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A Wedding Picture Gallery

Since moving to this “real house”, I have been sort of lost in a good way, with so much space. So many spaces. A separate room for laundry, honestly…a place to do laundry, two bathrooms, a living room and a great room, besides a full-fledged kitchen and dining room. A kitchen where all the top shelves in the cabinets are empty. Because I can’t reach them and I haven’t anything to put in them. What do people put in their top shelves in the kitchen? Will I eventually fill all this space?

Mostly though, the wedding picture collection on the living room wall is the most fun. I still have a few more pictures to collect, but already it is a success. Success, because the family is interested. They want to know who is who. Lisl says I need a framed diagram.

Great grandma Hershey, Fannie Wenger, is wearing a most amazing frock. With hoops and a bustle. Of course, she can’t know on this picture that other folks will raise her babies. She stands by her man, slim and beautiful, in that old fashioned wedding pose. Now there’s a story.

And here’s another. I don’t have Alpha and Alma Kauffman’s picture… Maybe someone does, I hope. Alma and Alpha courted by letter and were married three months after their first exchange of letters. They met officially when Alpha came to Michigan to marry her. The train trip back to North Dakota was their honeymoon.

And one more story: Ben and Abbey Hershey had to be married in the next state in order to get a license. She was sixteen years old and he was seventeen. I served my family pancakes this morning, on Grandma Hershey’s platter from her set of wedding gift dishes.

Studying these pictures and remembering the stories is doing something for my attitude. We get pretty used to the way we have always done it: dressing, working, churching, and socializing. But really, the threads of our lives, the very genes that figure into our DNA, are diverse and complicated. White for wedding gowns isn’t necessarily the only color used in the past. And why didn’t we think of posing like the great grandparents for our wedding picture? So think again, if you believe that the way it’s being done today is the way it’s always been done. You might be surprised about your own history.

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