It became evident once again, that in not too a distant future, South Africans will have no option but to own a 4x4 vehicle/truck or even an armed vehicle to brave the country’s ever deteriorating roads. The road between Amersfoort and Ermelo resembled that of an obstacle course, having motorists dodging severe potholes and patches which were sans tar. The Roads Department were however in the process of attempting to fix the roads, resulting in us adding nearly another hour to our traveling time, whilst “patiently” waiting at several 20 minute stops where both directions of traffic was channeled to only one obstacle course lane.
We reached the Barnyard, 10km outside Ermelo, just before 2pm and spotted Lenie finalising last minute wedding arrangements on her cell. It was fantastic seeing our friend again after nearly two years - needless to say that a few tears went rolling by. After getting a quick update on Lenie’s exciting life of late we headed off to the wedding venue to put the finishing touches in place. A good friend of Lenie, Ann also gave a hand with the placement of the name cards on the tables. As usual it is very difficult to make sure that people aren’t offended with where and next to whom they are seated. We also found the right spot for the framed table placement. Ann, and her friend Daan were Lenie’s guardians as to speak, making sure that she did not escape before walking down the isle with Ockie. Ann also made sure that Lenie was truly pampered the evening before her wedding – creating a very romantic bath scene with rose petals, candles, etc. I don’t think I have to say anything more. After everyone were satisfied with the venue setup, a supper date was arranged at Ermelo’s Spur (yes Ermelo has a Spur, just in case you wondered). Once again, everyone made sure that there were no escape routes for Lenie. Even Lenie’s ex sister in law and husband (Thelma and Charl) were present to guard on any planned escape.
If you think that Lenie’s friends were over reacting in guarding against an escape, the groom arrived a whole seventy fives minutes before the wedding, heading straight for Lenie’s overnight quarters just to set his mind at ease. I had a tough time keeping Ockie out of sight from Lenie, whilst taking some before photo’s of her with family, friends and the flower girls. Ockie could not wait to hold his future bride in his arms.
Lenie’s first husband passed away about nearly thirteen years ago after fighting cancer and Ockie’s first wife also passed away, making this a very special wedding. We don’t often get a second chance in life to meet the right sole mate to share your life with. I think I speak on behalf of most of the wedding guests that we were so happy and thrilled that Ockie and Lenie’s paths met and that at the young age of sixty-something.
Lenie did not have any children from her first marriage of 25 years to Dawid and it was extra special with her inheriting 2 daughters and a son from Ockie’s first marriage and four grand children. Lenie will live with Ockie on his farm Suikerboschfontein, which boast a beautiful three-day hiking route. This hiking route has just won the award as the best weekend hiking route in South Africa. The fact that 22,000 hikers have frequented the route over the past ten years speaks for itself. Conroy and I have hiked this route twice and it still remains the most beautiful weekend hike we have done. I am sure a third time will soon be on the cards. Apart from running the hiking route, Ockie also farms with apples which he markets very successfully locally and internationally. So Lenie, here’s to wishing you and Ockie a loving and happy life together. We know you will love the great outdoors on the farm, being an avid hiker yourself, and that you will accept any challenge thrown at you. Like we say in Afrikaans – “jy was nog altyd ‘n bok vir sports”. - Wedding blues signing off