America at its best
Have you ever attended a big wedding and had the feeling in your heart that this marriage will last? Sure you have. This was the happy experience of Grannie Annie and your old guy columnist this past weekend.
A few years ago I taught the groom to fly right here at the McCook airpatch. He then went to my alma mater, the Air Force Academy. (Proud feelings!) Then off to Air Force pilot training to earn his silver wings. Top class standing there earned him a slot to fly a fast little twin engine supersonic jet out over the Gulf of Mexico acting as a target (they don't use live ammo) for pilots training to fly and fight the fifth generation fighters F-22 and brand new F-35. Work hard get good grades, pursue your dream and good things happen.
One of the good things was a cute out-going blond girl of Swedish descent that one of his sisters befriended at University of Nebraska Lincoln. She was of rural roots coming from the small northeastern village of Wausa about as far from Hayes Center as one can get and still be in Nebraska. The two vivacious young ladies became best friends and it was only natural for the Swede to spend a vacation with the family of the sister's German heritage rural family including an eligible brother vacationing from the Academy.
It is a mystery of how a young man and a young lady somehow find interests in common. Then the attraction deepens and blossoms into love and pretty soon they want to spend their lives together. It helps if the two families fit also. Both of rural background and work ethic and strong Christian faith. Obviously all strongly approved of the partner that their son/daughter has chosen.
Tradition seems to dictate that the wedding site be in the hometown of the bride and best of all in the bride's home church. Both families attend and support branches of the same evangelical protestant faith. The pastor was at conference so a close family friend's preacher son-in-law as chosen to officiate. The church was packed with family and friends, local and those who had traveled a bit. The atmosphere was filled with happiness for the bride in white and groom in Air Force black mess dress.
Several of the groom's Academy roommates attended plus other classmates and fellow pilots from bases across the country fifteen in all. 'Twas a time honored patriotic touch to watch the wedding party file under an arch of sabers all held by uniformed officers as they departed the altar. Pomp and circumstance!
When farm families and guests gather it seems that food is in order. Excellent roast beef and plenty to fill the plates greeted the reception guests. The cake was traditional beautiful and the bride and groom didn't smash it into each other's faces. The toasts to the newlyweds were done with Dr. Pepper with not an ounce of alcohol present. Music was actually music, not too loud and the dance floor was crowded most of the night. Yes Christians from babes in arms to the geriatric class can have an enjoyable evening in celebration. Well done.
I pause to reflect on the events of the world the terrorist event in Paris the night before the wedding. Those young military officers, groom included, will be in the mix of the war that is unfortunately to follow. They have chosen that life and God bless them because America is in good hands.
The drive across our blessed state was one that this old farmer well appreciated. Most of the obviously abundant corn and soybean crops are in the bin.
The pastures are green and the sandhills are always spectacular and more so this late fall with sleek healthy cattle to be seen in abundance. Farmsteads appear well kept with many new farm homes boasting of recent good years. Rural America appears to be doing well indeed.
That is the way I saw it.