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THE HOLY GRAIL
27 October 2006
I have seen the Holy Grail, and it is awesome.
Before seeing the Holy Grail, the day had been rather ordinary. I awoke, sitting in the chair, listening to Nora in the shower. I waited till Kathy had showered, then I had my own shower and we walked over to the main building and checked out the breakfast, which was pretty good, all things considered.
We packed up the car and headed off on the final leg of the trip. It was a lovely, if somewhat smoggy day, and the hour and a half trip passed more or less uneventfully, mixed with a text message or two on my cell phone from Jeri and a call from Walt about what plans would be when I arrived in Santa Barbara.
We arrived at Alice Nan's house before noon, Nora and Kathy collected the rest of their things and Walt took them off to Maravilla, the assisted living facility where his mother lives. There are guest accommodations there and a room had been reserved for the rest of their stay here. Walt also had to pick up his tuxedo and wanted to stop by and visit his mother, who was being returned to Maravilla from the convalescent hospital where she has been this past week.
Since, with luggage, there is only room for 3 in our car, I opted to stay behind.
That's when I got to see The Holy Grail.
The Holy Grail is what Alice Nan's friend (and co-wedding planner) Rosemary, who is British by birth and Danish by marriage, which perhaps explains it, calls the indispensable tablet on which she has listed every decision that still needs to be made, every job that needs to be done, every "i" that needs to be dotted and every "t" that needs to be crossed. As jobs are finished, she crosses them off the list with a flourish, and when a page is finished, she ceremoniously rips it out of the tablet and tosses it, as the list gets shorter and shorter the closer we come to the actual wedding.
Watching Rosemary in action and having seen our daughter-in-law Laurel also in action, both in planning her own wedding (happy belated anniversary, Tom & Laurel!) and in helping Alice Nan plan this one, it suddenly struck me that, in discovering the Holy Grail, I have also uncovered America's secret WMD. I think the whole solution to the mess in Iraq is to put Rosemary and Laurel in charge. The war would be over in two weeks and Happy Iraqis would be planting roses in their gardens to give to the soldiers as they boarded troop ships bound for home.
Someone pass this idea on to someone in authority at the Pentagon, will ya?
But for the nonce, we'll keep America's best kept Secret Weapon under wraps until the wedding is over, if it's OK with the rest of you.
I sat at Alice Nan's for the afternoon, while an assortment of friends came and went, text messages went back and forth between Jeri and myself, and plans were made for the party-that-isn't-but-is-really-just-a-get-together at the house that is being rented by Walt's brother, his two cousins and their respective spouses.
Lemme tell ya, guys, this is the way to go! One of the wives contacted something called Vacation Homes by Owner, which apparently rents private homes for brief periods of time all over the world. This house was rented for four days by three couples and cost each couple less than Nora, Kathy and I have been paying for our hotel room each night.
For this, they get three bedrooms in a fully furnished house, which comes complete with high def TV, dishes, etc. So much nicer for a family to spend time together than all staying at the same motel.
We picked up Nora and Kathy and took them to the rented house, where we ordered in a bunch of pizzas. Jeri and Phil had arrived by that time. Tom and Laurel came and the family was all together, except for the younger cousins, Kayleen and Ern, who fly in tomorrow, and Ned & Marta, who will be driving in tomorrow in time for the rehearsal tomorrow night.
We made it an early evening and we are now back at Dick and Gerry's house until we leave on Monday. I'm using Gerry's computer, so no photos for now. As I sit here, I can hear the coyotes in the hills having a party and howling at each other and the little "fingertip moon" hanging low in the sky.
Tomorrow I'm joining "the girls" for a manicure session. It has been 41 years since my last manicure and, in truth, I'm only going because it will make good journal fodder and perhaps a video!
The Holy Grail is getting smaller and smaller. On Saturday at 4 p.m., everything will be done, whether it's "done" or not, but the way Rosemary is attacking the list, I have no doubt that there will be nothing important which is left "undone."
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Nora gets to know Phil
This is entry #2402