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It IS a Wonderful Life…if you let yourself know it

One of my all time favorite Christmas movies is “It’s a Wonderful Life”  by Capra. I’ve seen it many times over the years. I was pleased to see that it is being shown in four theaters in the Fort Worth area today. Followers of this movie are increasing. Unfortunately I cannot attend any of them because my Christmas Eve celebration starts at 5:30 with a dinner with a friend and her family and then 7:00 candlelight service.

It is sad to me that NBC has sole rights to the showing of this film and only shows it once at 8:00 p.m. I will be able to make it home in time to see part of it but I’ll miss about the first half hour or so.

I often wonder why I enjoy this movie so much. It was pretty much panned when it was first out so many years ago. I’ve come up with several reasons.

It was released in 1946 the same year I was born. It gives me an insight into how people lived over sixty years ago. Life was so much simpler then but the problems of living day to day have really not changed all that much. Kids still get sick, young people start out married life with little money, parents still get mad at teachers, corrupt people still try to control their towns….etc etc etc ad nauseum. I guess that is because we are human. We can’t seem to get beyond the day to day problems of just living.

I love the idea that guardian angels can intervene in our lives. Based on situations I have found myself in, I have no explanation other than the protection from my guardian angel that I emerged without harm so many times.

Many times throughout the years I have wished I have never been born because I have seen myself as a very insignificant being on this earth. Then I would think about the baby I rescued in the pool, and the very angry young boy in summer school who learned he could understand math if we went back to the point where he did know what to do and proceed from there. He was going into sixth grade ( a year behind) and was in a third grade remedial math class. He had an attitude in the beginning that was downright scary. The last day of the program he came back into the room where I was alone. For a second I was fearful but then he put his arms around my neck and gave me a big hug and thanked me. Then he turned around and left again. I will never forget that hug.

I think about the patients when I volunteered at the hospital who were grateful that the only thing I did was listen to their heart wrenching stories. I think about the parents and former students I come in contact with occasionally who still thank me for the way and what I taught. They tell me now of their successes.

Most of all I think about my son. A son who has no logical reason for being able to be here. I was married to a traveling salesman who was gone from Monday through Thursday nights and often spent Friday and Saturday nights at the bar. I was told for many years that because of my anatomy It would be improbable that I would ever be  able to conceive or carry to full term. Yet there he was. I had no indication he was even with me the first trimester. When he arrived, I was only in hard labor for about four hours. He arrived at 7:00 A.M.on the day he was predicted to be born after four hours of labor. His estimated date of arrival was a sheer guess on the part of the doctors.

That’s kind of off the track but my point is I heard Jim Carry say of his mother that her life was significant, even though she was plagued much of her life with illness, because she had given birth to someone who was significant. That thought has resonated with me. My son is a significant person and the child that is expected in June will be a significant person as well.

I am learning the value of true friendship. I have never had many friends in my life who I “hung out with” to do things socially. I was never a part of a group in any years in my school life like so many girls. I was an outsider. But over the past few years I have developed friendships that I feel I can count on if I ever really needed help. I think they would come through in a time of emergency just like in the movie.

On this Christmas Eve, I am thankful for my life as it is and has been. Life’s lessons have been hard to learn, but I am grateful that in many ways I am learning them. It IS a wonderful life. I wish a wonderful life to you too. Merry Christmas. 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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Pedro, the faithful traveling companion

I named him Pedro because, after all, he was, and still is, Mexican. Pedro is “the rock”. He is there to tell me that all is well. He gives me confidence that I will get where I want to go and back again. He has aged tremendously since I received him as a traveling companion over four years ago. The exact date eludes me at the moment.

Instead of an orange sombrero, it is now a soft melon color. It’s definitely pastel. His serape is no longer kelly green and red. It is more ordinary green and tan. The red is gone. The fringe that was once gold is now lemon. His mane is turning an auburn hue where the sun is bleaching it. The fur under the hat is dark brown. Neither his mane or his tail is black any longer. I’m sad to say I don’t remember the color of his skin exactly but I think it had rather a taupe hue to it. Now it’s the color of beach sand on a cloudy day. His underbelly is still yellow. His tail is now a crazy two tone ash brown where the sun hits and brunette on the underside.

He is currently sitting on my kitchen desk on top of my computer. I had to bring him inside to re glue the velcro square that helps him maintain his position on my dash board. As you can see from the picture I found on EBay,Pedro, my traveling companion, is a donkey or I guess more properly, a burro.

He has been there faithfully since my neighbor Maxine gifted him to me to keep me company on a drive I made down to south Texas to visit with a friend. I was driving nearly 500 miles. You never know with Maxine’s gifts. She may have had Pedro for years or found him at a garage sale. Only heaven knows where he came from. I don’t wish to disparage Maxine. I would never knowingly do that. It’s just that she has a way of recycling a lot of knickknacks over the years. I don’t envision her actually buying new items in the stores for an express purpose such as giving me a traveling companion. She just loves to give away things she has on hand.

Before I brought him inside, he was sliding all over the front of the car. Usually he would come to rest against the passenger side door., belly up. Sometimes he would land on the floor. It was OK as long as he didn’t land under one of the pedals. I decided I had to re anchor him before he became dangerous.

It’s cold and rainy today. I don’t plan on driving anywhere but I’ll take him out and place him on the dashboard once again. He is showing signs of aging but then again so am I. I don’t look the same as I did five years ago either. He’s a humble little donkey. He sits and spreads his front legs. His head bows almost as if he is praying with his closed eyes. Is he asleep and dreaming of wide open fields in Mexico? Is he offering up a plea to the heavens that for just one more time I will get him there and back safely? He’s the only one who knows. I just know that he is a faithful companion and a constant reminder of Maxine who didn’t want me to travel on my 1,000 mile round trip alone. I appreciate both of them.  Namaste Attic Annie

 

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It’s Christmas! Time for more White Elephants!

I’ve written several Christmas posts. It’s amazing since I don’t have that much to say about it. Things don’t change that much year after  year.

I’m going to my first of three Christmas parties tonight. It’s with the same group of women who hold a potluck dinner at church every month. It’s strange how I can meet with them month after month and still not be what I consider real friends with them. That month after month has been changing lately to maybe three or four times a year.

These are all nice ladies but with the exception of one, there is no communication between any of them and me. We don’t call each other or do any other socializing together. There is an overlap with another lunch bunch of some of the members so I see three or four of them twice a month if I go to both groups.

Tonight we will be having our gift exchange. Everyone brings a gift  she wishes to recycle and puts it under the tree. We then draw numbers which match numbers placed on the present. There are several names for this “game” we play. We may choose a present from under the tree or take a present from someone who has already opened one. The one who goes first gets last turn to take anyone else’s present. I think we call it White Elephant or Chinese gift exchange. Now that my daughter in law is Chinese, I don’t think I will be calling it that anymore.

Anyway, I have finally figured out a system. Even though the gifts are recycled, they are still fairly nice for the most part. It’s just that I don’t seem to see much of a need for them. Thus, I will probably take the gift I get tonight to the next party and then take that gift to the third party. The gift I bring home will probably go into the closet to wait for next year unless it is something I can really use. This type of gift exchange occurs at all three of the parties. For some reason my acquaintances all get (or pretend to get) a big kick out of “stealing” desired gifts from others. I guess if I were more materialistic, I might get more enjoyment out of such frivolity.

Almost all of my holidays are times to be alone. That in itself is a mixed blessing. I tire of small talk quickly and really have to work on not portraying disinterest. It takes me ten minutes or less  to write five hundred words. It takes me a half hour to say them. One of my acquaintances  with whom I am getting somewhat closer admitted the same thing. She is in a worse position than I since she has to market her own “company” of one, her services. She admitted how much she dislikes small talk as well. She won’t be there tonight. I could talk to her. I also have a free pass from having to deal with impossible relatives that everyone seems to have. Family gatherings are often reported with a sense of dread. I had a few of those dreadful experiences myself.

That will be mainly it. Chit chat until everyone arrives and the table is filled with an assortment of foods, praying in, eating, gift exchange, and praying out again. We are nothing if not predictable.

My gift is a very heavy coffee table book of pictures of Japan. A friend of mine gifted it to me during that time when my son’s romance was with a young woman from Tokyo. It really does have some lovely pictures in it, but seeing as how my son is now married to a Chinese woman, I am trying to divest myself of all things Japanese. Yoko’s parents were quite generous in the gifts Nathan brought home with me so I certainly have a large supply of possible gift exchanges. I am counting on on my friend to not be there tonight either, but if she is, I hope she’ll understand the reason for recycling the book.

While I was wrapping the gift, I kind of had a brief second of actually liking what I was doing. I have very few people to give presents to that need to be wrapped. It even made me feel nostalgic and sentimental enough to think about getting out my small Christmas tree which I place in my dining room window. Notice I said “think about”. It may take a few more days to make up my mind. Christmas for one is not really a great big deal. Namaste Attic Annie

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The Rest of the Trip

Since my son had been married in July and he had just started his job again, there was no reason for them to hurry off for a Honeymoon. They spent the morning returning clothes from the wedding and all the other tidbits of things that have to be handled. The four of us then headed to one of the two “entertainment’ destinations in that city. We went to the aquarium.

It was a beautiful day. The humidity was not quite as high as it had been before. The aquarium was situated on the shores of the East China Sea. Any time I am near a beach, the Crab that I am, I am happy. The place was crowded, but not exceptionally so. I enjoyed just taking our time and touring the exhibits. The clear plexiglass walk through was kind of fun watching all the animals swim all around us. It’s too bad it was so humid inside the tube that it was uncomfortable to stay long. Just watching my son and his wife was fun enough. Realizing that he was so grounded and not in a mood to pick a fight was even more priceless.

They had picked 9-10-11 to be wed because of some Chinese number reasoning. They were officially married on 7-8 so fortunately for my son, he should not have too much trouble remembering the dates. 7-8-9-10-11. Evidently it was a lucky day for weddings. However, not everyone could book venues on that day so there were still weddings happening on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

That evening my friend offered to take us out to dinner. We had a lovely meal, (another great George) and a good time just talking. Then we had a problem. They didn’t take Visa. My friend couldn’t pay for the meal. Fortunately, my son still had enough cash on him so we were able to leave the restaurant. We returned to the hotel and I used my debit card in the ATM to withdraw the amount to pay him back. Some how we got all our finances straightened out and the evening ended.

Fortunately, because of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, Nathan did not have to return to work on Monday so he had an extra night with his wife. Monday morning the bus arrived to take him and his fellow co-workers back to work. It was quite sad to see him go so soon. We really hadn’t had much time to really visit. But on the other hand, it was nice because there was not much time to irritate him either. That is a good thing. I do not enjoy it when my son gets mad.

That night many of Julie’s family gathered to eat. It is a harvest festival, not unlike the American Thanksgiving. It’s an event  for good conversation and fun with the family. We were invited to join them. There was only one problem. It was on the fourth floor and the elevator was not working! We had to climb up three flights of stairs. Julie ran up to get some of her cousins to help us climb the stairs. Barb has arthritic knees and the muscle strength in my thighs has been severely sapped. Two people each came down to help us. I couldn’t get through to them that it would be better if I could hold onto the railing and pull myself up. I guess we created quite a sight.

Once again Julie was the only one in her family that spoke English so she was quite busy interpreting. They showered us with gifts again and I had a chance to tell them how much it meant to me to feel so accepted into their family.

Tuesday morning we had a late check out and then sat in the lobby for about an hour waiting for Julie and her mother to return from yet another wedding. Then we were off to the airport. Traffic was light. There was a World Economic Forum being held in Dalian and the government had ordered both Monday and Tuesday as traffic control days. Depending on the last number of the license plate, you were only allowed to drive one of those two days. I wondered if Americans would abide by that.

We headed for Beijing. We had three nights and two days. We had a tour of the major sites of the town and then headed to the Forbidden City where the Emperors lived for hundreds of years.

I was totally amazed. By this time I was able to walk all around without any pain. I was so thrilled. Taking myself off statins and substituting other supplements was helping tremendously.

Following that we went to a restaurant chain called the Peking Duck. They are kind of the equivalent of McDonald’s as far as keeping track of the number of ducks sold. Our certificate said the was something like the so many billionth duck! They serve every part of that duck, including the intestines which they actually did name chop suey. The trained chef makes 108 cuts in the duck. It was amazing to watch.

In the afternoon we traveled to the Summer Palace and walked around the grounds. On the dragon boat heading to the island I started a conversation with an obvious American. When I told her where I was from, she said another woman on the boat was from Fort Worth. She too was retired and last taught in a school two miles from my home!

The last major trip we made was to the Silk and Pearl Market. The large pearl market was being renovated. I can’t imagine what it looked like. This place was like the jewelry, clothing, toy, knicknack departments of Wal-Mart on super steroids. I have never seen such a place. Whole floors devoted to booth after booth of wares.

This is just one booth out of probably more than 100. As I walked around I saw a very pretty sweater. I was told the price and I said it was too much. I continued to walk. Julie stayed behind. When she caught up with me she handed me a bag. She had said to the clerk, “I’m Chinese. I know what this costs. Tell me what you want.” Believe me, it was significantly cheaper. If I get to go to such a market again with her, I’m packing my bag with space bags next time!

That was basically our trip. We did manage to have two wonderful massages while we were there and eat at a Mexican restaurant. The day we left we found a cab driver that actually agreed to take all four of us to the airport. There is a problem with drivers there. They prefer only one customer so they can pick up other paying customers along the way. It cost 10RMB plus a gas surcharge of 2 RMB for the extra distance. That’s about $7.20 for at least a 15-20 mile drive!

We had time in the airport to visit leisurely some more over coffee then it was time to board. It was one of the greatest experiences in my life. I’m not sure how I will manage it, but hopefully I will be going back some time next summer. I can’t wait to see my new family!

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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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