November 1, 1969
Our weekend in Wilmette included a really big surprise: a third bridal shower! This one was given by 20-somethings for 20-somethings, and as I scanned the room, all of my best friends were there. (Right, with Mary) The ruse they’d used to be sure I’d show up was a make-believe appointment with our wedding caterer. There was no appointment, and she wasn’t even there among the guests. But what’s a surprise party without a little trickery?
We played games, ate sweet treats, and opened more gifts. Connie and Lynn had specified that it be an “all glass” shower, and this spectacular theme became evident after the first few presents. I was in heaven.
The afternoon’s entertainment turned out to be…. me. Well, me along with a good college buddy, Kathy. She and I had sung in a talent show (think pretend-talent) at Wheaton in long gowns and fake operatic voices.
When Mary and I pulled into Mom and Dad’s driveway (the back seat once again loaded with gift boxes), another surprise awaited. Nate ran out to meet us, telling us that my college roommate, Julie, had just called with good news. She was looking for a place to store her grandmother’s bedroom set and wondered if our Champaign apartment might be available.
I called her back for the details and learned it was elegant furniture, hand made in the 1920’s of Australian satinwood with tiny floral inlays, also of satinwood. The set included a double bed, night stand, dresser, high-boy chest of drawers, vanity with matching chair, and two 4-foot mirrors. Each piece had a thick slab of glass on it for protection. We couldn’t envision all this grandeur, so Nate and I made plans to drive to Milwaukee (where Julie lived) the next afternoon to take a look. Our only concern was that we’d be able to properly care for such fine furniture — until Julie needed it back.
And there was one more special surprise. Nate’s mother called (to the right of mom) to say she and her friends wanted to give me a bridal shower in Nate’s home town the following weekend. I was speechless.
“Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matt. 10:8)