Monday, February 01, 2010

A Summary of Days

Living just a handful of miles from the airport, I forget that not everyone does. Although we landed in Detroit almost a half hour early, with the combination of distance + rush hour traffic + driving in cricles in Troy, MI because you cannot turn left there, we had just enought time to brush our teeth and change clothes before we had to venture out into the North Pole-like air to go to the funeral home for the viewing and small service. We were a few minutes late for the service part and since it was SRO we watched through the door windows and could hear everything. It was mostly Rita's kids telling stories about her. It was sweet and touching with lots of funny thrown in. I told you Rita was funny. After that it was people milling around with me trying to guess at or remember who was who. We made our way after that to My Sweetie's fave aunt and uncle's house where we visited with a few folks for a few hours then returned to our room to crash.
Although the room was relatively nice and we had been upgraded to a suite, the mattress was horrid. It was overly soft and mushy and seemed to tilt downhill toward my feet. And the air was dry as a bone. A desert bone. I did not sleep well and woke up to the coldest day of their season so far with an expected high of 14°. Here's a picture of our "egg" from our hotel room that morning:
I called that tiny rental car either "the egg" or "the capsule" the whole time. But the good news about a tiny car is that it heats up pretty fast. I can't even imagine how long it would take to heat a large car in that weather.
At the church, I somehow ended up in the very front pew right on the center aisle. And since I am not Catholic, I do not say any of that stuff they say or sing or anything. All I did was stand and sit when told and shake hands during the "peace be with you" segment. This apparently made me stand out to the priest because he looked at me 90% of the time when he was preaching. It was like he was trying really hard to convince me of something. And when the handshake part started he practically ran right to me to shake my hand first. That must have really confused him because A) I was wearing the really really old St. Mary pendant that Granny had given me when I was a teenager and B) When he said "Peace be with you," I did know to say, "And also with you." My Sweetie did a reading and was really good. Many people remarked on it later. After that we got in line with a flag on our car and drove to the cemetery chapel. I loved the stained glass there:

That part was short and then everyone headed to a pretty cool restaurant on the very golf course that My Sweetie's grandpa caddied at as a boy. The food was great, it was open bar and it was a big party atmosphere with lots of catching up. The last time we had seen the majority of these people was at Rita's husband's funeral back in 2002. This is me after about 100 beers:

We had to go straight to the airport from there and I have some pics and stories about that but I'll get to that another time hopefully.
And now to back up a bit, the night before we left, My Sweetie smelled something burning and noticed smoke coming out of the bathroom heater fan. Then when we got home from the trip, our kitchen light was out. We bought new bulbs but they never did fire up - just flickered like the "bad" bulbs, so I figured that the ballast had gone bad. For three nights I have been cooking pretty much in this light:
It's not really that dark, but it's way too dark for cooking. So when I wake up later today, I'm going to call the electrician. We already bought everything we need except the ballast because I just figured that out today with the help of Carole's husband. And since the electrician will be here anyway, I am also having him install a can light over my kichen work area, which is that part that sticks out in the left foreground of that picture. That will be really nice. And that bathroom heater fan was just a heater and light but we are replacing it with a light/heater/exhaust fan. Hopefully everything will go smoothly and since I bought almost everything including wiring and switches, maybe it will cost us only a leg instead of an arm and a leg. I'll keep you posted.


Jazz said...

Or maybe just an arm...

I like it when a funeral turns "party" - it's such a better way to remember someone...

XUP said...

I'm glad to see your survived your foray into the frozen north. I can only imagine what a shock to your system that must have been. I know whenever I go south in the winter and then come back I feel really weird for a while being in the cold again -- and that's after only a week or two in warmth.

Jocelyn said...

You're super cute after 100 beers, which makes me think you should stop even trying to cook for awhile and just stand in the darkened kitchen and crack beers.

geewits said...

~~I think a party funeral should be the norm for an old person that made it through a whole life.

~~My bone marrow is still cold.

~~I'm sort of getting used to the dark kitchen (and beers are always being cracked anyway) and may have to wear shades in there Tuesday night.

Mr. Jazz said...

Funeral Parties are the best when the synergy is there. As you say, it should be a festive party when someone you loved made it through a whole life and die as peacefully as Rita did. I'm amazed by your willpower and obvious restraint: only 100 beers in an open bar context? I sure as hell couldn't have done it.

geewits said...

Mr. Jazz,
~~heh heh heh. They had wine, too.

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!