Well, I missed a post yesterday, for the first time
in a very long time. But that's OK. Besides, I had an excuse. Well, a series
The day started off bright and early getting ready for my aunt's funeral. We were at the funeral home at 8:30. The funeral home services started at just after 9:00. I did dozens of those back in grade school when I was an altar boy. That was back when there were more practicing Catholics in town, and more old parishioners
dying, and there were still local Catholic schools from which a pool of altar boys could be recruited, and who would get the occasional weekday morning off to serve a funeral, or who would get dragged out of bed for a dreaded Saturday funeral. There were no altar boys in attendance yesterday.
The funeral procession began the short trip from the funeral home to the church at about 9:45, past the funeral of former Nanticoke
mayor Wasil Kobela
, which was being held in another funeral home and another church. (There's no shortage of deaths in town. Monsignor Bernie Toloczko
died on Friday, and another priest whose name I am obviously spelling wrong - there are no relevant results for a "Father Ferrett
" - died just a few days earlier.) We processed into church behind the casket and had a Funeral Mass - which has been called a "Mass of Resurrection" for the past few decades.
(A side note: someday I may write a book called "What Not to Wear to a Funeral." This includes miniskirts, stiletto heels, and the long women's pants that are apparently all the rage now, where the ends of the legs brush the floor on all sides of the foot. Those last two items in particular are inappropriate for a graveside service, for practical reasons. Everybody should have at the very least a single wedding-and-funeral outfit on hand at all times. You should not be dressing to impress, but you also should not look like you just came in from working in the garage or on the farm - unless that it consistent with the wishes of the deceased.)
After the Mass we formed another car procession to the cemetery several miles away. There we had one last ceremony in the cemetery's chapel, after which the pall bearers were asked to stick around to transport the casket to the gravesite
. Many of the family members went there too, to say one final goodbye before burial.
After that we had a traditional luncheon. Before going there, my mom asked that I drive us to our family plot, where my grandmother, grandfather, several aunts and uncles, and my stillborn baby brother are buried. My uncle - my mother's last remaining sibling - stopped there too, as did a cousin who has recently moved to the area.
The luncheon broke up around 2:30, and my aunt's family invited everyone up to their house for more food. I demurred, on the grounds that I was stuffed, exhausted, and was planning to head out to a bloggers' gathering
in a few hours. Realizing that I would probably have a good time and make a late night of it, I decided that rather than getting up early on Sunday morning I would go to a Saturday evening Mass at 4:00.
After Mass I hung out with a friend in the parking lot for a while. He pointed out that it has been five years since his Mother died. In a few weeks it will be three years since one uncle died, then a few weeks later it will be two years since my other uncle died. A few months after that, at the end of August, it will be three years since my Father died.
From Mass I made my gradual way to the bloggers
' gathering. I still don't have the specific location plotted or I might have gotten there a good ten or fifteen minutes faster. As it was my timing was pretty good: I was just walking the half-block from where I parked to the entrance of the bar when I saw Michelle
driving up. When I went in I met Gort
and Mrs. Gort
and several of Gort's
friends and regular commentors
, and let them know that Michelle was on her way.
The gathering was just us, which was fine, and a lot of fun. I had hoped to see Mark from Wilkes-Barre Online
there, but yesterday was his ride-along with the Wilkes-Barre Police
. Maybe next time. I'd love to see Jen
at one of these gatherings sometime, though her schedule is a bit complex. Father Tom Carten
would be a lot of fun, too. Actually, it would be great to get all the locals there sometime.
Ostensibly the reason for our gathering was to watch the Kentucky Derby, though everything I knew about this year's race I had crammed in in the last few days. I knew there was a single female horse in the race. At some point we decided we would interpret the outcome of the race as an omen for the upcoming Presidential election.Hooboy
As it was we couldn't hear any of the several TVs that had been tuned to the race, so we had to rely on the onscreen displays to let us know what was going on. One of the sharper-eyed of our number read the leaders' names off the screen. Shortly after the race began it was over, and favorite Big Brown was the winner by quite a bit. "That's a good sign for Obama
!" I declared. "I think Michelle calls him 'Big Brown'!" Which caused a moment of confusion until Michelle the blogger realized I was referring to Michelle Obama
There seemed to be something going on on the track afterwards, but we couldn't tell what exactly. I suggested that the shotgun crews had been sent out to deal with the losers.
Ha-ha. Very funny.
(It wasn't until this morning that I learned that Eight Belles, the lone filly, had come in second - and had broken both of her front ankles within a quarter mile of the finish line and had been euthanized on the spot. Not a good omen for Hillary Clinton.)
After the fifteen songs we had selected on the jukebox had played, we left the bar to go to the Cork restaurant to eat. It is a place aiming for a slightly upscale clientele, though they did not toss our shabby bloggers
' asses out onto the street. We spent the rest of the evening there - pinned down slightly longer than we had expected by a brief but intense downpour. Over food and drinks we discussed many of the problems of the world and Northeastern Pennsylvania, but solved none of them - as far as I recall. It was after 11:45 when we finally bid each other adieu and went to our respective vehicles to find our ways home through the rain.
As I drove past the twelve-minutes-to-home point I looked at the time: 11:51 PM. I've missed today's post
, I thought. But you know what? That's OK. Maybe I'll just do two tomorrow