As I indicated yesterday, our principal reason for this long weekend in Seattle was to attend the wedding of our niece, Hannah. Although I had worried that I would be overwhelmed by the large number of guests (over a hundred), it turned out to be fine. The venue was somewhat unusual for a Jewish wedding: Fremont Abbey, which now is a site for hosting music and arts events but still shows clear signs of its original purpose as a Lutheran abbey.
The program had to be specially crafted, as the Abbey’s calendar and other constraints necessitated a Saturday wedding of all things. But fortunately sundown comes early in late October, so not too much juggling was needed, mostly just breaking up the reception into two parts, before and after the ceremony: starting at 5:30 we had the wedding feast, followed by “teatime,” Havdallah, signing the Ketubah, the official betrothal (!), the official marriage ceremony, and then the rest of the reception (dancing, etc.). Since Hannah’s sister Aviva is a math teacher, as is their mother (my sister, Ellen), and they did the table arrangements, it turned out that the tables were numbered in a way that puzzled most of the guests: 0, 1, 1 again, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, and 89. And how do you find your table, you ask? You just look at the chart on the wall, showing that the tables were arranged numerically in a spiral. You, faithful reader, are not puzzled by this at all, of course.
Barbara and I were seated at table 1, which included some of Ben’s relatives, including his aunt Helen who officiated as the rabbi. Much to our surprise, it turned out serendipitously that Helen and her husband, both of whom being professors at Swarthmore, had not only taught our good friends Meryl, Mark, Linda, and Eric but also remembered all of them! You never know where connections like this can pop up.