I’m home from my uncle’s funeral. He was a World War II vet and served in the D-Day operation on Omaha Beach. Thus, he had full military honors at burial, which was pretty moving. There was a color guard, a flag draped coffin, flag folding, and presentation of the flag to his widow (he remarried after my Aunt Crystal died). After a comrades-in-arms read the honors, a rifle detail shot into the air, and someone played taps on the ceremonial bugle (how do you not cry during that?).
I may have a long list of grumbles and complaints about the way our government is running this country, but my Uncle Jack loved America and served it the best way he knew how. I know he was pleased that his fellow comrades in their starched uniforms were there for him, performing the honors that he himself had performed at funerals past.
Everyone complained about the snow and the cold, but it was several degrees warmer there than it is here, so I got to feel smug with my hardy acclimatization to arctic-like weather. Nevermind how much I complain about it at home. My poor cousins from San Diego, New Mexico, Texas, and other toasty-warm states were freezing. Some didn’t even own coats. My grandpa told one, “I’ll let you borrow my coat, but you can’t have my long johns.” Funny guy. I always like it when he cracks himself up.
He sure was toasty in his Russian-esque hat. Here he is with his oldest son, my papa – who is ever ready with the collapsable ear muffs he keeps in his pocket.
My sister has a funny write up of our drive back. We played a variation of 20 Questions / Animal, Vegetable, Mineral with our parents, and it was pretty entertaining. I think mom won with the hardest thing to guess. Her item was a bandaid – we knew it was plastic and could be circular, and flat. We also knew it had other components that could be removed, and that the thing as a whole could be used on the body. I had this bizarre picture in my head of a hard plastic disc, like a tiddlywink, with brush-like pines that could come out. So funny! The other hard one was my dad’s. He thought of a pencil ferrule. Something we didn’t even know the name of, but I think my sister finally guessed it by exclaiming, “That metal thing that holds the eraser to the pencil!”
Good times. It sure made the hours-long ride home go by quicker.
It sure was nice to see all those far-away cousins. (Thanks for the above pic, Yvonne!) I know Jack was pleased his funeral turned into a wonderful family reunion, and I hope he smiled down on us that day.
I was offline all weekend! It sure was a lovely break. I think my email account is all sorted, so if I owe you a reply, I’ll get on that quick as a bunny.