Monday afternoon, Daniel confessed to me that he forgot to pack one item: his dress shirt. So, after asking Willie where the nearest mall was, we decided to head there Tuesday morning. The Berlin Mall (really a small shopping center) is about 30 minutes away from the Lodge, and near Montpelier, Vermont’s capitol (the only state capitol without a McDonald’s). We arrived at the Mall just as the stores were opening. After Danny got his shirt at J. C . Penney’s, we checked out various stores before stopping at the Wal-Mart (!) to get the candles for our ceremony.
We had plenty of time before the ceremony, so we headed up the road to Montpelier. Considerably larger than Waterbury, Montpelier is eminently walkable, and our stroll confirmed what I like about Vermont’s towns: within a ten minute walk, there were six independent bookstores and many other unique shoppes, without a Barnes & Noble or Borders in sight. Also like most other towns in Vermont, Montpelier is dog-friendly, and you can bring your canine companion into nearly any shop except food establishments. We spotted a rainbow flag on the corner of State & Main streets, and headed into Coffee Corner to grab milkshakes - which were made the old fashioned way - with ice cream, milk, a metal cup, and a blender. I chatted with the waitress and casually mentioned that Danny & I were getting married that day. She offered hearty congratulations, and brought out the owner who comped our shakes.
We were back at the Lodge in time to grab a nap before getting ready for the ceremony. Danny & I had worked out the details in advance, including our vows, the use of candles, and the rings. It was just the two of us - with Greg Trulson officiating. I looked deeply into Danny’s eyes, which were welling up as we proclaimed our love for each other, and commitment to each other for life. We took our individual candles and lit the large one, symbolizing our two lives becoming one. Then the ceremony was over and we were married.
Danny & I then headed for Hen of the Wood for dinner. This award winning restaurant is built in a former mill, and featured locally grown produce and locally raised meat. After some lovely wine and appetizers, we ordered our entrees: I had the Hanger Steak - my favorite dish - and Daniel ordered the rabbit, much to my surprise. (I once had a pet rabbit, and felt guilty when I sampled a bit of Daniels - which I didn’t like.) For dessert, we shared a piece of apple cake ala mode. Our diets were obviously suspended for the duration of our time in Vermont.
It doesn’t feel in the least strange to now be able to refer to Daniel as my husband, rather than partner. Indeed, it feels right.