Forty years ago today, that spring day was much as it is now with patches of blue sky, warming day temperatures urging signs of renewed life, bursts of early springtime colour daubed amid the greenery. In my girlhood, I grew up with large country gardens in the farming area. Thinking about my parents’ garden evoked memories.
Plants echo those that grew in my parents’ garden. I hear Mum’s voice lamenting four decades ago, the difficulty in September of doing floral arrangements when in another month, October, roses would be in full bloom. Himself and I were getting married. It was a country district do and after the formal church service and reception, the guests came
Dad wanted us to be married on the same day as he and Mum celebrated their 22nd anniversary. Himself and I were agreeable. My parent’s wedding day in 1946, was a simple affair in England with four guests before Dad was repatriated to New Zealand. Their photo shows Dad wore his army uniform and at his side, Mum was wearing a classic, two-piece, pale blue suit and a small pretty matching hat. Two Aunties helped her out with clothing coupons. Mum told us she also managed to get stockings to wear that day.
Happy. That is how I remember my day in 1968. It was a communal affair. Himself’s sister sewed my guipure lace wedding gown. Mum baked three traditional rich fruit wedding cakes – large, medium, small. My Aunty iced, decorated and assembled the 3-tier wedding cake. Another Aunty baked and decorated the pavlovas. My Matron-of-honour’s mother sewed three bridesmaids’ gowns. Dad killed a beef steer to provide the beef for the caterers to cook for the wedding breakfast. Neighbours arranged flowers and set up the local district hall for the wedding reception for 250 guests.
Matching Chrysler Valiant cars borrowed from my Aunt and Uncle and a neighbour for the bridal entourage, were driven by my cousins. A local farmer whose hobby was photography, did the honours. I was on time and Himself and I each said “I do”.
“I do… I do”.
It was the same story for my cousins, my sister and others in the farming district in an era when family life events were transformed into rural social occasions. A special memory evoked by splashes of springtime floral colours and scents in my garden this mornng.