Tuesday, December 01, 2009

another catch-up post

Wow. It seems like I always do this. Sorry. I'm a bad, bad blogger.

My trip to Grandma's funeral was so comforting and healing for me. I went to Denver on Tuesday night and had dinner with my bestie, Houston. We ate at an Irish Pub - great food and excellent conversation. Then, because I do not know my way around Denver, she gave me hand-written directions to my hotel. She is thoughtful that way. I checked in and tried to sleep. "Tried" being the operative word here. I hadn't slept in 3 nights because Katie had been so sick. I was really banking on getting a good night's sleep before I flew out the next morning. Didn't happen. I awoke at 3 am, finally got up at 4 am to shower, caught the shuttle to DIA, and waited.

I arrived in Santa Barbara at noon. Dad was waiting for me. We got my luggage and went to The Elephant Bar for lunch. That was Grandma's favorite restaurant. She loved ordering their virgin margaritas. Then she'd giggle when she told me that "virgin" meant "no alcohol". Because she assumed at a 35-year-old woman might not know that.

After lunch, we drove to the cemetery to my Grandfather's grave to take a picture of his headstone. We wanted to order Grandma's headstone to match it. When we arrived at the monument business, we realized it was Veteran's Day...and they were closed. So we went to the hotel, then drove out to the pier, along with 50,000 other people because it was Veteran's day and everyone had the day off. Can you see a pattern? We should've planned this better. We were, however, able to order the bouquets for the graves that day. I chose white an pink roses for Grandma's and a bright bouquet of daisies for Grandpa's. Grandma's pink roses were a dusty, lavender-pink color. The name of it is the Faith Rose. It was stunning. Just like my Grandma.

We had dinner at Chuck's Hawaiian Steakhouse that night. Cool place. Great food. Fabulous menu . . . printed on a bottle. Seriously. That was the menu. It was awesome.

Since I hadn't slept in 4 days, I was in desperate need of some rest. Unfortunately, Dad's friend decided to text him at 5 am Alabama time - which is 3 am California time. Lovely. But at that point, what was one more night of no sleep, right?

Thursday, we got up early (3 am to be exact - see above paragraph) and went to breakfast before Grandma's service. We ate at the IHOP on State Street. This may sound boring, but it has historic significance to me. When I was a girl, my Grandpa's favorite breakfast place was The Fig Tree, which later bought and re-named Frimples, which was later bought and renamed...IHOP. The Fig Tree had a huge tree growing up out of the center of the building. The restaurant was built around the tree, literally. Very impressive when you are 4. and 41.

After breakfast, we picked up the bouquets we'd ordered, and went to the cemetery to meet with the coordinator. He had everything set up for us. We were so appreciative of his help. We went to the grave and saw 6 chairs set up. Way too many for our small group - we expected just Dad, me, and Grandma's Bishop. Then people started arriving. People we hadn't expected. The nice man from the cemetery immediately called and had more chairs delivered. By the time the service began, we had 12 people there. Apparently, when I spoke with the Bishop to arrange for him to come and dedicate the grave, he knew there were several people (including his parents) who remembered Grandma so he invited them to come. Then, he gave a short talk and opened the floor (or grass) for comments and stories. It was beautiful. and unexpected. I heard so many lovely things about my Grandmother that I never knew. It was so nice to get the perspective of her friends. By the time we left, my father and I had so many new insights into her life. Again, God is so good and he always knows just what we need.

We went back to the monument company to place our order, and they were expecting us. The owner's mother had been at Grandma's service and had called to let them know we were coming. They took care of everything for us. We felt so loved and cared-for. It was amazing.

We then went to lunch at Brophy Brothers with my cousin, Mariah. Mariah is awesome and I really wished we lived closer to one another. She is a great mom, a great cousin, and a great friend. I adore her. We had a wonderful lunch, then Dad decided he needed to go lay down for a while. I had him drop me off at the Wharf so I could shop and get some pictures. I spent a few hours just wandering around choosing gifts for my kidlets, and photographing everything I could.

We had dinner with family friends that evening (Ray and Diane). Then went to their home to chat for a while. They took us on a lovely drive above Santa Barbara on our way back to the beach, where our hotel was located).

Once again, I didn't sleep well that night. We also needed to be at the Airport by 5 am the next morning so we could both fly home. My flight was delayed in Phoenix for 2-1/2 hours, so I arrived in Denver later than I'd expected. Katie had requested that I bring her just one thing from California: flowers. I was not going to carry flowers on the plane all day so I decided I'd buy them in Cheyenne in stead. On the way home, I called the florist by our house and had them prepare a little bouquet of purple roses for her. She was thrilled.

Katie had been sick before I left, and she was still not feeling well when I arrived home. By Monday, I realized she probably had a secondary infection so I drove her to Ft. Collins to her regular pediatrician. They put her on antibiotics and by Wed., she was able to return to school.

Marc arrived that weekend to attend the Broncos v. Chargers game with Tom. They had a blast. Marc had not decided if he was going to stay for Thangsgiving or not. I decided to bribe him with his favorite cookies - pumpkin chocolate chip. He accepted my bribe...er offer. Sean and Chloe arrived on Wed., we had a nice family dinner on Thursday, Marc left on Friday, and Sean & Chlo left on Saturday. Quick holiday weekend.

Well, that's the big update. I will try to post some pics later this week. If you are a facebook friend, I do have them loaded in my albums.

Happy Belated Thanksgiving, and a very Merry Christmas!

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