Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Funny

I have been really lax lately on posting, as both of my readers can tell...but here is something I just saw from StumbleUpon that cracked me up.

Enjoy the little animation.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Mosquitoes: The Return

This summer was a relatively “mosquito-free” one for us here on the Gulf Coast. By that I mean that they were not thick in your face from June through September. The drought has taken its toll on the population of mosquitoes for the year. This season has been pretty good for humans who wanted to go outside and still keep all of their blood inside their skin. Of course, the lack of rain has pummeled the lawns and trees and foundations mercilessly.

But now, since we had four-and-a-half inches of rain a couple of weeks ago, the evil bloodsuckers have returned with a vengeance. They have a collective ingrained hatred for the mammals that mill aimlessly in the cities and towns here beside the Gulf of Mexico. They have no love for us but for the hemoglobin that flows through our veins and capillaries that come so close to the surface of our skin. And them with their evil little snoots that so easily pierce our thin skin and their toxic saliva that keeps our blood from clotting up in their straws and foiling their feeding time. The saliva that makes us itch so badly.

There are several varieties of the little devils; some so small that they can weasel themselves through the screens that cover the windows. They can get in like smoke, any opening, any crevice, any thin spot in the solid brick. Some are big as mockingbirds, with a nasty streak a mile wide. The tiny ones, ironically, are the ones that produce the most itchy bites, and the big, hefty, muscular marsh ‘skeeters, while you can feel them light upon a parka with the daintiness of a mule deer, leave you itching for a much shorter time. Except for the two stitches or perhaps just a steri-strip to close the wound, you are usually not much the worse for wear.

Today I stopped by the Soderberg Farm and Chicken Resort for a visit and to snitch a load of satsuma tangerines. There is a good crop of them this year, burdening the poor trees. Preparing for the harvest, I sprayed my arms, neck and face down with mosquito repellent. Just the exposed skin, no need to shower in the stuff.

I rounded the green house, armed with the snippers and double HEB bags to take this weekend’s citrus, and as I neared the trees, I became aware of a hum rising from the grass and low-hanging limbs that sounded like an aircraft carrier full of idling P-40’s ready for an assault in the Battle for the Pacific. “I’m ‘skeeter-doped up and they won’t bite me through it...” I smugly thought. But as i edged in to grab some of the fruits, the demons rose to meet me in great black, buzzing clouds, and I felt their collective weight descend on my clothes as they tried to stake a claim on the acres of blood-rich real estate.

They flew up, some lit on my hands, arms and neck, and as I was certain that it would only be momentary, and when they get a taste of the DEET, they’d fly away. Wrong. These beasts were hungry and not easily deterred. They bit through the DEET, spit, made a face and then went back to their meal. They flew to my hairline, behind my ears, up my nose, even my eyebrows. And had I known that they were going to try to suck blood out of my corneas, I would have sprayed the Deep Woods Off directly into my eyes!

I picked as many tangerines as I could, braving the waves of biting and humming and jostling insects, trying to brush away several intrepid fliers that sneaked behind my glasses with my eyelashes. Every now and again I backed off to find another branch of likely candidates, and as I walked the ravenous hordes followed me; in my face on my shirt on the legs of my Wranglers and even my boots. They were not to be deterred. When the bag was full, or at least appeared full by weight, my vision obscured by flying vipers as it was, I made my way to where I thought I had parked my car. The door was locked. I fumbled my keys out of my pocket to unlock and stow my produce inside, but I instead plopped the fruit on top of the car, to return later when I was ready to blast off.

When the time came to make a hasty exit after going back inside to retrieve some other items, I asked my Dad where the pump .22 was. He asked why and I told him to cover me as I ran to the car! I dashed out there, found the keys where I left them in the door, unlocked as quickly as I could and flopped in the driver’s seat, slamming the hatch behind me. I noticed that the cockpit was filled with mosquitoes, and they all had evil on their minds. As I drove down the road at a speed unbecoming an adult, I had the back windows open to blow out the invaders.

Upon arriving home, I found the fresh propane bottle and applied it to my intrepid fogger. I went to the business of smoking out the crop of them that resides around my house, whirling around the front door in a hungry cyclone of wings and snouts. I walked around the house a couple of times with my smoke machine of death. I didn’t spend the same amount of time that I usually like to, since I’m low on poison. But the satisfaction was there, a hark back to the days of daily rain and standing water.

The never-ending battle of Man vs. Mosquito, after a summer off, has returned for a (hopefully) final battle before the winter hiatus (such that it is around here) and maybe, just maybe, I’ll survive until I get more spray, granules and smoke juice for a renewed attack on the sly mosquito in the spring.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Hummingbirds Revealed

It's hummingbird season, the time of year when a large segment of the population of hummin'birds migrate to Mexico or other points South. I put a feeder up when I saw one in the backyard searching for fuel. Several days of a sugarwater way station has made my yard a destination for the tiny terrors.

My middle daughter can attest to the astonishment of having a feathered projectile zip seven inches past your head.

Since I have been lax in the GeezerChron department, but I did write one way back in '08, and that's what I'll post now! Reruns, awesome; now I'm like cable tv!

Everyone is charmed and delighted by the delicate form, acrobatic flight and soft trilling song of the hummingbird. They are so tiny and cute, their wings beat so fast, they like pretty flowers…ad infinitum.

I must admit, I too was always partial to hummingbirds as a child and yes, as an adult. When we went camping, my Dad always put up a hummingbird feeder so we could watch them drink the pretty red sugar-water. As they would wheel and spin, dive and dart, the hum generated by their wings was surprising as they would buzz past your head to wait their turn in line for the nectar provided. At times it looked like the Moscow Ballet with all the tiny forms whizzing around the stage, hovering, pirouetting, following each other in strings of three or four off stage right or stage left, with a few prima donnas seeming to get all the open space and sweet stuff. I guess I never paid that much attention to the real action.

My folks have a hummingbird feeder at their house just outside the back window that overlooks the garden. When I go for a visit in the afternoons on Saturday or Sunday, we sit and talk, look at the garden, and watch the hummers.

From my observation, these are the most self-centered, belligerent, pushy, greedy and ill-tempered birds that ever took wing. Ounce for ounce (I’d venture to say that it usually takes two to make a full ounce) they are the most aggressive bird out there. If they were fish, I would give a great white shark a two-to-one weight advantage over the hummingbird/fish and still put my money on the hummer.

If they were as big as even a mockingbird, they would no doubt be deadly, and the government would likely put a bounty on them. Mean little things.

I have watched a single bird expend the energy equivalent to a gallon of gasoline guarding a free source of food. He will sit on a branch six feet from the feeder, and dare any other creature, be it fowl or insect, to sip even a molecule of the nectar. He buzzes down on them like he was shot from a gun, diving and chasing like his tail is on fire. He even bullied a bumblebee away from the sacred feeder one day. When another hummingbird even flies by, he launches from his perch like a Sidewinder missile. Once the interloper has been dispensed with, the foul little fowl has to come check the level in the glass vial containing the precious red sugar water, flying all the way around, eyeballing the quantity. He then takes a long drink, occasionally pulling back to scan the area for bogeys. Another sip, then back to his perch to continue his bitter little vigil.

When my oldest daughter was two or three, she would correct anyone using the proper terminology, “hummingbird”, by saying sternly, “HONEYbird”…
She was wrong on a couple of different levels. DEVILbird would be more accurate.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Revisited: You Are What You Eat

This is a reprise of a post I put up on August 25 of 2008. Hey, I've picked up a couple of readers since then and JUST MAYBE they had never seen this one. Heck, I shoulda kept my mouth shut...maybe neither of you would have noticed...

In the past few weeks, the dietary habits of some Olympic athletes have been of interest; Michael Phelps with his 12,500 calories per day, Russian gymnasts eating only half a kernel of wheat and 3 gallons of water.

It brought to mind a poem that I read years ago, but only bits and pieces could be brought to the front of my mind...

But regular life marches on, and I was fogging for mosquitoes at my sister’s house on Sunday, and after I finished, she we stood around and talked for awhile.

As we talked my eyes fell upon an old volume of “Best Loved Poems of the American People”. I remembered that it was my grandfather’s book that I had read selections from many times. And there was that poem in there that I had remembered a couple of lines from. These few lines had haunted me for somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty five years.

Below is the entire poem, finally.


Methuselah ate what he found on his plate,
And never, as people do now,
Did he note the amount of the calorie count;
He ate it because it was chow.

He wasn’t disturbed as at dinner he sat,
Devouring a roast or a pie,
To think it was lacking in granular fat,
Or a couple of vitamins shy.

He cheerfully chewed each species of food,
Unmindful of troubles or fears
Lest his health might be hurt
By some fancy dessert;
And he lived over nine hundred years.


The book carries a 1936 copyright, and my mother gave it to her father for Christmas, inscribed:
“Merry Christmas
To Daddyboy
From Lila” (with a little circle dotting the “I”)

My sister and I agreed to share the book back and forth to read all of those old poems again.

I'll likely eat some ice cream while doing so.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I am TRULY aAshamed!

Yep. It's been since MAY that I posted here. It's a crying shame. Well, it would be if it really mattered to anyone. But still, there is a hole in my heart that's shaped like a GeezerChron.

To my loyal fan; I feel some rants coming on, and I may even get them into a coherent form to post here at my favorite hangout. And there are one of you who have missed me. But your aim will improve, I am sure. And I will renew my habit of glopping down my thoughts here for your perusals.

My apologies to you all haha.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Mystical Cat: Indeed

Apparently this "mystical cat" has been misrepresenting himself. You decide.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

OMG, the Geezer LIVES!

Yes, it's true...Saints be praised!

Unfortunately, I have absolutely nothing to say. I just wanted my faithful California Reader, my Faithful Oregon Reader and my three Faithful Texas Readers to know that I have not completely deserted my post here on the webwide world. I was just sitting with my jaw hanging slack with a flatline brainwave.

Actually, in the first third of February, we lost my mother-in-law unexpectedly, and I am having a tough time putting together a coherent memory of her. She was unpredictable, mischievous and wildly funny and it's just hard to distill that and everything else she was into one post on a goofy blog.

We also lost a good friend in '66 Falcon, a frequent reader and frequenter commenter (probably the "frequentest", 'sides Mr V) of the GeezerChron. I still smile when I think of him and our antics, and I am still sad with his passing. But I am relieved for him that his long fight against cancer was won with the last laugh; he is with his Father and his Dad in Heaven.

So forgive me, and rejoice that I have almost returned to the GeezerChron.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Snow Day Delivered

Sort of.

Here on the Texas Gulf Coast, we usually have pretty temperate winters. The past few years of global warming, though, has sullied our reputation. We’ve had some frost, which was a welcome treat when I was a kid. In 1973, we even had a real snow, which I vividly remember because Kelly Hutchinson made a “snow burger” scraped from a teacher’s car. And he ate it, road film and all.

In 2004, we had the fabled “Christmas Eve Blizzard of ‘04” where we got up to 10 inches of the white stuff on the ground. There have been other instances of snow and ice storms throughout history down here. And the past couple of years have shown us some snow that actually accumulated. Even in 2009, we endured a spate of real winter.


I think we’re jealous of all the snow and ice and blizzarding that is happening up in the Midwest and East, and the Newsmakers decided that we were going to clip off a bit of that for ourselves. Predictions were made, as were expensive preparations. Roads were sanded and preemptively de-iced. Schools and businesses sat on pins and needles trying to decide whether or not to close on Thursday night or Friday. All of my students were wondering if we were going to meet for Thursday night. I told them to check the web, but I think it ain’t gonna happen. “But the news said….” To which I gave my standard reply, “put it outta yer mind.”

Even normally level-headed Alvin ISD was preparing; they cancelled after school extracurricular activities for Thursday. Later I found out that they closed for Friday.

All the predictions were that Thursday was to bring icy winds, sleet, freezing rain and yes, snow! This was due to commence at noon. Then three. Then five. Then overnight. OK, I get the picture.

The super-trustworthy guardians of the information that we rely on to live our lives safely have been proven again. You’ll notice I didn’t say that they’d been proven right or wrong. That’s not the point, really. They have been proven to be what they be: hyper-active Peter-and-the-Wolfers aching for a story, especially weather-driven.

Sure enough, I woke up not to a winter wonderland, but to the hope that maybe the weeds in the yard will die form surprise. As you can see, we do have icicles and, uh, some possible damage to the important clover crop. There was a thin glaze of ice on everything that was not made out of concrete. As I surveyed the “damage”, I nearly slipped on a root that was coated in ice. Oh, and the rain gauge was frozen over. And when I picked up the black plastic trash bag to put it out by the curb, it’s icy skin crunched and crackled. The cars looked like they are sculpted out of ice for a crappy car show.

That’s about it. I haven’t surveyed the entire town, and reports from the Soderberg Farm are still outstanding. The computer says that it is now 29° outside, but there are some standing waters in a dog dish and some in the street that stubbornly cling to their liquid state.

Hence the much-hyped and under-delivered “SNOW DAY” that we endured last night made “history”; if nothing more than to reinforce my distrust of the media. Even my 15 year-old, who spent the night at her friend’s down the street, texted me at about 8 this morning, “I’m glad I put it outta my mind”.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Wedding of the Century

Part the Third: The End of the Beginning and the Beginning of a New Experience, and Finally the End of this Story
The sights were then set on the Elks Lodge, and the reception train headed downtown. Everybody else went in through the front door, but we, the wedding party got to come in through the stage door, and the DJ announced us. I haven’t been announced before, and let me tell you, it was a thrill.

After everyone got in, the party started. There was a dinner of brisket and chicken along with green beans and a potato salad that had “more” written all over it. Family and friends broke bread with us on this momentous occasion. Although excited and full of emotion, surprisingly I still ate well. And at the very back was a big cake that we were not allowed to eat right away for some reason. The candy table was well-stocked, however, with Jelly Belly and blueberry sours. The blueberry candies were fairly popular, judging by the number of people walking around smiling with blue lips parted to show blue teeth.

Soon, the time came for the big show; the Father Daughter dance. Not being much of a dancer since college (and not really that good at cutting a rug even then), I was a little apprehensive of my performance on the floor. I had prepared in advance for this moment however, but it had nothing to do with footwork. I had heard a Jonathan Edwards song when Desiree was but 4 or 5 years old, and it was tattooed on my brain as such a powerful and beautiful song. It’s titled “Little Hands”, and it describes a man looking at his young daughter’s little hands, imagining what they would do in the future. Thanks to the internet, I found it, bought it and it was played at the biggest moment a dad can have.

As the first notes flowed, my eyes, once again blurred over, and the emotion was just about too much for me. There I was, with a young woman in my arms that only a short time ago, I was holding for the very first time. I recalled her little eyes looking around and my feelings of wonder at this little life. As we turned on the floor, I realized too late that I had forgotten to turn off my brain beforehand. Every word of that song brought a flood of memories to me and each of those memories pushed more water to my eyes. At one point, in a failed attempt to stifle a sob, I snorted into my girl’s ear. She was crying a little, too, and I think she thought the snort was laughter. It elicited the same response as the well-placed “You stink” comment had done earlier. I am not sure how tightly I held that girl, but I know that she may have had trouble breathing. She didn’t complain, though, and as the song ended, my eyes dried and I handed her to her husband. As I sat down, I noticed my arms were kinda sore. Sorry about your ribs, darlin’!

After a time, there was the Grand March dance, which I had never heard of before October. What I did hear was that the bride and groom were to be at the front of the line of as many guests as could be had on a dance floor. They would then be led around by an experienced Grand March couple, doing intricate moves, snaking the entire procession of participants all over the dance floor in a serpentine trail of fun. Little MiMi, my mother-in-law was even a participant. The dance got so wild, MiMi got separated from us when we turned a corner; she zigged and the rest of us zagged. Fortunately, an alert groomsman picked up on what happened and he took her with his group. Chaos is a strong word as a description of the Grand March, and it in no way conveys the absolute enjoyment that we had. At the end of the Grand March, the Chicken Dance was played, and following that, everyone formed a huge circle and the DJ played the Aggie War Hymn. If you aren’t from Texas, or if you are and just don’t like Aggies, I apologize for this part, but not really. There were some T-sippers there and they had as good a time as everyone else, so you can butch up for a sentence or two. A more rabid and loyal bunch of people were never put together. It puts chills on me every time I hear 10 or 10,000 Aggies singing the War Hymn in perfect unison. We all stood singing and sawing varsity’s horns off….SHORT!

At some point, I forget the exact chronology, the cakes were cut
and toasts were toasted to the newlyweds. The wedding cake was beautiful, and gotten for a good price (geezer plug); if you’re ever in New Braunfels and need a nice cake, my daughter can hook you up. One really cute thing was what my daughter did with the groom’s cake. Traditionally, the groom’s cake is chocolate or some variant, and this time it was German Chocolate. Baron thought that the decoration was going to be the seal of Texas A&M. Instead, his beloved tricked him by having a picture of John Wayne, Baron’s favorite actor, on top with the quote, “Whoa, Slow Down There, Pilgrim!” The expression on his face when he saw it was worth the deceit, according to my girl.

After a few more hours of mingling and watching people dance, and eating cake, and looking at the people with the blue teeth, the evening wound down to the Bride and Groom’s exit. The remaining friends and family stood outside with the bubble bottles and showered the happy pair with little puffs of air surrounded by a shimmering skin of soap all the way to the waiting chariot. A big, dark F250 diesel idling to whisk them away to begin their journey as man and wife.

Thus ended the day that I will never forget. I found that after the wedding and reception, I was totally exhausted. Mostly I think from holding my stomach in for 5 hours. Some aspects will grow more dim as time passes, but other memories will stick with me for my lifetime. From my “little hands” to the strong, beautiful bride, the time slips by so quickly so as to boggle the mind.

And that’s what a geezer lives for.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Wedding of the Century

Part the Second: The Longest Aisle
The next day dawned like nothing epic was due to happen that afternoon and we all ate breakfast, then the females took off for the obligatory hair/nail/whatever appointments, and I got my marching orders to go to Walmart for some last-minute items. The whirlwind that hit New Braunfels that clear December day had “Söderberg” written all over it. The wedding was at 4 p.m., and seeing the girls with all of their hair done was getting pretty real to me. Then I saw my firstborn, wearing a blue striped shirt, jeans, immaculate makeup and hair, with her wedding veil. For some reason, my eyes stopped focusing clearly again for a little bit. I need to get these glasses checked.

Everybody got back to the hotel and showered, foofed and changed, and shaved again. We brought our nice clothes to change into, so we blasted off to Cross Lutheran Church in the Silver Bullet so we could be there an hour early. I went and greeted the photography crew, my friend Roy and his wife Lynette of Lone Star Photography. They were ready for action, and I directed them to where the bride was getting ready, the girly inner sanctum. Lynette deployed in that location, and Roy was scoping out the sanctuary. Some more of the groomsmen arrived and were in the men’s room changing into their tuxedo apparel. I, on the other hand, was blessed with being able to wear my best black suit, my new ivory shirt and silver tie that my girl had given me for my birthday a couple of months previous.

The guys were taking the tuxes out of their packaging, sorting out the various bits, and one exclaimed, “We have to wear these suspenders? Dang, that’s lame…” to which I smiled quietly to myself. I had my OWN suit, shirt, shiny black boots and a brand new black Nocona Texas Ranger style bel–… I went pale. My brand new black belt was in the drawer in the hotel room, where I had placed it the day before. So sly, I fooled myself. It was too late to borrow the hated suspenders from the groaning groomsmen, and I couldn’t wear the brown belt I had on. I had to race back to the hotel.

I tried to hurry in the most nonchalant way I could, seeing that the panic level was increasing as every second passed. I saw my Dad on the way in as I was on the way out… “Hey, Dad, howzitgoingIgottagoIleftmybeltintheroomandI gotta get back fast!” He graciously sent me on my way and I leapt into the van and sped away, praying that no Comal County Protect and Servers were between the church and the hotel.

To make a harrowing story of masterful driving and narrowly avoided traffic lights short, I made it there and back in a mere 21 minutes. I timed it. As I was walk/hop/running into the church, I nearly ran over my mother-in-law. “You’d better get dressed!” she said, incredulous that I was still in jeans. “Yeah, I’m thinkin’ about it…” as I slid sideways into the men’s room. The time was approximately 3:42:17 p.m..

Fully decked out as I should be, I emerged with only a slight sweat going. The evening sun streaming in through the glass foyer was not much of a help to my temperature situation. I settled down enough to mingle with my Dad, Roy, the groom and the groomsmen and find an air conditioning vent to stand under. We horsed around a bit as people came in to the auditorium in a steady stream. It was nearing zero hour 4 p.m., and the grandmothers got seated. Of course the stream of people kept rising and falling, and so to keep the timing correct, the grandmothers got seated a couple more times to try to set the schedule for the ceremony and get everybody in the pews.

Finally, the service was under way. The bridal party was neatly lined up in the foyer waiting for their cue. My middle daughter and youngest looked so beautiful in their dresses, hair done and cradling their flowers. As I got down to the end where my littlest girl was, she looked up at me with tears in her eyes, and asked me, “Daddy, are you going to cry?” She glanced over to her right where a vision of beauty was standing in the hallway awaiting her moment.

I caught my breath. Oh. My. Gosh. This was it, and that was her. She stood so tall and graceful, like a wonderfully crafted porcelain doll in satin and pearls, holding flowers that paled in comparison to her perfection. That was all I could see before my chin quivered and she went blurry. I made my way to her side somehow, and looked into her bright blue eyes. They were welling up with tears of emotion, just over half-full, and as I leaned in to gently hug my baby, I said softly and lovingly, “You stink.”

The desired effect was attained and she smiled; the water returned from whence it came. The next few minutes, however, are not as clearly remembered as these. I recall that we chatted and laughed a little for the last time as a guy and his single daughter. Then I recall something about trailing a cute little girl with a basket of flower petals down a sloping floor leading to where a guy was standing. There was some kind of vaguely familiar music playing, though I don’t consciously remember following the strains. I didn’t see anything to either side of me. We stopped and the guy on the top step said something to me and I think I said something like, “Her mother and I…” and I don’t think my voice cracked or anything. Then I stepped back a couple of steps and stood next to a crying woman in a silver dress. After that, I was fine.

When the service was over, we had to take pictures, so everybody kept their seats. The pastor that performed the ceremony prohibited photos made during the service proper; he felt that it would detract from the serious spiritual nature of the event. I am with him on that. Also, as a photographer, it gives you a better chance to get great shots when the key parts are reenacted. So we did that and it did make for better shots; everyone was very relaxed-looking and the tears were all wiped away.

As the shots were being made, Roy asked if I had any ideas, since we have shot several weddings together. “Nope, you’re doing great!” was my reply. As a matter of fact, at no time during the weekend did I officially wield any sort of recording device in an official documentary capacity. People that know me think that odd, but they don’t know the whole story.

My reasoning is simple. I was the Father-of-the-Bride that weekend, not a photographer, not an art director, not a designer or stylist. Just Dad. I wasn’t looking for angles, compositions, perfect expressions and special lighting effects. If I had gone into any of the aforementioned modes, I would have missed an event that will never be repeated.

That was not on my list of things to do.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Wedding of the Century

Part the First: Ready, Set...,
As of today, I have had a son for over a month and a half. He was born to me at a little after 4 p.m. on December 4, 2010. His name is Baron and at about 6’2” and about 240 pounds; he is a big one. He’s also 23 years old. Someone else had the job of raising him and feeding him up to this point, and now he is in the care of my daughter.

Let me back up for a bit. My girl met him at school a couple of years ago. They hit it off, and decided to get married. That decision set into motion a whole series of events that can only be compared to a force of nature.

A woman (women) with a wedding in her (their) sights can be formidable. Intense. Frightening. If weddings were up to guys, they would be a lot different; quick, easy and not really a big visual or symbolical deal. I will just leave it at that. I have another reason for this piece, and it is not to start an argument about what is important in a wedding.

We caravanned up to New Braunfels in the Silver Bullet from Hades and Katie’s Saturn and the trip was very nice that first Friday of December. We got to one of the most beautiful little towns in Central Texas and met up at a barbeque joint for lunch with the bride-and-groom-to-be, along with much of the bridal party and their dates.

After a nice barbeque lunch, we adjourned to the Elks Lodge in downtown NB for a decoration party, readying the venue for the reception. That was when the tension became palpable. There was much to do in the hall; setting up and decorations for all the tables, the cake and candy and punch tables had to be made up, set up and decorated, and there were countless other tiny details that made everyone realize that we had one shot at this, and that the wedding of the year was happening in just about 26 hours.

Still, being a guy, I took most of it in stride. Although the principal women involved were showing signs of stress, I was, as usual, going with the flow. I was charged with setting up the framed portrait of the happy couple, the lattice screens for the cake table, the cake stand and the sign-in table. Baron’s family, our family and the young people that came along with the wedding party were all pitching in and doing a fantastic job. The transformation from a 60 year-old small-town lodge for old German guys to wedding reception setting was complete.

With that formidable task dispatched, it was time to retire to the hotel room and prepare everyone for the rehearsal. Showers were taken, hairs were foofed/straightened, and faces shaved. OK, just my face was shaved, since once again, I was the only male in my clan.

Everyone dressed the second best that they would look that weekend, and all converged on Cross Lutheran Church. A beautiful new structure, this was the first wedding to be held therein. Open and airy, the limestone, glass and steel edifice was impressive. The sanctuary was a wide amphitheater with a sloping floor that led down to the raised altar. I’m not sure when construction was finished, but it can’t have been long. See, as a guy, I’m noticing the structure of the place where my very first child is about to marry a guy who will be her protector for the rest of her life. Lots of nice woodwork, too.

The pastor gathered us all together in the sanctuary and began to instruct us in the finer points of getting through a wedding. Y’all stand there till this song then this will happen then the wedding party will start to commence down the aisle then you’ll be here and I’ll say this then he says that and then he sits down and then we come up here and I’ll say this then this song will play then you’ll kneel here then…

So we all huddle up and head to the back of the church for the big dry run. The groomsmen and the girls sashayed down the aisle, and then it was time for the flower girl. GULP…this is the second before the big moment…When that music started for the Bridal March, the big, pretty room got a little blurry, and a little sound escaped the lips of my daughter. OH NO, she’s gonna cry! Why can’t I see the preacher in focus? Like he’s a mirage…My girl said under her breath, “Oh no, Mom is crying…” and that cranked up the waterworks on the bride-elect. I saw her mother over on the left and sure enough, her face was contorted in a vain attempt to stem the flow of tears. I lumbered down the aisle on half-blind auto-pilot.


Well, we got past all that without too many casualties, thankfully, and even did another dry run, which went all light-hearted and fun. Gone was the gravity of the situation. For now.

The rehearsal dinner was held at the historic Forke Store at the New Braunfels Conservation Society plaza. Built in 1865, it had all sorts of great stuff from the days before the internet. And prior to electricity, for that matter. Our dinner was a generous fajita spread catered by the Adobe Café, and was excellent. The company was great, the food was good and we all had a grand time.

Back to the hotel to ready ourselves for the biggest day of our lives, so far.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hold On, Kids!

For the two of you who care, I have a post in the works about my oldest daughter's recent nuptials.

It has just taken an unusually long time to digest all of the events and distill them into a coherent (unusual for me, right) group of words.

So hang on, I promise it's coming.