This weekend I was in the land of 10,000 lakes for my brother's wedding. He is now married to a really sweet gal who is easily twice as good as he his, (and he's a pretty good kid, himself.)
It was a truly eventful weekend, in so many ways. On Thursday, the day before the wedding, the Twin Cities were lashed by a crazy powerful storm. There were tornado warnings, marble sized hail, and torrential rains. As the semi-responsible person selected to pick up my aunt at the airport, I was dropping my folks off at the family dinner about the time the storm really picked up steam. In fact, as they ran into the church where we were having the family dinner, you could hear the dissonant howl of the tornado sirens.
As I navigated the streets by GPS, I had the windshield wipers flapping like the wings of a deranged duck, but I still couldn't see more than 20 feet in front of me. The hail sounded like buckets of pebbles poured onto the roof of the car. Everyone on the interstate was driving at ten miles an hour with their flashers on. Cars were pulled over underneath bridges and against the walls that border the roadway.
In retrospect, I was a complete idiot for thinking they'd let my aunt's plane land in that weather, but I went out to the airport anyway, waited a bit, and then received word that her flight had indeed been diverted to Sioux Falls. So, I worked my way back to the dinner, but traffic was still snarled from the weather. Parts of the city had their power knocked out, and there were branches all over the roads. Only a block or two from the church, I saw a telephone pole that had snapped off at the base and was being held up by the power lines themselves. All told, it took me nearly an hour to make it back to the dinner, by which point, everyone was leaving to go see what had happened at Kelly's house during the storm.
As we drove up, her house was totally obscured from view by a fallen tree. The ancient red oak in their yard had been struck by lighting and split nearly right down the center. Half was still standing, the exposed core blackened and scorched, while the other half of the 50 foot tree engulfed the whole yard. Miraculously, the fallen portion landed entirely into the front yard and did no damage to the house at all. By the time we stopped by the next morning around 10, the power was still out on their street, but ward members and family were hard at work dismantling the tree.
In the end, though, the wedding went off as planned, and that's the thing that really struck me about the whole experience: real love isn't deterred. The weather, the tree, the power outage, and all the other little things that might not have gone as planned simply didn't matter. Congratulations Kelly and Bryan!
And, in case you were wondering, the theme song for this trip was Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting"