June 19, 2012

Cactus Spectaculous

Our neighbors, Jeffrey and Rita, have one of the most unusual cactus blooms going on right now that I have ever seen.   For the past several weeks these cactus (cacuses? cacti?) were covered with bunches of white cotton-ball clusters. Two days ago these bulbous blooms began to emerge.  Then, yesterday when I got home the bulbs looked ready to bloom, and this morning, WOW!  The accross-the-street neighbor, Kathleen, says it will be a short-lived but spectacular show.

June 11, 2012

What Happens In Vegas

Until Saturday I used to think that the main business of Las Vegas is gambling.  On Saturday, June 9, 2012,at about 4:30 in the afternoon, I learned the truth; The main business of Las Vegas is weddings.  You know, "goin' to the chapel and I'm .... gonna get married, yes I'm ..... goin' to the Chapel ... of ... Love."  Of course, getting married is a form of gambling so perhaps I was right all along.

There may not be a lot of active churches in Las Vegas, but there are dozenss of chapels.  Chapel of Love, Chapel of the Flowers, Little White Wedding Chapel, the list is seemingly endless.  I believe there might be more wedding chapels than casinos because every major casino has a wedding chapel, and then there are a bunch of independent wedding chapels.

My daughter, Valerie, and her new husband, Matt, picked the Chapel of the Flowers.  In the hour we were there, from about 4:15 to about 5:15, I counted 8 wedding groups.  I counted 7 limosines owned by Chapel of the Flowers, 11 photographers, three "preachers" (the guy who performed the ceremony for Valerie and Matt really was a Christian pastor) and numerous other support staff.  Doing a little rough calculation, I figured the Chapel of the Flowers probably did 80 weddings on June 9, 2012, at an average cost of $300-$400, and not counting extra services like photo's, limo's etc.  I figure they must gross at least $50,000 a day on a busy day.  Multiply those numbers by a hundred chapels, and you are talking something like 1000 weddings and five million dollars of love money in one day!  Love is a big business!

The wedding was all very nice, really.  Nice talk by the preacher about a house just being a house until it has people in it who love each other, and then it is a home.  About the meaning of love, and the power of forgiveness.  Traditional but modernized vows of loving and respecting each other for as long as you live.  Candles, with a unity candle.  Rings.  I cried a little, of course.  Valerie was radiant and beautiful.  Matt was handsome and dashing in his tux.  They were as goofy and genuine as ever, and picked bears to top their wedding cupcakes. 

Jessica knitted a bow tie for Yoda the dog.  Matt and Yoda, the only two men in formal attire, shared a tender, funny moment.

And now, for my daughters, Cheri and I have two sons-in-law cut from similar cloth.  Matt and Luke are fine, healthy, intelligent young men, both from well adjusted close-knit, loving families.  Fun-loving and  fun.  Hard working with good moral fiber.  What more could a father hope for?

There is a lot of strength and love backing these young married couples. 

There are a lot of people happy for them, pulling for them, supporting them, cheering them on.

Speaking of cheering them on, wouldn't you know that the NBA Western Conference Finals, game 7 would be on this afternoon?  There are some important things in life that simply can't be put aside.

After a brief interruption of the wedding festivities for the coronation of King Lebron ...

... it was back to business.  The Love business.  With the coronation of the King and Queen, Matthew and Valerie Croskey!  We salute you, and wish you great love and happiness