No, I didn’t skinny dip at that Canadian wedding


‘But I did get up close and personal with scree.’

First let me remind you that I had a darned good reason to skip a couple of blog posts in August. (Actually, I had a couple of good reasons, but The Wedding is the one I’m talking about today.)

Dude and Child walking down the aisle to the shore of Lake Louise

Another reminder. This was the second of The Child’s two weddings. The first — and legally binding one — was held last May on the rim of the Grand Canyon. The second — the one family and friends could attend — was held a couple of weeks ago on the shores of Lake Louise.

The Child Bride at her first (legal) wedding. Yes, the groom was there too, but that was about it

The wedding itself was gorgeous but not without drama — though not of the will-the-groom-show-up kind. A thunderstorm blew in one hour before I Do Time, so freakalicious that it capsized several canoes on the lake, sending their (luckily) lifejacketed occupants — including one woman clutching a lapdog — into the forty-degree drink.

Me, with view of Lake Louise out our window. No capsized canoes in evidence. Yet.

Speaking of gorgeous, I was invited to the bridal suite to have my “hair and makeup” done. I was relieved when informed that I needn’t bring my own makeup, since I really don’t have any. I did relate a cautionary to the makeup artist. Once upon a time, my late lamented sis-in-law Patty got all dolled up to go out, whereupon her young son Aaron exclaimed, “Mommy! You look just like Clowny Boy!” (This was a stuffed toy of Aaron’s that looked, ahem, like a clown; Patty did not take this as a compliment.)

Neither Aaron nor Clowny Boy could make it, but his brother Joe sure did. That’s him with his dad, Oldest Younger Bro Scott

When I went back to our room all groomed and polished, I struck a pose in the doorway, and said, “Well?” To which Dude Man replied, “Huh?” I did a little spin, explaining about the hair. “Oh. It doesn’t look as stringy as it usually does.” I didn’t bother pointing out the makeup.

A gaggle of Henrys — plus Susan, my Scree Coach (read on), on the right. That’s me in the hair and makeup

But enough already with hair and makeup. What about that scree? Well. One of the cool things about Wedding #2 was, not only that we got to go to it, but that there was a whole week’s worth of fun run-up activities. Most of these took place in and around Banff. Which I swear is spelled with two “fs” because there’s just too much fun for one. (Or, as my experience will prove, maybe too much fear.)

Dude, Child and great-niece at the top of Sulfur Mountain, Banff. Yes, all three climbed the mountain. Me too

Most of these activities — mountain-climbing, white-water rafting to name a couple — were pitched toward the Younger Set. Dude Man and I did accomplish a couple of the more family-friendly climbs. But one day, puffed-up with our success at scaling Tunnel Mountain, we decided to “do” the glacier hike. Which ever after became known as the Horrible Hike — and not just by the seventy-somethings (us.) In fact, one of the Younger Set, a most fabulous female neurosurgeon whose hobby was pole-dancing (honest), is the one who dubbed this the Horrible Hike.

Nope. Not the Horrible Hike. Yet another beauty shot of Dude and Child

Before I heard her refer to it this way, I had been calling this hike just “Scree!!!” — pronounced just like you think, very loud and like a scream.

Me, practicing how to say “scree!!!!”

See, scree is a toxic mixture of dirt and loose pebbles. When a mountain trail is composed of scree, especially at, like, a 45 degree angle, the Hiker has little, if any, purchase on said trail. There is lots of slipping and skidding, and, if you’re afraid of heights like me, a panic attack or two. There were a couple of times I was frozen mid-slope, clinging to a root or a rock rather like that poster of the cat hanging from a ledge by its front paws.

Dude Man and Me, pondering our next move (straight up that scree-covered right-angled slope in the background) with Susan and Suzanne

The Younger Set had, of course, scampered up to the glacier’s edge well before the rest of us. In fact, I heard that The Child spied me below, mid-scree-festooned climb, and said, “I can’t believe my mom is doing this!”

The Younger Set, all set up by the glacier at the top

Well. I couldn’t believe it either. But, with Scott’s Squeeze Susan’s coaching and James’ Aunt Suzanne’s encouragement, I made it (almost) to the top.

Look in that circle to see me leading the line of descenders — The Child right behind me providing moral encouragement

Dude Man and I joined a group descending only when told the extra 100 yards or so — more or less straight up — weren’t “worth the extra effort.” Scott and Susan pushed on. “We’re only here once!” was their attitude.

Scott on top of the world — and a whole heck of a lot of scree

Their go-for-it attitude meant they missed quite possibly the scariest part of the Horrible Hike. We had made it all the way to the parking lot at the trailhead when someone said, “Look! There’s a bear!” Of course we all ran back to get a glimpse. We were only about ten feet away, peeking through some bushes, when someone said, “Gosh, he’s brown…and has a hump. It’s a grizzly — and he’s heading this way!”

Dude Man and our fresh new SIL stuck around long enough to photograph Mr. G. Yikes

So. I got up close and personal with a grizzly and hiked the Horrible Hike. But did I skinny-dip? Nah. That would have been waaaay too scary. Besides, it would have wreaked havoc with my hair and makeup.

Amagansett, New York. August 2022



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11 thoughts on “No, I didn’t skinny dip at that Canadian wedding

  1. Karen Fletcher

    Oh my!! this post has validated that this is indeed a small world. While reading, I’m like this sounds just like the wedding my son (Urologist) and his Fiancée (Neurosurgeon) attended. Then, I saw the neurosurgeon (pole dancer part), 😊Soooo, I shared the article and was quickly told, that there was another neurosurgeon who is the pole dancer. 🤣. And yes, it was the same awwwwhmazing wedding. Congrats to you and the Dude on the child, who I understand is absolutely wonderful!

    • Omigosh, Karen! Alexandra texted me about this today. Like you, I can’t believe how small the world is (or maybe how large my readership is?) Nah, it’s a small world. But I’m so grateful it’s big enough for readers like you — oh, and for TWO neurosurgeons at a wedding! Thank you for getting in touch. And thank you for reading my stories! BTW, it was SUCH fun getting to hang out with Sean. Alexandra is One Lucky Neurosurgeon. So what if she doesn’t pole dance?

      • Karen Fletcher

        Haha! I will go with how large your readership is 🙂 No more lurking for me. I’ve fully subscribed.

        Eagerly awaiting an article maybe titled.. “Pole Dancing”……from second hand knowledge.😊

        Thankfully, no head injuries from the thunderstorm. Although the wedding was well prepared by having 2 neurosurgeons in place 🤣.

        Sean & Alex certainly compliment each other. Warms my heart of the friendship “the child” and Alexandra have had. Talk about when friends become family!

        • Yes! I too love it that Her Childness and Alexandra have such a long and lasting friendship. My head sure feels safer with her around (!) Thanks so much for the Pole Dancing idea — and for subscribing!

  2. Your hair and makeup looked fab–and not at all clown-like. I have noticed some wedding makeup people do almost stage makeup–like the guests are going to be very, very far away. You got a good one! Also, good job on the hike and the bear spotting. Sounds like a great wedding (take 2!) all the way around.

    • Many thanks, Becca! For the comment AND the support. You totally get my worries about makeup to be seen “very far away.” Actually, I don’t need makeup to look good from very far away (!) Anyway. It was a truly fun week, bears and scree and all. I just hope there isn’t a take 3. I don’t think I’d survive!

  3. Denny Colledge

    Always a treat to read your blog, especially these wedding adventures. Interested in the make-up comments – children can be so judgmental! I thought you might like to have a look at this site (NOT that I think you need a makeover!!!!) mainly because the lady who founded the company was 65 when she started the business.

    • Golly, Denny. Thanks! So glad you’re enjoying these wedding stories. Maybe I can convince The Child to get married a third time so I can have more material (!) And thanks for the makeup resource. I’m always interested in checking out what other well-seasoned women are up to. And yes, kids say the darndest things, bless ‘em. “Clowny Boy”, indeed!

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