Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Charleston, SC -- To Have and to Hold

This wasn't a leisure trip, so NO, I did not eat at FIG or McCrady's although I hope to one day. We left Thursday afternoon from Atlanta and stopped in Columbia, S.C. at The Little Pigs BBQ. Since Bullet was with us, Jim went in and got some take-out. I walked Bullet around the kudzu enclosed parking lot listening to three black roosters try to out do each other while sitting atop a trailer in the back. We finally got a glimpse of them through the Zu and they were lined up in a row. Silly Roosters. We set up a nice little tailgate in the parking lot and feasted on BBQ, hush puppies and coleslaw. It was a little vinegar-y for me  (it was after all Carolina BBQ) but moist and flavorful.

Pressing onward, we met two toll booths and paid $2.50 to travel a 10 mile stretch from next-to-nowhere to nowhere. It seemed a little odd...we saw maybe 10 other cars on the road at 5 pm. Then we ran into a monsoon; you know the kind where you have to slow to 30 miles an hour just to see the car in front? After we got through that, it was pretty smooth sailing.  Finally, we made it to our destination and met up with sister Liz, Byron, niece Melissa and her fiance Rodrigo. We chatted a bit, but being old and tired we went to bed.

The next day we met up with the rest of Melissa's relatives, her father, his parents, his sister and husband, and her uncle Bruce, brother to Liz and me... confused? I was. Together (sans Melissa) we enjoyed some lunch at the Mustard Seed --part of the "dinewithsal" restaurant group LOL--  and headed over to her "White Coat" graduation from MUSC as a Physician's Assistant.

As graduations go, it was pretty standard. A small class (at least compared to Ga. Tech) around 75 grads I'd say, but I'm bad with math as I have stated here before. It was held in one of those new-fangled churches with the stage and sound system and all, but strangely enough there was very little light on the stage. No pictures, in other words. There were speeches, some sort of heartfelt, mostly boring and some just way too long (no matter what your position on the matter, have we not heard enough already about The Health Care Act?) but I'll grant  it was appropriate for the venue. I'd rather hear the ones about how hard they worked, how they supported one another, how they made lasting relationships. Anyway... that paragraph was a speech in itself. One last note, Liz commented to me, and I had noticed, all the young women looked alike! Sure, some were brunette, but all were fairly tall, slender, pretty, and had about the same hairstyle.  Seemed to be a comment on our culture; I'll have to ponder that.

Melissa and Rodrigo

Joe Moran, Melissa, Pam Pierson Moran, Jane and Steve Pierson

Mr. and Mrs. Pierson, Melissa and her Dad Steve

Melissa and Byron

So when all the graduation hugs and pictures were done, we headed back to Melissa's for an informal celebration.

STEPHEN is 21!

We all hung around catching up with one another and preparing food because we knew more people were coming for a graduation party later in the day, around 5-6pm.  Her Dad and his parents were staying in a hotel nearby and as they were leaving to freshen up, Melissa and Rodrigo pulled them aside and asked that they please come back, M and  R really wanted them to be there because.... they were getting married that evening!!!  Most of the reason it was planned this way is ALL of Melissa's family was there (except for cousins) and also, they wanted to start their lives together as Mel will be moving to another part of the state to start in her new job in September. Rodrigo will finish his studies in the CULINARY ARTS!!! in 2 semesters and split his time between Charleston and their new home.

The guests arrived and shared some food and wine, and when it seemed all were there, a wedding started! I believe there was an announcement made but it was all so exciting I can't say for sure.
Their friend Keranna was the officiant, and Rodrigo's niece and nephew, the attendants.

Emilio helping his son prepare (this picture is out of order and i got a headache trying to fix it)

The Bride and Groom (center) Kari (Rodrigo's sister left)  and Emilio his charming and handsome father, right
Some surprised guests!
People milling about smartly! Kari made the Tiramisu towers!

Rodrigo and Keranna
the Bride with the Mother of the Bride (above) and Father of the Bride (below)
Upon hearing there was to be a "surprise" wedding I thought... Who ever heard of such a thing? But I have to say, it was a lovely, heartwarming ceremony. What I saw was two young people so clearly in love,  equipped to overcome the obstacles life throws in our way over time.  I also saw and felt a room bursting with love and joy. It was perfect for them. It really was beautiful. I'm sorry about the people whose smiling faces aren't seen here. Melissa and Rodrigo know you were there!

We hear so much bad news these days, so many scary dreadful thoughts cross our minds in a world of too much instant information. This event gave such a joyful antithesis to all that, a respite that I think gave all of us hope and joy and a willingness to summon the courage to love and look for a fresh new day.

Rodrigo and Melissa, my personal wish for you is that your commitment to each other will strengthen each day, your love for each other will grow and that God's Peace which passes all our understanding abide in your hearts from this day forward.  God Bless You both.

Much Love,

See you soon!

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