The Jacksons – for Aug. 4, 2011

“So what’s on your wedding wish list?”

Rose Jackson set her glass of lemonade down on the patio table as she asked the question, and her future daughter-in-law, Amanda, did the same with her own glass before she answered.

“That depends,” she said, “whether you’re talking about my ‘here’s what I want in the real-world list’ or my ‘here’s what I want in the fantasy-world-of-my-mind list.’”

Brady, who was leaning back on a picnic chair in the shade of the big old elm tree that spread its width over much of the front lawn, spoke up.

“Let’s hear the fantasy list,” he said. “Reality is too real.”

Amanda looked at Rose who gave her a smile.

“Yeah,” said Rose. “Let’s hear your fantasy list.”

Amanda took a drink of lemonade. “Well OK then.” She set her glass back down on the table. “Wish No. 1. I want to get married in early February.”

Rose looked surprised. “That’s the coldest time of the year,” she said.

Amanda grinned. “It is, here in Manitoba,” she said. “But who the heck has a fantasy wedding in Manitoba?”

“Good point,” said Rose. “Probably nobody.”

“New Zealand,” said Amanda. “I want to get married in New Zealand in February.”

“Why New Zealand?” Brady gave Amanda a quizzical look over the top of his sunglasses. “Why not Hawaii? Or Florida?”

“Because,” said Amanda, “I figure New Zealand is kind of like the warm version of Canada. You know, colonial and kind of British. And very friendly, just like Canada.”

“True enough,” said Brady somewhat doubtfully. “Apparently they even have mosquitoes.”

“Not at my fantasy wedding they don’t,” said Amanda. “I can guarantee you there will be no mosquitoes there. But guess who’ll be your best man, Brady?” she added.

“Hugh Jackman?” said Brady immediately.

“Of course,” said Amanda. “And Serena Ryder will be my maid of honour and the two of them will sing a duet while I walk down the aisle.”

“What song?” Rose asked.

“I don’t even care,” said Amanda. “They can sing whatever they want.”

“Oh hey!” said Brady. “Can we get Flight Of The Conchords to play at the reception?!”

Amanda laughed out loud. “Absolutely,” she said. “They can play during the recessional! They can do Business Time!”

“Business Time?” said Rose. “Flight Of The Conchords?”

“Look it up on YouTube later,” said Brady. “You’ll die laughing. And they’re from New Zealand, which means we won’t have to pay their travel costs.”

“It’s a fantasy wedding,” said Amanda. “Who cares about travel costs?”

“Well, in my fantasy wedding we save money on everything,” said Brady.

“Aye, there’s the Scotsman comin’ out in ya,” said Rose with a chuckle.

“Gotta save money for the fantasy honeymoon,” said Brady.

“Ooh yeah,” said Amanda. “The honeymoon. I vote for the French Riviera. And then a Caribbean cruise. After which, a month in Rio de Janeiro.”

Rose sighed. “Wow,” she said. “You kids really know how to plan a wedding. Where were you when I was planning mine?”

Brady laughed. “Planning is one thing,” he said. “Execution is another.”

There was a momentary lull in the conversation while all three of them took the opportunity to sample more of their lemonade.

“Sure is hot,” said Amanda.

“No kidding,” said Brady. “Sure could use some rain.”

“Dad says if it doesn’t rain by next week there won’t be any second cut of alfalfa,” said Rose. “It’s just not a good year to be farming in Manitoba.”

“It’s not going to be easy for you guys to pay the bills for that New Zealand wedding,” said Brady. “But fortunately we have a backup plan.”

“Really?” said Rose. “Have you picked the date?”

“Not for sure,” said Brady, “but we’ve decided it’ll be early July next year. After the first cut and before harvest. And it’ll be small. Just family and a few close friends.”

“And it’ll be out here somewhere,” said Amanda. “Not back in the city.”

“In a church?” asked Rose.

“Nah, I don’t think so,” said Brady. “That’s not really our style.”

“I figured that,” said Rose. She turned her head and briefly studied their surroundings. “Why not right here?” she asked.

Both Amanda and Brady looked around at the well-kept yard.

“Could we?” said Amanda. “I’d love that!” “Absolutely,” said Rose. “I’d love that too!” “You sure you can forgo the fantasy wedding, Amanda?” said Brady grinning.

Amanda laughed. “Save it for the honeymoon darling. In February,” she added. “In New Zealand!”

Don’t miss Rollin Penner and the Traveling Medicine Show performing at the

Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach, Saturday, August 6 at 1:30.

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