The Weather Is Too Cold

This isn’t record breaking cold as much as it unusually persistent cold… with little to change.

I am the lead on tonight’s news. OK–not me exactly, but the weather. It’s cold enough now that the weather is beginning to attract attention. This isn’t record breaking cold as much as it unusually persistent cold… with little to change.

Tomorrow promises to be colder and windier.

People ask if weather like this is a predictor of what’s to come. I only wish. Each year… each season is individual. A cold November could just as easily usher in a colder December or a mild one.

Helaine and I are leaving town and going west next week. I can only hope we’ll be heading where it’s warm. I fear not.

Jessie Gets Married

Jessie is the daughter of my sister Trudi and her husband, Jeff. She was my parent’s first grandchild. She was Jeff’s parents first grandchild. Today, she was the first of her generation to get married.

We came to Milwaukee early, because the festivities began early. Last night we headed to the Volleydome!

Evan’s parents (he being the boy Jessie’s marrying) threw a little bash with food and volleyball. It started at 6:00 PM.

If you’ve never been to a Volleydome, it’s a large prefab building with a floor covered in sand. It is the best way for Wisconsoners (is it Wisconsinites – who knows?) to play beach volleyball without moving to Laguna Beach.

Neither Helaine nor Stef wanted to play. I entertained the idea, but just thinking about it was enough for me to pull something. I passed.

Everyone had a good time. Beyond that, I got to meet Uncle Murray’s girlfriend, Lilly.

The idea of my nearly 80 year old uncle having a girlfriend was a little foreign at first. We just don’t grow up think of seniors dating. But why not? And, she’s very nice and, obviously, very good for Murray.

Since I wasn’t playing volleyball, I brought along my camera, and clicked away. If it moved… and quite possibly if it didn’t, I clicked the shutter to capture what I saw.

A few months ago I bid and bought a monopod on EBay. This was my first opportunity to try it out. Unlike a tripod, a monopod easily goes from place-to-place. Of course, just one leg doesn’t provide the same stability, but it definitely allows you to shoot usable photos with slower shutter speeds. In a poorly lit Volleydome, that meant getting shots which would have been otherwise unobtainable.

The wedding was early Sunday afternoon. My sister had asked if I’d be an usher (well established as the pivotal wedding position), so I was in my tuxedo and at the Synagogue by 10:30 AM.

All brides are beautiful and Jessie was no exception. Her gown had a very long train. Jessie cried through much of the ceremony, as did Helaine, sitting to my right.

Helaine and I are easy touches when it comes to crying. Both of us have cried at particularly poignant commercials.

You’ll notice I’m not mentioning Evan much. Groom’s are necessary, though on the wedding day, they’re more ceremonial than important. This is the bride’s day, plain and simple.

Later, Evan will learn a ‘gift for the two of you’ is actually for her. Marriage has lots of guy benefits, so we let this small stuff slide.

We retreated to the Mequon Country Club for the reception. Very nice, again, and I was shooting up a storm. By the end of the day, I’d taken nearly 300 additional photos – a full 2 Gigabyte Flash Card! What’s gotten into me?

During the reception, my dad told me he didn’t remember his wedding reception at all. I remember Helaine and mine. It was a great party.

We had French service, which drove us both a little crazy. Every time you stood up, someone would come and refold your napkin. If your drink was down a smidge, a waiter would get you a new one. I don’t want anyone concentrating on me quite that much.

We hardly saw each that night. That made this wedding reception a whole lot better in the ‘company you keep’ department.

Jeff and Lauren Get Married

This was the payoff of the trip – to get an watch two friends get married. It’s always a little chancy when you go to a wedding. There are weddings and there are WEDDINGS. This was the latter.

The wedding and reception were held at a restaurant/caterer located within a very nice office park – Villa Christina.

Jeff and Lauren got married under cover, though outside. The guests sat in chairs on the lawn. It was breezy and chilly, but it was raining where Jeff grew up and snowing where Lauren grew up. Breezy and chilly was good.

The first good sign was when I overheard the usher tell another guest there was no side for the bride or groom – anyone could sit anywhere. I found a seat in the back, but on the aisle. I wanted to take pictures.

It was a very informal ceremony, performed by a very folksy reverend. A few times, when appropriate, Jeff made comments to the crowd. There was lots of crying… good crying.

I was very impressed when Lauren’s grandmother came up to the mike and recited a very sweet poem, from memory. It was a nice touch, as was Lauren’s sister’s singing.

If I’ve ever been to a wedding with more good looking women, I don’t remember it. Yet I still desperately missed Helaine. I think I would have had even more fun sharing this time with her. It really was contagious.

After the ceremony there were appetizers and an open bar. I managed to get some food on my suit. Maybe it was better Helaine wasn’t here after all.

Dinner was in the ballroom upstairs. The food was very good and the ambiance continued to be great. I was assigned Table 5 and ended up with a bunch of people from The Weather Channel, including Jim Cantore, their best known on-camera meteorologist.

Before I wrap this up, I have to relate one story which goes to the general mood of the evening. There were two still photographers at the affair, one shooting Nikon and the other Canon. Both had nice pro level cameras and lenses.

I tried to be out of the way as they shot. After all, they were there to document this for Jeff and Lauren and though I’d be shooting away, they take precedence. A few times during the evening we chatted, and they were friendly.

All was fine, until my battery went. I had taken over 120 shots at the time, and though I was surprised it went, I shouldn’t have been… and should have brought a second battery with me.

The Canon photog, seeing my plight, offered me a spare battery! These are special batteries made just for these cameras.

I told him I didn’t want to have him take a risk, but he insisted as he knew I’d want to shoot the bride and groom as they made their entrance.

I took my shots and then, guilt ridden, brought the battery back to him with thanks. A few minutes later he was back, with his charger. A half hour later, I was all set with a charged battery.

This guy was great. This was a selfless move by someone who cared enough to see I was having a good time.