Lisa Kelley: Who gets married during a pandemic?

Who gets married during a pandemic?

"What was that?" I whispered, sitting upright in bed.

"What was what?" mumbled a sleepy Trapper John.

Thump! Thump! Thump!

"THAT!" I said as I threw back the covers and bounded to the floor. "I think someone's here."

I tiptoed through the cabin toward the kitchen. Moonlight poured through the huge glass windows overlooking the Arkansas Grand Canyon, which is beautiful at any time of day, even when an intruder is breaking and entering.

There was no one at the door. No one on the wrap-around porch.

Thump! Thump! Thump!

Trapper rounded the corner to find me dangling precariously from a ladder leading to the second floor, leaning far over the top of the refrigerator.

"Uh, whatcha doin' up there, babe?" he chuckled.

Scratch, scratch, thump, thump, thump!

"I found it! It's in the WALL! I think it's a RACCOON!!!!" I shrieked at a pitch near that which only dogs can hear.

Trapper laughed. He put one arm around my waist, and with the other, he banged repeatedly on the wall.

"There. That's the most we can do about it right now," he said. "Let's go back to sleep."

We lay in bed, listening to the thumps. I've never been one of "those" girls who have to have everything "just so" -- name brand clothing, designer jeans, professionally coiffed hair and French manicure nails. But seriously, it wasn't supposed to be this way.

The wedding date wasn't the one we initially selected. The first engagement ring couldn't be resized to fit my hand. I was going to splurge and get my hair and nails done this time around, but the salons were closed. Forecasters called for calm conditions -- perfect for a candlelight elopement -- but stiff winds tossed decorations and not a candle would stay lit despite my oft-attempted efforts. The tropical dream honeymoon turned into a cabin on the Buffalo River -- which was closed, along with the trail system, by the president at the request of the governor immediately upon our arrival. And we were not supposed to have raccoons in the walls of our honeymoon suite!

But we did. And what could we do but laugh? Who gets married on April Fool's Day in the middle of a pandemic? We do. We named it the "WuFlu-I-Do" and played the songs "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" and "Only Fools Rush In." We wandered through the Ozark forest, danced behind hidden waterfalls, and took long drives on dirt roads that only wild turkeys and frisky teenagers could find. We even named the raccoons and did voiceovers for playful conversations we thought they were having. We watched spectacular sunrises and sat fireside in warm blankets, watching old movies, talking or not talking.

What were once situations I sought to remedy became moments that were tolerable, even enjoyable, laughable and most definitely memorable.

If life is all about how you handle Plan B, then I think we're going to do all right. We are safe and well and together, the only things that matter. Maybe it's not supposed to be exactly this way -- but I could not ask for more.

NAN Our Town on 04/09/2020

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