The big day has finally arrived and my second daughter’s wedding is looking to take off like a rocket. For the past two weeks she my wife had been running around doing all the last-minute shopping to make sure they have everything they need to make the reception the most amazing event of their lives. All I’ve done during that time is sit back and watch them run around like chickens with their heads cut off while I sat back and watched TV and enjoyed long conversations with my son-in-law to be John. In fact we both laughed at how involved the two women have been and really how little we’ve had to do to make anything happen for this event. All that lazing around came to an end yesterday however when my wife suddenly discovered that the caterers hadn’t booked any serving staff so I was now going to be roped into actually serving the food from the hot food trolleys at the reception. My wife had even bought me a beautiful bright floral apron to wear saying that I would stand out from amongst all the other serving staff as the father of the bride. I didn’t really take kindly to this invitation but what can you do, it’s your daughter’s wedding, and you will do anything to make it goes smoothly and keep your daughter happy. So there I was dressed up like a silly old man serving hot steaks to anybody who wanted one and watching my daughter get married to the man she loved. Afterwards when everybody had gone home my wife and I sat at the back of the hall and reflected that we wished we had had more children because we really did love going to their weddings. My wife said if we were unlucky and either of them got divorced we could find ourselves back having another wedding with one of them. I told her that would never happen at least I hope so.
My second daughter who is now 24 came home last night to announce that she and her long-term high school boyfriend were finally going to get married. I must admit that after seeing them date for nine years I thought it was about time. My wife jumped up and down like an excited little schoolgirl more I think at the thought of planning another wedding then at the actual idea of our daughter being married. I’ve known my new son-in-law to be for so long that he already is a part of the family although it will be nice to have them move out of our house and find their own couples retreat. Why is it that as soon as a woman says she is going to get married that all her friends suddenly come running round with scrapbooks of pictures of wedding dresses, cakes, bunting, beaches and honeymoon locations. It’s almost as if they had been keeping secret notebooks on their own dreams and they are finally they get to express them with somebody else. John my new son-in-law simply hid at the back of the room while all the girls started crowding around and planning the reception. He gave me a quick wave and disappeared out the back door to his car where I know he was heading down to the beach. Meanwhile my wife had gone into our back wardrobe and pulled out our old silver candelabra which we had had on the wedding table and our own reception 35 years ago. My daughter loved it and said she would put it on her table as well as the start of a family tradition to hand down the candelabra from bride to bride. My wife as expected was in tears and proceeded to hug everyone in the room so I quickly made my exit as well thinking the beach wouldn’t be a bad place to spend the day.
We finally reached Byron Bay about 3 o’clock in the afternoon which was about two hours later than I thought because my wife and insisted we stop at the beach on the way there for a swim and an ice cream. When we pulled into the acreage where my daughter lives her large Alsatian came out barking but then stopped when he realised it was his family. The kids love that dog and were soon scrambling all over him and making him take them from rides around the property. We were both so happy to see her and couldn’t believe that it had been more than three months since we had last visited. We went straight in and my daughter put on the kettle for a nice cup of tea. My wife showed her the rosary beads we had bought and as expected she loved them. They both went into a huddle over the engraved number on the back of the cross and I could see that they soon will be playing detective trying to find the lost soldiers family. My son-in-law asked me to go out to the shed with him as he wanted to show me his newest business venture. As I said before my son in law is an artist and has regularly painted and sculpted works he has sold at markets and to various City Council’s. When I went into the shed the first thing I noticed was a set of beautiful all metal oxidised windchimes he had hanging from the centre beam. He explained that he had gotten into metalwork and had started designing ornate windchimes for the local markets. So far he has sold 20 to various tourists and he hoped to design a much larger set for the Byron Bay town hall. He was quite excited about his new venture and I could see that there was a real possibility that this could be very successful. My daughter and wife came in to the shed at that time and also started to examine the chimes..
Well we finally got going and sure enough we haven’t even got halfway before my wife spotted a new art shop tucked behind a service station near the border of New South Wales. She’s got the eyes of an eagle when it comes to finding knickknack shops in strange alleyways or hiding in the back of tearooms. I took the chance to fill up my new car while she scurried off to check out the bargains in her new discovery. She quickly called me over and triumphantly held up a set of beautiful glass and ivory rosary beads which she had pulled out of a silver box hidden at the back of the bargains table. She said she thinks the owner didn’t realise that the box had the rosy beads inside otherwise they would have asked a lot more money for them. She was so excited because she had found a legitimate bargain and she knew I couldn’t argue with the price because it would have been so much more from any other shop. She quickly bought the box with the beads inside and put them on the front seat of the car so that she could look them over in greater detail while we drove along. By the time we had reached our daughters place she had examined them in great detail and had proudly announced that they were genuine antiques because of the engraving on the back of the cross. It had a date on it back to 1922 and an Australian services number of a soldier who had owned them. She was determined to track down the soldier just in case they were a family heirloom and should be returned to his family. I knew my daughter and her were going to have lots of fun tracking down the soldier and trying to reunite his family with their sons beads.
Our daughter moved to Byron Bay nearly 5 years ago when she married a local sculptor who was famous in the area. Since then they have had two children and settled into the local artists community. My wife and I travel down there as often as we can to visit the family and spoil the grandchildren. Last Sunday we made the trip for the first time in over six months as my wife has been sick with leg problems. Normally the drive takes about three hours but this time it took only 2 1/2 hours because we had bought a new car which seem to like to sit on a higher speed more easily. My wife usually likes to stop into as many little shops selling curiosities or other artistic objects along the way especially in the regional area of New South Wales which is renowned for its artistic flavour. Her usual stops include the Crystal Palace as well as a beautiful little tearoom which serves the most amazing chocolate brownies. On the last trip she also found a small knickknack shop where she bought a beautiful stylish dreamcatcher which had been handcrafted by local artists. It was over 3 feet wide and had amazing beading right throughout the webbing. My wife was delighted with it and gave it to my daughter when she arrived. My daughter loved it and immediately hung it on her living room wall to keep all the bad dreams out of the house for the children. Because of the success my wife is determined to find something equally as beautiful on the next trip. So when we planned our trip the last Sunday of the month my wife was delighted to hear that the local Benowa markets were on that day. I knew then that we would be spending considerable time there while she looked through all the stalls for that special gift.