6 am in Torrance, CA.
Yesterday, I witnessed the most beautiful wedding I'm likely to ever be a part of, ever. I'm still just amazed how wonderful it was.
Caleb has a lot of close friends and those were his grooms men. They took the wedding seriously, definitely, but at the same time they did the same kinds of fun things with each other that you might expect young men to do that are filled with the love of the Lord.
Mom and I were actually the first ones to walk down the aisle, apparently as tradition would have it. I'm not sure, but it was my former pastors that showed up to run it, namely, Susan, who has done a large number of weddings and has the protocol down to a science. I am quite sure that if she hadn't been there the whole thing would not have turned out as amazing as it did.
It was funny because when the grooms men came up, they had obviously practiced special handshakes with Caleb. Each one did a different one with him and it was quite comical but still they were in the state of mind of, this is Caleb's big day. Anyway, it was almost magical the whole experience. Out doors, gorgeous, beautiful day, maybe a quarter mile from the beach. Trump golf course below the facility, I didn't know there was a Trump course out here. This particular area is very ritzy, it was amazing that there would be a Salvation Army facility here at all. They said it has been there for at least 50 years, so I am assuming the Salvation Army College was there before this all got built up into a fancy, pricey area.\
There are no large signs at the entrance, just two small signs that say what it is and then an unassuming driveway down a steep hill to the entrance of this rather large facility. The Uber drivers that lived there all their lives had never heard of it and said they probably had driven past this place a hundred times and never saw it.
Anyway, after the ceremony was picture taking time and of course mom and I were in that. But our portion of it was over quickly and we left the area to go to the reception area, where there was a chocolate and vanilla fountain set up replete with strawberries and various types of fruits to dip into it. That was outside, and then we were ushered indoors to have a marvelous dinner of fresh salmon and chicken cordon blue.
I got to visit with friends I hadn't seen in many years. Some of them, the last time we visited, our relationship not going so well, especially with other former pastors of long ago. That was a falling out from long ago that was well documented in this or one of my blogs, but I think this one. But the past is behind us, we are older now and it isn't worth carrying around that kind of baggage. At least not for me and she didn't either. In fact, we sat together at one of the head tables and had a good time. That, including my first ex wife. We didn't talk much, my ex and I, but we had to be amiable for the sake of our son.
When Caleb and Grace came in, about an hour later actually, apparently they were taking all kinds of pictures down there and whooping it up, they went straight to the dance floor and had their first official dance together. This place had dozens and dozens of people that are in the college there that had volunteered to serve the guests. In other words, it was much like a restaurant. I will certainly be writing my version of a letter of thanks to the college when I get home.
Anyway, it was an evening full of all kinds of quirky stuff. Such as the money dance. Where some of the guys stood with baskets to take donations of any kind to have a dance with the bride or groom. It may have looked gay, but it really wasn't. Just young people having a good time.
The evening progressed and the activities started to die off and it was obviously time to start thinking about leaving. Mom was pretty tired out by that point anyway. She is in her 80's and I was escorting her everywhere. She dressed up for the occasion and was very beautiful, took a nice pic of her and posted it on my FB wall. It was nice that Caleb's grandma could show up. Grace's entire family lines appeared to be there, including grandma and great grandma.
The thing that got to me was that Grace and Caleb were going to spend the night in one of the dorm hotel rooms. I mean, I found that out as this was all happening in the reception, but then one of the young men came up and said don't worry, we have that covered. We are surprising them with a hotel stay overnight at a very nice hotel just down the road from here. Awesome. They had made a gift basket up for the occasion. Later on, Caleb asked what is in there. I smiled and giggled a little, uhh, son, stuff you will probably need tonight.
It had dawned on me that my ex was having her son leave the nest. Yes, Caleb is 24 but he's been living with her since I left Phoenix and when he's been in town. That obviously isn't going to happen now and she is going to be having an empty room. The Susan said no, I'm going to fix that room up. She helps out with people that need a place to stay that are affiliated with the church, I am going to see to it that she isn't living in an empty house. I have no ill will against her.
I didn't intentionally set myself up to be living with people that love me as family, and they are currently in Georgia, but that's exactly what is happening in my life. As it stands, my only real family are my mom and my son. My brothers are pretty much permanently out of the picture. I found out yesterday from mom that my middle brother went into a tirade against her on Mother's Day, of all days. I know mom can be a little bit difficult at times, but nothing worth blowing up over. She's older, she is set in her ways, but she generally has a sweet demeanor about her. I can't even imagine what it was that set off my stupid brother on her special day and I don't really want to contemplate it, for it will just irritate me to no end. She was saddened by the fact that he hasn't spoken to her since then. I doubt he's spoken to my oldest brother, so his prophecy about me when he went off on me was it earlier this year or late last year? Can't remember, but is actually coming upon his head.
His anger and hate are coming back upon him in ways I doubt he imagined. Mom said because of his ego and pride, he won't apologize and so, because of that, he is stuck there. I fully agree. I made my apologies but he didn't accept them. He wanted more apologies and then went off into a 1,000 word texted tirade of how terrible I am, how I need psychological help, on and on and on. I don't imagine a person in that sort of mind frame having much of a peaceable life. I almost feel sorry for him, but now that he's done it to mom, I don't much care anymore.
Well, I probably should wind this one down. I need to leave out of here in an hour to get to LAX which is about a 30 minute ride. Need to find an Uber a bit in advance and leave myself a couple of hours at the airport to get everything taken care of. I am always apprehensive about TSA because you never know how long the line is going to be, how long it's going to take to get through it or what potential trouble they may give you. If it weren't for that, you could easily arrive at an airport less than an hour from boarding time with no problems. It's not a chance worth taking, you don't want the airplane to take off without you.
I planned this particular day out so that I wouldn't have to be rushed early to get this all done, which mom apparently did not do. I would have liked to go with her to the airport but she had to leave much earlier than me and I just wished her a happy journey back home. She had a great time though, she was all smiles and laughter last night until fatigue settled on, but she did remarkably well considering.
I will have more writing to do when I get home, but I think I better wrap this up, take a shower, get ready to go.
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