Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 18 : Fall 2013 - Page 11

Lessons from a County Wedding By Catherine Shaw Bowker I always thought my daughter, Gabrielle, would want a lavish wedding with an extravagant gown, men in tuxedos and bridesmaids in long flowing dresses. It would be a summer wedding in a remarkable location, the sun shining, birds singing, and people on the street watching in awe. After all, this is the wedding she described to me when she was young. After seeing the movie, It Takes Two, she told me she wanted to be married in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Then, after espying a wedding at Walt Disney World, she was determined to have a wedding in front of Cinderella’s castle.. Recently wed, Gabrielle chose neither of these options. As many County kids do, Gabrielle “went away” to college, got her Bachelor’s degree and found a good job in Portland. Her husband, Rhon, also from The County, did the same. Working first in Boston, he found his way back to Maine. When Rhon proposed marriage in December 2012, we all thought the wedding would be somewhere in the Portland area, maybe the cathedral where her cousin was married, or perhaps on a beach. After all, there are so many more choices in Southern Maine. But, they surprised us and held their wedding back home, in The County. We assumed they chose to come home because of the numerous elderly relatives up here who would find it difficult to travel downstate for the wedding. While this was certainly a consideration, it was not the only reason. It turns out they miss The County. Naturally, they miss their families, but they also long for open spaces, sitting on the front porch and hearing nothing but nature and the occasional neighbor calling his dog. They miss driving from point A to point B without fighting traffic. And, I think most of all, they miss being able to call on a neighbor for help. While they do love the many options they have in Portland – getting fish fresh from the docks, walking on the beach on a crisp fall morning and numerous entertainment options, they don’t like driving two hours to find a remote camping site, a mountain to climb or a river to kayak. I