The December wedding and reception took place in a beautiful old house at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, in the state of Washington. Most of the family and guests were coming from the Portland, Oregon area, and the only way across the Columbia River was the I-5 or the 205. Unfortunately, a massive storm hit midafter- noon, and at one point, both freeway bridges were entirely blocked.
As a result, the wedding got a late start, as guests staggered in at all hours. In the meantime, the guests entertained themselves by going through the General Miles (1839-1925) Headquarters Museum, reading about the grounds history, and observing the
memorabilia: old photos, swords, pistols, and souvenirs of days gone by. When all of the wedding party was finally assembled, the ceremony was performed on a lavishly decorated staircase, which was absolutely gorgeous to see. Afterward, all the guests left early, during a short break in the storm, hoping to beat the worst to come. With only three little girls left, as family members were packing up the rest of the flowers and decorations, they thought they heard jingle bells. The youngest child kept saying that she could hear Santa, but no adults believed her. Until, that is, a thoroughly drenched Santa Claus came stomping through the door, loudly shouting, "Ho, ho, ho!" He carried a huge bag of presents for all the children who had already come and gone.
Oh, well. Santa sure made those three little girls very, very happy.