I have been playing “catch-up” the last few days after a memorable weekend, which explains my lack of blog entries.
At least I hope it does.
The weekend was memorable for one reason, and that was the wedding of my youngest child, our son Jimmy. The event was in Atlanta, where he has lived for I can’t remember how many years, and we decided to drive up.
I say “we” but really it was my decision, and my wife didn’t object. If I can avoid flying these days, I do. Too much hassle.
We had originally planned to leave early on Friday morning and get to the hotel that evening about the same time as our daughter, who was coming in from St. Louis with her new husband and two sons.
But in the days leading up to our departure, we were tracking Hurricane Irene and decided it might be prudent if we left a day early.
As it turned out, Friday would have been fine. For by leaving on Thursday, we actually had to drive through some of the rain from the hurricane’s outer bands, which covered the coast.
Fortunately, we drove up the middle of the state on U.S. 27. I had not been that way in quite a few years, since being caught in a speed trap just south of South Bay in Palm Beach County, and it was a welcome break from the familiar boredom of the turnpike.
The traffic isn’t all that bad either, until you get to Sebring. From there north to the intersection of U.S. 27 with the turnpike, it’s pretty much all built up with a lot of stoplights.
We spent the first night in Ocala and awoke to a bright sunny day on Friday for our continuation up to Atlanta. According to the TV, Irene was on its way to wipe out New York, which it didn’t.
The wedding and all the accompanying events (rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, shower) were scheduled north of the city in the Norcross area. Nothing was doing on Friday night, however, which should have given us the opportunity to see our grandchildren. But my daughter’s flight out of St. Louis was two hours late, and that blew that plan. (See why I don’t like flying!)
So we went to Dreamland Barbecue (the original Dreamland in Tuscaloosa, Ala., is better), watched some TV, and looked forward to the next day.
I won’t go into all the details here except to say that everything went smoothly the rest of the weekend. I had thought a lot about he welcoming toast I was to make at the rehearsal dinner on Saturday night, but it was a pretty informal affair as it turned out and no sweat.
I was the only one wearing a tie, which is not the first time I have found myself in that situation when following Virginia’s wishes, and everybody seemed to have a good time. I am curious as to what the final bill is going to be because I didn’t really look at it all that closely when I signed off on it.
The wedding was Sunday evening at a place called the Carlyle House in the dsignated “historic” area of Norcross. As with the dinner, my son and his intended had handled all the arrangements, her parents living in the Tampa area and us 700 miles away.
It was a outdoor ceremony, but late enough it wasn’t that hot. And though before the rehearsal three trains had passed by on the nearby railroad tracks, none came during the ceremony.
The only snag was my daughter’s six-year-old was too shy to fully play his role as ring bearer. Her ten-year-old, however, was more than happy to escort his grandmother to her seat while I trailed them down the aisle.
My son and his new bride decided to write their own vows, and his blew me away. The Air Force chaplain performing the ceremony even took a moment to compliment them, saying they were the most beautiful he had ever heard.
Of course, the minister could have said that in any case since it is doubtful anybody attending had seen him officiating a wedding before or will see him again. But he didn’t have to say anything at all, so I choose to believe his praise was legitimate.
Afterward, everyone seemed to have a good time at the reception and dinner that followed. We left late, and later, my son, who had spent the night before sleeping on the floor in our room, came by to pick up the stuff he had left there.
It was kind of surreal when we woke up the next morning to return home, like we couldn’t really believe the whole thing was over. This was something we had been looking forward to ever since we learned of my son’s engagement last spring, and now it was over.
Such is life, I guess. I’ve often wondered what “reality” really is. Is it the party the night before, or is the drab routine of the next day real “reality”?
Something to ponder: If you never sober up, you never have to make that kind of distinction.
We got away in the morning and were still on the 285 loop around Atlanta when we got a call from my son to say goodbye. He was headed with his bride to Jamaica the next day. My daughter and her family were headed back to St. Louis on a noon flight. And we were headed back to Miami.
There a couple of press conferences and a long day of doing college football reports awaited me. Oh. We had to get back to the cats, too.