Wednesday, January 25, 2012
we made a flying trip down tahoka way today for the memorial service for my uncle david. the truth is he was my aunt callie fae's husband. still he was my uncle.
for reasons i find hard to explain, i was closest to my uncles on my daddy's side of the family. likely it was because they were just way more fun to be around than the sons of my mom's foot washing , primitive baptist parents. there's nothing wrong with the primitive baptists, i'm just sayin'.
uncle david had just passed his 88th birthday back in december. he married aunt cal in 1946 and spent the bigger part of his life coaxing a living from dry land cotton farms in and around lynn county in texas. the young man who led his graveside service had the good fortune to know uncle david at least a little bit. he was right on when he said "david was a good man." david was kind, soft spoken, always with a word of some value for a young man growing up; always interested in how my family was doing in my later years.
i wish i had a nickel for every funeral i've attended. without fail some one or other feels the need to ask, "doesn't he, or she, look natural?" in most cases the truthful answer would be-- "nooooh, he looks exactly like he is, that being dead".
in uncle david's case the gods came together for a perfect funeral. it was a very simple service for a man who, i would guess, abhorred fuss. in david's case, he did look natural. he might have been sleeping but for the fact that he was laying in a casket. cleta and sandra's choices were perfect for their dad. into the coffin's lining was embroidered a "john deere" tractor. the casket spray had tucked among the perfect red roses, cotton bolls and burrs. the day was cold and gray, the sand was blowing across the road as we came down from lubbock, in other words typical weather for the time of year and the current drought conditions. as we neared tahoka it was raining hard.
at the cemetery his casket was draped with the stars and stripes. a three man honor guard stood at attention. the marine played taps, standing in the rain as the other soldiers folded the flag for presentation to the family. as a unit they were there to pay final homage to david, a fellow soldier, in recognition of his service to our country.
the rain may have been seen as unfortunate by some. somewhere i'm sure david was smiling. for a man who spent his life praying for rain, the day was a perfect send off and the funeral arrangements perfectly suited the man i will forever remember as my
Sunday, January 8, 2012
have you heard the old saw, "it only costs twice as much to go first class."? i've had this idea in the back of my mind for years. that being, if i ever make it to retirement, the first thing i want to do is take my whole crew on a cruise.
if the good lord's willing, it looks like both those things will come to pass this summer. it's been a frustrating few months waiting for the purchase window to open, hoping that as the weeks passed i would see ticket prices go down. just the opposite has happened, prices i looked at 6 months ago are now almost double what they were back then. in fact they took a huge jump from just a week or so ago, after the pronouncement that gas could reach $5 a gallon by years end.
my vision has been to have the various members of the crew fly into a common airport, continuing on to our cruise port city together. dollar signs had me doubting the wisdom of such a move. hours and hours of searching, at last i thought i'd found a way to save a pretty penny, only to realize that bargain figure was for the first leg of the flight, that in fact the "bargain" was $200+ more than my original search.
i hate shopping! i try to remember that, if i find something i want at a price i can afford, i should just buy it. more often than not, after wasting time and money, i end up going back to where i started, buying the item that caught my eye in the first place.
and that's what happened in this case, i ended up buying the tickets that i looked at the beginning of my search. did i save any money? probably not. but it will allow us to congregate, proceeding en masse, to the realization of a dream.
bon voyage. aio