Story Three from Epic Road Trip (in reverse order) An Un-Mormon Wedding

In the small town of Natchez, Mississippi, combining a group of local friends, some Latter Day Saints and a cadre of gorgeous Houstonites, for a wedding at a tiny Mormon church, was no small feat.

Uh oh, let me clarify. They are Houstonians, not Houstonites! I was skillfully corrected. Here’s the article to prove it!

http://www.wideopencountry.com/dont-call-houstonites-rules-labeling-texans/

But clearly they were from Houston and recognizable as such to many Southern folks. They are gorgeous! (Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty gorgeous people from Natchez and they have their own social hierarchy!)

I have to say the Bishop who performed the ceremony was great and quite a good sport. In the pre-wedding interview with my cousin and his intended, the Officiant did his job well. Knowing these two were not practicing Mormons, he had to tactfully discover the nature of what the bride would be wearing. There are pretty specific standards in the Mormon church about what the bride can wear in her wedding…legs, arms, neck and shoulders are to be tastefully covered. I wish I could have seen his face when my new cousin-in-law described her lovely, Houstonian, strapless, designer gown. Bless his heart, somehow he worked it all out, maybe even in honor of my Aunt, long gone now, but a well-known member of this church…who knows.

tiffs dress
The Dress!
David and Tiff
I kinda wonder if the Bishop thought that veil would cover her risque` bare shoulders!

The wedding task, assigned me by my cousin, as his only relative present for the ceremony, was to choose a short reading.

My self-imposed task was to say something leading up to the reading that might bring these three groups together. YIKES…but, I love a good challenge. I really wanted to do this right! My cousin is much more like a brother to me. I lived with him, his brother, and my aunt and uncle for many years when I was young. They became my immediate family.

I have officiated at several weddings myself and I know that nothing brings a group together faster than shared laughter, but I had to do some research because I did not want to be disrespectful to the LDS wedding guests who came primarily because they loved my cousin’s mother. My Aunt had a big hand in starting the Mormon Church there in Natchez years ago and these people still remember her! I wanted to make sure it was proper to laugh out loud, to applaud, and to rebel yell in a Mormon “Meeting House”…not that I could have stopped my cousin’s longtime Natchez friends from cheering at the end…He is 68 years old and this is his first marriage so this was a Big Deal!

Me at David's wedding

 

I guess my research paid off because apparently the short comments I made before the reading were a hit.  At the reception, at least one member of each of the three distinct groups gave me positive feedback on what I said during the ceremony.

Anyway, the whole thing went off without a hitch…Well, except there was that mix-up about who got to use the limo from Dunleith to the Mormon Meetinghouse, the Houstonians or the Bridal Party. The out of town guests were all staying in one of Natchez most famous Antebellum Mansions, and the Hummer Limo was the transportation to the church.

lighting in the Mansion’s rooms

That was a slightly stressful 15 minute wait for the Bride’s arrival, but she and her beautiful maids showed up and the ceremony was short, sweet, and as predicted, raucous at the end!!

Tiff out of limo

The reception was lovely also. Again, in memory of my Aunt and Uncle, it was held in our childhood home. Beautiful string quartet, fantastic food and the successful blending of those three fairly distinct groups for an evening to remember! My aunt, uncle and other cousin would have been thrilled to see the transformation in their home, especially given the reason for it.

All in all, an amazing ending to the Natchez part of our trip. We piled in the car the next morning, bright and early, heading for home!

 

 

All in a Day’s Work-starring Lucy, the Woodpile Cat

It started with her sweet but slightly pitiful meow somewhere off in the distance.

The older male cats can really let loose with YOWLS but not Lucy. She is polite in her vocalizations. Sixteen year old Alpha cat, Zorro will talk your ear off, loudly, and will make terrifying and ferocious sounds if he thinks you are hurting one of his “siblings”.

Phineas, on the other hand, will snap off an immediate “F-you”, in cat language, if you try to correct him on anything…that and he’ll occasionally wander the house crying LOUDLY like he is the most forsaken being on the planet.

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Lucy meeting Phineas, the “youngest” until she showed up
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Lucy meeting Zorro

But not Lucy. She is sweet in the sounds she makes. Don’t get me wrong. She is one tough little cat broad and will take on either of her older and bigger “brothers”, often even the instigator of mostly playful exchanges.

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Zorro, just trying to catnap

Back to my story…So I hear Lucy’s little cry…somewhere, but I look every where and can’t find her.

There is this kind of vestibule between rooms in our old house that is currently mostly used for storing things after our recent major downsize and internal move (from the main floor to the basement apartment).

This vestibule area is where the mewls are coming from. I look and look again. She is not in here!

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But on closer inspection, here is what my camera finds that I could not.

And my favorite…

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Cut to the end. Let’s just say, it took a lot of cat treats to coax her back out of her newly discovered hiding place.

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Future protection of the vintage Marshall case…

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I’ll let you know her next discovery!!

Fluffy, the House Duck

Another post inspired by another of my favorite Bloggers!

Check this out for context…

https://dailymusing57.com/2016/12/01/thursdays-special-pick-a-word-3/

Here’s the story I referred to in my comment to Lisa. A lot of it is the version I wrote when I was 9 or 10 years old, and then I added to it (mostly the sarcasm) at about 15 years old.

But, as Paul Harvey used to say, “And now, the rest of the story.”

Fluffy, the House Duck

Having a duck for a pet was NOT my idea in the first place. I was much more of a Lassie or a Rin Tin Tin gal. I couldn’t help it that they had a drawing for a prize the Saturday afternoon before Easter when we were just innocently attending the matinee showing of Pinocchio at the Roxy Theater. I didn’t ask for my very own ticket stub to have the triumphant number, thus making me a winner of something for the first time, ever, in my whole life. I never even intended to be a contestant. I was only seven.

It also wasn’t my fault that I had to carry that squirmy baby duck in one hand and hold onto my squirmy 4-year-old sister with my other. So, who could blame me for dropping that duck, a time or two, on the way home? It was 10 blocks to walk after all. And since I was a first time duck owner, how was I to know that baby duck’s wings were not supposed to stick straight up in the air like this duck’s did; well, after those 3 or 4 drops anyway.

Oh, I guess it was cute enough, all soft and fluffy and yellow, but I had wanted a dog, a BIG dog, my whole entire life. No, I get a duck, with funny broken wings that never did lie flat against its body like they were supposed to. And it never did fly. It mostly just flapped.

Not wanting to invest much of my creative energy in this creature, I just started calling it Fluffy…because it was.

I was the oldest kid which, in our family gave me tons of extra jobs to do, but it also gave me the right to have my very own room. So, if I was going to have to SHARE my room now with a duck, it better not poop and pee everywhere. How was I supposed to know that you couldn’t housebreak a duck? I just did it. It took a few weeks but after it learned, it only pooped in a cardboard box. The whereabouts of the peeing I am less sure.

I’m sure now that my folks thought this duck was a “short timer” because of the broken wings and all. But, it was still in my room, months later, when it had lost all that yellow fuzz and become this pretty brown and iridescent colored animal whose cute little squeak  had disappeared and been replaced with a VERY LOUD quack. It was that quack that must have inspired my Dad to get busy out there in our back yard, creating a duck paradise.

One Sunday morning when I got up, he asked me to come out into the yard. Now see if you can picture this. It was a huge back yard with the requisite San Diego banana trees and citrus trees (lemons so sweet you could peel and eat them like oranges). We also had a swing set, a home made gazebo and two beautiful, flowering Oleander trees, the dangers of which, we had already been taught; (“It’s OK to smell the blossoms, but if the trees are ever on fire, do NOT breathe the smoke.) From the edge of the cement patio, where the garden hose could easily reach, my Dad had dug two trenches out to the Oleander trees. Then he had dug moat-like ponds around each tree and connected those with another trench. This elaborate system of waterways was to be Fluffy’s new home. Finally, it could be a REAL duck (just like Pinocchio had become a real boy). That was the plan anyway.

Well, I guess you can’t teach an old duck new tricks.

Although old Fluff seemed content enough in the daytime to swim around and around those trees, as soon as it would start getting dark, there would be that duck, loudly protesting, on the back porch, until it was let in for the night. So I continued to have a night time roommate…..until one morning when the strangest thing happened.

Fluffy, who, OK, OK, by now, was my pal, had remained non-gender specific. Then, this one morning I woke up and there was a large brownish egg next to Fluffy in her “nest” (which consisted of a bunch of rags in one corner).

I was amazed.

My Mom was appalled.

I think it was some kind of Last Straw. For me, it simply solved the gender question. I was pretty sure it was the girls that laid eggs. From then on there was an egg every morning but no matter how hard I tried to wake up early, not make a move in my bed and to watch, I never was able to witness this amazing feat.

“That damn duck should NOT be in this house!” is what I heard, day and night, and then I heard “well, at least we can eat the eggs.” Of all the nerve! They wanted to EAT the EGGS. AAARGH!! I mean, REALLY! I wasn’t sure why I even cared but hey, I figured, my duck, my eggs. At one point, we actually had 11 eggs in the fridge but they mysteriously disappeared one morning. I don’t even want to think about where they went.

Somewhere along in here, the next door neighbors adopted a HUGE, yellow Tom Cat, biggest one I had ever seen. He roamed the neighborhood pretty freely and this, for some reason, had my normally calm Dad very upset. What happened next, I didn’t even find out about until years later when my father, figuring the statute of limitations was up on Parental Betrayal, told me the whole story.

Evidently, Daddy was extremely worried that I would be wounded beyond healing if one day while Fluffy was paddling around in the back yard, that big old yellow cat stopped by for a meal. So, plotting with my mother and all my younger sisters (it seems I was to be betrayed by my entire family) they came up with a plan.

One Saturday morning they told me that due to my “oldest kid privileges”, I got to go to Story Time at the public library. (The trick they were about to play on me was dirty enough without using that big gun to get me to cooperate.) I was dropped off and told they would be back for me in 2 hours. I thought I was pretty hot stuff. Not even 8 years old yet, but old enough to go to the library all by myself. Their sinister plan was to charge back to the house, capture my duck and take her to Balboa Park up by the zoo where all the wild ducks wandered free. This actually was a well-intentioned plan. They thought it would be easier for me to recover from the inevitable loss of my duck if I was told she had a miraculous cure, her broken wings magically repaired, and she simply flew away while I was at Story time.

Nice try Dad.

The tale he confessed years later went like this. They all drove to a secluded place in the park where there was a pond and lots of city ducks. Dad, with my pal Fluffy under his arm, my traitorous family sitting in the car watching, walked out across the expanse of lawn toward the pond. He said a few words of good-bye, and tossed my duck toward the water. Satisfied that he had done his duty as a loving, protective father, he turned to walk back to the car.

Well, Fluffy was having none of this. She duck-waddled after Dad until she caught up with him, and then pacing herself to stay even with him, calmly followed him back to the car.

This could be a very long story. Let me just say that after several attempts, Dad gave up, and they brought Fluffy back home. Hey, imprinting is imprinting and like I said before, you can’t teach an old duck….

I think I had fluffy until I was about ten. She eventually learned to live outside, day and night. I was finally convinced that we shouldn’t waste her eggs, and duck egg omelets became a weekly treat. And ultimately, just as my Dad had feared, that damn orange cat got her.

But, I tell you what. She was my pal and what I know now is that she was an extremely unique duck. Not a bad first pet. Not bad at all.

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That’s me in the center…clearly in love with my duck! (also pictured are neighbor girl and my sister, Eileen)

Song

Song

“Tell us about a piece of music that stayed with you.”

I love that Word Press gives us all these challenges! Not because I can’t think of anything to write about, but because it helps me narrow topics down!

The first time I heard the song A Life Uncommon by Jewel, I was moved to tears.

(small disclaimer…the last few seconds of wording on this particular youtube are about Christianity and though I consider myself part Christian, I am also part Hindu, part Buddhist, part Jewish, part Unitarian Universalist and part “still working it all out”.)

I loved the song and could not stop thinking about it!

Such inspirational lyrics!

Don’t worry mother, it’ll be alright
And don’t worry sister, say your prayers and sleep tight
It’ll be fine lover of mine
It’ll be just fine

Lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And you shall lead a life uncommon

I’ve heard your anguish
I’ve heard your hearts cry out
We are tired, we are weary, but we aren’t worn out
Set down your chains, until only faith remains
Set down your chains

And lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lent your strength to that
Which you wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And we shall lead a life uncommon

There are plenty of people who pray for peace
But if praying were enough it would have come to be
Let your words enslave no one and the heavens will hush themselves
To hear our voices ring out clear
With sounds of freedom
Sounds of freedom

Come on you unbelievers, move out of the way
There is a new army coming and we are armed with faith
To live, we must give
To live

And lend our voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend our strength to that which we wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And we shall lead…
Lend our voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend our strength to that which we wish to be free from
Fill you lives with love and bravery
And we shall lead a life uncommon

Written by Jewel Kilcher • Copyright © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing
“No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from.” WOW!

Then I heard the song at the Unity church by this wonderful duo, Garnett and Beverly. Oh man, can these two SING!!!  http://www.garnettandbeverly.com/

After hearing them sing it, I decided I wanted to EARN having this very song be performed at the party I want folks to have when I die!!

But there is another chapter.

Many years ago now, I had the miraculous experience of reuniting with my daughter, Pamela, having given her up to be raised by the most wonderful parents. As I was getting to know her, I did what many of us do when we first fall in love, and boy, did I ever fall. I made her a playlist of all my favorite songs…songs that I hoped would tell her about me. (Pam is truly amazing, and a talented singer herself, so I thought music would be a great connection!!)

The song, Life Uncommon, was the first and most important song on that playlist, with the disclaimer that I was still learning to live this way.

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Three generations…my mother, my daughter, Pamela, and me, all around the same age. I couldn’t see any resemblance between my daughter and me but could see it between Pam and my mother.

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Me and my birth daughter!

 

 

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Cousins, their first visit…Pamela’s daughter and Michael’s son. How cute are they? watching something on TV that has Julius feeling protective…

 

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Me with my son and his sister together, a dream come true!

And giving me….a life uncommon….

 

Song Lyric Sunday/ANGER, even better!

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-82116/#like-2043

 

Nobody Else in the World But You

by Don Henley

You live in a house of mirrors
Reflecting your splendid isolation
You have so much of everything
Except for true consideration
The way you dance
The way you walk
The way you drive
The way you talk
The way you eat
The way you drink
The way you act
The way that you don’t think

It’s like there’s-
Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
Nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed
There’s lots of other people here, too

Hey now, did your momma teach you anything?
Some things still got to be respected
Is it a sign of the times, or is it just your callous heart?
How did you get so disconnected?

The way you push
The way you shove
The way you hate
The way you love
The lies you spin
The scenes you make
The grief you give
The space you take
It’s like there’s-

Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
Nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed
There’s lots of other people here, too

And now it’s time you did a little giving, baby
The world is not your plaything, no, no, no

Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
Nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed
There’s lots of other people here

Nobody else in the world but you
Nobody else in the world
It’s like there’s-nobody else in the world but you
In case you haven’t noticed there are lots of other people here, too

Written by Don Henley, Stanley Lynch, Jai L. Winding • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

 

Lyrics by GooglePlay

Song Lyric Sunday August 21, 2016

(WARNING! “R” rated for language! Mine, not necessarily the song choice)

OK, first things first. All the instructions are down below because I want to launch into my choice for this Sunday’s Song Lyrics theme, ANGER! Perfect in my life today!!

I have had the worst pissed off week I have had in ages. I fly fairly level these days in my life. But when someone really close to me dumps a shitload of their saved up garbage on my head with no warning, fury is the only natural response. Especially when it comes in an email disguised with a long-awaited, closeness-promoting title!

Oh eventually, I’ll get clear about what’s mine and what’s not, but right now, today? Here’s my song!!

Pump up your volume and sing along if there is someone you are mad at!

 

 

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-82116/#like-2043
Our theme for Song Lyric Sunday is to post a song that explores anger.  (I know anger is a secondary emotion, so maybe that isn’t the best word choice, but I think it’s broad enough we should be able to come up with something.)  

As always, you can go your own way and post a song that has nothing to do with the prompt.  We’re all here sharing our love of music and lyrics, and most of all, having a great time!

Also, if you would like to suggest a theme, I am open to suggestions.   Please either pop it in the comments or send me an email at redesp75@yahoo.com.

Here are the “rules”:

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due and it’s honestly just a simple Google search
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and provide a link to where you found the lyrics
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song
  • Ping back to this post or my own Song Lyric Sunday post
  • Read at least one other person’s blog so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process

Feel free to use the Song Lyric Sunday badge by copying it into your post or add it to your site to show you are participating.

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