I confess I'm astounded that my last post was a month ago. We've been on the road quite a bit this spring, starting with a visit to Fort Bragg to beam with pride at the graduation of our son as a Green Beret. Then there was the annual spring Templar convent in Huntsville, and most recently a trip to Melrose that combined that ritual with the opportunity to welcome our newest grandson to the world. Lots of good stuff, and certainly plenty to write about.
I'd love to share pictures from the GB graduation, but we've been cautioned not to post identifying material online. Should there come a time when an enemy has access to and a use for such information, undue torture and pressure could result. Although unlikely it's a sobering possibility, and so we keep our pride and our pictures under wraps. I would gladly share them in person. I am including this one, blurry time exposure (the result of insufficient light and movement in front of and behind the camera) from the entry of the graduates to the auditorium. The auditorium was dark, and the group was behind a curtain at the back of the room. Led by a lone piper, the curtain parted, a fog machine imparted a little magic, and the strategically placed lighting that focused narrowly on this group created a dramatic and breathtaking entry. Wish I had a video. I'm still learning how to use that feature on my phone.
Okay, I found a youtube video from a previous graduation ceremony. It's not the greatest, but it at least suggests what we saw (you only need to watch the first 20 seconds for the impact). I'm so glad they've upgraded the uniform worn to dress blues instead of the every day basic duty uniform. Love that Scotland the Brave is what the piper plays!
En route to said graduation we had a couple of days in Durham to enjoy the company of a soon-to-be bride and groom at whose wedding I will officiate. The bride is the sister of my goddaughter, and like a daughter to me as well. It was an opportunity to get to the know groom (whom I had met once before), and we really enjoyed our visit with the almost newlyweds. It is totally fun to be in relationship with Jenny as an adult. We look forward to the Big Event and celebrating the new incarnation of their relationship.
We had a great weekend with our fellow knights and dames in Hunstville. The weather was glorious, which is always a delight when traveling through beautiful country, and the occasion launched a new road trip ritual. You may have met Cassie, our not-so-sheepish travel mascot, on facebook, where she made her debut. She has become part of our travels as the result of a querying post about what people consider staples of travel in their vehicles. Cassie has developed quite the personality already, letting us know what sights she wants to take in, and where she might like to have her picture taken as documentation of our various road adventures. She was particularly keen to make a stop at the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem, GA when we were at Melrose recently, but we simply didn't have a chance to work that in. She posed on the tree swing in the front yard instead, and joined us for happy hour when Jimmy and Barbara came for dinner one evening.
Lest she becomes the focus of this post, let's move on to the real highlight of our time at Melrose: grandson number four, Rock! We scheduled this spring's visit to coincide with Rock's anticipated arrival. Due on May 2, we left home the day before. This is the first time we have been able to be on hand at the birth of any of our grandchildren, and it was a complete joy to be at the hospital and have him in our arms so soon after his birth on May 7. Nana loves her boys, and her heart has been captured by this newest addition to the family. We enjoyed time with him at the hospital, back at home, and then for a brief visit to Melrose for an early birthday celebration. Unfortunately my camera appears to be completely out of commission, so the only pictures I was able to take were on my phone. None of them are focused well, and some taken on my mom's camera are awaiting an opportunity for her to download them and send them on to us. Here, at least, is one I took of Ken holding our sweet newborn. He's precious. Ken too.
I'll save other assorted news and reports for tomorrow. This seems enough for this effort to catch up!