Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Off we go again

Tomorrow we get on an airplane at 6 a.m. to jet out to California.

On Friday we will be funeralling it up with the western part of Biff’s family, celebrating his grandmother’s life. It will be interesting, I’m sure, and a lot of fun to see family again, and will be touching so I'm bringing tissues, but one thing this funeral will not include is a burial.

Uh, so, who gets the urn?

No urn either.

Nope – she wanted to be planted in perpetuity beside her long-deceased husband, who is waaaay over the other side of the country in New York.

Yep. She's taking one last trip, and it's a humdinger.

To be fair, she is from New York, had lived there most of her 90 years (having moved to Cali around 1973 after her husband passed on), but there are hints that their marriage was not all peaches and cream so this cross-country transport comes as a bit of a stunner. I suppose though that going ‘home’ has more meaning than just finding your place among the seraphim; it also means knowing your earthly remains will nestle in the arms of a place you loved and had sprung from, spending physical eternity alongside the one to whom you promised yourself until death you did part.

She’s being buried in a lovely part of the world, just north of where I spent some time growing up. There’s good rich soil there, and farms among the deeply rolling hills. All 4 seasons do their best to outshine each other, with crisp spring days stretching into loooong summer evenings, until autumn sweeps in with broad strokes of color and the unmistakable tang of oak leaves and woodsmoke. Winter is the longest season; I’ve seen snow in October and snow in May up there, and nobody sees their lawns for at least three months of the year. It’s mighty quiet in winter, or at least it is until the kids rush out of their houses, bundled up in layers, noses pinking immediately, grabbing sleds and snowballs and being out 'in it’ because Winter lasts a long time indeed so there’s no reason to sit inside and wait it out. Do that and risk being on house arrest for 6 months. Better to grab the mittens and saucers and head out to see what trouble you can get into before your fingers freeze.

I wish I could go to the burial. Maybe I can, but taking 3 days off this week for a funeral might be seen by the company as quite enough mourning, thanks very much, now strap on the keyboard and get back to work.

Still, they’re the ones who have initiated the ‘use it or lose it’ policy in terms of vacation days. It just might be that I use a few of the up traveling to one of the lands of my youth, and helping an old lady get back home.


Posting will be sporadic this week. We’re traveling tomorrow, don’t know what’s happening Thursday, and Friday’s the big show. Then there are the wineries to visit. Busy busy!

Y’all keep well. See you around soon.

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