Flash forward, and I do mean flash. Had the honor of attending a good and great friend's daughter's wedding last weekend. It was just a bit north of Boston at the Crane Estate outside Ipswich. If you caught it on the news you would have learned that just about the time 200 or so folks were gathering - and I might add the bar not opening for another half hour (!) - a horrific storm came through and it came through for several hours.
The wedding pictures were just shot on the vista above, a solid line of lightning appeared pretty close by and, well it was 50 scatter...head for shelter. Of course the lights went out and there we were indoors in the dark, 90 mph winds and rain outside, trees down, bury the silver/hide the children. Lights out for miles. Oh my word.
The bride and groom appeared suddenly from the dark of night(well farther on down the the dining room anyway) - apparitions, wisps of sorts - while the kitchen staff cooked magnificently with no electric....and our little cellphone courtesy lights shown up like those spotlights you see near the county fairs. All in all it was pretty exciting and absolutely memorable.
Why this? Another ho-hum about a friend's wedding? Actually not a ho-hum when you think about it. The creature comfort of electricity and not having it didn't dampen anyone's ability to have a good time, to converse, to meet new friends and revisit old ones. The mother of the bride, who is sometimes fairly tightly wound, was by all appearances, relaxed and in total control of the uncontrollable. The bride - with every right to be bouncing off the walls, did great as did her sisters and the assorted groom's family and party.
In the scheme of the world a blackout power failure at a wedding reception might not be seen as a disaster. And it isn't. Quite the opposite perhaps and that is the "why this" of writing. I'm not Pollyanna enough to buy into the old lemons/lemonade cliche but the essence is that all had to do without something that you would think to be essential and, in the reality of the moment, it wasn't. It made attendance a shared experience; one with a story starting out "wow...we were at the Crane Estate for a wedding and the lights went out....yada yada".
Pretty, pretty, pretty good.