November 1, 1969
As Nate and I drove the well-traveled road between our Champaign apartment and my folks’ Wilmette home, we realized it was the first day of November – our wedding month! Although we’d been engaged for only 4 months, the wait seemed forever. Neither of us had any second thoughts, and we could hardly wait till November 29.
From my journal: As for my feelings about getting married, I’m anticipating it with eagerness! Everyone says marriage is a challenge, but I can’t wait to get started. Over these last few months, I’ve gotten lots of valuable advice in hash-over sessions with Mary, Mom, my girlfriends, and others. I have a lot of theories about husbands and wives and am going to try them all out. Nate and I have also talked about sex a lot. Maybe that’s why we’ve been able to abstain thus far. But that wedding night? It’s going to be sweet!
As we drove, we talked about our honeymoon, making the decision to spend all 4 days at Chicago’s historic Drake Hotel. The first night we decided we’d pay the extra price for a suite of two rooms but after that would move to a regular room. During the day we’d stroll the Chicago streets, do a little shopping, walk along Lake Michigan’s beaches, and “take naps” back at the hotel. In the evenings we’d eat out and attend one live show and a movie or two.
When we arrived at Mom and Dad’s, the kitchen was still torn up, and new appliances had been delivered…. to the living room. But Mom still wasn’t worried.
Dad was spending every free minute at Moody Church, supervising the installation of a new sound system suspended from the super-high ceiling. While he was there, new carpet had been laid on the steps leading to the lower platform where we would be married, and a new kneeling bench had arrived. The church had also ordered new white cloth runners for the very long double aisles in the sanctuary, and they too had been delivered.
As soon as we stepped into Mom’s front door she said, “Wait’ll you see this!” She led us to the garage where a long table was piled high with tiny white boxes about 3 inches square. Our names and the wedding date were printed on the lids. “Groom’s cake!” she said. She explained how her friends had spent 3 evenings folding all 500 boxes.
“And I’ve ordered 104 pounds of fruit cake. When it gets here we’ll slice it, wrap each piece, and fill the boxes. You know what they say. If you’re a single lady wanting to be married, put a piece of groom’s cake under your pillow, and one day your prince will come.”
Nate raised his eyebrows and looked at me, not sure what to say. I just nodded our approval and said, “Good job on the boxes!”
That afternoon as Nate put twinkle lights on the back yard evergreens, I went to meet with our caterer. But when I walked through her door, a group of 25 friends came around the corner and shouted, “Surprise!”
It was another bridal shower!
“Rejoice with those who rejoice.” (Romans 12:15)