Category Archives: diary

The Day After Christmas

Christmas Love

My bed was warm and cozy this morning. I managed to sleep until almost 8 a.m. I have made an executive decision that most of the day will be spent in my flannel pajamas and thick fluffy robe, tube socks, and slippers that are faux fleece lined. They look ridiculous because several years ago I covered them with green felt when I went to a Red Hat sleep over. I wore a huge sleep shirt with a picture of a gigantic frog perched on a lily pad. The slippers were converted to frog feet. There were toes at one time but I had made them too long. I kept stepping on them and almost falling so they now have a toe-ectomy. Since no one will see them, I continue to wear them because they are the most comfortable and warmest in my closet.

I’m staying in this attire because it is the warmest and coziest outfit I can think of. I have given up trying to stay warm in my house when the thermostat is set on 68. As the years go by, I have made staying warm more of a priority. It is now set on 70 and the furnace is running almost constantly since it is in single digits outside. My home is as insulated as I can make it, but there is still a slight chill. I give thanks for warmth on cold winter days.

Every once in a while I am given the gift of realizing that I feel really well…not just physically but also spiritually. Today is one of those days. Even though Christmases are a little hard for me, I found comfort in this one.

A birthday buddy I found about seven years ago has included me as part of her family. She has reunited with her estranged father and so she hosts a dinner for him and his wife. After so many years there seems to be a bond forming between them again. I kind of envy that since there was never enough time for me to experience that with my own father.

After the dinner the two of us went to the candlelight service at church. It is the same every year, but this year I felt a solace that I don’t usually sense. Ill feelings about Christmas go all the way back to childhood. It was a little sad when she confided to me on the way home that she is thinking of changing churches. There has been much conflict the last couple of years in our congregation and we split almost in half. She stayed as I did but she is thinking of moving on.

Yesterday I was invited to the gathering at another friend’s home across the street. She cooks a huge pot of tortilla soup, tamales, beans, and makes wonderful chip dip. They buy a honey baked ham which gives me my pork fix for the year. Her family and friends arrive whenever. I walked across the street around one and had a nice visit while all was calm. It was very nice visiting with her and watching huge snow flakes fall outside. As the day went on, her two daughters and their families appeared, and a short while later two more relatives and their families arrived. The house was getting crowded so I decided to come home, full of her delicious food.

Her home is a little more drafty than mine so I had wisely chosen to put on another layer of underwear. By the time all those people had gathered, I was getting a little toasty. My introversion kicked in and I realized it was time to move on. I weary after four hours with any group.

Before I went to bed, another friend called to share her success about hosting her family for Christmas. She has so many best friends I can’t count them all, but she has chosen to add me to her “club”. It is one of those rare honors one is given in life to find a friend like her.

Back in 1968 I was dating a young Marine. He surprised me at Christmas and came home on leave. It was during that time we got engaged. Since he was in officer’s school and knew he would be heading to Viet Nam, I had no idea what to give him as a present. I decided to borrow a negligee gown and wrap from my aunt, (which had remained unworn in her drawer for several years), wrap a ribbon sash around me and sit under the tree with a gift of a big smile. It was a wonderful Christmas. I believed I had been given the gift of love. Things didn’t work out with him, but if I concentrate, I can connect with the good feelings of those few days.

I woke up this morning realizing I had been dreaming about him. I realized that the dream was probably because of “King of the Hill”. John reminds me very much of Hank Hill.  If I wake during the early morning around 4, that show is usually on. I guess I was hearing it in my sleep and started thinking of my love. After all these years I accepted the fact after fighting it for almost fifty years that for a number of reasons there will always be a part of me that loves him, but I realized today that I am setting myself free. Maybe the memories will now fade and I will recognize that that relationship also had its toxic moments that I have too long suppressed and all worked out for the greater good.

Whatever the cause of my feelings of joy today, I am grateful and will relish every minute. It is a new feeling to associate with Christmas and I will hold onto it as long as possible. I hope your days were as blessed as mine. Namaste. Attic Annie

holly

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What to Wear on Christmas Eve

sue's sweater

…and there it was, hanging right in front of me.

Once again it is Christmas Eve. I have been invited this evening to a friend’s home for tamales before going to the Candlelight Service. I have known this friend for about six years. I think this is the fourth year of invitations. I have been trying all day to figure out what I want to wear. It makes little difference at our church. There will be many in jeans and several in new outfits with every style in between. I guess that’s one of the reasons I like going to this place. I have never felt any sense of pretension. It really isn’t a matter of what one wears.

I have not bought any new clothes for Christmas in more years than I can count. Actually after twenty years of being unchurched, it has only been eight years that I have attempted to attend. My memory of Christmas Eves does not extend much beyond that.

I have a black long sleeve tee that is decorated with an embroidered cardinal and sequined white poinsettia  flowers. The cardinal is the state bird of Illinois, my home state, so it is a little connection with home, even though I haven’t lived there in thirty five years. The cardinal is a beautiful symbol for Christmas and winter I think.

“The cardinal makes a fantastic animal totem. It reminds us to hold ourselves with pride – not ego pride. Rather, the cardinal asks us to stand a little taller, be a bit more regal, step into our natural confidence as if we were born to lead with grace and nobility”. I tend to hold back in crowds. I thought perhaps if I wear the cardinal I can be a little more joyous.

“As we observe the cardinal – particularly against the backdrop of the stark winter months, we are reminded that even when things appear bleak or isolated, there is always the presence of beauty, hope, and love”. The tee was a gift from my cousin’s family. She transitioned two years ago. The top still had its tags on. I had been with her when she bought it. The cardinal was her favorite totem. I wanted to feel close to her tonight.

I mentally went through other things in my closet. It’s not supposed to get really colder until tomorrow when it might snow. I don’t think it will, however. I think any snow will stop about forty five miles north of us around Denton.

I washed a couple of loads of clothes and hung them on my rack in the laundry room. And there was my answer hanging right in front of me. The very last time I saw my cousin she was wearing a new sweater. When we hugged, I was amazed by the softness of the weave. It felt so like her. Her husband asked me to take whatever I wanted when I left because by that time it was a matter of weeks. I couldn’t get myself to take anything without feeling very uncomfortable. I kind of felt I would be in the deathbed scene of Scrooge when the chambermaids were stealing the curtains before he was even dead.  I did ask him to mail me a couple of things when he was able to get around to it. That sweater was one of the few things I felt I truly wanted.

So tonight I am wearing that sweater. It will be warm enough to wear without a coat as opposed to the thinner tee. It will be soft and cuddly and I will be sharing  the service with Sue once again feeling her loving arms wrapped around me. The number of people I share this holiday with has almost entirely dwindled away but the spirit of my gentle, talented cousin will be with me to the end…at least until the sweater and the tee become too tattered to wear. Merry Christmas, y’all. Namaste. Attic Annie

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Parents, Before you yell when you hear “Is that All?” …

Since I’m going to be a grandmother next year, even if it is long distance, I’ve started reading some of the mommy blogs like the one on The Today Show Moms blog just to see how things have changed since my childhood or my son’s. Last week they were talking about spoiled kids at Christmas. A couple of the moms commented about their children saying, “Is that all?” after opening the presents. One mother talked about immediately punishing the child and letting her know her attitude was not appreciated and sending her to her room. I tried to add a comment but I couldn’t get signed in so I let it go, but it brought back memories.

I have very few recollections of Christmas and opening presents while I was still at my father’s home. I remember my aunt complaining about having to decorate the tree by herself. She never once in my memory invited me to join her or try to make it a festive time of sharing. One year she just talked about how lazy I was not to help. It was her “chore” and she resented it. I didn’t know it was something I was allowed to do. If she had smiled and invited me to help her, I would have joined in willingly. Most years she did it when I wasn’t around. It was just suddenly, “I’m tired of doing this all by myself. You do it.” But at the same time, I could never hang the single strands of tinsel to her satisfaction. Dad’s job was to bring home the tree. There was never an invitation to help pick out the “best one”. It just appeared. It was stuck in the corner of the room next to the couch. Christmas in our home was just a time to do and not a time to share.

The opening of the presents was fairly joyless as well. I do have a memory of a couple of years running downstairs to see what Santa had brought, but that stopped when I was still pretty young. Showing excitement was only barely tolerated in my memory. Exchanging presents was just something we did. There was no oohing and ahhing or prolonged and excited thanks.

I am unable to remember exactly what year the big transgression took place. I’m assuming it was some time in between seventh and tenth grade. I seem to remember my sister was still at home. One by one my sister or I doled out the presents. The wrapping paper was strewn around. I was on the floor close to the tree. My father was seated across from me sitting on a dining room chair. My sister was on the couch and my aunt was in the chair.

The passing out of gifts had stopped and all presents seem to have been opened, but I wasn’t sure. Since the tree was in the corner, it was easy to miss presents behind the tree. I uttered the most grievous words I could have said all day. It was either “Is that everything?”  or maybe “Is that all?” I simply meant have all the presents been passed out, should we start picking up the paper…something along that line. I did NOT mean to infer I thought I didn’t get enough and that I wanted more.

My father did not interpret what I said that way. He very seldom even recognized when I was in the room with him. We just didn’t talk with each other. Suddenly he simply erupted! He must have ranted for five minutes about how selfish I was and how ungrateful and how I should be glad for what I did get. He even turned red in the face. In the meantime, if I could have dug a hole in the floor to escape into the basement, I gladly would have. My cheeks were positively burning with chagrin. I couldn’t move. I just sat there and took the blows. I couldn’t even defend myself. One thing I don’t remember doing is crying. I refused to cry in front of my father.

My father ran out of steam and the room became silent. I started collecting the wrapping paper to give myself something to do. In those days we opened the presents carefully and folded the paper so that it might be used again the next year. I have no idea what happened after that. I guess we all went our separate ways in the house. The memory fades.

I wanted to yell at the mother in the blog who talked of immediately punishing her child for her “attitude”. She knows her child better than I. Perhaps the child was being a brat. But on the outside chance that the child simply meant, “Are we done with this activity?” or something similar, he or she should at least be questioned before the parent goes into such an action. It’s only fair.

Do I remember what I got for Christmas that year? No way. Do I remember the chastisement? You bet I do…like it was last year. I have pretty much blocked out any memories of Christmas at our house. It was not a time for joy.  That episode made Christmas something even less to be thankful for.

Parents, give yourself  and your child a break. Question them calmly before acting. It may save a lot of lingering bitterness. You may never know. Namaste Attic Annie

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Saturday: Study, Facebook, Country Music and Willie Nelson

This day has been lazy but productive. I decided to review the first three sessions of the class I am taking on “The Christ in the Bible” and prepare for the fourth. We are not using the book shown above but the title was close. I will readily admit that I have very little background for such a course involving metaphysics and I have more or less been in a fog of non-understanding. Since starting the course I have purchased a couple of reference books which I tackled with zeal today. It was with amazement that I realized that some of the material was actually sinking into my slowly mummifying brain. I know I have a much better understanding of the material we are going to cover tomorrow. Too bad it’s only a five week course.

I am a Facebook addict. I spend much too much time sharing links with others whom I have friended. I  was really disturbed when I read today that come next March, Zuch is closing down FB. However, I also found a site that says it’s a hoax. I have reconnected with so many friends I am really sad at the thought that this might actually happen, which it may or may not do.  It’s strange how a single question or a brief hello means so much. It’s the primary way I communicate one sentence at a time with my son. It’s how I saw my Grandbaby’s first picture…all seven centimeters of the tiny body which has to wait six more months to make the grand entrance.

I also spend way too much time playing the computer games. The only one I really compete with my friends is Bejeweled Blitz. I don’t use any extra game aids or the Phoenix unless one of my friends passes my score. Then I pull out the guns and rev up the mouse to see if I can crawl to the top of the chart again. Some weeks I stay up there, others I just don’t seem to make it after my score is passed. As of this time, I’m back on top probably only for a few hours.

A few weeks ago we discussed The Tao of Willie in my Sunday class. I thought it sounded intriguing so I ordered on Amazon. I wonder if Willie Nelson is aware that his book is selling for $0.01 with $3.99 shipping charges. Somebody must really want to get rid of a bunch of books. The price inside the cover says the price is $20.00. I haven’t read all of it, but what I have read today has been good. If it stays as good I might even write a letter to Willie to tell him how much I appreciated it. I’ve never thanked an author before. There’s always a first.

Over the past few years I’ve been introduced to a lot of books on life among which is The Tao Te Ching. It’s one of those books you can read in one half hour and study for a life time. Willie’s book is his take on the Tao. I’m learning that it’s OK to learn what other sages have tried to show us through the ages. We are here to learn, so we might as well open ourselves up to as much knowledge as possible. My thirst for help in finding my way is as powerful as staying out in the sun too long without water on a hot Texas summer day. There is a definite need stirring within me. I regret it took me so long to start my search to quench my thirst.

Since I was reading Willie Nelson I decided to listen to country music. I don’t usually listen very long to that station but many of the songs are Christmas songs and its bringing back memories of a year and a half of my life when I loved a young man who loved country music. We had two very interesting Christmas times together, but that’s another blog. Namaste Attic Annie

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Why doesn’t Santa stay in stores year round?

I try to start my day with positive uplifting information. Today was not one of those days. I read in our local paper about Santa arriving in Hurst this weekend.

Really?

When I was really young all we had was a parade when Santa came to town. He then sat on his “throne” in the department store and we stood in line to see him. I remember gazing at the wonderful window displays downtown. My Christmas in Illinois was not unlike Ralphie’s Christmas in Indiana.  A few years later when I was in third or fourth grade I could watch THE Parade on Thanksgiving Day on television. By that time I was no longer taken to the parade but it was still a thrill to see Santa arrive at the end in his big sleigh.  Thanksgiving Day ( or a day close to it) meant the start of Christmas to the children.

Now stores are putting up Christmas decorations before Halloween and sometimes immediately after the Back to Schools sale. And Santa is arriving earlier than ever. November 5? Really? The stores say “they are starting early because there is a demand.” Really? It’s not from mothers who are hassled and harassed every day by young children who demand to know how much longer. It’s not from fathers who traditionally wait until the last day to shop any way. Who is actually causing the demand?

This event is taking place at Bass Pro Shop,  which features “fishing tackle and equipment, hunting, camping, marine, and outdoors supplies, plus clothing”. Firefighters are going to pick him up at the “remote sleigh parking area” and drive him to the food court. I’m curious as to who is picking up the tab for this ride.

The shop has a Santa’s Wonderland on display with a crafts section and a train display. The columnist who wrote the news article called it “Occupy Stores event.”

I have accepted the fact that Christmas and commercialism go hand in hand. After all, Macy’s first parade in New York was way before my birth. It was done to draw people to the Macy’s store instead of Gimbel’s. I guess maybe it was in answer to Gimbel’s parade in Philadelphia. I don’t know. Maybe I have that backwards.

That’s not the point. Actually, today I am not certain as to what my point is. Other than Americans have allowed their children to be persuaded and manipulated by mass media and mass commerce from the time of their birth. Little girls no longer are allowed to be little girls. They are bombarded by clothing and behaviors that were once reserved for mid teens. Babies before they can walk are entered into beauty contests. By the time they are three, they are sexual objects.  They all want to be like teenagers even when they are as young as kindergarteners. The milk they drink is laced with hormones that start their puberty by second and third grade. Little boys? They have their pressures too.

What does that  have to do with Christmas? Santa to me is the spirit of giving. Christmas is a time of wonder for little imaginations. We have turned it into a season of me me me. Parents go into debt trying to satisfy the greed they nourish in their children that so often starts with early Christmas.

Almost two months is an awfully long time for children to have to wait. Seven weeks is an eternity. If Santa comes the first weekend in November, by Christmas all the joyous feelings will long be gone. Attention spans are just not that long. Anticipation will be replaced by apathy. Either that or the stress caused by the unending anticipation will cause their little bodies more harm.

My argument has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus which is well known to not have occurred on December 25. So responders, if any, do not have to go into the real “reason for the season”.

It has to do with the insatiable desire to hook customers at a younger and younger age. It has to do with robbing children of their childhood. It has to do with stores like Bass Pro Shops baiting children to try to get their fathers to shop early. OK that’s sexist I know but look at what they sell.

America has gone crazy with Christmas. I think it’s time to restore the sanity. I’d love to hear that this event was a big bust. Not that I have anything against the store. My beef is with stores like them who are like the Grinch who stole Christmas! Let’s keep the Christmas season at least confined to the month before the actual date. That’s long enough for any child to have to wait. Otherwise, let’s just keep Santa in stores year round and he can become an ignored fixture that kids pass by without paying any attention. We can then admit that there is no longer a “season” for joy and GIVING!

 

 

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The Actual Wedding

Everything for the past three days had led up to this moment. I was so happy for my son. Yes, he was already married having received his marriage certificate on July 8, but this was his wedding! My chadult (as a friend of mine calls her adult children) had finally found someone to share his life.

The HoJo was only a block from the wedding site so we walked. It was faster than calling a cab. The wind was a breeze and the temperature had cooled down to make it a beautiful evening. As we approached the hotel, I looked up and saw the marquee. In the middle of this Chinese message I saw the word Nathan. I was so pleased.

We entered and Barb and I were escorted to a table where the bride’s family was seated. I greeted them as best as I could. Her mother left the table and returned with a rose for my corsage. I had left the one I had received that morning in our hotel room. I thanked her as she pinned the new one on me.

I looked at the table which was already being set with food. There were many dishes that were not recognizable, but I thought I might be bold and I would sample some of them any way. There was a significant wait for the proceedings to start. Also on the table, ala 1950s USA style, were cigarettes right there on the Lazy Susan, taken from their packs. I was wondering why I thought the air was getting hazier. That was the answer. There was also a pack in the “favor” sitting on the table by each plate.

Things were still being set up and guests were arriving. I watched with interest as the staff set up tiers of wine glasses to form a fountain with a single glass on top. I had no ideas for what reason.

The bride was to enter by walking down a spiral staircase while the spotlight shown on her. The time was set for 1818 since 8 to many Chinese is a very auspicious number relating to good fortune, wealth, prosper, etc.

All was proceeding on schedule until “CRASH!” A couple of minutes before 1818 the “host”, or emcee hired for the occasion, backed into the table with the wine glasses and they all came tumbling down. Of course the glass flew everywhere including onto the several tiered wedding cake! The staff had to take the time to clean up the glass as much as possible and rebuild the tower. I didn’t know why Julie has chosen 1818 so I didn’t check my watch to see what time she actually entered. I’m hoping maybe this all was cleaned up by 1828 but I have no clue. She was left at the top of the stairs to wait.

The Chinese consider a wedding as a time to entertain friends. There is nothing really emotion producing, or solemn, or spiritual about any of the proceedings. The “host” who, by the way, was dressed as if to maybe go to a family picnic, or run to the local grocery, was in control. One of the things he was in control of was the music, and he played it as high-volumed as he could. Granted there was not much I would understand being said. The bride was gracious enough to provide someone to translate what was going on and neither Barb or I could even hear her and she was sitting as close in between us as she could. It was really disappointing. I ended up just pretending I was deaf and I used my eyes to interpret what was happening.

There was my son in his formal tux and Julie in an exquisite gown. When Julie entered, I couldn’t see my son’s face because his back was to me. I was hoping to watch the expression in his eyes. I could still tell he was extremely happy. Because nothing was solemn, there was never a place I wanted to cry. My friend Maxine had provided me with an antique handkerchief just in case, but it remained in my purse.

There were words spoken and an “important official” examined the wedding certificates. He avowed that they were legitimate and they were legally married. Nathan had insisted that Julie wore a veil. He lifted the veil and gave her a very sweet, sincere kiss. I could not always see what was going on so I don’t remember if they exchanged rings again or not. I’ll have to wait for the wedding pictures of the actual event.

Julie’s father was asked to come front and speak about the wedding. Then I was called up. Nathan had warned me only a couple of hours beforehand. I had everything written down but I did not have time to learn it so I read what I had written. I called her my daughter-in-heart and told her of Nathan’s love of adventure. I told him that he was not as wise as he may think if he ever let her go.

They lit the Unity candle, cut the top layer (without glass) of the cake and fed one another. They both picked up a large bottle of red wine and poured the wine into the top glass which then flowed until it reached the bottom layer. Fortunately this had happened often enough that the last of the wine left enough room so the bottom row didn’t overflow, I really didn’t understand the meaning of this event and I was told that there really wasn’t any. It was just part of the package the hotel provided whether they wanted to do it or not.

While the emcee was talking with Julie and Nathan, I heard her say, “I thought he was cute.” Evidently it is very popular to play a version of “The Newlyweds” as part of the program. Since I couldn’t hear, I don’t know if Nathan was asked a question or not. The whole thing did not go over well and the emcee stopped questioning almost as soon as he began. I realized why one of the family friends had asked me a question earlier. He asked, “The host knows you are religious. (I’m not, I’m spiritual) Is there any topic that would offend you if asked?” It finally dawned on me what he was talking about.

The official part of the program was ended. The bride and groom disappeared while the guests continued to eat. I honestly cannot tell you a thing that was on the menu. I was hungry by this time and I tasted a few of the offerings. Much of it was cool by now.

Nathan and Julie reappeared. This time she had on the traditional red dress. There was no time to talk. Group pictures were taken although there was not one of me alone with the couple. I didn’t even realize that until later. They then circled the entire room and toasted with very small glasses with small groups around the entire room. Fortunately, they were drinking water. I can’t imagine being able to consume that much wine.

The members of last year’s original faculty had taken a bus from Shenyang. They took off and Nathan and Julie followed shortly to continue the celebration. I was touched that nineteen of them had come so far to support Nathan.

Barb, Becky, Robert and I went back to the hotel and had one complementary drink. Afterwards we went to bed. About twenty minutes later I have no idea why, I started sobbing. I tried to be silent but emotions were just flooding over me. I had suddenly seen my son who had, I felt, been trying to steer his boat with only one oar since he was six when his father left. I saw Julie and a new sail added. They were floating without effort down life’s stream. I was so happy. I was crying with joy.  I could give up trying to help steer Nathan’s life. I was relieved. I fell into a very blissful sleep.

Namaste. Attic Annie

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An Anglo/Chinese Wedding Part 3

The day of the wedding finally arrived. The four of us went down to breakfast again and my son joined us at to our hotel (it was a five minute walk) around 9:00 a.m. It was the same strange serving as the day before. The restaurant was all set up for another wedding but they were allowing people to eat breakfast. We waited for the photographer and videographer and then returned to the room. When they arrived,  they proceeded to get all the pre-wedding pictures that are usually taken. We noticed that the air in Becky and Bob’s room was not on either. We opened the window but there was little circulation.

My son was already dressed for the day, but he had to undress for the pictures. They couldn’t take the pictures at the apartment because that was where Julie and her bridesmaids were preparing for the day. So…make believe time.

Nathan took off his shirt and tie and pretended to be putting on his undershirt. Then Bob helped him tie his tie. I think he took off and put on his socks and shoes as well, but I’ll have to wait  until I see the pictures. All this time both of the camera guys were shooting pictures of everything else that was going on in the room. It was really a crowded place.

Nathan had brought a bouquet (the first one) to the room with him because that was part of the tradition that he present flowers to his loved one. With all the people passing it around, it started to wilt rather quickly. Nathan called and was told things were not ready yet so we just waited around. Finally, we were given permission to go over to the apartment.

When we arrived, the place was filled with relatives. We could hardly walk around. Julie was in her first dress of the day. There were pictures of honoring grandmother and then me (it was the first time she was supposed to call me Mom.) After Julie bowed to us, we handed her red envelopes with money inside.

A young male cousin jumped on the bed, her parents prepared a basket of personal items to be taken to the groom’s home, a male cousin nailed up a red curtain for which I paid him. Nathan was barred from Julie’s room by the bridesmaids and then had to “fight” his way in to his love. He had to find her shoe and put it on her foot. He knelt beside the bed and presented the bouquet (further wilting had taken place). One of the maids and Bob (one of the groomsmen) sat with Nathan and Julie and ate dumplings and then all tried to feed him a dumpling at the same time. Her mother and aunts had spent hours preparing 400 dumplings for the day to feed the family. We all stood around and watched the proceedings. I later asked Julie what some of these traditions meant and she said she had no idea. It was just something they did.

Although the hotel had moved my friend and me by that time to another room, it was obvious that the room next door did not have air conditioning either. Becky and Bob were upset that they didn’t have a king size bed. There were not quite double beds instead. It was decided that as soon as the picture taking session was over we were moving to a different hotel. The Howard Johnson Hotel was about a block away from where the wedding was taking place. It was much nicer. The first hotel would have been acceptable if the A/C had worked. Now we were in a hotel, it turned out, that the A/C worked too well. Later that night, we got up around 2 a.m. and turned the A/C off!

That afternoon the entire wedding party traveled to the park for outdoor pictures of the entire group…all the bridesmaids and groomsmen, bride and groom. I don’t know if her parents went with them or not but by that time I was really losing steam. I opted to take a nap instead. As a result, I realized when the wedding was over that there were no pictures of me posed with my son and his new wife by ourselves. Oh well!

Thankfully there was enough time to recharge our energy and get dressed for the wedding. It had been warm and humid all day. By the time of the wedding, the weather seemed perfect.

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