Our minister friend Chuck Davis agreed to marry us. He suggested we create some kind of ritual for the informal service. We came up with the idea of decorating a hula hoop and standing within it as we said our vows. I'm not the least creative, but Art's daughters Laura and Melissa wound inch-wide satin ribbon around the hoop and added silk ivy. I went to Michael's and bought a yard each of ribbon in the colors of each of our children's birthstones.
Two weeks later, we were married on the sailboat of our friends Bob and Sheila Airis. The only others joining us were Chuck and his wife Barbara, and our eight children.
At the end of the ceremony, each of the kids - Melissa, Jason, Karl, Russell, Laura, James, Peter and Greg - tied their respective ribbons onto the hula hoop. Then they all jumped into Lake Washington for a swim.
The decorated hula hoop lived in a closet in our basement for 22 years. I'm not a saver by nature, but it seemed callous and irreverent to get rid of it.
Until one day in May of this year. Art and I had traveled from our winter place in Tucson to Brier, the northern Seattle suburb where we live the rest of the year. We'd decided to remodel our daylight basement to create an apartment for ourselves. It will be light and bright, with no-stairs access to the garage, side garden, and laundry room. Jason and his wife Kalei and our grandson Kaleb have been living in our furnished house this year. Once we decided to remodel, they moved upstairs and put everything of ours that they weren't using on one side of the garage.
The garage was pretty full when we arrived. Within a couple of days I had sold the office desk and chair, the treadmill, the Bowflex and one of the twin beds. I offered some things for free on the Buy Nothing Brier Facebook page. I took the eight ribbons off the hula hoop and found the shirt Art had worn at our wedding (!). I have an artistic friend in Tucson I thought might create something for our remodeled place.
I set the hula hoop outside the garage. I said, "This may be of interest for a crafter."
A woman named Zoe responded, "I could use it for a fairy-themed one-year-old birthday backdrop." How delightful!
Zoe picked it up the next day and sent me this picture of how she'd transformed the wedding hoop:
I took them to my friend Connie Remetch. I had no idea what I wanted except for size - about a square foot. I said I'd like to somewhat match the framed wedding announcement that hung on our bedroom wall for those 22 years. Art was still in Washington; he took a picture of the announcement and sent it to me.
Three days later Connie called me. "Come see."
I'll hang the wedding announcement and Connie's beautiful creation on a wall in our new remodeled space.
I am a fortunate and grateful woman.