Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Timothy I, formerly Timothy II, brings some really good things to the gene pool of our family. Most notably this: those people of his can polka. We folks from North Idaho thought a cruel practical joke was in place when the DJ started 'The Beer Barrel Polka' up; we were shocked anyone could be so mean spirited and generosity challenged with the execution of such an heinous act. Turns out Timothy I's folks asked for it, because their intent was to polka. And polka they did. All of 'em. Another family tradition of the people from Canada is a certain rendition of 'Old El Paso'. We really couldn't figure it out as the bride called every last one of those Canadian relatives up on the dance floor and handed out sheets with the words on them. We were further perplexed when they all begin to sing, Our Girl leading them, with good humor and enjoyment. Anxiety set it rather quickly, though, because She was singing off key, actually pretty off key. They didn't seem to mind, though and noone cracked out a maple leaf and began to tell us what miserable excuses for humanity Americans are, so no harm done really. 'Cept we gotta make sure that Girl can carry a tune by the time she sings her babies to sleep and that she forgets that song and sticks with the standards, like Nessun Dorma and such. Another thing the Canadians did was tinkle their glasses. Turns out that's a demand for a deep dip kiss. Didn't know you could do such a thing. There was tinkling and kissing all night.

Tim's Other Sisters, now a sovereignty, formerly a monarchy, put together a video. Now videos at weddings and funerals are not at all uncommon. Yet this effort was completely uncommon and it's hard to say why. The music was familiar and unremarkable. The pictures the typical diarama of family life and growth. What separated this show from the rest? I don't know if I'll ever know but by the end of this extraordinary effort, we were all on the same page and ready to dance. And dance we did. For 6 hours? All in all, the Mueller Girls were happy to see each other again at last and to welcome another good man to our ranks. We wonder though; can he play softball? If so, we get him. If not, they get him. We're a pretty simple lot.

But at last, it was time. Time to go back. Time to acknowledge it was all done; but done just right. I dreaded saying goodbye to Our Girl, My Girl, My Mother's Girl, but do it I had to and she made is so easy for me by saying, "Aunt Jahn! Aunt Jahn! Don't go! I've got Jagermeister and heroin coming in 10 minutes!" We laughed and laughed and hugged and looked deeply at each other, no words necessary nor desired; both sated, yet both hopeful. For more, for much, for many. And so our paths diverged as was destined from the very beginning.

As I walked out of the ballroom and down the hall with her father and her second mother, I heard her scream, almost in terror? "Dad! Dad! Don't go!" And as her father turned and rushed to her side, a much smaller, little girl voice inside of an excruciatiatingly beautiful woman standing in a doorway clutching the air said plaintively, "I didn't get to say goodbye to Rhonda..."

I turned around and witnessed the exquisite cameo of one last goodbye--one last set of kisses and hugs and strokes--etched in my memory for always, one more chapter of a family story, a definitive work in process. I turned back around and kept walking down the hall, the tears now freely flowing. As I moved closer and closer to Idaho, a tiny feather drifted off my sleeve and floated through the air, onto the path of the next person by....

The 'Kan EWA


Bre said...


You are such a good writer, you make me feel like I'm there. What a beautiful story.

Do you do any other writing than on your blog?

jb3ll3 said...

Bre, You have always been so kind to me and I value that more than you can know. I don't write at all, except for my blog. I actually work with numbers. I am an accountant. xxooj

Bre said...

Very interesting...Math people usually aren't good writers and vise versa. You're a double sided brain user!

My husband is a double major in math and computer science but the poor boy couldn't write a paragraph in proper english to save his life!

jb3ll3 said...

The only thing I can think of is that I had really, really good, work-class good, English teachers at Coeur d'Alene High School. I don't consider myself anything but average because there, that's what I was. Always was good with the numbers, though.

Bre said...
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Julie said...


It sounds like you had a really wonderful time at the wedding. I too, enjoy the way you write -- the stories you tell.