Lucky Friday the 13th

Author: Betty Kuffel

Friday the 13 of June

No, we aren’t superstitious, but after our wedding day mishaps, maybe we should reconsider. This year marked our 39th anniversary after an interesting beginning to wedded life. Tom had assured me life with him would not be boring. As many of you already know, he was right.

As recent Alaskan arrivals, few of our longtime friends could travel that far to join us on the appointed day in 1975. After rainy days, power surges and electrical brown-outs, along with not enough time to get everything ready, the sunny day arrived.

Both of us working long hours impeded some of the arrangements. About an hour before our drive to the church, you would have found me clearing the back yard of dog poop from our four sled dogs, raking grass and sweeping the front sidewalk. Tom checked the bar and verified the bartender would arrive on time.

A quick shower followed by a hair and make-up flourish, I dressed and took a final look in the mirror. Before leaving, I made sure reception details had come together. The table looked perfect with flowers, candles, silver, napkins and plates…but the wedding cake was missing. I called the bakery. They assured me the cake would be there before our guests arrived.

By the time of the ceremony, all the planets aligned. The string quartet played beautiful music as the small log church filled with new friends. My five-year-old son had told everyone we were marrying Tom that Friday the 13th … and we did.

We exchanged vows, and with smiles, the three of us exited the church into sunshine.

Attendees filled our new home for the reception, along with Tom’s father and my mother who were staying with us…and did not get along. We ignored their bickering and enjoyed our friends as we awaited the delivery of the cake. — Well, the cake finally arrived but not the one I had ordered. This one fell. As the bakery explained, during a brown-out, their oven quit and the cake layers fell. They didn’t have time to bake another cake nor apply the beautiful frosting decoration I had ordered. Instead, the cake tilted much like the leaning tower of Pisa and had hard candy daisies stuck along the layers.

What could I do? Well, we all laughed and drank a champagne toast to the strange crooked cake. Then, as I cut the cake, I set the sleeve of my gown on fire as it hung across a candle flame.

The photographer did a wonderful job of documenting our wedding. We made our photo choices and placed the Wedding 1975.edorder. When I called to see when the photos would be ready for pickup, I was told the photographer had divorced his wife and left town. He had taken the photos with him. We were unable to track him down or retrieve even one photo.

As Tom says, even without the pictures, we are just as married. The blurry photo in this blog is one of the few I have. It was cut from a snapshot and scanned.

We are happy and actually make a habit of wishing each other a happy day on the 13th of each month. And…a wonderful gift to us is, our son and his wife also chose to marry on Friday the 13th of June. Each year we celebrate the date together.

When the Groom Is a Jerk

by Ann Minnett

Every wedding, no matter how well planned, has that one catastrophe that threatens to spoil the day—weather, a misplaced ring, or the family feud flares. Inevitably, family and guests remember the unplanned event lovingly, but not always.

I can’t get one wedding out of my mind. It occurred 35 years ago in the bride’s quaint hometown in Texas. The small town girl was marrying our friend—and sometimes jerk—and none of us gave the marriage a chance. Not long after checking into our hotel for the weekend, we learned: 1) unbeknownst to either, the groom had been living with a woman in Houston while living with the future bride in Dallas (airline pilots could finesse the arrangement); 2) the groom had not mentioned to his Houston girlfriend that he was getting married; 3) the Houston girlfriend accidentally found out about his Saturday wedding on Friday evening; 4) Houston drove overnight, intent on breaking up the ceremony; and 5) the worst yet not surprising news was that Houston had been the groom’s father’s mistress before. The apple doesn’t fall far…


Everyone on the groom’s side knew the sordid story, and some of us wanted to urge the bride to Run away now! However, she and her family must have known because the sheriff patrolled around the church on Saturday with instructions to detain the Houston girlfriend. Fourth generation families can call in those kinds of favors in a small town.

Unfortunately, the ceremony took place, but I took satisfaction each time the groom flinched and glanced over his shoulder, afraid of what he’d find among the guests. I have no idea what happened to Houston. We had little to do with the bride and groom after his wedding but hear they’re still married!

I wonder what kind of life they’ve had together.

The Best Gift Ever

The Best Gift ever for me was a ping back one.  One Christmas I did not know what I would give my daughter-in-law, Karen.  Then it dawn on me that she liked to make evergreen centerpieces for her friends, and Karen lives on the flatlands of Montana with no access to cedar, fir, balsam, or blue spruce.  I pestered my husband to driving up into our nearby mountains and help cut evergreens for Karen.  We packaged a large box full and sent it to her.  She called and excitedly claimed it was her best gift everHomerun for mother-in-law.

ginacent    About three years later my granddaughter, Karen’s daughter, decided to have a late November wedding and, of course, they wanted to do a Christmas theme.  I was asked to send lots and lots of greenery.  Okay.  I didn’t want to go into the mountians alone, so pestered my friend, Jo, to go with me.  “No way,” she said.  “Nope.  Nah.  Never.”  By the time we finished our 18 holes of golf, she had relented.

On the morning we left for the high country, I called her to tell her the time our adventure would begin, and I added, “Be sure and wear bright colors, something orange if you have it, so we won’t get shot by hunters.”  Stupid thing to say.  After much of her bemoaning and my cajoling, she loaded up and away we went.  We cut scads of lovely, fresh, aromtic boughs, just dripping with essence, and I mailed them off.  Jo’s gift of going into the cold, high country, during hunting season with me has been a gift I chuckle over and will always remember.  Jo is a good sport.

This is one of the 26 center pieces needed for the wedding.  They also wanted me to make all the black table runners.  Gotta love those flatland women.

mariemartin  Marie F Martin