The Bride Wore a Hardhat

Posted on September 19, 2015 under Storytelling with no comments yet


Don’t get bulldozed into getting married



Most of us vividly remember our wedding day. The endless planning, jangled nerves, the realization that you are going to have a mother-in-law; all stress-inducing to be sure. And when the big day comes, we are consumed with the last minute details of hair appointments, getting dressed, and pondering the imponderable; “is that women really prepared to put up with me forever?” And then there’s the church adorned with flowers and sometimes candles. It is important to create the appropriate backdrop for this once in a lifetime event. I have also witnessed weddings in parks, barns, farmers’ fields and, of course, at the ocean. Watching a stunning bride and a dashing groom exchange vows with the sun setting on the Gulf of Mexico is something to behold – unless the backdrop includes several D-18 Caterpillar dozers.


I fondly remember my own wedding. In retrospect, it somehow seems fitting that our wedding day was the day after a hurricane had brushed the northeastern tip of Nova Scotia, causing extensive wind and wave damage. My loving bride was not swept off her feet by her prince charming. No, that was done compliments of the hurricane. The one and only outdoor picture was taken moments after exiting the church with the umbrella inside out and pointing skyward.


So I am standing at the barbecues at our vacation resort, lovingly preparing some 2 for 1pork chops for my bride of 30 years. I am engaged in a conversation with 2 lovely women from Ohio who are permanently moving to Florida any day now. Why anyone would trade Ohio for Clearwater in mid-February is beyond me.


As the sun is beginning to set there is a stir next door at an establishment well-known in the area for putting on weddings. A young couple, beaming with excitement, followed by their entourage, emerges from the hotel to exchange their vows on the beach. Unfortunately the best man is wearing a hard hat with the words “American Army Corps of Engineers” emblazoned on his jacket. You see, this unsuspecting couple could not have possibly known that on this exact day, at this precise hour, at this particular resort, the wedding party would not be accompanied by the strains of violins or bagpipes but by the sounds of enough heavy equipment to rebuild the Panama Canal.


Some time ago a storm roared up the Gulf of Mexico, literally and figuratively changing the landscape. In order to restore the beaches, a major reclamation project was initiated to import sand from far offshore and bring the beaches back to their pristine selves. To do this requires engineering and lots and lots of noisy, smelly, heavy duty equipment.


I was trying to lip-read the justice of the peace as he began the ceremony amidst the din. After a while I noticed him wildly gesticulating with his hands which could only mean that he was reduced to using sign language above the defeating roar. We will never know for sure if the marriage was legitimate. If an annulment is ever requested by either spouse, a strong case can be made that neither of them heard the other say “I do”.


My offer of two perfectly-cooked pork chops to the bride and groom went unnoticed. They were too busy making sand castles on the beach.



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Highland Hearing Clinic

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