Thirty years ago, I was in Danville, Indiana getting ready to be married for the second time. It was going to be a small event, because I had been divorced some years earlier, and my parents wanted to keep everything discreet. David and I didn’t mind, because neither of us wanted a big wedding with a lot of bridal dust being kicked up on our behalf. My mother and sister had taken care of the few details that needed to be addressed, and I had flown in from Arizona a few days ahead of David so that we could be married in my parents’ back yard under the arbor that my mother had built and covered with roses.
My sister, Buffy, had an apartment in the old Victorian house that had once been the funeral home. I was staying with her, and we were enjoying having a visit, wedding or not. Late one evening, her upstairs neighbors rapped on front door, and motioned for us to follow. We slipped outside, went across the yard, and trailed behind them to the storm sewer that opened up on the street. There lined up in the opening were a half a dozen little faces, each belonging to a baby raccoon. They were not alarmed by our appearance, as they could have slipped easily back into the safety of the storm sewer. As it was, we got a great look at them, and at their parents who emerged to stroll back and forth. My sister got her camera, and everybody cooperated by letting us take their pictures.
A few weeks later when I remembered to develop the film that we had shot at the wedding, the photos we had taken at the wedding were memorable. But the first half of the first roll was filled with baby raccoons, and my sister’s long ago neighbors.
So, happy anniversary, David. Nobody would ever understand why baby raccoons remind me of our wedding.