Friday, July 9, 2010

A Home for Wanderers

Before this weekend, I thought my friend Wendy's name was a bit ironic.  Wendy, one of my "homies," hosts a Bed and Breakfast hotel, in her home.

Wendy's name means "wanderer"and though she loves to travel, Wendy's roots run deep and one of the things she loves best is to make a lovely and welcoming home.

This week I was around to help out a little at Meadowgardens where Wendy hosted her son and daughter-in-law's wedding.

It was then that I began to realize how aptly she had been named.

For some reason, Milton's great and difficult poem, Paradise Lost came to mind, I guess because I have a vague memory of the last lines and they include the word "wander" the meaning of Wendy's name. In case you don't know the poem, it tells the tragedy of man's condition:

Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world and all our woe,
With loss of Eden..."

... set to leave the garden of Eden and make their own way, through hard work and struggle, in the world.  

Adam and Eve...

... looking back, all the eastern side beheld 
Of Paradise, so late their happy seat... 
The world was all before them, where to choose 
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide; 
They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow, 
Through Eden took their solitary way.

We all leave home and wander through college and jobs and churches and groups to find our way. Sometimes it's painful circumstances that drive us from home, sometimes it is the call of adventure or vocation that bids us wander, sometimes its the need for escape, for rest, for inspiration that we leave.

These are odd things to think about while preparing food for a wedding, I know.

 But it struck me that Wendy provides a home for the wanderer.

Wendy's is one of the most comfortable, loving and gracious homes I've ever had the privilege of stepping into. A sense well-being surrounds, a cheerful expectation comes to you.

She is a most gracious hostess

preparing ahead of time home and garden.

She welcomed Barbara, the bride's mother, who brought things to make the wedding more as it might have been at her home in Zurich, Switzerland. What a joy it must have been for both mothers to work together to make the wedding celebration homey, reflective of both families and so delicious.

The traditional chocolates were set out in a prominent place in Wendy's warm home... the ladybugs are set out whenever good luck is wished.

All the way from Switzerland ingredients for the incredible wedding cake were carried.  It  looked like the Matterhorn!

Making special cakes has been a tradition in the bride's family continued here so far from home on this most special day.

The tables were set

food was superb

and fresh

to honor the family gathering together from near and far to talk and celebrate.
the bride and groom

Whatever unexpected and daunting problems arose, Wendy handled these with a cheerful aplomb I admire so much. Everything would be fine, she seemed to say with her smile and her joy; family dear and new were gathering at her home.

Every guest, young and old, close and distant, nervous or confident...

 even the four-legged ones,were welcomed as beloved. I lost count of the happy dogs!

The bride and groom were honored with a wedding dinner

on the porch

in the loveliest summer weather

with conversation and delicious, homemade food.

I've heard it said that being on earth is the space between two gardens, Eden the first and heaven the last.  Surely Wendy's home makes that space look and feel just like heaven will.

Congratulations to Wendy and her family!

1 comment:

  1. how wonderful! I really love the new blog banner!