We had planned all along to have our wedding at home. The house we have been renting since December 2018 was remodeled in the early 2000s by the recently-divorced owner of a high-end bath and kitchen outfitter. The remodel seems to have been intended to turn the place into a swinging bachelor pad. There’s a fabulous kitchen / open space for entertainment, another large room (shown as the “media room” on the house plans) added onto the back, and a big open backyard with… a tiki bar. I kid you not. Which is canopied to protect the large BBQ grill and non-working fridge, and also has a bar sink. The owner who remodeled had also put in a pool, but the current owner thought it was too close to the house foundations to be safe, and had it filled in years ago. So now there’s a wooden deck surrounded by smooth concrete, which leaves a nice big space to put a tent.
After a very busy December 2018, traveling and then moving house, we spent the first weeks of January in a state of collapse. The California winter rain was heavier than usual so the weather was dank and depressing, but we had plenty to do indoors, unpacking and setting up our new home. I went to Seattle for an internal AWS marketing kick-off. Brendan worked on a new book. (Yes, I edited this one, too.)
Had we been able to make a trip to India before our wedding, things would have turned out very differently. We both like and are comfortable in Indian clothing, and would have been happy to buy (or have made) something Indian, probably a lehnga for me (I have not worn saris enough to be able to wear them gracefully – it’s an art). Brendan looks very sharp in a long kurta, and could definitely rock an achkan.
But this was all happening on a short timeline. We couldn’t go to India before the wedding (we’d be going there in September, after the wedding), and I was not able to find anything Indian readily available and to our taste in the US.
Although much of my life has been lived in urban environments, I have a lifelong (if often frustrated) love of growing things. I’m not sure exactly how that came about.
The time I remember most in my early childhood was spent in Bangkok, even then a large and very urban city. But it was also tropical, and, for the latter half of our five years there, we lived in a large house surrounded by a lush tropical garden filled with plants that I came to love and now identify with the happier parts of my childhood.