May 16, 2011

A Wedding and Four Funerals

The Wedding

Last weekend, my cousin got married in California. It was a most lavish affair. A goodly number of us cousins flew out to witness the fine nuptials.

But not all was sweetness and light.

Funeral Number One

Given the timing of the wedding, I was pressured to plant about 100 tomato plants before leaving for California on May 6th. Given that our last frost date is usually around April 24th, and last year's was actually March 30th, I figured I was safe.

Ha! (You're never safe when farming.)

There was a freak frost the first night that damaged my beautiful seedlings. It was followed a couple of days later by 97-degree heat which did them in completely. Two plants remain. No worries. I have another hundred or so that will take their places in the garden. I would have had too many tomatoes if the first batch had made it. Yeah, right. How can you have too many tomatoes?

Funeral Number Two

Time. Money. Sleep. Yes, it was one of those vacations from which one needs a vacation. I swear I won't do this ever again. The next vacation will be relaxing and fun and restful.

Funeral Number Three

My Mom looks up at her little brother in this photo taken three years ago. Since then, however, my Uncle Frank has been fading, both physically and mentally. The brother she has known for over 70 years is gone.

Funeral Number Four

The innocence of youth can be buried after this visit.

About 15 of us cousins grew up spending the summers together. But that was 40 years ago. We have all gone our separate ways and grown apart. After three days with one aunt and uncle, we realized that the ties that bound us together all those years ago do not exist anymore. It was made clear that we were not welcome. I will not see them again.

I am reminded of the old joke about the man who opens the door to his hotel room only to find the place covered in thousands of bottles of Angostura.

When he goes back to the front desk to complain about the state of his room, the concierge replies, "I'm sorry, Sir, but you have to take the bitters with the suite."

Such is life.

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