At last I have permission to discuss The Big Secret.
No, Tom and Laurel's baby hasn't been born yet, but the news is just as good.
Walt went off to Home Depot the other day and while he was out, I had a phone call from Jeri. She said she and Phil were walking in the arboretum near her house and it was a lovely spring day and they thought the would call me.
Then she asked me if I had any plans for August. I said I didn't think so. So she invited me to their WEDDING, which will take place on the beach in Santa Barbara (where we have Tom's annual 4th of July barbeque) in late August.
Apparently while Walt was at Home Depot, Phil had called HIM to ask for Jeri's hand. At least that's what they told me. Walt says they had actually asked for his blessing, not his permission (that's from "Fiddler on the Roof"). He gave both. They had picked up a ring at a thrift shop and he presented it to her at the arboretum.
We could not be more happy. We LOVE Phil. We've loved Phil ever since he first showed up at the Sunshine Children's Theatre when Jeri was in junior high and his sister Vickie was performing with our kids. Phil was the guy who worked backstage for all the shows.
Later, during the Lawsuit years, Phil was the "roadie" (along with Jon and Greg) who helped set up the shows, run the lights, load out after a show, and hang out with the group. It was more than a "band" during those years, but a big social group as well.
Phil gave wonderfully heartfelt speeches at both David's and Paul's memorial services. He walked my mother down the aisle at Ned & Marta's wedding.
Through it all, Phil and Jeri were always good friends. She dated, he dated, and they were friends. As the Lawsuit group began to find mates and marry, they always joked that Jeri and Phil would end up together.
Something happened a few years ago. Suddenly that friendship began to blossom into something deeper. We had our suspicions. They seemed to be doing stuff together that they hadn't done before (such as making plans for big trips together). I'd never seen Jeri look so happy. Or Phil either, for that matter.
Phil started coming to family events and then he decided to make a trip to Boston. When he returned to Sacramento, he sold everything in his apartment that didn't fit into his car and moved to Boston, where he has been living with Jeri for about a year and a half. I love looking at the two of them because they positively glow when they look at each other.
Phil is the perfect partner for Jeri because he understands her lifestyle. Jeri teaches music at Berklee College of Music. She teaches junior high music students privately. She works with a junior high near Boston to design lights for their theatrical productions (and teach the kids as well), and she plays in pit bands for various musicals in and around the Boston area, so she has this very strange schedule, very strange lifestyle.
Phil has been a professional theatre technician for many years, a profession easily transferrable to Boston, though it's a field where one must pay one's dues, so he has to prove himself, which he has been doing for the past year and a half. He understand Jeri's life--has always understood it.
As I said at the outset, we have loved Phil for what seems like forever, and now that he is going to be part of our family, we just could not be more pleased. Phil's the real deal and they are so much in love.
It's still in the early planning stages, but it will be a simple, casual wedding, with Marta performing the ceremony (she's getting quite good at it; she officiated at the ceremony of her mother and stepfather last summer) and me making the cake. I'm thrilled to be doing the cake, since I made both Ned's and Paul's wedding cakes. (Given the nature, timing and distance for Tom's wedding, Laurel got the cake done by a bakery.) I'll have to see if I remember how to make a wedding cake! LOL.
So anyway, that's my big news and I am SO thrilled to be able to finally share it with you all!
(Of course, Phil had to get past having his life spread out all over the internet as I am wont to do...but, thank goodness he has become resigned to it.)