Next week my brother is getting married, and I could not be happier for him and his fiancée. A bonus to the nuptials is that they live near Lake Tahoe, and the ceremony will be held on the famed lake’s north shore. As if it can get any better, it’s also dumping snow in the mountains, so along with my dress my ski gear will also get packed. It’s all an older sister could ask of her little brother as he prepares to say “I do.”
Yes, I am that sister. I am that older and all too-knowing bigger sister who’s long tortured her younger brother. We’re 17 months apart in age, and yet I tend to treat him like a little kid, which he certainly is not. I mean, it’s not my wedding, but I’m grateful for any wedding that allows for skiing. Of course skiing is a part of it — my brother also moved west after graduating with his culinary degree because, just like me, he wanted to ski in the mountains. Unlike me, he focused on his career right out of college.
Growing up, I was the sibling who excelled academically and was obnoxiously involved in sports, student government, and a slew of extra-circular activities. My brother ski-raced alongside me, but school and team sports didn’t hold the appeal for him that they did for me. He struggled in school, and with his tie-dyed T-shirts and long hair he was quickly labeled a burnout. He ignored all of this and worked throughout the year in restaurants, starting in the dish pit and later joining the cooks on the line.
In college, he became the sous chef at a well-known hotel and restaurant – a storied place that the writer Jim Harrison liked to write about. When he moved to California, he found work in a kitchen and then became the sous chef at a private golf club and community. A few years ago, he was promoted to Executive Chef and is one of the youngest executive chefs in his community. He’s won awards and somehow still finds time in the winter to ski in the mountains. I hate to admit it, but on the snow he’s faster than I am, though I’m not too far behind him.
Our family could not be happier for my brother and his fiancée to (finally) wed. I just can’t give him a break, can I? He asked me to be his attendant, his “best man” so to speak. I’ve also been asked to give a reading during the ceremony. I do not know if I’m really deserving of such an honor and certainly wouldn’t reveal how deeply flattered I am, but I’ll give it my best shot. After all, he’s my only brother and I can’t wait to have a sister in-law.
Plus there will be lots of snow, and isn’t there some saying about no weddings on a powder day? Or perhaps a delayed start?
Maggie Doherty is the owner of Kalispell Brewing Company on Main Street.