Kicking summer off with a wedding

Monday, May 21, 2018

We joked, as winter overstayed her welcome, that we were likely to skip right over spring and head straight into summer.

Well, with the Memorial Day weekend around the corner, that seems to have happened. Wasnít it only last week the ice went out in the Iowa Great Lakes? Come Saturday, those blue waters will be filled with colorful boats. Grand Avenue in Spencer will be in its summer holiday gridlock as trucks hauling boats, and campers packed to the gills will race like geese, north to summer.

The grass in my lawn was a depressing shade of brown for longer than I can ever recall and yet, overnight it seems, it turned green and started growing (and growing and growing!).

Because of our missing spring, I haven't had a chance to plan my summer to-do list. I haven't even finished my traditional "turning of the closets" that sees sweaters exchanged for sleeveless tops and capris in preparation for warm days.

I'm not summer-ready.

It's not about the clothes, or the boats, or the temperatures. It's a state of mind. I'm still in my hunker down and bake mode. I'm guessing I need those cues from nature, and some time, to head out of the house and move into summer.

I'm not sure if it was my avowed Anglophile streak or romantic nature that saw me up before the sun on Saturday to hold my own royal wedding viewing party. In a world that seems crazy and mixed up, sad and divided, there's nothing like the pomp and circumstance of a wedding to give you hope about our future.

This wedding was special, with a groom we watched as a pre-teen walking solemnly behind the funeral cortege of his mother, who grew into a charismatic, caring man; and his beautiful bride. And what a bride! Prince Harry was allowed to marry his love, who broke so many formerly iron-clad conventions. A divorcee, American, mixed-race woman. Marrying a prince? It wasn't that long ago where such a match would have been denied by his grandmother, the queen.

Today, that woman woke up as the Duchess of Sussex.

And England is better for it.

Anyone who has walked the streets of London will tell you that nation is a melting pot of ethnicities and flavors. Itís Chicken Tiki Masala, not fish and chips, that ranks as the most-popular dish in modern England.

Saturday's wedding showed us the monarchy finally understands that in order to remain relevant in the 21st century, it must evolve. Some rules are meant to be broken.

And it sent an important message to young girls everywhere that where you come from doesn't dictate where you will end up. Princesses, after all, can come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

And it showed that love is love is love. I admit to tearing up a time or two as I watched Prince Harry gaze in awe at his beloved. And as I watched Doria Ragland bite her trembling lip as she watched her daughter's fairy tale come to life.

Without the constraints on his brother, the future king, I look forward to the good works Harry and Meghan will do. They are both committed to making the world a better place and, through their wedding and its barrier-breaking highlights, they already have.