Wednesday, August 03, 2005

50th Anniversary Party

My cousin, Pat, recently celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary, and decided to have a luncheon at Sheldrake Point Vineyards, in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. The beautiful winery is on Cayuga Lake, and was once a dairy farm. Pat and her husband George lived there when they were first married, and their sons were born while they operated the farm.

Pat’s mother and step-father owned a farm up Sheldrake Creek from the present day winery, at the point of the wonderful Sheldrake Falls. George’s cows had run away, across the creek above the falls, and my uncle and cousin Pat worked at getting the cows home, thus Pat met George. I spent a lengthy amount of time at Pat and George’s farm as a teenager, and also helped Pat when she had her babies.

The luncheon was a beautiful affair – quite elegant, even though most people were dressed fairly casually. The winery consists of several buildings, plus the farmhouse and large old barns. Most of the buildings have been painted a creamy yellow, and the gardens are very attractive, with many lavender colored blossoms, mixed in with other colors.

The party was held in a large white tent that is attached to the tasting room. A buffet and free wine flowing, before, during, and after the meal, made for a very festive occasion. I was seated at the table with the “bride and groom”, as I was a member of the wedding party. All but two of the wedding group attended – one is deceased and the other couldn’t make it.

George is a retired Cornell University professor, and there were Cornell colleagues in attendance. One group of people was from a People to People tour Pat and George led to Russia 40 years ago.

There were tables made up of their three sons, spouses and children. Pat’s sister and two brothers attended (including one from Miami), and several of George’s brothers and their wives. My sister was in attendance, and provided my transportation.

Pat was so pretty in a long purple dress. I enjoyed seeing people I hadn’t seen in years, and the memories flowed as we talked.

It seemed so strange to be in such a perfect setting on the shores of Cayuga, between the house and the cow barns, with the vineyards on the hillside and the other parts of the winery spilling over with tourists from many areas of the country, and remember that this was once Pat and George’s home.


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