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Turning

July 15, 2005

"Considerate la vostra semenza:Fatti non foste a viver come bruti, Ma per seguir virtute e conoscenza."

Consider your origins: You were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.
-Dante Alighieri, L'Inferno

My beloved married me, and we are settling into life together, which feels so natural, so right, it only makes sense in light of two flesh becoming one. We rented an apartment in Mesa, Arizona, close to my new job as a seventh grade English teacher. Oh, didn't I mention that before? I have been remiss about blogging.

The reality of our wedding on May 28th far surpassed any novel, and the reality is still unbelievable to me. I expected to grieve my stepfather's absence, but he was indeed present on that day. Don't look for details here-my memory is as misty as the organza on my dress. Such felicity would not have been possible without the tremendous love and support of family and friends. Above all, I remember Charles's hand in mine, steadying me and reassuring me of his love as we pledged our faith to each other. The ceremony (at our request) was traditional, and I even promised to obey my husband under God. Our reception took place at the Farm at South Mountain, riotous with late spring flowers, and we skuttled many of the traditional "reception" activities-instead of throwing the bouquet, for instance, Charles and I presented it to the couple married the longest (my grandparents), in symbolic representation of our desire to achieve their matrimonial longevity. My aunt Peggy orchestrated with true aplomb as our guests dined on high tea fare (my favorite, of course, the scones). My rosy recollections include only snippets of the day, including purple irises, a stolen moment of communion with my bridegroom, a last minute *perfect* bridesmaid dress purchase, my mother's tireless effort, a harmony in the key of "D", and the smiles and well-wishes of our guests.

Yes, there are actually places where the average May temperature is LESS than 120 degrees. The morning after our wedding we embarked on a week-long journey up the Orgeon coast in my father's olive green Titan. You must, I am certain, have better things to do than read the following recollections which I was compelled to live out. Can one ever be fully prepared for: red lighthouse beams, a fragile teacup of "smoky tea" in the hands of an EMT, a future English teacher at the controls of a WWII bomber, a room based on the work of a famous American author, a shrine dedicated to just about every different religion, and a very UNselfconscious 90-year old at an Ashland hot springs?

On our honeymoon, I also received a phone call offering me a position. Exicted? Well, I should have been, but I never even considered becoming a Junior High School teacher, if only because I am allergic to excessive hormones. Even more troubling, the principal informed me that I would have to switch between three different classrooms during the course of the day; unacceptable due to the difficulty in preparing for class and maintaining effective control of the classroom. However, I didn't want to heedlessly turn my back on a God-given opportunity, knowing as I do that such willfullness could never lead to pleasure. I determined, therefore, to set forth a fleece, after the manner of Gideon. If, somehow, a classroom became available by the deadline (two days distant), I would know that the job was providential. Of course, at the proper time the principal informed me that, shockingly, one of the Spanish teachers moved out of a portible classroom and one of the veteran English teachers moved into it, leaving a classroom in the main building available for, you guessed it, the new English teacher.

What, faithful reader, have I gleaned from my nearly two months as a married woman?

* marriage is more work than I could have imagined, but infinitely worth the effort

* whenever I truly love something, I find Charles at my side, caring about it just as passionately

* it is never possible to ascertain every facet of someone's character-new and surprising developments keep life interesting

* make sure a hot springs is not "clothing optional" before going in

*a Shetland Sheepdog can consume an entire Slim Jim with apparently no ill-effects

* it is possible to fit a surprising amount of belongings into a rented Dodge Neon

*Categorize by genre, THEN alphebetize

* If they would only install a shower and a bed, it would be far too easy to live in a Barnes and Noble.

* Jane Austen's advice about relationships still hasn't exceeded its expiration date after 200 years.

* It is possible to write an "A" quality essay in 15 minutes

* Now faith, hope, and love endure these three, but the greatest of these is love

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