Backyard wedding has Schlueterville buzzing

Avoid Schlueterville in the event of a tornado warning. I imagine myself crouched in the basement, watching the house lift and skyrocket like a scene from the “Wizard of Oz.” But the scary part comes when 225 china plates stacked on my pool table start flying like Chinese throwing stars.

My basement is full of cluster bomb fodder; a collection of china plates so vast I could outfit either a mess hall or a Denny’s. The shiny porcelain discs are a motley crew of colors, patterns, shapes and sizes with paisley borders, pink rosebuds, and gold metal accents. They were found by treasure hunting family and friends, sniffed out from second hand stores and bought for a song. Most are probably unwanted specimens of outdated wedding china, which I find ironic and a tiny bit sad.

But four months from now they’ll shine once again in useful, splendid glory at the wedding reception of our son, Rocket, and his lovely bride Trooper.

Vintage mismatched china fits Trooper’s rustic wedding theme. They’ll adorn equally mismatched tables done up with candles in mason jars, burlap, and country-simple flowers. Lanterns and strings of white lights will drape overhead, illuminating happy faces like a Christmas parade. And the whole shebang will be held in June — outside — in my backyard.

Actually, Hunka Burnin’ Hubby and I are thrilled to be hosting such a grand event. Trooper hails from Oklahoma and we look forward to a hilarious mix of good-hearted Sooner and Husker fans. There will be bluegrass music and dancing, groomsmen in suspenders and bridesmaids in cotton coral dresses. We’ll dine on sweet corn and potluck and thoroughly celebrate new beginnings with the handsome groom and his stunning bride.

To say we have work to do is a ridiculous understatement. The yard asleep under a blanket of snow resembles a bomb testing site. We’ll be landscaping ninjas when spring finally arrives — stretching hose and flinging hoes with wild abandon. I’ll post updates of the progress and calamity as the big day approaches.

Personally, I’m an even bigger mess. Shopping is not my forte and finding a mother-of-the-groom dress conjures fears of purple tulle with pink polka dots.

A friend dragged me into a bridal shop last weekend to get the ball rolling. It took 10 minutes to be overwhelmed by the teeming mass of brides and bridesmaids in frothy dresses, and moms in purple tulle, snapping pictures and preening before mirrors. “We’ll try again later,” I promised as I ran out the door, but secretly pondered the fallout of wearing jeans and cowboy boots to my son’s wedding.

Hunka, on the other hand, is taking everything in stride. I caught him staring squinty-eyed at our ‘60s era kitchen, mulling a redo that makes my dress dilemma pale in comparison.

“We can pull it off,” he said. “Knock out a wall. Install new cabinets. Move the appliances. Add a little paint. No sweat.”

Suddenly tornado-tossed plates aren’t so foreboding. I’ll post updates on the progress and calamity of that project, too.

Tamera Schlueter

Tam Schlueter adopts a "strike-fast-and-keep-them-laughing" approach to writing. Her column appears every Thursday in the Hastings Tribune, and showcases the wonder of family, dogs, muscle cars, and folks with blue collars and no-nonsense attitudes.

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