Nine years ago, on the September day Hurricane Kyle was upgraded from a tropical storm and blew in from Bermuda, Mark and I were married on Portland’s Great Diamond Island. Watching the weather forecasts inch closer to “100 percent chance of precipitation” during the week before the event, I fell into a deep despair. How could we ask 120 guests to brave cyclonic winds and rain on a ferry and island for our silly wedding? And how was I to reconcile my vision of a crisp, outdoor celebration backdropped by red- and gold-tinged leaves and vivid sapphire water with this soggy, gray reality?
In the end, no one backed out (although our DJ tried) and I had no hard feelings. On the contrary, the moment I saw our rehearsal dinner guests assembled in the ferry terminal on the (calm) evening before the storm, I simply stopped caring about the weather. Our candle-lit ceremony inside the rustic, brick art gallery at Diamond’s Edge Restaurant and Marina was lovely and cozy, and, it turns out, when people are compelled to crowd together inside a tent because it’s raining too hard to wander, you can have a pretty amazing party.
With our kitchen project in the rearview, I am feeling a mixture of relief, gratitude, pride, and sadness similar to what I experienced when our wedding was over. Once again, we have a beautiful result built on months of planning, scrapping plans and readjusting, and above-and-beyond effort on the part of people who helped make the outcome pretty close to flawless. Example: When our project manager, Mike Roy, and Pat Ralls from Block Brothers Custom Cabinets came last week to complete our punch list, they also spray-painted newly installed aluminum ductwork black so that the metal wouldn’t shine through the floor grate, made wood patches to cover gouges left behind by a door we took out, and vacuumed our entire basement.
When they finished at 8 p.m., our 4-year-old hugged Mike, who has become a friend, and gave voice to our feelings: “I’m going to miss you so much; I wish you were part of our family.”