Tag Archives: wedding



Kathleen and Jon were married about five years ago. It was my honor and privilege to officiate. We had an immediate connection through their names and my husband’s and mine. “My” Jon was included in the wedding festivities and we were invited to the rehearsal dinner at ZTejas Grill, hosted by Kathleen’s father Richard Moore.

Fast forward a few years. Jon and Kathleen have two children. Serena is 4 1/2 by now and Jacob is almost 2. Beautiful children; happily ever after and all that. Then in June I was contacted through this very blog. When Jon “found” me I was traveling in North Carolina, but that was old news. By the time he sent the message, I was in Phoenix for a church conference. Jon wrote:

I just read on your blog here that you are/were out of town, are you still out of the area? The reason I ask is that Kathleen’s father has passed away, and we would like to have you officiate the memorial. From what I understand, he liked you when you talked to him at our rehearsal dinner; you made a strong impact on him, and we know that he would have liked to have you for this.

A sweet reconnection with a family I had met as a group during one special event. They lived close enough for visits with Grandpa–Pflugerville, Austin, Cedar Park, San Marcos, and Leander. A little over a year ago Dick and his third wife Marsha moved back to Texas and spent much more time with the kids and four young grandkids.

Kathleen, Lori, and Jason remembered wild rides with Dad on a golf cart; the Bradley Kit car he worked to assemble (and never quite finished); and his invention of the touch tone phone. Too bad he never applied for a patent before someone else followed through and manufactured it! The family enjoyed entertaining dinners together every month and brought in the extended family on holidays. The greatest memory after Dad died was the laughter and hilarity of these times together.

I’m glad Dick and Marsha, who had been his childhood sweetheart in San Marcos, moved back to Texas. He had been absent for most of 25 years in Albuquerque or Florida after he and their mother divorced. When family members separate, the children–in this case, teenagers–feel a real void. In the midst of pain they all did the best they knew how.

How do YOU keep love alive? It’s so easy to lose touch with friends and family members whom we don’t see on a regular basis. It’s not so easy to break ties when we would much rather stay connected. Perhaps Dick and his children needed that time apart to go on with their independent lives without undue drama. I’ll never know the whole story. The ending of Dick’s story is that he was indeed back in touch. This Henry Van Dyke poem was included in the memorial service:

For Katrina’s Sun-Dial

Time is

Too slow for those who wait,
Too swift for those who fear,
Too long for those who grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice;
But for those who love,
Time is Eternity.

Hours fly,
Flowers die
New days,
New ways
Pass by.
Love stays.

–Henry,  Van Dyke

Back to the Real World . . .


Rob and Rinko are on their way back to Tokyo (Kawasaki-Shi, to be more precise). They will spend one night in San Francisco with her uncle. They’ll be home in the early hours of Thursday, Japan time, and back to work just a few hours later.

It’s so quiet here without them! My heart has grown larger with the addition of a new family member plus conversations about starting a family in a few years. Even his younger brother Fred is pondering marriage and family. They were always “late bloomers” and that has always been a good thing for them. Fine young men.

The wedding was “whimsical and wonderful.” It was Lin’s first visit to Texas, though she has been to California and New York. Rob made most of the wedding decisions (in spite of anyone else’s advice). You will probably guess which parts gave me pause!

Lunch before the wedding at Golden Corral. This was a sentimental choice because of multiple times Rob went there as a teen and young adult. Lin was quite happy, as she is with almost everything. An amazing selection of fried foods, but there were raw veggies as well. It was a little awkward to sit with my ex Bob and our younger son Fred, but we managed to reminisce about some of the good old days. His wife did not join this party of a dozen or more.

In spite of my worries otherwise, Rob did actually wear a tux. I walked him down one aisle, then Bob walked Lin down the other aisle. Not until it was time to get Rob did I see that he really and truly would not be wearing shoes. That felt awkward to me but it made him happy and Lin didn’t mind. He goes barefoot whenever possible and just has flip flops in his backpack when necessary for restaurants, etc.

The wedding took place at Northwoods UU Church in The Woodlands, TX. It is where the boys grew up and I was a member for 15 years before they ordained me in 1993. Rob and Fred were there for that occasion, too, so it seemed like the best place for Rob’s wedding. We had plenty of time after lunch to walk through the building and grounds that we had all helped build in 1984-85. Lin and I even took a walk in the neighborhood until it was time to get ready for the main event.

I helped Lin with her wedding dress. Since the room didn’t have a mirror at all (I had asked ahead of time) it was good to have brought a full length mirror where she fussed with makeup and headpiece.

During the ceremony, the minister read a “love letter” written by Rob and Lin. With a reference to Rob’s longstanding nickname as ThunderRabbit, it concluded with a reference to rabbits happily playing in a field with plenty of ice cream and pizza available. At that point the congregation was signaled to put on their rabbit ears to surprise Lin and Rob.

Family photos after the ceremony, cake and sparkling cider and other goodies afterward.

Karen and Bob had provided the cake, some of the drinks, and the flowers–a bouquet for Lin and a boutonniere for Rob. Karen had loaned a pearl necklace to Lin. Karen left after about an hour of the reception and retrieved the pearls. I ran out to my car to get new pearls to give Lin–necklace, earrings, and 3 bracelets. I had bought them on sale plus they were less expensive river pearls,  but had held them back because I knew Karen had loaned her some. I thought these were interesting with their irregular shapes, and felt just right for Lin. She was delighted and I was so glad to have bought them for her.

After cleanup and lockup, fifteen of us migrated to Dimassi’s for dinner. We had already had dessert first! Jon wisely didn’t eat; I overdid it just to taste some of the delicious Greek delicacies. The party finally broke up and dispersed in several directions. What a fun time!

Rob! Lin!


Tonight’s the night Rob and Lin arrive! Decorating and cleaning are done, groceries are stowed, and there’s still time to chill before Jet Blue brings them from San Francisco to Austin. It has been very nice to be able to talk to them at will on the phone. Lin’s uncle had a prepaid phone for them to use. Yesterday they were at Alcatraz.

Plans are pretty loose so we’ll all just go with some kind of holiday / wedding flow. Second son Fred went shopping with me today to Costco and HEB. Plus, he donated a few things from his own refrigerator.

For Rob’s sentimental reasons, lunch on the day of the wedding will be at Golden Corral! Back during his high school days it was the only decent restaurant around. Not exactly as elegant as I would wish, but it’s not my party. I suppose when you live so far away, old memories trump usual preferences. We’ll have other chances to take them to restaurants of our choice.

Lin’s dress arrived about a week ago and it’s quite beautiful. Shoes, tiara, and veil accompany the whole lacy dress with its petticoats and medium length train. The lace, including lace straps, makes the most lasting impression. (No, she won’t wear it to Golden Corral–there will be plenty of time to change at the church.)

Question: if you were in Austin for just a few days, what would you do?

Jon and Fred and I will all troop out to the airport to meet them. Can’t wait!

21 days and counting . . .


Wedding 3 weeks from today! I reserved the sanctuary, kitchen, and two rooms for the bride and groom to get ready. This will be in Rob’s home church, Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church in The Woodlands, TX, on Dec. 30. His long-time friend Christina Branum-Martin will officiate. The church will still be decorated for Christmas, a lovely background for a wedding. My sister and her husband also married on Dec. 30 and I remember how pretty everything looked.

I called Bob Nugen, Rob’s dad this morning, and asked him to arrange lunch for about 15 close friends and family and to get some flowers–corsage, boutonniere, and bouquet. We marveled together that Rob would actually get married. We speculated on the chances of a grandchild someday.

Lunch before the wedding will substitute for a rehearsal dinner the night before. In the afternoon, guests will bring their own tasty beverages and snacks for noshing and remembering old times we’ve shared. The ceremony is planned for 5pm, followed by a reception. The movable party will then travel to Austin for New Year’s Eve weekend. Just a simple, happy occasion!

I put the Christmas tree up today and will continue with the decorating prior to Rob’s and Lin’s arrival on the 22nd. Rob is likely to remember many of the ornaments, including some made by his grandmother. Decorating will be more fun than it has been for years! Gifts will have to be small and packable  if they will make it back to Tokyo.

In just four weeks they will already have come and gone! 😦

Ten days can go by in a big hurry, especially when the time is divided between Houston and Austin. A lot of Rob’s friends will travel some distance to catch him when they can even if they can’t make it to the wedding. Memories will last much longer, so I’m making a point to remember this preparation time.