It's been six months since my last visit to St Louis-- too long! The occasion was the wedding of my cousin Ben to Ashleigh, a glamorous affair at a speakeasy downtown. I have a few good pics, but it was dark, and I eagerly await the photos from yet another talented cousin, Jack - art student, videographer, photographer.On Friday the groom's side of the family went to the Chinese Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden - beautiful. In the morning I went to see Mallory at Studio Visage (St Louis - go see Mallory at Studio Visage!) where she scraped and poufed and arranged my hair into a ballerina bun. Off to Jenny's for Brunch with Friends!
|Everett, I accidentally introduced your parents. You're welcome.|
|Ron brings his specialty, Oreo truffles!|
|Mama Ingram made FDSB (freaking delicious sausage bread)|
|le French toast|
|Q and I|
|Jenny and Gracie|
|Everett and Amanda. Amanda, why are you wearing a t-shirt?|
|Amy wants E has a photo accessory|
Then Amy and I got her hair done for her graduation dinner, ran downtown, changed, snapped pic and said, Hugs! See you in September!
|The Sister Cat and I|
|Ashleigh and her mother|
|Jack and my dad|
|Ashleigh and Ben & M's|
|Art Deco interior|
|Elise and Mason|
|Haley in the photo prop corner|
|Elise and I|
Back in WashMO, I was reminded of that French saying: Without suffering, there is no beauty.
Sunday morning Elise and I joined Amanda/Tom/Everett and Jay/Jackie/Jupiter for Father's Day brunch at Murdoch Perk (never been, can't wait to go during next StL visit). And then Francis Park, one of my favorite places in the city - I dearly love my old neighborhood of St Louis Hills:
I close with one of the unexpected and delightful readings from the wedding, a poignant passage from the Velveteen Rabbit, so fitting with weekend's theme: the deep goodness of the people who have known you, and loved you, for a long time.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."