I have been married to Honeydew for six months.  I am almost thirty years old.

My parents have been married for thirty-four years, meaning they have been together longer than they have been without one another.  They met during the weddin’ festivities of Bull & Betsy Davis – my dad’s law school roommate married my mom’s undergrad roommate.  To say the two families were, and are, close would be an understatement.  My mom stood at Betsy’s near right on the day she was married; had my mom had non-family attendants, Betsy would have stood at hers; I stood at Betsy’s daughter’s right; Betsy’s daughter stood at mine.

On my parents’ honeymoon, they traveled to the very exotic locales of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Williamsburg, Virginia.  My mama says that their first purchase as a married couple were the brass candlesticks at the center of this picture:

This week, the candlesticks made their maiden voyage across the county, via USPS, and arrived safely in my PO Box in actual-Babb.  Mom sent them to me to help Glacier County Honey Company get ready for its first appearance in the Made in Montana Fair – I’m going to display my beeswax candles in them at the Fair.  And hopefully get 10,000 orders and never wash another dish.  Yeah, right.

I set them up tonight, in our west facing windows, and even unpolished, they simply glowed in the sunset.  And so I thought about my parents, these people I know everything and nothing about.  Tried to picture them, at 22 and 27, picking out a pair of brass candlesticks together.  I can’t, of course.  For many of us, including me, our parents’ lives begin the moment we , or perhaps our eldest siblings, are born, and though we know our parents presumably flunked exams, flipped pick ups, and failed to floss and moisturize prior to our births, those lives before we are born are hard to comprehend.

I thought about the decisions made, big and small, over the last thirty-four years, that have brought all of us, mama, daddy, Brother Dear, Honeydew, and me, to sharing this roof we call Hillhouse.  What would my mom have said had some voice from the future murmured, as she tried to decide between brass candlesticks and pewter candlesticks, surrounded by people costumed as though they were living in 18th century Virginia, you will have a clumsy and willful daughter who will one day become a candlemaker … in Montana.

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