Quite a few years ago, we were graced with the presence of Annie.
Still in college and spending summers in her family's seasonal cottage, like all the summer residents, wanting a summer job.
I knew her Mom and other assorted relatives from being customers in my shop. When we met it was during the hay day for retail in the county. I prided myself on the varieties of bedding we carried in the shop… vast swatches of fabrics for custom bedding, quilts, comforters, european shams antique and new… you name it, and several of Annie's relatives have these cozy linens in their homes.
It was this particular year that we hired Annie to work part time at the shop.
From the minute I met her I was intrigued. Confident. Well mannered (well taught). Graceful. Articulate. I couldn't help but think there was nary a situation this girl couldn't handle. Kind and thoughtful.
This was also the year we experimented with our "Low Tea". Which was another glorious, chaotic, laughable yet dreamy time in the shop.
(Carol and I introduced Annie to making sandwiches on the ironing board when all else fails.)
One summer. Only one.
We stay in touch. She graduates. Gets a job at the Art Institute of Chicago as an event planner.
Starts taking photos of her own. Sidelines as a wedding photographer. Studies photography and the use of film versus digital. Gains respect as a photographer and thrills clients.
Meets a boy.
In the meantime our lives separate, but I am lucky enough to connect with her on face book and a quick stop in the shop during her busy summer visits.
Then it happened.
"I'm getting married, could you help with the wedding?".
Here is where I want to share an interesting insider view of "summer people".
Annie comes from several generations of Ephraim summer people.
They own very old cabins and cottages throughout Ephraim.
None particularly large, or fancy… or updated. No air conditioning, and certainly not winterized.
However, they are well lived cottages. Well lived and solid.
The handful of times I visited Annie's mom, Debby… she would ask me "what can we do with this place?!? I need your help. It's so dated." And yet standing there, I could never come up with a thing. Authentic living. They keep it in working order and comfortable… and keep that very deep Door County summer feeling alive.
We have this friendly tossed about phrase concerning Ephraim summer people, "Oh, she's EYC or he's EYC".
Ephraim Yacht Club.
(I have to admit stealing this early photo from Annie concerning a cherished relative)
Oh, it's grand all right.
About the size of a large living room.
They teach the young set how to sail.
Many a summer morning before work I have parked myself at the Ephraim beach and watched the boats go out. Little bursts of white sails highlighting Eagle Harbor. Precious summer memories for those who participate and for those of us who live here appreciating the history that continues due to these "summer people".
Back to the wedding…
after many discussions I knew that they only needed props from me.
Debby is an fabulous event planner on her own, and we landed on the idea of renting tables and the bar from me. I would show up the day before to help out where I could.
My dad, who built all the tables from the wishes of an earlier very creative bride, and I packed the trailer and we were off to the Ephraim homestead.
To be continued...