Saturday, April 10, 2021

Second Funeral

 We're huge Lord of the Rings fans in these parts and the hobbits question Strider about "second breakfast," "elevenses," etc. When our menfolk and these males children want to eat again before you've washed the last dish, we all call it "second breakfast."

Jimi loved LOTR too. Due to his sons not being able to attend his service, we had another wee one Friday evening- Second Funeral.  Rae asked was this going to onto to "elevenses."  No, that will probably do it.

It was another beautiful breezy evening. We had supper together, then made our way to the creek.  I don't think funeral director is a calling for me.   I get rather pent up about keeping it light, or making in solemn, or saying too much, or not saying enough.  I showed the boys his favorite place to sit and shared the memory of us sitting there together  and him asking me if it would be okay if that was where he landed when his earthly time was finished. 

I told them to some back to sit there anytime.

Handsome boys. The pride of their dad's life. 

And their cutest girls.

I owe a debt of gratitude to this young lady for stepping up to watch over Jimi around the clock for that weekend.  
I'm also grateful to Jake for sharing his home and life for half a dozen years with his Dad.   Jimi found a lot of joy in having a nice home, a beloved dog, a lawn to cut and something to tinker with, and lots of good food. 

So, I read the same scripture as before from Mom's Bible.
A sweet poem by Mary Oliver.
We all shed some tears. 

 Aunt Tish played What a Wonderful World one more time.

Same wind as before, so we took lanterns up the hill. 

 A comedic moment when we had a lantern fail. 

Another brother to the rescue.  I'll say that about my brothers, they are knights in their rescue ability. 

And away she blows.

So passes James, son of Raymond, to rest with his fathers. 

Backing up a bit. Yes, I believe there was some other activities in between funerals.
Tim and Gwen host Easter. 
A good day to remember the gift of my Savior, but really, every day is a good one for that. 
 Maple finally found enough kid droppings to satisfy and stretched out in the glorious sunshine. 

We sat around the new fixture in their year yard and oohed and awed over all the changes .

Aunt Tish sent beautiful cookies to be shared. 

It was a good day. 

  And the day before that, one of my student's parents invited us out again to enjoy the new babies . 

So. Stink'n. Cute.  

  Well yeah, the children are cute too, but those babies. 

Thank for the warm weather and all the beauty popping out everywhere.

We are in the middle of state testing at school, which in spite of my trying to stop it, stresses me out.

So, again, sift the joy, sift the joy. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

So Long, Good and Mostly Faithful Furnace

 It has to happen, our old furnace was pitiful.  It would go and go, then quit. Sometimes you could turn it off and then back on and it would work.

Have you seen the movie Armaggedon?  It is a fav of mine because Bruce Willis is a fave of mine and several other actors.  When the Russian guy beats all over the space ship panel to get it going and in his exasperation says, "This is how we do it in Russia!"  So, when just flipping the switch wouldn't work, Handy Man would go down and bang on it and quote the Russian. It would always come back on.

First my brother Tim then our friend Darin replaced most parts on it through the years and it kept on going.  

Today we said, "Farewell."

My brother asked if this wasn't a Kodak moment, after all these years. He said, "Kind of like losing a pet."

He had been trying to get me to replace it for years.  Before it started acting up, I began to lose my original appliances one by one, refrigerator, stove, microwave, toaster, each one more awful than the last and not worth the cost to bring them home.  I surely didn't want to part with the big bucks and just have yet another piece of junk, so I was resistant.  

Hard to see the picture but lots of cracks.

I got one last use out of old guy- an afternoon of deconstruction for the gramerlings. 
So we are toasty warm thanks to Tim and Brent and a weekend full of work. 

This was the coldest winter we've had in a way long time.  Color me surprised when life started peeping out of these pansies I bought last March at the start of the pandemic and just plunked in this ol' log.  Blooming like  crazy.  Maybe it was an occupant in the little fairy house that offered some protection. 

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it is back to work I go.  I think this is  one of the harder parts of grief.  The part where you are changed by loss, but everything else is exactly the same.  Today, putting away food after dinner, I wondered at all the times I've packed up something tasty to send to Jimi. I also wondered how long it will be before that isn't my first thought when grabbing a ziploc or cottage cheese container. He always saved them for me and returned any jars I used.  It feels like the expectation is to just go on, as if it never happened.  Sometimes it feels to me like I disappoint people by still being sad.  Oh well, a disappointment I will be because sad I am. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Home Again

 Aunt Tish and I headed out Tuesday for my Mom's ol' stomping ground in Kentucky. My cousin, who was my country friend growing up and into adulthood, lost her precious boy the day after Jimi.  Oh my.  

We were also able to visit other cousins on this trip, so that was nice. 

Early Wednesday found us up at 'em, with not much to do, so we went to the four cemeteries  where so many of our people are, to hmm, what were we there to do?  Swap memories, question things we've forgotten or never knew.  

You hear so much about genetics impacting how you will age and you think of the technology we have now, still none of my mom's brother's children  outlived their daddy and many of his grandchildren didn't live as long as their parents.  Now, three of my siblings didn't come to close to  Mom and Daddy's years. 


So, here I am, wondering what in the wide world to do with myself.

So, go back and revisit Monday a bit.

So folks, you know that kid you've seen in every other picture I've shown around the last sixteen years. Well, he's a man.

Rae, Tim an Tiff families

 Susie's people

More gramerlings
Kaye's niece and family and her grand daughter 

Phil's siblings
Jimi's school friends
Bro. Tim's crew
Glenda's people


School Friends
Stephen and Adam                                        Poor Stephen manned the drink table throughout.

Thanks to Ceece and Missy Bugg for manning the camera. I didn't have time to speak to everyone, much less take pictures.


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Morning After

 As they say, "This Ain't My First Rodeo."  Things have just been a whirlwind for  the last couple of weeks. The whirlwind has died down to a whisper- "He is really gone." 

All the busyness has kept me distracted.  And always, as I discovered with Daddy 21 years ago, there is a lot of joy in spending time with people you haven't seen in a long time, and meeting new people who had an appreciation for the life of someone you loved.

My sister's and I were apprenticed at the school of Juanita Party Central and each of us can sling hash, man a pair of scissors and tape, and give orders like a boss, and we did.  

Then the husbands and their kids and my kids and many others all pitched in to help pull off a big picnic. 

I wasn't sure the no rain prediction was going to hold as big dark clouds continued to roll around in the sky, but sure enough, for March, it was a perfect evening.  Thank the Good Lord, again!

I believe he would have been tickled pink by his kith and kin, all sporting bandanas with his name on them, and saying kind, sweet and funny words about him.

My only heartbreak is that two of the biggest pieces of his heart were left out due to Covid. So, we'll have another smaller family affair after they have recovered. 

Did you join in the grieving and the celebrating in any way?  If I didn't get to say so, "Thank you."  

I enjoyed visitors who stopped in during the day.

As I've chronicled here, Gardener E. has an amazing woodland garden and is my source for all things shade.  She came and  brought plants to get his creekside garden going. 

This took lots of arranging and rearranging to get it to work.  Very scary on the back, with a roll of masking tape pieces, as the wind would make quick work of all of our efforts throughout the day. 

Lots of good food.  

Jimi's friend Robin led the way sharing sweet memories of her 50 year friendship with Jimi.

My sweet Antebellie blew us all completely away with a favorite medley of Jimi's.  I hope I am able to later add a link to it.  You know for crying purposes and such.
I did the eulogy and our friend, "Rev Dave."  Wrapped it up with a few more memories and a prayer. 

The guitar pickers played a tune and we headed to the creek.

My girls Rae and Gwen, had a great idea to toss something in the creek, so, thanks again to Gardener E., I have a plethora of hellebores, also known as lenten roses.  We tossed in a bloom with a memory, to float lazily along that little creek.  And sent some lanterns heavenward as well.  

I have lots more pictures to post as I will will look at all of Jimi's people's faces again and again in the coming days.  Now, I need to pack up and head south to hold to another grieving heart. 
I end with this picture of Mr. Smiley, in his ovie alls and bandana, who was not at all smiley, sitting right here along the creek where he and Uncle Jimi often sat, with this little broken heart.