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A Wedding Weekend Away

Bonnie and I don’t get away too often. Our lives are pretty well filled with enough wonderful local responsibilities that picking up and taking off doesn’t happen a lot. Frankly, we are fine with that. But this weekend, the son of some friends of ours was getting married in East Concord, VT, so we took the opportunity to make a quick weekend getaway out of it.

Freehouse Eatery & Taproom in Littleton, NH

The wedding was scheduled for 1:30PM on Saturday, so we timed our leave to make it up as far as Littleton, NH by noon time, so that we could eat lunch before the ceremony. If you ever happen to be up in Littleton, NH, I highly recommend the Freehouse Taproom & Eatery. A delightfully diverse menu with comfortable seating, friendly staff, easy parking and 16 beers on tap. Bonn got an Italian sub and I indulged in the Mac n’ Cheese with maple buffalo chicken on top. Delicious. For those who may not know, I’m a bit of a foodie, and typically plan out our dining options days in advance of trips like this to ensure we have the opportunity to experience something fun from a local favorite. Bonnie is such a good sport. She will generally eat anywhere I take her, and is quite content with a sandwich, burger, and any chicken-dish they have available. From there we headed another 20 minutes north to the home of the bride’s parents where the ceremony was taking place in their spacious and scenic yard.

Wedding ceremonies are typically over quickly, but, as we were reminded by the Pastor officiating (David Sherwood from Trinity PCA in Providence, RI), the vows are not. Take them seriously. He advised that the vows could be a source of strength during some of the tough times in a marriage. Music played before and after the service was supplied, in part, by a friend and recently retired Pastor, Steven Weibley. He’s a talented musician, and well-studied on many topics.

The reception followed at a beautiful outdoor pavilion about 20 minutes away. The place was picture perfect, with green rolling hills in the background, white-puffy clouds settled in blue skies, and a delicious BBQ buffet for the guests to enjoy. I treasured the many conversations I was able to have during these few hours at the wedding and reception. I talked with the founding pastor of our church, Norman Brower, and his wife Gloria. I talked with another pastor recently called to work at a small, struggling congregation in Grafton, MA, just a couple towns over from our home. I talked with a brother in Christ who works in Pharma about his career and some changes he would need to make in the coming months. I talked with a friend from our church about their vacation plans coming up in a couple weeks where they plan to rent a pontoon boat and sail around on Moosehead Lake. I talked to a fellow ruling elder at another church who shared some of the challenges that COVID had brought to them as a session. I talked extensively with the father of the groom, who is struggling with some significant back pain at the moment, a recurrence of what seems to be an historic problem with his L3/L4 spinal area. Time to pray for my friend!

The Black Swan Inn, Tilton, NH

After the reception Bonn and I drove 1.75 hours to Tilton, NH where we stayed overnight at The Black Swan Inn, bed and breakfast. We arrived in the dark, well past the usual check-in, but the kind owners left out our key and instructions. The room was quite comfortable, and breakfast the next morning was superb! We chose Tilton because it was closer to the church we wanted to visit on Sunday morning, which was the OPC church in Laconia, NH, Grace OPC. Bonn and I have not had the opportunity to worship with them since they became part of our denomination a couple years ago. The mother of the groom, who is also a close friend of Bonnie’s, grew up in this church. We were warmly received, even though they were meeting at an alternate location due to some construction happening to their own church building.

The worship service started at 10:15am and ended about 11:30am. We sang some great hymns, met some friendly folks, and heard a sermon by Pastor Wilson from Galatians. As Bonnie and I left, we were able to tune in to the sermon being preached at our own church and listed to this as we began our drive home. We followed this up by listening to another sermon preached a previous week by another pastor-friend named Paul Wanamaker, who serves the Evangelical Congregational church of Easton.

We made it home safely by early afternoon and will be able to worship with our home church, Immanuel Chapel OPC, this evening.

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