Tough act to follow


‘What could possibly beat this?’

One of my best Bridge Buddies (hi, Laurie!) says she always reads my blog (thanks, Laurie!) but that she can tell when I’m, well, at a loss for words. I won’t mention specific posts, but if you, like Laurie, follow me regularly, you probably have your “favorites.”

Who wouldn’t be at a loss for words? (Well, except the Bridegroom, I trust)

Last week this happened because The Child had just wed The Beau in a quickie ceremony to satisfy the immigration authorities. (See “Runaway Bride” for cinematic photos and storybook details.) I sat there at my laptop wracking my brain, then gave in and wrote about the wedding. I could literally think of nothing else.

How could I possibly think of anything else? This is my brain on “wedding”

This week it’s because that story got kajillions of views and likes and comments. I’m thinking, “What can I write about now that could possibly capture your interest, O Faithful Readers?”

I’m not only stumped for a wowzer topic, I’m a day late with this story. We got home last night from five days count ’em five of birding in the Cape May area. Which may not be as exhausting as a Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim run (see “Deeds of Derring-Don’t” for a def of what that is) but, trust me, after five days of 6AM wakeup calls, nonstop traipsing through birdy fields, and (most exhausting of all) wind-down wining and dining, I was too pooped to post.

Beautiful Birder enjoying one of several wind-down wine evenings

So. “Uncle,” already. I’ll write some stuff about our birding trip. But I’ll spice things up with more photos of that astounding wedding — because now I have some shots taken by the Official Wedding Photographers (who also served as Wedding Witnesses) to add to those pretty darned great cellphone shots.

Vows on the rocks, an Official Shot — as is the one at the top of this post

Some of those cellphone shots were actually pretty darned fantastic. But then, the whole event was pretty darned fantastic. In fact I’d say it was spur-of-the-momentous.

An Unofficial Photo that got rave reviews last week

But back, for the moment anyway, to our pales-by-comparison-but-what-else-do-I-have-to-write-about-this-week-so-the-heck-with-it Birding Trip.

Unofficial cellphone shot of Birder Me

This is the junket we take every year (well, except for last year, drat that virus) to Cape May and environs to check out the Spring Migration. I’ll spare you birdie trivia, but trust me when I say that, for Birders, this is like Coachella and Burning Man combined. On steroids.

A Man Outstanding in His Field: Birder Jim hits the trail with our pack

Birders descend on Cape May in flocks, roaming the fields in their asexual mufti, stalking their prey with binoculars, cameras and spotting scopes. (For my views on asexual mufti, see “Gender Identity is for The Birds.”)

But the truly lucky Birders not only collect species, they collect wines, and bring them along to consume each evening while comparing lists. After which we repair en masse to a carefully chosen restaurant (one that lets us bring more of those wines) to sample local delicacies and then fall into bed sated with food, drink and sightings.

A male Scarlet Tanager. His bride deigned to be photographed

Next day it’s rise and repeat. This year, this went on for five full days, and now I’m not only fairly pickled — and stuffed like a pelican’s pouch — but every time time I close my eyes I see flight paths and feathers.

Incidentally, The Child and The Beau were all set to join us on this year’s jaunt, but another commitment got in the way. Of course, they spent their honeymoon having Adventures. Here’s a sampling:

Running on skinny steep treacherous trails was the treat on the first day

As the week went on, there was rapelling

And jet skiing on Lake Powell (among, ahem, other things)

So. Enjoy these photos of birds and brides. And next week I promise to come up with something amusing that doesn’t involve either. Or not much, anyway.

And off into the sunset they go. Actual sunset, nothing fake — just like this couple

New York City. May 2021





Runaway Bride


‘The Child takes the plunge at the Grand Canyon’

I am seldom at a loss for words, but this week I find myself almost too stunned to start this story. I’ll cheat and share what friends had to say: “Wow. So exciting!” “Simply beautiful, Alice! Congratulations to you and the happy couple!” “Beautiful couple and setting!” “OMG how stunningly beautiful!”

“Stunningly beautiful:” Scenery AND bride

Yes. The Child and The Beau got married. Eloped, actually. Saturday, May 1. At sunset. At the Grand Canyon. I’m still pinching myself.

Just the two of them. Plus that Lucky Preacher Guy. Oh, and a hub-and-wife photography team — who also served as witnesses

You see, The Happy Couple got engaged last November (See “How on Earth Did THIS Happen?” for deets) and had intended to get married in a ceremony complete with family and friends early next year, assuming the Covid Tide had turned. But they were advised to proceed with due haste so that the Bridegroom would not be deported. (James is Canadian, you see, from Saskatchewan, in fact, and his green card was getting stale.)

Being the kind of Crazy Kids that they are, they decided, if they were going to “have to get married” (which means something oh-so-different than it did back in my day), then they were going do it in style. Luckily, her Childness’s Great Friend From High School had visited a few weeks ago and lured her to a bridal shop in Scottsdale to try on dresses “just for fun.”

The Dress being tried on. (Not a scrap of makeup, hair in ponytail. Gorgeous all the same.) This photo was shared with me only after I was sworn to secrecy

So, even though the wedding was quite a way off (or so they thought) the Dress had been chosen. To keep the suspense — and her feet tulle-free on the pedals — The Child drove the rig in casual duds to the wedding venue and changed there. And what a wedding venue it was: the Rim of the Grand Canyon. You regular readers will remember that the Grand Canyon has played a big part in the Happy Couple’s life so far.

Taken after Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim One

They have run the Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim course not once — but twice. For the uninitiated, the Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim is when you run down the rim of the Grand Canyon, across the canyon floor, up the other rim, then down and across and back up to where you started. It pains me to even think about it, much less do it. (You can read more about this in “Deeds of Derring-Don’t”.)

This was taken after Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim Two. No, it was not the same weekend they got married. That would have been poor planning indeed

But enough with Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim. That was a big deal. But this is a Big Deal. Here’s more about what just might be called Wedding 1 of 2 — and to doing things in style.

The Hair on the way to the Truck

In honor of the occasion, The Child had her makeup, hair and nails done. (Trust me; she is not normally the “makeup, hair and nails done” type. See photo of her trying on her wedding dress in the bridal shop to see her normal state of groomed-ness.) But she said she had a whale of a good time getting buffed and polished.

And hey, you only get married once. Or, in her case, twice, since they are still going to proceed with their plans for a “real” wedding. Meaning a wedding that Other People get to attend. (I am really happy about this — and still jealous of that Preacher Guy.)

Another Good Friend sent her this canyon-y bridal bouquet

It was (to put it mildly) a surprise, but I do think they did the right thing by going ahead with Wedding 1. This way nobody gets kicked out of the country and, hey, she gets to wear that gorgeous dress again. In fact, I told her that I am referring to this first wedding not as Wedding 1 of 2, but as the “Dress Rehearsal.” You know, since she got to rehearse wearing The Dress.

A truck full of tulle: I am thrilled at the prospect of Wedding 2 of 2. For one thing, I want to see That Dress in person.

I’m having as much trouble ending this as I did starting it. So, back to a Friend Quote (Thank you, Jane): “How wonderful Alice!!!!!! And how romantic!!!! Congratulations to all!!”

Here’s to you, O Child and Beau — er, make that Newlyweds 1 and 2 (!)

New York City, May 2021





Deeds of Derring-Don’t


‘The Child is at it again’

First, before you even think about correcting me in the comments (though commenting is always welcome) the term is indeed “derring-do” — not “daring-do.” I googled it. Middle English term, first used in 1579. And it means just what you think it means.

An early example of Childlike derring-do. BTW, If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you jump too? (Pretty good story, incidentally)

Second, I’m sorry to be so goldarned late with this post. (That is, if you noticed.) Yesterday, my regular Tuesday Posting Day, was also Old Apartment Closing Day, and I was sweating bullets until those funds got wired — anything can happen with a sale, you know — that I couldn’t even think about being amusing.

There was some serious celebrating chez Ken and Barbie

I’m not sure I can crank it up so well today, either. We did a bit of celebrating last night and well, um, let’s just say I was feeling no pain — until this morning.

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