Quick Summer Trip, Part Two: Saturday

I woke up around 4:45 a.m. on Saturday morning, after around five hours of sleep. The problem I had was that the couch on which I was sleeping was right next to the grandfather clock, which chimed every fifteen minutes and bonged on the hour. I was wiped out long enough to sleep through the clangor for a while, but eventually, it woke me up and I couldn't get back to sleep. When five o'clock rolled around (BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG!), I gave up and hit the shower.

I got dressed and went outside. It was still dark, but starting to get light. It was a bit cooler than I was used to in the mornings and much less humid. It felt good. I went back inside and got my camera to get some pictures of sunrise over the lake and of the water birds amid the reeds, which were over ten feet tall. After a half-hour or so, I decided to go back inside and read until the others woke up. Karl was up first, and went out for a walk of his own. Kurt and Rachel slept in until about 8:00 a.m. Of course, they were still used to Central Time.

Once everyone was up and showered, we went out to breakfast at a nearby diner. I had scrambled eggs, country fried steak with sausage gravy, hash browns and toast. The others didn't seem quite as hungry as I was, and I joked "What, was I the only one who brought an appetite?" After breakfast, we headed out for the morning's scheduled amusements: Go-cart racing and miniature golf. We got there about fifteen minutes before they opened, so we threw the Frisbee around in the parking lot. Rachel seemed to have a gift for throwing the Frisbee into the bushes that bordered the parking lot.

Once the Go-carts opened for business, the brothers and Rachel hit the track. I decided I'd rather be the official photographer. I switched back and forth between my camera and Karl's snapping lots of pictures. It's not easy to take a picture of a moving target, so a lot of them were "deletes." Fortunately, with a digital camera, it's not a problem. Back in the day, you'd snap with film and not know what you got until the pictures were developed. Digital cameras: Much better. In the end, Rachel finished first. Kurt and Karl complained that she'd had a faster car, and weighed a lot less than they did, besides. We thought it was ironic that on the same day that Al Gore and Co. were putting on their Save-the-Earth concert, they were out gratuitously burning fossil fuels and making more carbon dioxide.

Next, we all played miniature golf, on a course where all of the holes were Par 2. I selected a black ball and a black putter. Karl took a lavender ball, Kurt a dark blue one, Rachel a light blue. I didn't play well; I was out of practice, and the black ball was unlucky. Karl, on the other hand, played very well, except for one hole. He had three hole-in-ones, a bunch of pars, one 3 and one 5. He ended up one over par at 37. One of the hole-in-ones was just a spectacular shot: Having watched how Kurt and I misplayed the hole, he hit it fairly hard, banked it and then it hit the lip of the cup hard, spun around about five times and then dropped in the cup. Meanwhile, I had nearly lost the black ball when it had jumped the rail and rolled downhill into some low bushes. Do you know how hard it is to find a black golf ball in shadows? Kurt finally spotted it, but I swore an oath that I would never use a black golf ball again. It's bad mojo.

After we finished our miniature golf game, we went to Wal-Mart to try to find a DVD of So I Married An Axe Murderer, which Kurt wanted to give to Mom and Lary because of Mike Myers' Scottish character in the movie. We had no luck whatsoever. Maybe he can order it for them on Amazon or something.

When the fruitless search of the DVD bargain bin was complete, we went back to Mom's condo so the brothers and Rachel could hit the pool. I didn't bring a swim suit, and I really didn't want to go out and get sweaty and have to take another shower. Instead, I watched some of the Live Earth concert from London. I got the amount of preachiness I expected. Oh, boy. Duran Duran. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Wow. I ended up scrolling through the other stuff that was on until I came to the music channels, and then quickly gravitated to the Americana channel. After a while, the brothers and Rachel came back in and it was time to start getting ready for the wedding dinner, which was taking place before the wedding at 4:30. We all got dressed up in our suits, and Rachel brought her dress with her to change into at the church.

The wedding dinner was okay, but since it was a cash bar, the drink prices were ridiculous. I ended up paying $3.50 for a virgin strawberry lemonade, and the beers that the brothers were quaffing were $7.00 apiece. I told Kurt that I could have bought a whole six-pack of the same beer for that amount. I had a steak and baked potato; I skipped the salad bar, noting that I'd had two salads the day before.

Mom and Lary were fashionably late. Once they arrived, Lary went around the tables and introduced everyone... Except for his own 91-year-old father, Clifford, who he forgot until the very end. After dinner, we all went to the church. At that point, chaos set in. First of all, a number of people had already arrived and seated themselves. Second, Lary had the wedding programs and he hadn't yet arrived. When he finally did arrive and give them to us to pass out, we went into the sanctuary and gave everyone one, then went back out as a human wave arrived. There was no way we could escort everyone to a particular seat, or the wedding wouldn't have started until 8:00. So we stood at the front-side door where everyone was entering (rather than the back of the church where everyone was supposed to enter) and gave everyone a program and let them seat themselves. In the end, nobody was dissatisfied with this arrangement. Then we had to have boutonnières put on our jackets at the last minute, and we went and sat in the front row for the wedding itself.

It was a beautiful ceremony. Mom was absolutely radiant in a yellow dress. Lary was in full Scottish kit, as was John, his best man. Rachel wore a very pretty blue dress. They said their vows and exchanged rings, kissed and then followed the bagpiper down the center aisle of the church and then around and back up the side aisle to the front-side door. Then we all went downstairs for hors d'oeuvres and wedding cake.

Karl, the musician, made a beeline for the piano, where he played intensely for about fifteen or twenty minutes. How intensely? Well, he worked up a sweat. He didn't seem pleased with the quality of the piano, but he made it sound about as good as it was going to. Finally, Mom and Lary cut the cake, and after they shared some, then the rest of us got some, too. We stayed a while longer, then we all congratulated the newly-married couple and said our goodbyes, since we were leaving early the next morning. We then went back to the condo and to bed. I slept better since we figured out during the afternoon how to disable the grandfather clock's chimes.