It has been a long time since we went to a wedding that wasn’t for a family member. Yesterday afternoon we drove down to the Tidewater area of Virginia with another friend to attend a wedding. The friend, the woman getting married, and I worked together and still get together to kvetch over Mexican food on a fairly regular basis. They see each other more than they see me because they have a training gig together. So, part of our trip down south was a catch-all catch-up.
The wedding was small (maybe 30 guests?). It was one of the smallest weddings I’ve been to and so it was really moving that we were invited into what basically seemed like a family and long-time friends celebration. The two women getting married have been together 20 years and have a child. They did a nice job of including their daughter in the ceremony. The ceremony was sentimental and low-key so I think my friend got exactly what she wanted. Even though I’ve never seen her shed a tear before (and there were plenty of times at work that could have happened), I wasn’t surprised one bit that she shed some tears as she said her vows.
They held the wedding and the reception at the church they are actively involved in and it was clear that everyone involved was thrilled to be there. It was a pretty great way to kick off the holiday celebration season.
We think Lucy actually noticed that Simon was gone. She was uninterested in food for a couple of days which either means she was in a coma or she missed her friend. Anyway, hoovering status is back to code green.
Today we drove over to Kinko’s/Fed Ex/Whatever to get our passport photos. Our passports will self-destruct in early January. Monday, the better-half will schlep them to the PO and we will be country-bound until the new passports arrive. The point of this is not that we had our passport photos taken, but the entire experience at Kinko’s/Fed Ex/Whatever was pleasant. We were greeted as we entered the store. The person taking our photo was personable. The wait was relatively minimal and they were busy. Kudos to the Kinko’s/Fed Ex/Whatever off of Libbie and Broad.
We’re going to Iceland in April with some friends. Planning and ticket purchasing to begin as soon as the holidays are over. We are excited. People we tell are excited for us. We will see the aurora borealis and sit in a geothermal pool at a spa (which is so not like me but I am LOOKING FORWARD TO IT LIKE CRAZY). There will be other things to do that week in Iceland, but volcanic pools of water are pretty high on the list. It will be weird to pack. I need a new winter coat that needs to collapse down to next to nothing and I have to pack a bathing suit. Such strange demands.
We went to four holiday concerts this month and it would have been five if not for a massive 2-day headache. We saw these folks a couple of days ago and I’m going with the word charming:
We said goodbye to Simon yesterday. We found out about a month ago that he had a huge tumor in his belly. Being sane people and following the advice of our vet, we chose not to do anything about it. Instead we took the spoil him (even more) and make him comfortable route.
We knew something wasn’t quite right about him starting in August. He was having a hard time moving around and leaping, but he’s 16 years old and had some sort of old injury from his before us time. We thought his age and his old injury had caught up with him so we didn’t think much about it except that we worried and helped him to get up to his favorite high places. He also developed a tremendous case of the hair mats earlier in the year. He was NOT a fan of anyone touching his belly so combing them out was not really an option.
We decided to keep an eye on him and comb him more often to prevent other mats from appearing. Then the inability to leap got worse and he started losing weight. We always knew he wasn’t going to break any old age records. When he came to us, he weighed five pounds and had damaged his kidneys during his time of being on the lam. We went back and forth a few years ago about trying to get him to eat expensive, high-protein, special food. But he was NOT having it. The vet let us off the hook and we all agreed we knew the risks. Simon knew he hated that food.
It never occurred to us that something other than kidney failure would take him out. Let me tell you, making the decision to put a pet down never gets easier. Even when you know it is the only option.
Simon just wanted to hang out with the better-half. Lucy wanted Simon to play:
Simon went through a significant period of trying to either steal my chair or share it with me:
Last night as I went to bed, I asked the better-half how I could start the day with such hope only to end it with such despair. I still don’t know how this country voted for a person who has spewed hate for months on end. He disrespects people who are brown and black. He disrespects people who worship Muhammad. He disrespects women. SWEET JESUS, he disrespects women and yet, YET, 53% of his votes came from women. What the fuck, ladies?
Seriously, WTF. Every single woman has been disrespected by men (and especially by men in his age group). Don’t tell me you haven’t been cat called, don’t tell me you haven’t been called fat, don’t tell me you haven’t been screwed over in salaries, don’t lie to yourself. It is even as simple as walking down the sidewalk and men of a certain age REFUSE to move over. They own the sidewalk. You can step in the street because they do NOT see you as worthy of their attention unless they think they can own you. And, we just elected the king of that behavior. A racist, misogynistic bully. Explain that to your kids. It’s OK to be an asshole because assholes are rewarded. That was the lesson broadcast on November 8, 2016.
I can only hope this is the actual wake up call. We should be ashamed.
Another perspective on the fail and how we can do better.
Last night we sat around the fire pit. A party was going on a few houses down and the youngsters were loud way into the night. An elderly couple lives next door so we were a bit surprised there wasn’t a noise complaint. The noise didn’t bother us as we both woke up and realized it was 1:30 in the morning.
Over the weekend, we took the Nieces on a hike in the George Washington National forest. The past couple of weeks have been brutal with rain, rain, rain (go the freak away). As it happens, the sky was ominous and then suddenly it wasn’t:
We took a break on the top and this is the “good” boot:
The other boot broke down in a spectacular way as we started down the mountain. The sole started coming off and flapped with every step. We tried tying shoe strings around the sole, but that proved unsuccessful pretty quickly and the better-half lost half of one of his laces in the process (we cut one of his laces in half to help hold the sole to my boot upper).
Then I decided the only way this was going to work (2.8 miles down to the parking lot) was to sacrifice my brand-new socks. When we got to the bottom of what felt like a never-ending trail, I removed the boots. You’ll notice in the video that the end of the boot and the sole are clearly nowhere near in the right position–this made the trip down slow and uncomfortable. But, it was better than a bare foot on rocks.
Yesterday we took a loooooong walk and ended up at Rising Tide brewery. They had a band and a couple of food trucks. I had originally hoped to go to Allagash brewery, but there are tons of craft breweries in Portland. Rising Tide was quite tasty and the band was talented too.
On the way we got to experience the Portland Wastewater Treatment plant. There’s a part of the Bayside trail that goes right past the aeration tanks. Talk about motivation to walk a little faster.
Late yesterday we took a sunset tour to check out the lighthouses in Casco Bay.
We flew into Portland, ME, and in spite of our expectations, we made it here with all luggage intact. Richmond’s American desk was a cluster yesterday as it is wont to do. Seriously, get yourselves together.
Yesterday was a day of travel and eating. Basically, the basics. Today will be more about exploration. We ate a late lunch of oysters and split a lobster roll at Eventide. Holy cats!
Then we contemplated this view for a bit:
We walked to Montjoy Hill and then up the hill. For dinner we ate sandwiches at Front Room and when we walked in, I couldn’t tell if we had walked into hell or I was just that hot from walking up the hill. No A/C, y’all. What in the hell. That is one thing Southeners know and that’s how to cool off. A ceiling fan is just a joke when it is 82 and humid. Trust me. Of course, I had sweated like that at 6:30 am when I watered plants so I guess humidity was yesterday’s theme. Here’s hoping today is less humid because we traveled north to get away from that crap.