Well, the day trip to St. Johns is over. It was definately EVENTFUL but very enjoyable as well. My dad decided to leave MUCH earlier than I anticipated and was extremely impatient. Therefore my sister and I decided to leave in the early morning instead, rather than deal with his emotional state in the car for 4 hours. I can't blame him - he just lost his sister. But still. We had planned to leave between 6-6:30AM in order to have enough time to change when we got there. (I wasn't driving that far in a dress and hose! UG!) Well, time slipped and kids shuffled (trying to get them to move before I left - worried they wouldn't make it to school on time) and we finally got on the road at 7AM. That's ok - even if we made it there right on time and changed just prior, that would be ok. Well, we were making really good time when we were chatting away and realized "this doesn't look familiar". We saw a sign - Bylas!! WTH!?!?!?! We have each driven and been to St. Johns 1000's of times in our lives - as drivers and passengers. NEVER had we MISSED the turn in Globe!! UG!! 45 minutes out of the way!! So . . . turned around and drove BACK to Globe and hit the turn off 1 1/2 hrs later than we had planned! UG!! Needless to say, we sped, we laughed, we sped, we were ticked with ourselves, we sped some more. We made it from Globe to ShowLow in record time - 1 HOUR!! WOO HOO!! We'll just make it or be about 10 minutes late. No problem!!
BIG PROBLEM!!! We saw this coming towards us, going the opposite way. But as he passed us, he flipped around and the lights came on. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! My sister, bless her heart, had NEVER gotten a ticket in her life and here it was - on the way to my Aunt's funeral. In the words of my Aunt Karen - "Oh my hell!" He came up and asked for her license, insurance and registration. She obliged. He commented about she was going pretty fast. The conversation went as such:
Christine: "I'm sorry officer, we are trying to get to a funeral."
Chris: "In St. Johns."
Officer: "For who?"
Chris: "My Aunt - Karen Mineer."
Officer: "Just wait here please."
Within minutes he returned with a ticket, but he did cut us a break (so he says). Wished us a safe and slower finish of the trip, we left. Arriving in a not-so-timely manner at 11:50, the funeral had just let out. I was very disappointed but did not let my sister know. She was not doing so hot to begin with - upset about her first ticket. As we arrived, still in jeans, everyone was soo sweet and excited to see us. Cousins, aunts, uncles, relatives galore! We joined my parents in their car to follow in the processional - hearing details about the funeral as we drove. Which, I might add, was pretty cool. By law, you can't have a funeral processional on a state highway but my cousin's husband is St. Johns Police Chief (well for 2 more days -then he's retiring at 42 yrs old!) and he had the guys proceed on the main road in St. Johns to the cemetery in order to drive by Aunt Karen's house on the way. So sweet and touching! Everyone who knew her - knew that house. The door was always open and you were always welcome. I cried when I realized at that time that I had forgotten my camera! :( As we drove past her home, the recollection of memories flooded my head. I immediately asked my Dad, "What's going to happen to her door?!?!" She had a back door that all the grandkids would put their hand in paint and imprint her door with. It was covered with handprints and signatures of all her loved ones. I even have one or two hands on the door! No one knows but Dad said not to worry.
As we arrived at the cemetery, Dad walked us up to the plot and said, "Stand here - you have to see Aunt Karen's casket." I was expecting bling or something of the sort. She is always about the bling! Well, as they pulled the casket from the hearse, I started to weep! The casket was a beautiful white but all over it were paint handprints of her grandkids and kids from the night before after the funeral! It was beautiful and so sweet!! It was Aunt Karen! My cousin, Margot said that after the viewing they told the mortuary what they wanted to do and they just looked at them. Knowing Aunt Karen (it's a small town), he understood and left them alone to do what they needed.
After the dedication (by my Dad - which was beautiful and touching), we went back to the church for the luncheon. It was so fun to visit and tell stories and see family I hadn't seen in years! Some in over 20 years!!
The grandkids each shared one or two words that will help them to remember Grammy. A few of my favorites were:
*Magic Blankets - when velour blankets made their debut, she bought lots. Anything could be cured when snuggled in a 'magic blanket'!
*Ice cream for breakfast - well, only if it's rolled in crushed up Fruit Loops! Then it has nutritional value!
*Fork Cake - she loved to have a cake on the counter and in it was stuck numerous plastic forks. "Help yourselves! Just throw away your fork when you are done" Sometimes she had 2 cakes out at a time. "You never know if you want white or chocolate. Why not have both?"
I have a program from the funeral with her picture and my cousin is emailing me a copy of the pics of her casket. I'll post those together soon!
I'm back to reality now. Teaching, shows, kids, husband, house, laundry, etc. I did splurge and buy myself a new copy of Photoshop for my new laptop. When I figure out how to work it, it will loads of fun to play with. Anyone have Essentials 2? Is it worth purchasing? My copy came with a $20 off coupon for it and wondered if I should indulge. Tell me your opinions!
**UPDATE: I was not clear before but this will hopefully make sense. A phonecall came today, our cousin (the retiring Chief) cleared my sisters ticket. :) YEA!! It pays to have friends (or relatives) in the right places. He laughed and said the guy knew he had to give you a ticket but wanted not to since he knew Aunt Karen. He was happy to hear the Jim was 'taking care of it'. HA! Christine said she will forever be indebted and will not speed again! And of this - I don't doubt!**