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June 2022

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LIVE LAUGH LOVE: June 2022

A Most Unusual Wedding

June is wedding month, so in this issue, I’m sharing childhood memories of our family weddings. I really enjoyed those celebrations—and there were many! My mother was the oldest of 13 and her family and my dad’s (only slightly less prolific) were Catholic, so our relatives kept busy marrying and populating the world.


Usually, the wedding reception was held in the Quonset hut owned by the Byzantine Catholic Church. The women would cook the food and serve it on long tables lining the sides of the building. Plates filled with halupkies and ham and vegetables and salad would be passed along from person to person and then the last plate passed was for money for the bride and groom.


After the feast, the band played polkas and czardases and everyone danced, including the kids, sliding around the dance floor holding hands—or little girls dancing on the feet of their dads. My favorite part was at the end of the evening when the bridal dance was held—another fundraiser for the newly married couple.


The maid of honor would put on an apron and sit on a chair by the dance floor, holding open the apron for collecting money after wedding guests danced with the bride. People would polka with the bride one, two, three times—sometimes even six or seven times—and each time they put money into the apron. Just a few twirls around the dance floor before the next person took their turn. The bridal dance would end when the groom cut in and carried the bride off the dance floor and into the waiting car for their exit from the wedding party. How long did the bridal dance and money gathering last? It all depended on the groom and how much money he wanted to collect. According to the tradition, it was his job to stop the dance.


That was a bit of a problem for one of my cousins who was short, thin, and frail, while his bride was considerably larger and quite portly. We could see him standing on the sidelines surveying the situation, knowing there was no way he could pick up his wife and carry her out. Then, while the band was playing, “Roll Out the Barrel,” he disappeared and the dancing and rollicking good fun continued. It wasn’t long, though, before he was back—with a wheelbarrow! He wheeled it onto the dance floor, lovingly pushed her into it, and wheeled her out to the waiting car. My family is full of geniuses!


Una Boda Muy Inusual

Por Ellen Wood


Junio ​​es el mes de las bodas, así que en este número comparto con ustedes recuerdos de mi infancia relacionados con nuestras bodas familiares. Realmente disfrutaba de esas celebraciones —¡y hubo muchas! Mi madre era la mayor de 13 hermanos. Su familia y la de mi padre (que era solamente un poquito menos prolífica) eran católicas, por lo que nuestros familiares se mantenían bien ocupados casándose y poblando el mundo.


Por lo general, la recepción de la boda se celebraba en la cabaña Quonset, propiedad de la Iglesia católica bizantina, y las mujeres cocinaban la comida y la servían en unas mesas larguísimas que se alineaban a los lados del edificio. Los platos llenos de halupkies, jamón, verduras y ensalada se pasaban de una persona a otra, y el último plato que se pasaba se dedicaba a juntar dinero para los novios.
Después de la fiesta, la banda tocaba polkas y czardases y todos bailaban, incluidos los niños que se deslizaban por la pista tomados de la mano —o las niñas que bailaban a los pies de sus papás. Mi parte favorita era al final de la noche cuando se hacía la danza nupcial —otra recaudación de fondos para la pareja de recién casados.


La dama de honor se ponía un delantal y se sentaba en una silla junto a la pista de baile, dejando abierto el delantal para recolectar el dinero después de que los invitados a la boda bailaran con la novia. La gente bailaba la polka con la novia una, dos, tres veces —a veces, hasta seis o siete veces— y cada vez ponía dinero en el delantal. Eran nomás unas pocas vueltas por la pista de baile antes de cederle el turno al próximo bailador. La danza nupcial terminaba cuando el novio la interrumpía y se llevaba a la novia en los brazos desde la pista de baile hasta el auto que esperaba a que salieran de la fiesta de bodas. ¿Cuánto duraba la danza nupcial y la recogida de dinero? Todo dependía del novio y de cuánto dinero quisiera recibir. Según la tradición, era él quien debía detener el baile.


Esto resultó ser un problemita para uno de mis primos que era bajo, delgado y frágil, mientras que su novia era considerablemente más grande y corpulenta. Pudimos verlo de pie en una esquina examinando la situación y dándose cuenta de que no había forma de que pudiera tomar en brazos a su esposa y sacarla de allí. Luego, mientras la banda tocaba “Roll Out the Barrel,” desapareció mientras continuaban el baile y la diversión. Sin embargo, no pasó mucho tiempo antes de que regresara, ¡con una carretilla! La llevó hasta la pista de baile, colocó en ella a su esposa y se la llevó al auto que esperaba. ¡Mi familia está llena de genios!


Ellen Wood de Questa es una autora galardonada y una artista que usa el nombre de Maruška. El sitio web de sus libros y pinturas es www.NorthernNewMexicoArtists.com/ellen-wood. Para ponerse en contacto con Ellen escriba a ellen@howtogrowyounger.com.


Traducido por Teresa Dovalpage

Author

  • Ellen Wood, born in 1936, is a prizewinning author, columnist and former management executive. After her youngest child began school, Ellen started an in-house ad agency and won 16 awards for annual report and advertising excellence, including 4 national awards. Five years after her mother died of Alzheimer’s, Ellen experienced early symptoms (she has the gene, APO-e4). At 68 she developed a program of mind/body/spirit techniques that proved so successful, she wrote and published “Think and Grow Young,” followed by “Joy! Joy! Joy!” (now retitled “The Secret Method for Growing Younger,” Volumes 1 and 2) and gave inspirational speeches. Since 2018 Ellen has been the ad agency for NorthStar Tire and Auto in Questa, NM. Ellen started painting in November of 2020, having dabbled at it in her 20s, and gave herself a new name: Maruška, her father’s middle name. She is overjoyed to be part of a big, loving, kindhearted family. You can find her paintings at www.northernnewmexicoartists.com/ellen-wood