Never Done: I ate ice cream that was frozen in 3 minutes by pouring liquid nitrogen into a tub of cream and strawberries ... at Serena and Brian's wedding
I met Serena when she was twelve years old and I was just twenty four. And now, I just went to her wedding celebration. She got married in the field just a few hundred yards from the house where she was born. There were people (in addition to her parents) at her wedding who were in the room when she was born. There were people at her wedding who she knows much more recently, but who are as deeply embraced by her family and community as those of us who have been there longer. And speaking of being there longer ... I moved away 20 years ago, and I still feel completely embraced in Serena's world. She and I have seen each other in many places. She spent 10 years in San Francisco during many of my 12 years in Portland, so I got to be with her as she came of age, on her own, on the West coast. This has given us a level of continuity that is not always possible in our modern times.
I've been thinking about life cycle a lot lately, and how difficult it is to observe life cycles in the city, and how much I miss that. I don't think it's hard for everyone; I can see that people who are born and raised in the city, and have their family in the city, get to stay connected over entire life cycles -- even over more than one generation. I miss having this connection in my own life; it's one of the things that keeps me yearning for a rural life -- and even a life connected to my own home town, or at least New England where all of my mom's family lives.
And so it was particularly moving to be with Serena (and her whole family and community) to celebrate her marriage to Brian (a Floridian who has been welcomed into the Maine family) on some land I've spent time on (on and off) for 25 years.
And if all that wasn't enough of a meaningful Never Done activity for one day, Serena made it even more new by inviting a high school science teacher to make strawberry ice cream at her wedding -- by pouring cream, vanilla, and strawberry puree into a big plastic tub, pouring liquid nitrogen on top of it, and stirring stirring stirring. It was a wonderful sight -- Serena in her wedding gown, holding down the bucket with giant oven mitts on her hands, with liquid nitrogen fog floating all around her. (Also, the ice cream was delicious.)
Mazl tov to Serena and Brian! I wish you a lifetime of happiness and ice cream.