Like Thunder and Lightning

We’re in a big ol’ beach house nestled between a bunch of other big ol’ beach houses.  This is the second time that we’ve stayed at this house, and last time, our next-door neighbors were a bunch of fraternity-sorority types.  When we arrived we feared the worst, but they were surprisingly quiet and conscientious.

This year, the neighboring house is occupied by a friendly and cheerful group.  Yesterday, we began to suspect that we were witnessing a destination wedding.  The whole group assembled purposefully last night in what we suspected was a rehearsal.  This morning, the women appeared sporting surprisingly complicated hairdos for a day at the beach.  We were excited.  We love a good wedding.

This afternoon, I was lounging on the beach and just cracking open the third novel of the vacation when the beach patrol motored up to tell us to that they were clearing the beach because a storm was rolling in.  After dragging our own towels and books and cameras inside, we looked at each other and wondered, “What about the wedding?”

At first, it appeared that it was going to proceed.  We spotted bridesmaids on the decorated boardwalk.

But as time progressed, it was looking pretty ugly.  Clouds were rolling in from the north:

Come to think of it, clouds were looking pretty ominous to the south:

At one point, we yelled over from our deck–was the wedding on?  Shrugs all around.  Up and down the beach, people gathered on their decks and watched the sky.

And then it got worse.  A lot of lightning.  In fact, there was so much lightning that I managed to “catch” some:

And then the rain.  More rain.  Time had passed and it was going to be pretty dark soon.  We were getting organized for dinner.  One of our little cousins said she’d seen the bride getting into a car.  We speculated about what the venue could  be.  We pouted a bit.  And then, just as the first grill full of burgers went on, someone noticed:  the wedding was on!

We shamelessly watched from the lower deck, and–that’s right!–even took pictures.  We weren’t alone:  decks were filled with cheerfully nosy and under-dressed spectators.  The bridesmaids’ dresses were pretty, and the bride looked so happy.  At the end there was applause up and down the beach.

Then we all went in for dinner.


  1. Outer Banks, North Carolina. We’ve been coming to North Carolina off and on since I was in junior high school, and we’ve been to Topsail Island, Emerald Isle, and the Outer Banks. This is our second time in this house–my parents rent a house for whoever wants to join, and our only “payment” (besides gas) is that each sibling is responsible for a meal. At our peak there were 22 of us this year. It’s total cousin-fest.

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