Monday, Jun. 02, 2003 || Life goes on...

Nicole feels The current mood of nacwolin at

So it has been a while since I updated. I am feeling kind of disjointed right now, so forgive me if I jump about from thought to thought. A road trip tends to do that to me.

This will also be long. You have been warned.

We left for MD on the 23rd around 5 PM. We considered pushing it all the way through but found out that part of our route was closed due to the 70+ car pile-up in western MD. So, we stopped just east of Columbus around 1 AM. We took our time the next morning too. Would you believe the hotel had a Belgian waffle maker? The world of continental breakfasts has reached new heights.

Rob’s dad and his wife have a modular home at a camp ground in western MD and they were there for the weekend, so we stopped in. I won’t mention that we drove around the same circle 3 times before a camper stopped us and said, “Oh, those “do not enter” signs? They don’t mean nothin’. All the regulars know to ignore them.”

Oh. Kay.

The “tell your mommy and daddy you guys want to spend the night” spiel started almost as soon as we arrived. I was anxious to get to Janie’s, but it seemed important to Rob that we stay. So, we did. The kids had a blast, though, playing pinball at a local café while waiting for our dinner, riding around in Pepe’s golf cart, and making s’mores. Once they were tucked in for the night, Rob and I sat up talking with the parentage till some ungodly hour.

Catching up on almost two years takes some time.

My curling iron gave up the ghost the next morning. I must have turned the bag and all the contents inside out five times and scoured the floor a dozen looking for one small metal screw. I finally gave up and threw the thing away. Wouldn’t you know I would find that stupid screw several days later in that very same bag? I could actually hear it taunting me.

At least I got a shiny new metal rod out of the deal.

Anyway, somehow we managed to make it back on the road in time to stop at a church about an hour down the road. It was actually kind of nice to be anonymous observers. I found out later that my best friend’s “I can’t get over you” flame showed up at her church and since I really have a hard time with the idiot, I was glad we didn’t make it there.

It was reported that he was grateful I wasn’t there either. “She’d probably want to kill me!”

Perhaps just severely maim…

We went straight to the viewing after lunch. We met Tara and her family at the door. Parker exclaimed, “That’s where Dylan lives!”

Tara and I were color-coordinated. Black pants, dark purple tops. We went inside and found Janie. We matched her too. Black bottom, purple top. As the day went on, at least two other women came in with the same color scheme.

I have decided that we were all just trying to match Aunt Dink; she too was wearing dark purple.

She always had good taste.

There were a TON of people there. It really was a tribute to my aunt. I saw folks I haven’t seen in years. Viewings are like some kind of cultural event where I grew up. One big reunion. There was lots of laughter in the midst of the sadness. A prolonged illness seems to do that.

During the dinner break, we went back to my uncle’s to eat. Tara and I stopped at the snowball stand on the way and she treated me to an icecream-flavored one with so much marshmallow cream on top, you could hardly get to the snowball at first. My family laughed at me for eating that for dinner rather than some of the plethora of food gracing my uncle’s table.

I have my priorities! I can’t get those things in this land-locked state.

The evening viewing was just as crowded. The “family” priest, now a monsignor, spotted me and asked what I had been up to.

“I am a pastor’s wife.”

Drive from Midwest to east coast. $125.00. Lunch at pizza buffet. $25.00.

Look on priest’s face when he finds out you married a Baptist pastor. Priceless.

The funeral wasn’t scheduled till Tuesday due to Memorial Day. I was actually glad about that, since Monday (as many of you know) was my birthday.

My mom tried to wake Rob and me up by singing her lovely rendition of “Good Morning to You” to the tune of “Happy Birthday”. Thankfully, we were already awake.

My mother truly cannot carry a tune in a bucket.

She had made the kids doughies. Not exactly my idea of a birthday breakfast, but they love them, so it was cool. I am hoping for a trip to St. Louis Bread for a belated breakfast sometime soon.

(Yup, you know who you are, and yes, that was a hint.)

I decided I needed to get a run in, so I took off for a jaunt around my parents’ neighborhood, logging in 4.2 miles.

Have I mentioned Janie lives right down the street from them? I have come to the conclusion that if you grew up where we did, you either move to another state or buy a house in the same neighborhood. I have two cousins and a sister who own homes within two blocks of this neighborhood where we all grew up. Marlen and I made it out.

Yup, I am full of profundity today.

My mom made homemade fried chicken and Janie made some kick-butt mashed potatoes. Later that evening, we had monkey cake.

The last time I had one of those for my birthday, my mother put the candles in right after it came out of the oven. That is how you serve the cake. Hot. When she asked me if I would like that kind of cake for my birthday, I said, “Sure. But, don’t put any candles in it.”

“You are the third person who’s told me that!”

You know, the woman really is a walking miracle. We are talking severe head trauma from a car accident, surfing accident, convenience store accident (think full milk crate falling off of the shelf onto her nose), and brain tumor removal.

I guess a few candles in a hot cake is a minor thing, considering.

Janie did eventually bake me some crab cakes, which I managed to scarf on for several days before we headed home. They were great as always, Janie – thanks!

The funeral was kind of surreal. It was difficult not to be emotional, even though we all have a sense of relief that she is no longer suffering. My uncle gave a wonderfully moving eulogy. He was serious, and funny, and kind, and loving, and, well, just incredible.

He joked that the priest asked him how long it had been since he’d been to church. He looked around and said, “Well, the girls were boys.”

In case you didn’t know, they have altar girls now. Whodathunkit.

Rob played the guitar and I sang “I Can Only Imagine”. It was really difficult to get through it. But it was very special to be able to sing in her honor and know that the very words of that song have come to pass for her.

A few folks came over Janie’s afterwards. Her church brought a butt-ton of food and desserts. That church knows how to put on a feast.

That night we went over to Rob’s folks. His sister, her husband, and their kiddos were there. They had a cake for Cherie and me; our birthdays are just days apart.

Wednesday we were plain wore out. We went to see my grandmother for her birthday. My best friend came over for a bit and later that evening my cousin, Jen, came over, as well as my parents, and Jess, and we all just hung out and snacked on the many leftovers.

We left the next morning and drove straight through. The kids went back to school Friday, and Rob and I began the game of catch-up to be ready for our normal weekend obligations.

Parker kicked hiney in two soccer games, scoring 7 points (17-2) in the first and 6 points (13-3) in the second. This kid loves him some soccer.

Today was spent trying to figure out what classes I am going to take. I started filling out my fed-aid form. I looked into a 4th of July 5K. The kids finished the school year. Kaytlin is officially a middle schooler.

Life goes on.

~ ~ ~

test - Saturday, Oct. 01, 2016
Just a reminder - Friday, Aug. 10, 2007
Rockin' Girl Blogger - Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2007
A good end - Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
Moving on? Yes and no. - Monday, May. 07, 2007

All entries (c) Nacwolin 2001-2006. These are my words. Use your own, m'kay?