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|Volume 11 |Issue 35| September 07, 2012 ||
A Wedding by the Ocean
Our children and almost all our nephews and nieces are already married. But it was the announcement of Nabila's marriage that made us realise how senior in age we have become. She is an attorney and also happens to be my wife's grand-niece. Eleven of my immediate family members happily responded to her lavish wedding invitation, which stretched over three days, all in the sylvan setting of the village-like Cape god in Massachusetts. It is a rich man's paradise by the side of the pale, blue Atlantic Ocean.
Cape Cod is a peninsula, although attached to the main land USA, it juts into the ocean which almost surrounds it. Thus, the ocean's presence could be felt almost everywhere you went. Trees largely covered the land and one wasn't allowed to cut them or build more houses on the land because of the strict rules set by the nature Conservation Foundation. Even though our pockets became lighter, our hearts were filled with the beautiful sights and sounds of Mother Nature. People have preserved the god-given blessings for all of us to savour.
The national chain hotels were non-existent in Cape Cod. One had to find accommodation in the guest houses of the Golf clubs, some local hotels and motels, various Inns and residences offering a few guest rooms. Fully furnished houses were also available. They are rented out at a reasonable rate.
The place we rented was in Brewster, a small town in Cape Cod. The houses on the main street, where we stayed, were all about 150 years old and mostly made of cedar shake wood. The weather-resistant wood defied the need for re-painting and looked gorgeous. In fact, the beautiful architecture of these cottages contributed to the so called Cape Cod-style.
Our rental house was called the Elisha Crocker House, built in 1850 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Mr Crocker was born in 1814. He was a boot and shoe-maker, but in later years became an undertaker and a paper hanger.
Our house had a garden where our little grandchildren spent some their time playing or just running around on the green grass. With this home away from home as a comfortable base, we indulged in sight-seeing for a few days before the actual wedding. It was nearly the end of August and the weather was mild and sunny.
We went whale-watching from close quarters in a boat. We visited national shrines like the Kennedy memorial and saw the Kennedy-family compound from outside in the nearby town of Hyannis Port and the beautiful Cape Cod National Shore. The Marconi Station at an elevated site near the Atlantic coast from where, in January 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt sent the first wireless telegraphic message to King Edward VII across the ocean to London, was an interesting place to visit, particularly for school children.
We stopped at Plymouth, where the Pilgrims landed in 1620 in a ship named Mayflower, whose replica stands at the harbour near the rock on which they, reportedly, first set their feet. Some of us took the opportunity to go by ferries to the summer resorts in the nearby islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket on day-trips. These are the habitats in the summer of the very rich and the famous, with mansions over hundreds of acres of land, mostly on the sea side. They and the president of USA go there almost every summer to play golf and tennis, to fish and to sail and socialise.
While we tried to combine the wedding with vacationing, we were there primarily to enjoy the magnificent and faultless celebrations of the marriage in two Golf Clubs, amidst immaculate greenery and flower beds. Red Hibiscus and white Hydrangeas were plentifully blooming all over Cape Cod this particular season, adding color and contrast to a marriage between a Bangladeshi girl from a devout Muslim household and an American boy of devout Roman Catholic parents.
Interestingly, the ceremonies were a liberal mixture of elements of both cultures and faiths. The young and old of both sides enjoyed the joyous sounds of music and dancing and the rituals of a wedding. When even the grandparents joined in the frolic, the warm and very friendly celebrations were complete.
The reception was held on Friday evening in a club pavilion. The Saturday's wedding ceremonies and luncheon by the ocean side, lasting from the morning to the late afternoon were held in another club. After the wedding was over, the bride's parents gave a farewell dinner the same night with Bangladeshi food for about thirty-five of their close family members coming from faraway places. It was followed next morning by a catered outdoor brunch for guests from both sides under a canopy arranged by the groom's parents in their large summer home in a wooded area. After that, we said goodbyes to our new and old relations and left directly for the return journey by car and planes to our respective cities.
This was our first visit to what was until now a dreamland about which one only read about and imagined. We truly enjoyed being there with our extended family and the wedding and sightseeing experiences were wonderful. Even after a stay of eight days, we were indeed sorry to leave behind the ambience and charm of Cape Cod.
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