At my granddaughter’s recent wedding celebration, instead of pronouncing David Lapayowker and Claudia Anne Whitten husband and wife, the minister declared them “still married” after 13 months.
So it is in the COVID-19 era.
Back in 2019, when not many, if any, people envisioned the shutdowns of 2020, David and Claudia — we still call her Anne but she now goes by her first name — planned a wedding and reception for June 2020 at a venue in Woodinville, Wash., near Seattle where they live and work as software engineers.
Weeks before the anticipated event, it became apparent COVID restrictions on travel and social gatherings weren’t going to let it happen.
So David and Claudia went ahead and got married in an outdoor setting with the minister doing the honors while relatives and friends watched on our computer screens.
They vowed to do it over with all the trimmings — rehearsal dinner, wedding and reception, etc., after restrictions were lifted. That they did, and a good time was had by all who attended.
My wife Virgie and I made the flight to Seattle from Dallas. Last year, we had reservations to fly from Memphis, but it was going to require a change of flights and a delay of a few hours in Dallas.
This time we opted to drive to Fate, Texas, north of Dallas where our other granddaughter Alison and her husband Dan Rians reside, spend the night with them and board the same flight.
That way we could share a rental car in Seattle, Dan could do the driving in that big city traffic, and he and Alison could help take care of the old folks’ luggage and accommodations.
Call it payback for when we used to look out for Alison when she was a child.
By the way, Dan and Alison also got married last year in a ceremony that was restricted in attendance to close family members, and they are planning on a repeat ceremony and bigger party in October.
I never imagined that my two granddaughters would get married the same year, and in such “interesting” times. I am extremely impressed with their husbands and their new in-laws.
I was a little apprehensive about American Airlines, as Virgie and I, along with a group from McComb, had a bad experience with them in Miami years ago.
But on this trip the flights both ways were right on time, and the airline personnel were efficient, accommodating and pleasant. So were the security people in both Dallas and Seattle.
The plane was full, and masks were required, but there were no unpleasant incidents like you often hear about these days.
It takes almost four hours to fly from Dallas to Seattle, and that can be tiring.
But my first trip to the West Coast — to California instead of Washington — took three days.
It was during World War II, and my father, in the Seabees, was about to ship out to islands in the South Pacific. I was eight, my brother was six, and we probably were a handful.
But my mother, along with her sister-in-law whose husband also was in the service, took us along on the trip to bid their husbands farewell as it turned out to be until the war was over.
The train was full of soldiers, sailors and Marines, all of whom were gracious in tolerating rambunctious little boys.
But one fellow I most recall was a heavy set civilian with a black mustache who was obnoxious. I still envision him as either a spy or a hit man for the Mafia.
He complained about my brother and I being too restless, and once when I encountered him in the rest room, he growled at me, “this is the men’s room.”
I was hoping he might be around when the train arrived in Los Angeles, and I could point him out to my dad who would set him straight. But he disappeared before I could sic Dad on him.
There wasn’t anyone like him on the airplane to and from Seattle. Or maybe people are just more tolerant of old folks than they are of noisy little boys.