I don’t know if people will admit publicly to watching what we think is one of the funniest shows on TV. We have tried to convert everyone we know and still haven’t heard if we are alone in this endeavor. This guilty, shameful, secret show is My Big Redneck Wedding on CMT. It’s hosted by Tom Arnold, who is half the show himself, but if you don’t like him, don’t let that stop you from trying it out because it really is one of the funniest half-hours on TV. In fact, if we could make a spin-off series, we would base it on what we experienced this weekend.

Hubby needed to make an appearance at a Celebration of Life Party for a lifelong neighbor who had just passed away from cancer, so we packed up the car on Friday and headed to the Peninsula for a long weekend. We stayed with one of Hubby’s sisters, who is living in the house next door to the house they all grew up in on Blue Mountain. This was odd on several levels for Hubby, but convenient for an easy walk up to the neighbor’s property for the party.

We got into town early Friday evening and after we unpacked the car and grabbed some dinner, Hubby, Sis and I walked up to see the family already gathered at the house. The three brothers Hubby grew up with and their wives, along with a fourth “brother” that was basically adopted into the family in high school, were there, along with Mama and her sisters. I was a little unsure of walking into a situation where I didn’t know anyone and Hubby was a little unsure of the stories that would be told about him in my presence. As it was, the guys were sweet (and mostly drunk already) and I felt welcomed right away.

(I had worn a pair of Carhartt jeans and a Carhartt long-sleeved T for the drive over (because they are super comfy) and, as always, was wearing my Carhartt jacket. As it turned out, this was the secret password for the weekend.)

We spent a couple of hours standing around the bonfire, cooking fresh Alaskan halibut in the deep fryer, drinking a couple of beers (Mt. Dew for me) and listening to Hubby catch up on the last 15 years. There was Johnny Cash playing in the garage/shop and at least 3 dogs roaming around, sniffing for scraps. There was a tour of the house, stories of zip-lining into the pond and fishing in the old swimming pool. I walked home with a handful of halibut for the kids and some confidence in the fact that I survived meeting some of Hubby’s people.

Saturday was the Big Event, with an expectation of 150 people coming. There was also a pig to be roasted first thing in the morning. Hubby offered to help get it on the spit, since the 6 am start would be nearly impossible for most of the brothers to roll out of bed before 8:30 am. We set an alarm for Really Early and went to bed. Around 3:45 am, I heard what I soon deciphered as Light Sabers, coming from my nephew’s room right below us. I finally dragged myself out of bed and went downstairs to tell them to be quiet, which they didn’t do. Hubby’s alarm started going off and he got up to go deal with the pig. Then G-Bunny came in and crawled into bed with me. I think I got some sleep between 6 and 8 am, but I can’t be sure.

Hubby got back about 8:45 am, smelling like bacon. I got myself ready and we headed into town, while the kids played with their cousins. We dropped in on some family friends, bought shampoo at Wal-Mart and stopped at the best burger place in town for lunch, before heading back up the mountain for the party. We back to the house to find that Sis and G-Bunny had already gone up to the party. We were getting ready to walk out the door when another of Hubby’s sisters pulled in, with our brand new niece Lily and almost-2-year-old niece Zoe. I got to hold the baby, while everyone got bundled up for the dreary fog and drizzle, and we walked up to the party together.

I really have nothing to compare with what we saw when we walked around the last bend in the road. There were about 50 cars parked in the first clearing, complete with a plywood sign, painted with red spray paint and an arrow. There were three bonfires, cases of soda and beer piled on and under a banquet table, enough food for an army under the carport and a huge pig roasting on a homemade spit. Oh, and people as far as you could see, milling about and chatting at the fires. There were more dogs than I could count and kids zipping here and there. We told the kids to stay away from the half-frozen pond and Hubby started working through the crowd. We stayed for a couple of hours and found the fire with marshmallows. There was another woman there with the same jacket as me, which greatly bothered the kids for some reason. Hubby talked to a bunch of old friends and when he got tired of answering the same three questions, we went back to the house to get warm, wondering all the way how we were going to explain what we had just experienced.