Friday June 1st: One Last Drink For the Road (aka Saying Goodbye to Gramma)
In a few short moments that title will become rather apparent, be patient.
Friday hubby and I got up around 9am or so. I had the alarm set for 930am so I'd have time to get ready so when I awoke at 9am I figured to just stay up. I keep forgetting how little time it takes to shower nowadays with this much shorter hair and as such was dressed and ready in less than half the time it normally takes. It's almost enough to make me want to keep my hair this short permenantly. We were ready to go early so we went down to the hotel's restaurant for breakfast and then headed back to our room to wait. Around 11am we got a call (or did someone knock on their way through?) to start heading down to the banquet room that dad had reserved for us. In the room were some of the family that live in Geneva that we dont get to see. Many I didnt even know. Oh how I hate situations where I hardly know people. My brother's godmother (gramma's niece) and her daughter were there already as were my godfather and his wife. The rest I had no clue who they were. I recognized a couple names so it was nice to put faces to the names. We spent a couple hours or so catching up with everyone and eating (daddy had arranged for a light sandwich buffet to be available for those that wanted to eat).
Around 1pm, we all gathered up and headed for the cemetary. On our way out, daddy told me how to get there and made me repeat it several times (I get lost easy but if I repeat the directions several times and am not distracted any Im fine). We followed daddy out of the parking lot and as we headed off my loving husband goes "Isnt he headed the wrong way?" Sure enough my DAD took the wrong turn out of the parkinglot and the new son-in-law who'd NEVER been to the state was able to discern this. *LAFFING* Once daddy realized this and got turned back around we started off. I should have known that first flub was only the beginning of it all. Hubby decided at one point that he needed to shift to the left and shortly after he did, dad exited. We had to get ourselves turned right the hell back around and yeah I was lost at this point. Why? Because I was looking for an exit that DADDY said to watch for and I hadnt seen it yet. Daddy hadnt seen it yet either and that's why he exited but because we were in the incorrect lane we couldnt follow them. *sigh* We spent the next 10 minutes or so playing cell phone tag with mom who was trying to tell us what daddy was saying and me trying to relay to hubby what was being said. I know the Western Union on both sides was getting pretty frustrated. Hubby and I managed to get ourselves to the State Fair sign (large enough landmark that it can be seen for miles around) and parked ourselves right under it. *whew* We were found and commenced to heading to the cemetary. I pretty much told hubby to duct tape our car to dad's ass and dont lose track of him (duct tape fixes everything you know). When we got there....my brother and his crew were already there (they'd started out after us....seems to be the theme for this trip...). Got a big hug from my godmother (godfather's sister)...no denying who she was as that clan all seems to look alike.
The ceremony was short and sweet. My godfather stood up and had some really nice things to say (gramma was like a mother to him). After him the preacher got up and had some nice things to say and led us in prayer. God help me, all I could see while he was praying was gramma sitting on her cloud saying "bah", laughing and knocking back on a bottle of scotch. *shakes head* I dont know if that vision was because she wanted me to see it or because I KNEW what was coming next. When all was said and done, daddy got up and had dixie cups passed out and either scotch (her drink....that and Diet Coke) or water was poured in each cup. He then said a toast to his mother and we all knocked one back in her honor. He then told us that all her friends in Florida were gathering in a favorite wateringhole at 530pm that night. All the redhats, the people she worked with, the workmates in the hospital and others were going to knock a shot of scotch back in her honor at that time. He then poured a cup of scotch and placed it on her urn for her to take with her. I have to admit...that's the way she'd want it. Actually...I'd think she'd have rather taken the whole bottle with her.
We went to visit a couple other gravesites while in the cemetary. Actually I should say one other site for two other friends. A dear friend of ours passed a couple of years back from throat cancer and his mother passed a couple years before him. While we were in the area we thought to pay our respects at the mausoleum that holds their remains. Our friend has a small floral garden there that was dedicated in his honor. The beautiful purple flowers there were exactly what he'd pick for his own garden. He always had the most beautiful yard on his block.
That evening we went to godfather's for a BBQ and got to spend some time with them before we all parted ways. We had a lovely evening chatting and the kids had fun playing. My niece spent most of the night playing dress up. She took a turn on the swing and found she didnt like it none. I guess she's more like me at that age than my bro cares to admit. My nephew, on the otherhand , is much like my brother and ADORED being on the swing. We could barely get him off it...even to have supper. Later that evening hubby and I took our leave. On our way out, dad said not to wait up because they'd be later back to the hotel (not that I'd wait up because they are adults but it DID open the door for me to mess with him the next day). My godfather's wife hugged me tight on our way out the door and said to not let it be another 15 years before we visit again. I guess this means a trip to NY in the next 5-7 years.
On our way back to the hotel, we passed the Friendly's that we'd been to the night before and I simply HAD to have one last fix of the place before heading back to Texas. I went in to get us a boothe and hubby stayed out to pollute his lungs (the good thing about this trip is that he really had to work hard to get smoke time). When he came in I heard a familiar voice and it wasnt my hubby's. Turns out my brother had had the same thought. His wonderful wife said she'd stay with the kids so long as he brought her back a scoop of sugarfree with almonds. It was nice to be able to sit and visit with just him for a few minutes. The lucky bugger is doing well...he'd managed to lose 31 pounds on the Atkins diet. I never could do that. The diet, that is. I am too in love with my pasta and sweets to pull off a diet like that. Unfortunately, until my love affair with carbs stops...I may just end up like I am for a while as genetically Im not built to handle carbs well. Ah well.