Friday, October 28, 2011

A few memories and then back to reality

Our trip to Palm Springs was for business, but we managed to get some fun and relaxation in.  Because Marty was working, we were limited Sunday and nights for fun. I had no car, so I stayed home and read with an occasional nap thrown in.  We ate a lot of good meals.  We drove around and saw beautiful Southwest architecture.  Below is a little info about  Palm Springs.

Where to stay?  first choice 

Where to eat?  On they list some of their favorite places.  We ate at some of theirs and one we found because it had a parking spot. 
 Giuseppe's  the pizza is great, we had the thin crust. The table next to us had Chicago deep dish and it looked and smelled great.  We also had Calamari maybe the best ever.  Calamari is our test of restaurants.  If they do it right, they can cook.

Hamburger Mary's was a lucky find.  We were hungry and there was a parking spot.  The website won't tell you, it hints, that it is mainly a gay bar and restaurant.  Sunday brunch the Brunchettes, who are Drag Queens,  entertain. This was one of the most fun floor shows ever.

For Marty's birthday dinner, I took him to Lulu. I highly recommend the mushroom soup.

For lunch one day we ate Margarita's.  Yes, we had Margaritas.  It is a strange place, Mexican, sushi, oyster bar, pasta. Marty had oysters and Tacos.  I had an enchilada and a soft taco.  All very good. No pictures here.  This is where my phone died.

Our last night we ate at Trio.  Again we had calamari. Marty had a lamb shank and I had a pork chop.  Very good.  But the star of dinner was the Trio Mac and 5 cheese.  We had a side, but it is offered as an entree also.

       Marty taking a picture of me as I took a picture of him.  We are as bad as teenagers playing on our phones.

Trio had sculptures inside and outside the restaurant.  Very modern and very interesting.

Where to buy food to cook?  There are the usual chain groceries.  We were headed to Ralph's and saw Fresh & Easy.   They are not in Oakland yet.  There are some in the East Bay, so will try to go there when possible.  These stores are so shiny clean and green.  The meat is in serving sizes in clam shell containers.  Most things are packaged that way.  And really good pricing.

Because of the hours Marty was working, we didn't get to any museums.  When we go back that is a must. RichRob has several links to attractions and museums.

Now it's back to reality.  I have washed clothes all morning and this afternoon I will starch and iron shirts and blouses.  I have given the bathroom a lick and a promise.  And I have food to get ready for supper tonight.  Life is back to normal.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time to go home

Marty and I have been on a business trip to Palm Springs, California.  Business trip for him, lay on the couch and read for me.  First off I must say I am sorry to all desert lovers I am about to insult.

What is wrong with you people????   We were told how pleasant and cool it was when we arrived. The weather lady talked about the big cool down.  The restaurant people said what a pleasant evening it was.  No, it was hot.  It was 94 when we got here Saturday afternoon, at midnight it had dropped to 87.  Hot, not pleasant.  People that don't know me personally, I live in the Oakland Hills, we often have fog, we think it is hot if it reaches 75.  So you can see our problem with the heat.Two nights it did cool down to the 70s.  We turned off the AC and slept with the windows open, still not sleep under a down comforter weather as we are used to.  Of course AC was back on by 10:30 A.M.

Today is our last day here.  Marty did some business this week.  I read a fabulous book that I can't talk about until February ( I'll explain that another time). We have eaten well, been entertained, cooked some good meals, and once again I killed a phone.

Sunday we wandered into a hamburger joint.  They have a floor show on Sundays.  Drag queens performing to songs.  This show was so fun, so entertaining. and it was just luck we were there.  Oh and the burgers were great too.

Miss Vicious was one of the best performers.  Every number she had a different costume. Her headdress cleared the ceiling fans by less than an inch.

 I don't remember her name, but she was fabulous.  All of the entertainers were fun.  I think there were four, and three of the four had multiple costumes.

For Marty's birthday we ate at Lulu.  For Bay Area readers, no connection to the one in San Francisco.

It is a beautiful restaurant.   The food was at great as the look of the restaurant.  Service was perfection.

Now to where we are staying.  Marty met a guy at one of the many Billiard events he goes to.  Rob and his partner own several rental condos in Palm Springs.  We rented one of the condos and have had a lovely home away from home.  If you are ever coming to Palm Springs you should stay in one of their condos.  All kinds of prices, all kinds of sizes.  All are beautiful.  Check out their website here.

This is the view from our balcony.

 A full kitchen, two sets of dishes, spices, appliances, wine glasses, pots and pans, dishwasher, pantry, and a washer and dryer. We brought some food and bought food.  We ate in breakfasts, some lunches, and a couple of dinners.

Living room and dining room combo. The couch works well for naps.

Our balcony.  We had breakfast on it one morning.  Before it became so crazy hot.
They provide a computer, wireless, printer, long distance calling.  Nearly everything you can think of, they have at the ready.  Rob even asked if we had requests for things in the condo.  Very helpful landlords.

The guest room, a queen size bed.  There is a flat screen TV on the wall, huge closet, clock radio, and a full bath.

Master bedroom, a king size bed.  A flat screen TV, clock radio, huge closet, a Juliet balcony, a huge bathroom.   There are two sinks, lots of cabinets and drawers for storage, and a wonderful wonderful shower.  The shower is big with a bench.  The shower head beats down at just the perfect pressure.

If you like the dessert heat, good restaurants, shopping, museums, theater, Palm Springs is the place for you.  If you need a great place to stay check out the above link to Rob's and Rich's website. 

I know some of you are going, what did she do to her phone this time??  I did nothing.  I was having trouble with things loading as was Marty.  He stopped in the AT&T store to get help.  They had him reboot (hold down the top button and the front button at the same time, wait a minute then do it again).  Presto Bingo it comes on and everything loads.

Well, when we did mine it didn't come back on.  We had to find an Apple store, which was three towns East.  We go in and it is packed.  A clerk told us it would be over an hour, if they could even work us in, plus their computer system was down and they might not be able to help us.  We got in line and I told them my problem.  We are traveling, this was my Mother's Day present, we can't come back, it has to be fixed now.  All this said with a tear in my eye and a Corbin Southern Accent.  The head guy grabs someone from the genius bar and tells him to help me now.  I hug the first guy and go off with the second guy.

Second guy can't get any reading from the phone, it is dead.  No sign of life from the battery.  He has never seen that on a fairly new phone.  When you reboot they always come back.  Not mine.  He walks over to a shelf, pulls out a new phone, says sign here, inputs info for Apple, and tells me to go home and sync. I hugged him too.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More weddings from last week

People react differently to a marriage ceremony in the County Building. Below are two couples who are planning a big wedding later. Each came in with different vibe. Then we have a story about not researching the laws of the land. 

Couple one is planning a big wedding later. They don't want any pictures, this ceremony isn't important. I insisted they have pictures taken. This is the real deal. They say OK witness can take pictures. The couple has zero interest in what I am saying until we began the vows. Reality kicked in, this was the real deal. The bride cried, he leaned over and kissed her on the cheek and wiped her eyes. It suddenly was a solemn occasion. They both thanked me for insisting on pictures. 

Couple two was really excited. This was "the real ceremony". They were having a big wedding later. But this one, this was what counts. They were happy, excited, and very emotional during the ceremony.

Sidebar about the witness: The witness was 6 days past her due date. She was hugely pregnant. The county deputies told later told me when they saw her walk in they were worried they were going to be delivering a baby. When the witness had gone to the bathroom, as all pregnant ladies do often, they sent the female deputy to check on her. The witness was gone so long they were afraid her water had broken. She made it through the wedding and left the building still pregnant.

And then we have the angry couple. They had had a cultural wedding. But they hadn't bought a marriage license. The officials at their mosque had told them all they had to do was come in and the clerk would register the marriage. (this is how some countries register marriages.)

They also said when they came to do that a clerk, K, was rude, wouldn't accept their marriage. They told me all kinds of things that K said. Now I know she can be rude sometimes, but she is usually very polite and checks all the regulations with superiors before making a statement. Of course she didn't need to check this one. No license, you are not married. We can't back date the license and have the priest/minister fill in the info. They left mad. Then they came back two days later to try again.  

They still did not understand why they had to be married with a license. They were still angry. The errors were from the mosque officials, and from them not checking United States /California laws. I became the sweetest Southern Belle there is. I soothed their hurts, apologized if they had been misled. I explained the laws and told them I would make things legal for them. I did a short ceremony; they weren't in the mood for anything else. They had pictures taken, and they then received a certified copy of their license. They left fairly happy.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

We want to get married, again

There were several weddings last week.  I plan to post a couple a times about weddings this week.  The one today is a doozy.

The groom was divorced 6 years ago.  He and the bride were married 3 years ago, big wedding with a license.  Then they started adoption procedures. The adoption agency needed a copy of the divorce final decree. Oops, he isn't divorced after all.  The first wife didn't do all her paperwork.  He didn't realize he didn't have a final decree.

Many moons later, one big lawyer bill, and with a final divorce decree, he and his second wife were at the Clerk Recorder's Office to be married.

Now some of you are wondering how do the clerks know to sell a license to someone if they say they have been divorced. The honor system is the rule.  Except if a person has been divorced in the last 6 weeks.  (I think that is the correct time period)  Then the person must show the final decree.

Tomorrow or Tuesday more weddings.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, I must be at school

Yesterday was my day to volunteer at Kaiser School.  My first graders were happy to see me, and I was very happy to be there with them.  We had lots of help in the classroom, almost too many to get around in the crowded room.  There was me, a student teacher, Ms. H, a special needs teacher, and two mothers. 

Sometimes in the past some of the volunteer mothers have driven me crazy.  They hovered over their child who they helped too much, and they chatted and chatted.  One mother even put her child in her lap and let her cry about how hard the work is.  Not this year.  The mothers are watching every child, they might give their child a pat as they go by, but they are working with all the children.  One mother is on things immediately.  She is on the trouble makers before I can get their names out.

Yesterday I mainly worked the room:  listening to children read, pushing children to get done, helping with phonics and handwriting.  The phonics workbooks did not go well, mainly because they did not listen to directions.  The page had endings  ack,   ock,   ick    in columns and they were to put a beginning sound to them and create words.  The beginning letters were given to them. All they had to do was write the letters given to them and the endings down the column.  The first column was done as a group and then they were finish the page at their seats. 

s        t        p          st

__ack                   __ick            __ock
sack                  _______      ________

tack                  _______        ________

pack                 ________       ________

stack                _________        _________

Second column, what letters do I use?  How do I spell . . .   I can't do this, it's too hard.  What are we to do?  This was half the class.  Now Ms. H gave great directions, this was not a teacher messing up.  These children did not listen, and thought it didn't matter.  Well it did, if they didn't finish, they stayed in at recess with me.  Most suddenly cranked it out.  No recess means I think I will listen to directions this time. 

But one little girl J just would not listen or try.  Her handwriting is poor, so I had dotted out the ack words for her. I told her again what to do.  She traced over my dots and then started crying,  J didn't know what to do.  And cried and cried.  I had zero sympathy for her.  Ms. H had worked with her, the student teacher and I worked with her.  She just didn't want to do the work.  So she cried, and I kept telling her the directions.  She wanted me to dot out the other columns and I refused.  There is helping and there is doing the child's work.  Still crying, she finally did the work, but not in time to have any recess.

The truth, I just wanted to shake J.  This exercise required no real reading skills, really not even phonics skills.  They had to follow directions and write new words.  She had pulled the crying on the student teacher M last week.  M told me she thought it was her fault that J cried.  M was glad to see J pull it on some one else.  If J had needed real help, yes we would have given it to her.  But not listening and wanting an adult to tell her every step, no.

Some days are a little harder to feel good about helping.  As I walked through the halls as most of the school was going to lunch, good things happened.  Several of the 5th graders came up and hugged me.  I had worked with them when they were 1st graders.  Other children hugged me and called to me as I walked by the outside lunch tables (remember we are in California).   Those hugs and waves are worth everything.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Young and Old, they want to be married

I have had a shortage of couples at the Marriage Factory.  It seems the mornings are busier and then it tapers off when I work in the afternoons.  My average number of marriage ceremonies is down from 6 couples to 2.5.  Is is something I did? Monday and Wednesday this week, I only did 5 ceremonies.  That is 5 total for two days.  They were quality weddings, no crazies this week.
The first couple forgot their wedding rings.  Of course they were upset about that.  I told them they could do a private ceremony at home and exchange rings. During the wedding ceremony I explained the rings were an outward symbol of their love.  And then I added some more fluff about rings.  They seemed pleased to hear about the rings.

The next couple were both in white.  She wore tight white jeans, a white sequined top, and a white hip length loose sweater.  She had recently had a baby and the pants kept slipping.  They didn't quite pull far enough up.  At one point the groom reached over and yanked the jeans up for her and straightened her top over the small gap.  She thanked him and we began the marriage ceremony.

Then we had the baby couple, they were so young.  You must be 18 to buy a marriage license.  When they brought me the license, I was sure it was a mistake.  How can someone born in September of 1993 be old enough to marry? They were old enough.  They were excited and happy to be there.  No parents, just a friend to witness.  This is a couple I would love to know the back story.  During the marriage ceremony the groom look serious, yet happy.  The bride I can only describe as having a look of grim determination.

The last license showed that the groom had been divorced and then widowed.  The bride had been divorced and then widowed.  He was born in 1941, she in 1940.  Her daughter and grandson were guests and another couple were the witnesses.  Everyone was having a good time.  The bride and groom had known each other for 42 years. They had an air of real friendship as well as love for each other.

I asked if they had their own vows.  They did. They wanted to say a couple of things and then use the traditional vows.  He asked her if she would do his laundry now.  She said,  "No."  He said, "OK, I love you."  She then said," You can shop at Cabela's , if I can play Texas Hold 'em on line and at casinos. I love you."  I asked if they still wanted the traditional vows.  He answered, "No, that will do it."  So I finished the ceremony. 

To celebrate they were going to Fenton's an old Oakland institution.  For non Bay Area people, you have seen Fenton's in the movie Up.  The old man and the little boy sat on the curb in front of Fenton's at the end of the movie.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Wedding Room and a wedding

I post about the Wedding Room all the time.  But I've never posted pictures.  Monday I remembered to take my iPhone upstairs and take a few pictures.  When you step off the elevator this is what you see. Many of the couples have a picture taken by the sign.

We have four pews and lots of standing room.  The Fire Marshall says 29 people can be in the room.  Luckily he doesn't come by very often.  We have had bigger crowds.  With the paneled walls and the pews, it is a very warm room.  People are always surprised by how nice the room is.

The couple stand in front of the lighted arch.  We have silk flowers on the two stands.  For special days, such as Valentine's Day, we have fresh flowers.  The screen behind the arch is a piece of art made of metallic threads.  It is based on the Double Wedding Ring quilt pattern.  Here is a close up of a quilt.

As lovely as this room is, not all appreciate it.  Every now and then we get a couple who just want the legal part of the ceremony.  Some are nice about it and some are just rude.  Last week I had a rude couple.  They walked with boredom and arrogance. The couple told me they were already married, they had done a cultural wedding yesterday.  They just wanted the legal part and a certified copy of the license.  The witness, his mother, wanted more.  Mother also wanted pictures, the couple saw no need for pictures, this wasn't "important".  Hey, if it isn't important and you are already MARRIED, why are you here?  Mother took pictures anyway.

I remained the lovely Southern Belle that I am, and told them I would do the three legal sentences for them.  They didn't even stand in front of the arch, they were where the pews began.  So I did the "Do you take....... Do you take....... and then I pronounced them married. As the witness and I were signing the license the groom was doing push ups off the back of a pew. 

Some couples are nice, fun, touching.  Others are a pain in the rear.

Tomorrow or Saturday I will post about some other weddings.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

School last Tuesday

I knew there was a reason I never posted about school last week.  I wasn't able to volunteer today, so  now I can post about last week.

The small groups were finishing the rotation we began last week.  I again helped with the scrambled sentences.  This group knew exactly what to do.  Their friends had told them all about it.  They knew the sentences without even reading them.  Maybe we should mix up the order of the sentences or something. 

I finished testing the children on the Dolch sight words.  These children had the advantage of the list going home last week.  They had had time to study the words. There were some interesting comments from the children when I asked if they had been working at home on the words. I got the expected answer, I didn't get a list.  Right.  I personally stapled the list to each homework packet.  One child told me his mother ripped it up, she didn't want to work on the words.  Now I take any child's statement with a grain of salt.  But that sounds like something bad happened. 

For math the children were given a number chart from 1 to 100.  Except most of it was blank.  It had 14, 23, 89, 93 filled in.  They were to fill in the blanks.  If they thought it was too hard, they were to get a number chart and copy the numbers in.  I was to mark on each paper if they used the chart.  About half needed the chart after they got over 30.  One little boy (using a chart) insisted on filling in the blanks from 100 backwards.  He flat out refused to start with 1.  I noted that on his paper. Several made errors and lines did not come out right.  But they came to me to help find their mistakes.  That is huge to know something is wrong and ask for help.  Usually they had written a number twice, so we would erase and then they finished just fine.

Kaiser has gardens for each class.  The gardens are a year long science project.  People other than the classroom teacher come in and work with the children. The children help in the gardens (which were started in the summer by volunteers), and class time is spent on how things grow. Finally they pick  the crops, or in the case of potatoes dig the crops up. Then the vegetables are cooked in class.  The children also help prepare the food.  This is a great science project.

The stories we read to them are sometimes about growing food. Everything ties together.  The book I read this week was Apples to Oregon.  After going to the link, look to the left side where the image of the book is.  Then click on either search inside the book or Look inside.  If you have little ones in your life, I highly recommend this book.  It is based on truth, but is a tall tale.  Trust me, children love this book.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Again with the pretend grandchildren

Thursday we drove up to Davis again.  Friday was Grandparent's and Special Friends' Day at Hall's school.  No real grandparents were able to come out, so Marty and I had the privilege of attending. We took Hall to school and then signed in for the morning's events.  There would be a Mass, a reception, time in the classroom, and an assembly.

Now the Mass is always a problem.  We are not Catholic. We don't know when to stand or when to sit down.  And we don't know 90% of the responses.  Also Catholic services last longer than our protestant service.  Marty and I tend to tune out after 45 minutes.  We did OK, and didn't embarrass Hall.

This is Hall reading part of the prayers.  He was very composed.  Several hundred people were in the church.  My knees would have been knocking.  Amazing, he is only 8 years old.

              This is Marty and Hall in the classroom.  They are playing a math game.

Look at that evil grin on Hall's face.  He thinks he has beat Marty at the math game.  Guess who won.  That would be Aunt Janet.

This is the next project we did with Hall, a word search.  This thing was really tough.  It took all three of us to find the words.  They were up, down, frontwards, backwards, and oh hell on a slant.

Word search is finished.  Now he gets to color the picture.  We wore a picture of Hall as our visitor's badge.

I have three wonderful videos of the assembly.  For some reason none will load.  I have tried emailing them to family, that hasn't worked either.  I will have to call 1-800 Erik.  He posts videos on his blog, so surely he will be able to help me.  It may cost me cooking dinner for my son, but he will help Mom.  If we figure it out, I will post them later. 

After all the events, school was out around noon.  We had told Hall he could pick where we would have lunch.  He picked Subway.  He was so funny when we went in.  It was very clear he had been there often.  He went to the soft drink cooler, grabbed his drink.  Then he grabbed chips and got in line to order his sandwich. He knew the people standing behind him would pay. Everyone was ordering by name, the spicy Italian, turkey club.  Not Hall, he ordered the type bread untoasted, cheese, the two meats he wanted,tomatoes, onions, then the condiments he wanted.  He was precise.  The sandwich guy commented on how Hall knew what he wanted.  The sandwich he ordered sounded so good that I ordered it.

Thank you, Hall, for letting us be your grandparents for a day.  We love you very much. 
Today Corbin High School's Class of 1961 is having a reunion.  We graduated 50 years ago. I find it hard to accept I am that old. I am unable to attend and sent the below letter to them.  It, along with other letters, will be read to those that attend.  Corbin was then a tiny town in the foothills of Kentucky.   It is a bigger town now, but still not a "city."  Corbin was a great place to grow up. 

Fifty years, it doesn’t seem that long ago that we were cruising through the town and dancing at the Youth Center.  I wish I could be with you all for this reunion.  We did have fun times.

We moved to Louisville while I was in college at Eastern.  I hated leaving Corbin.  I knew no one in Louisville, and didn’t want to go.  It turned out well. I met my husband in Louisville in 1966.

Marty and I were married in 1967.  When he proposed he told me we would move until we died. Marty worked for CHEVRON until 1999 and we kept moving, 8 moves from 1967 to 1985. We have lived in Maryland, and several places in California and Kentucky.  We have had two more moves on our own in recent years.

We have one son who is a geologist and he works out of San Francisco.  He and his wife have no children, so we have pretend grandchildren. One family in our church had no family in the state.  We became the pretend grandparents 12 years ago.  Now our nephew, a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force, is stationed at Travis Air Force Base.  He has three fun and loving children. They live only an hour from us.  My brother and his wife let us be pretend grandparents when they can’t come out for events.

I taught elementary school for several years.  Then we were transferred one time too many. No teaching jobs to be had.  I had to find something else to do, so I became the Volunteer Queen.

I have worked with the church wherever we have lived: taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, chaired committees, served as an Elder, and been on the Church Board.  I was there more than the ministers.  I have worked with the Leukemia Society, been a docent at the Museum of Science and History in Louisville, a docent at a Children’s museum in Baltimore.  In the San Francisco Bay Area I have served on a county United Way Board, and also chaired committees and served on the Board of a Non Profit that worked with the low income and homeless.  Together Marty and I work the San Francisco AIDS Walk.

After years of hard gritty volunteering, I finally found my loves:  volunteering with a first grade class and becoming a Deputy Marriage Commissioner.  I love working with the children and performing wedding ceremonies.

For 10 years I have worked with first graders on reading and math skills.  I still get to teach, but no paper work.  Many things in teaching have changed in the last 40+ years.  But the thrill of a child learning to read hasn’t. 

I volunteer at the Alameda County Clerk Recorder’s Office as a Marriage Commissioner. I have done thousands of marriage ceremonies in the last six years.  I also help train new staff and volunteers as Marriage Commissioners.

One of proudest moments of my life was when I performed the first same sex marriage ceremony in Alameda County.  It was also one of my scariest moments; I was on live TV feed on major networks and news networks.  It was a wonderful historic moment that makes me tearful and happy whenever I think about it.

I developed a need to write in my old age.  I am too undisciplined to write a book, so our son said, “Blog Mom”.  I write about my life, books I read, food Marty and I cook, rant about crazy drivers, whatever hits my fancy.  If you like reading rants, raves, and bragging, check out my blog:  

As you can tell, I keep busy.  I am lucky that my health is good and I do pretty much what I want to do.  I also can claim old age and get out of what I don’t want to do.

I love living in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The weather is gentle, the people are diverse, and there is always something to do.  In many ways I have gotten above my raising.  I am not as small town as I was.  I love the city.  But whenever I think I am a city girl, one of my friends ribs me about my accent.  You just can’t lose a Corbin accent.

I belong to a mystery book group that meets weekly.  This group periodically puts on international mystery conventions.  I have worked on two of them and we have another one coming up next spring.

Many of my friends mostly grew up in big cities.  These city people have led very sheltered lives.  They’ve never fired a gun. No one has lain in the floor of a bus after an away ballgame hoping the rocks being thrown won’t hit you. None of them have ever driven some of the football team to the bootleggers. They have never cruised a drive in or snuck into a drive in theater. They haven’t had a senior skip day.  They never danced to Gary Edwards’ music.  Very few of them can drive a stick shift pickup truck.  They never fired a cannon in the Distad’s back yard.  And the thing I feel most sorry for them is they have never had Pool Hall Chili.

I found out in college that CHS might have been small, but I received a good education.  I had the background to attack any course.  Thank you to our teachers.

Have a great time at this reunion.  I miss you all and think about our years together more than you can imagine.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Two Mondays Weddings

Last week I did not have time to write about the weddings.  This week one day is already down.  So here are Monday and Monday. 

Monday 1, the county has a new hire in Vitals.  She is young and eager to learn everything.  The lead clerks asked if I would help the new hire D to learn about marriage ceremonies.  I showed her what to check for on a license, how to fill in the paper work, and then had her observe several weddings.

D saw a variety of couples/weddings.  She found out we never know if we'll do a wedding or not.  No body wanted to get married for the first hour, then we had two weddings.  Then nothing for nearly two hours and we were slammed.  At 10 minutes to 4:00 (our cut off time for being in line to be married that day) I had three licenses handed to me. So D and I didn't go back to my desk. We just called names and took couples up.  We had 40 minutes at least of weddings to do. And later at 4:20 another license was brought up from my desk and given to me.

The first wedding D observed was very emotional.  This couple was dressed up, he in a suit and she in a black chiffon dress with a jeweled neckline.  She carried a red and white carnation bouquet.The couple were in their 50's.  The groom choked during the vows.  He could not speak, he was crying, the bride teared up, and D was about to lose it.  The groom pulled it together and was able to finish his vows.

The second couple had a confidential license (no witness required, all info sealed and only available through a court order).  The bride wore a white brocade suit that had a ruffle down the lapels. They wrote their own vows, very touching and again D was near tears.

In our late afternoon rush we had a fun wedding.  I asked if they had rings for the ceremony.  No rings, something better:  cigar bands.  That was so cute and fun.  Several of the young and foreign born clerks did not understand why a cigar band. They hadn't seen the old movies of eloping couples using a cigar band for a ring. 

Clerk M came upstairs with a a couple and their license.  She said this is Nona and Paul.  I said I have the next license for Nona and George.  M said this is Nona, but the groom said ,"I'm not George, I'm Paul."  Two brides one name.  We made sure the grooms had the right Nona and finished up the day.

Monday 2 was really really slow. I had one ceremony and the only interesting/strange thing about it was the license.  The clerk W brought me the license and said this is a mess.  The couple had bought the license weeks ago.  When they came back for the ceremony, the groom handed the clerk the license except it wasn't an original, it was a photocopy.  W asked where is your original.  He said that is it.  Finally he dug through his pockets and found the license.  It had been folded at least 5 times, creased all over and the sides were bent to almost a ruffle.  It had been stapled, and there were raised bumps all over it.  The bumps felt and looked like braille, but weren't. 

I said that I didn't think Sacramento would take it.  W didn't want to deal with it.  So I took it and the couple upstairs.  I showed it to the marriage desk clerk and she said ,"Oh, I don't like this.  I"ll reprint it."  Now they could have done that downstairs, but who knows why they didn't.

D can not wait to be sworn in as a Deputy Marriage Commissioner.  She loves all the types of people that pass through the wedding room.  She will be good at it  and we have the bonus she speaks Spanish also.  She has no idea how much she will be called on.

Monday, October 3, 2011

An incredible weekend!

Friday we drove to Travis Air Force Base.  We had been invited to our nephew's pinning ceremony.  That would be Henry Hall Triplett III, aka Tres.  Tres was being promoted from Major to Lt. Colonel.  His father ( my brother) and mother flew in from Kentucky.  His wife, Casey, and their three children were there.  Other family present were Casey's Aunt; her cousin and husband, their two daughters;  and a cousin and her baby.  Many of Tres' squadron were there, several high ranking base officers, and some civilian workers.

The ceremony began with family escorted in, then the Color Guard marched in. The National Anthem was then played.  You have never experienced the Star Spangled Banner until you have heard it standing with 75 Air Force men and women.  I cried.  Most of them are so young and have been in the hell holes of the world protecting us.

The rest of ceremony told Tres' military history which was damn impressive.  I knew he was good, but he is better than I knew.  He has done the Air Force and the family proud. The best part was the actual pinning on of his Oak Leaf.  First they changed his rank on his coat epaulets, then they changed the ones on his shirt. Finally he was handed a new hat with his new rank on it.

After the ceremony his squadron put on a cookout for about 150 people that included Tres' family and their families.  Then we went home with Tres and had a Triplett reunion.  It was also Casey's 40th birthday.  The next day Casey and Tres left on a mini vacation and left their three children with the real grandparents and the pretend grandparents.

Below are some pictues from the ceremony.  The ceremony was held in the warehouse Tres is responsible for.  It is stocked with supplies that are needed when the Air Force takes supplies in for a crisis anywhere in the world.  This could be an earthquake, flood, hurricane, or a war zone.  Outside the warehouse are armor clad humvees and trucks, portable buildings, bulldozers, anything that they would need to survive on their own for four days.  That would be gasoline, water, food, everything. They have to be in the air within 12 hours from the time they receive the call they are needed.

From left Tres' parents, Ann Triplett, retired Lt. Colonel Henry H. Triplett, and Casey's Aunt Yvonne.

One aisle of the warehouse.  The blue on the right is a table for a small reception with cake, cookies, and punch.

             Tres on the right while the Color Guard marched in.

Casey and my brother pinning the Oak Leaf on Tres.  His son Hall, daughter Annabella, and his Mother wait their turn to pin.

Tres having his shirt rank changed.  Annabella had handed her Daddy his new hat.  As you can see she is a Daddy's girl.

                                           Tres taking his oath as a Lt. Colonel.

Tres thanking family and the military at the ceremony for their support.  He made a loving tribute to his wife Casey and how strong she has had to be.  Mitlitary spouses do not have an easy life.  They are mother and father.  They put their careers on hold as they move around the world.  My family thinks Casey is outstanding as a wife and mother.  And in her spare time she is a doctor.

We thank Lt. Colonel Triplett for his service and all the United States Military.