This evening, after Jeff drops the kids off back at their mom's house, he and I will be hitting the road in what I have taken to calling the Big Fall Wedding Tour of 2010.
Our planned journey will take us south through Maryland, North Carolina and Georgia as we hop from campsite to campsite, town to town, in one giant loop that lands us back in Pittsburgh just over a week from today. The purpose of the road trip? Well, first and foremost, to introduce me to Jeff's mother and a few other family members, i.e. my future in-laws.
Yes, you read that right. I am engaged to a man who has as yet never introduced me to his mother. We haven't even spoken on the phone — though I have eavesdropped on their conversations once in a while (by accident, of course!). Now, while I wouldn't recommend getting engaged to a person without first meeting his or her family as the wisest of moves, I'm not too worried about this minor oversight. After all, his mother does live quite a long way away and, from what he's told me, she tends to be the solitary type and doesn't much like to travel, either. Not to mention, this will be his second marriage, so, you know, not as big a deal, right? She's already been through the mother-in-lawing process once before, and Jeff has said on many occasions how she has always been very relaxed and supportive of whatever utterly life-altering choices he's made, including getting married the first time. So all in all, I'm feeling pretty relaxed about the prospect of meeting her. Yes of course I want her to like me and all of that, but she managed to get along Jeff's ex-wife well enough while they were married and I'm like a thousand times more awesome than she was (so I've heard — I don't want you to think I'm being immodest or anything, I'm just reporting what I've been told, here). Anyway, from the stories Jeff tells, his mother seems like the kind of person I'll very much enjoy meeting and getting to know, and his aunt (the one in Maryland who we'll be visiting during the beginning of our Big Fall Wedding Tour trip) has read my blog and seems to think I'll make an excellent wife and daughter-in-law.
(Woah. That was weird. "Excellent wife and daughter-in-law." Typing that almost sent me spinning into a bizarro dimension of space-time where I have a bob hairdo and really enjoy embroidery and diet iced tea. Somehow, that doesn't sound like the kind of conclusion I'd expect someone to draw from reading my blog. Maybe "wise and poetic soul" or "devastating intellect underlying a morose sense of inadequacy" or "politically idealistic with a stubborn streak of macabre aesthetic and a lingering need to please" or something like that. But "excellent wife and daughter-in-law"? Well. I guess there's no accounting for taste.)
Anyway. The second purpose of the trip is to explore some possible venues for the wedding ceremony and reception. Since Jeff's family mostly lives down south, while mine mostly lives here in Pennsylvania, we've been exploring the possibility of finding an in-between place that would make traveling a little easier on everyone. No, we haven't set a date or settled on anything final, but we have been doing a great deal of brainstorming on those very topics. I don't want to give anything away just yet, but I will say this: part of the Big Fall Wedding Tour will be spent in an undisclosed location, getting a feel for the season and its fruits, connecting with the spirits of the land, and petitioning the gods for guidance.
O, what? Did you forget this is a Pagan wedding we're talking about here? You thought all this talk of in-laws and ex-wives and blogging was just so mainstream? Not likely! Besides, we take our duties towards this sacred earth quite seriously in this (soon-to-be-a) family, and that includes doing our research into local, sustainable resources for décor and cuisine, as well as asking permission from the land itself and its other denizens before bustling in and taking over. After all, it's only polite.
We'll be talking more about this whole process and the role it plays in our Pagan spirituality in blog posts to come (as well as letting you know how The Introduction turns out). In the meantime, we have our usual round of poems, pictures and word analyses scheduled to post automatically while we're on the road, with hopefully one post by yours truly sometime in the middle of the week. So stay tuned, and wish us luck!