wall), a hunter, and some would say a pack rat. He is also handsome and "cleans up real good" as they say. He and Denise got to know each other when she needed help building her rural place out on the lake. Pretty soon the chores were all done, and all John had left to finish was the outhouse, and after he did as much as he could do there-- It's very nice-- and was hanging around wondering what he could do to see Denise again, she appeared with two glasses and some champagne and, well, that's why the sign on the out house says "The Love Shack" to commemorate their first kiss. Neither are kids, they danced with adult children and grandchildren later. In his vows, John said Denise saved his life. Denise said she will love him forever. I think all of the women cried and maybe some of the men got teary, too.
The next day, at a wedding at the other end of the Chilkat Valley, a younger (Barely 30, just babies!) couple who have been together in one way or another since high school held a great big wedding bash at the their cabin in the woods with family and friends and neighbors from Mud Bay to the Border which also was all about love, happiness and community.
I was on the deck of the cabin Joey built his bride Merrick and their little daughter, when I saw one of Joey's friends holding his own new baby who is named Archie after his great-grandfather. I wrote Archie senior's obituary. Looking into that baby's eyes, I was also reminded of the grandmother who will never meet that darling infant because she died too young. I could see her smile in his dimples, and it made me happy, so I told her son that. It's good to remember and to know these things isn't it?
I used to think living in Haines was like being in a really large dysfunctional family-- I still do, but even knowing how hard it can be sometimes, after the weddings this weekend I felt like I'd renewed my vows to the community, thanks to friends and neighbors old, new, borrowed, and (sometimes) blue.