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Could I Have a Do-Over?

17 Dec

The funeral we attended on Friday was for a long-time member of Resurrection, and a former Navy man. Considering all of the planning my dad did for his own funeral, it amazes – and dismays – me that he didn’t tell us of the services available to veterans.

He had pre-paid the undertaker, selected the hymns, told us who he wanted to officiate, and who he wanted to preach, but he never told us that he was eligible to have a free marker, a flag for his coffin, or a bugler to play Taps.  He did mention he wanted somebody to play Waltzing Matilda, but when I asked him how I was going to arranged that, he just smiled and said, “That’s your problem, not mine.”

I had some poor soul from the local high school, standing in the rain, with a clarinet!

My mum refused to have a marker put on his grave. “God will know where to find him when He wants him.” And she made it sound as if she meant if He wants him.  Daddy had been dead several years when a fellow who was a member of his old parish told me the VA would give us a marker, and got the papers for me.

When my grandfather died, my mum had some men from the VFW – I guess – give a 21 gun salute, but she didn’t mention that we could have done the same for her husband.

Argh!

Maybe I’ll just get all of his friends and family and do it over. Maybe I’ll wait until the 20th anniversary. People renew their wedding vows all the time. Why not a funeral?

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In Sickness and In Health

16 Dec

The surgery on The Squire’s shoulder took place on Thursday morning. We had to be at the hospital at 7AM, and he had to shower with surgical soap both Wednesday night and again Thursday morning, so we were up at 5:30 to accomplish all of this and still get out of the house by 6:30.

I stayed with him until they took him back to get him ready, and then went over to get some bloodwork of my own done. I’ve had to paperwork for almost a month, but I’ve been working and there’s no lab anywhere that I can hit on the way in.  Stopped for a bagel and coffee on the way back; I don’t do NPO very well. What with one thing and another, we didn’t get home until about 2 PM, and both of us just collapsed into bed.

Because he couldn’t drive, I was elected to go down to Panera and get the Dough-Nation for this week. What a haul! We are the only group that picks up at night, and the group that was supposed to come Thursday morning didn’t show, so we got a double batch! The girl kept bringing boxes, and bringing boxes, and bringing boxes. We filled the back of the van, and I ended up stacking some in the front seat. They were so heavy the buzzer went off, and I had to fasten the seal belt around them!  We had a funeral yesterday and I took over two huge boxes of bagels for the reception, and pressed them on everybody who was there. “Take some. No, I don’t care if you don’t need them! Take ’em. They freeze!”

So – back to The Squire. The poor man cannot use his right arm at all.   Fortunately, he is pretty much ambidextrous, so he’s not as bad as I’d be in the same situation; I something think I only have a right hand so I’ll have something to hold on to when I say my prayers!  There are a lot of things that need two hands, so I still have to help him put on his socks and arrange his sweater over his shoulders.

He’s been sleeping in the recliner, as the one thing he absolutely must NOT do is roll over onto his right side.  he had a bad night Thursday, but said he slept solidly last night. Things were pretty rocky on Friday, as he was in a LOT of pain, but he seemed to be feeling better today. Lortab every six hours and aspirin in between . The doctor said the “artificial” stuff – ibuprofen, etc. – are OK, but if he can tolerate aspirin, it’s really more effective at fighting inflammation.

I had asked Fr. B to bring him Communion tomorrow, but he says he wants to go to church. He needed a shirt large enough that he could slip his left arm into the sleeve and still button it across his front. Our friend Mac is a bit heftier than The Squire, so I trotted over and borrowed a dress shirt from him. I don’t think The Squire hasn’t worn a “real” shirt since my mum’s funeral.

It is good to have such wonderful friends! They came and fed the critters when we were on vacation, helped us with the shop vac when the dishwasher over flowed, and now literally giving us the shirt off their back!

 

Reflections on a Snowstorm

10 Dec

Well, not exactly a storm. It started snowing about 10 AM yesterday morning, and kept at it until sometime after 8 last night. In spite of it all, we only got about two inches, if that.

While The Squire and I were checking email this morning, a fox came into the yard, checking and sniffing around the birdfeeders. I went into the kitchen and scooped up a  dish of dog food, which I carried out to the back forty. When I came back down the fox, of course, was long gone. I figured he’d headed back to the woods, sans squirrel, but The Squire said the critter nosed around and gathered up a mouthful of peanuts before heading off. “You could see his cheeks bulging out, and he was looking for more!”

Our church hosted a Quarter Auction last night. It was going great guns when we arrived and still coming down when I left the church. This morning, there was still a good bit of snow on the ground, but the roads and sidewalks had never accumulated anything more that puddles, and the temp had already climbed to nearly 40°F. After having about 60 people at the auction last night, braving uncertain weather, we had a grand total of 18 at the late service, when there was no likelihood of road trouble.

Sometimes I wonder about people.

And High Time, Too.

7 Dec

Courtesy of Randy Cassingham

 

 

It Is Finished

30 Nov

On November 8th, I wrote that a long-time food pantry in Harford County was being hassled by government inspectors.  We have now been shut down – just in time for the holidays.

The week after that inspector had come by, we were told to go ahead. If you go into a store to purchase bagels, they are usually in a big bin, with a pair of tongs. They do not have a list of ingredients. If you stop at a deli for a sandwich, you have no idea what’s in the bread. Or the lunchmeat or mayo, for that matter.  Panera HQ couldn’t even give us the information we wanted! How’s that strike you?

Yesterday morning, a different inspector came by and told us that under no circumstances were we to continue giving food to the needy. They needed to purchase it just as everybody else does. Well, he didn’t say that, but this was federal, and you know how they feel about poor people.  Can we just do one more session, so folks will have food for Christmas? No, absolutely not.

And we have folded our tents, and will silently slip away. Silently, except for a whole lot of muttering and cursing under our breath.

The Perversity of Inanimate Objects

29 Nov

Maybe it’s only at our house.

I have written often – and with great feeling – about the fluorescent lights that hang around our house. The one in the den only worked once every six months, and woe betide the person who turned it off by sheer force of habit. We were often reduced to using the computer by the glow of a kerosene lamp. Talk about irony! The one in the bathroom just took its own sweet time. Generally, it waited until you had done whatever it was you came in to do, and smiled at you as you walked out the door. I’ve showered by candlelight more than once.

After changing the bulbs, to no avail, The Squire bought new switches for both rooms. Both lights have worked perfectly ever since. The one in the bathroom did stumble slightly, but The Squire shook his fist at the ceiling and snarled, “You an be replaced, you know!” The light came on immediately. (I’m perfectly serious.)

The smoke detector in the kitchen is hyperactive. We have a self-cleaning oven (Woot! Woot!) so I am reasonably sure there’s nothing burnt on it there, but every time I turn it on the smoke alarm goes off. Really? Setting it on 100° F to put bread on to rise is dangerous?  Boiling water will make the thing start shrieking!  Yeesh!

Sunday night, I glanced into the kitchen as I headed up to bed, and the room was flooded! The dishwasher had decided that draining was too much trouble. Fill, yes. Drain, no.  Luckily, our friend Mac has a wet-vac, so I drove over there to grab it.  Worked a treat!

A few weeks ago the pull-shade on my side of the bed stopped working. I think the spring has died, but I’m not sure. I spent a couple of days reaching under the drapes to roll and unroll the thing by hand. The Squire suggested I switch it with the one over the window a/c (duh!) which I did. As I slotted it into position, the bloody thing unrolled  completely, all the way down to the floor! Arrgh!

And what’s with the thermostat? We have programmed it to remain at 68 during the day, and drop to 62 at 9 PM.  Every morning it has hiked itself back up to 70. Turn it down, and it will stay there until about 3 in the afternoon, and those hot flashes I keep having are not because my hormones are out of whack.

The water heater much prefers to be set at 130°, never mind what we want.

As I said, maybe it’s just at The Rice Paddy.

 

Things Never Change

26 Nov

The psalm appointed for last week was 123, which is only five verses long, but it read in part:

4 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy, *
for we have had more than enough of contempt,
5 Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, *
and of the derision of the proud.

When I leaned over and muttered to The Squire that the psalmist must have been reading the news, the man behind us laughed out loud.

Today, the Old Testament lesson was from Ezekiel 34: 20-24

“Thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged.”

It seems the folks in power have always taken advantage of the “little people”. God wasn’t pleased about it then, and He isn’t too happy right now. If Pat Robertson wants to claim that certain natural disasters are God’s punishment, he needs to look no further than the daily paper.