What a relief to be home. And to a clean house. I took time before we left to spic and span up the joint and de-christmas it. There is nothing nicer than coming home from a rough trip to a welcoming, cleaned up house filled with little dogs happy to see you.
Not only did I de-christmas it all, I rearranged all the funeral flowers too. Kind hearted friends had sent a couple of dozen floral baskets to the funeral and all of them got delivered to my house afterward. So, we distributed them between family and the local nursing home (where Ardell used to live until he met and married his wife who worked there-a long, odd story that you probably don't want to hear).
I don't know about you, but if I lived in a nursing home, I'd be depressed when a truckload of flowers left over from a funeral got delivered. Just a reminder that time is short in those places. Kind of a poke saying
"another one bites the dust".
I know that I am enjoying the freshly rearranged flowers. I prefer a less formal look, and took all of the stems out of the baskets, trimmed up the ends and plopped the posies into vases and pots to sit all around the house. Many of the flowers had gone brown, and lots had been given away, but I still ended up with at least one vaseful in each room, the dining room and kitchen each got 3 or 4.
Some people had sent baskets of growing plants too. Those all got re-potted. I also rearranged all the furniture in the living room, but am not thrilled with the new look.... It might need a tweaking now that I am back home and have more time.
We had my father-in-law's coffin loaded into my brother-in-law's truck. Then, a caravan of us followed the body up highway 75 to Nebraska where Ardell wanted to be put to rest next to his parents.
Seemed simple. And his widow wasn't left with a lot of money, so driving the body ourselves was going to save the cost of having it transported.
We stopped along the road after my BIL pulled over, thinking he just needed to stretch his legs, only to find out that his truck was as dead as the passenger it was carrying. had broken down.
We were in the middle of nowhere, on back roads with no cell phone reception, so it was lucky that we had kept together. We were able to pull them with our own truck. We were also lucky that the next small town we came to had a Chevy dealership.
The day was snowy and freezing cold, one of those below zero Nebraska days where the wind whips across the corn fields and right into your bones. So, I'm glad no one had to walk, and that we didn't have to pull them far. It could have been much worse.
There was talk of loading the coffin into the back of our truck and leaving the broken down truck behind to be repaired and picked up the next day, but the garage promised it to us by that afternoon, so we stuck around and killed time while waiting.
The first store we went in had a sign that said " Antiques" but I found out that was an old sign that the new owner hadn't taken down yet. She said the town used to be ALL antique shops. Used to be. Now there were none.
We did find a thrift shop where everything was 88 cents. Everything! And with plenty of time, you could really dig through the stuff, not just glance over it and leave. Its easy to overlook some nice things at thrift stores if you don't really take your time to look through it.
I got some shirts, and we found Pixie Pie some books, plus spent some time sitting on the floor of the shop reading them to her. Sugarwings wasn't along on the trip, which turned out to be a good thing, she isn't as patient as her cousin is.
The guys played cards, we explored the town, we had some lunch, and we laughed a lot. The situation was feeling pretty absurd to us. But all worked out well, and we were back on the road in about 4 hours.
Ardell was safely delivered to the funeral home, and had a nice send off the next day in Madison on what had to be the coldest day I've ever vountarily went outside in. Arctic and icy, but the Nebraskans didn't seem to notice. I figured that if little kids and a 90 year old aunt could take the wind chill to be there for the short, graveside service, I should buck up and not complain.
It was an interesting stay in Norfolk. Did you know that hotel rooms start at about $38 a night there? And that you can take a dozen people out to dinner for only $120??? That included appetizers, wine, beer, and ribeye steaks too. (we ate at the Grainery Family Diner) If you ever need a getaway, to somewhere friendly, affordable, and with beautiful snowy scenery, I sure recomend seeing Nebraska. Personal service every where you go too. Everyone we met seemed like a next door neighbor ready to lend a hand or advice or a smile.
But I don't reccommend touring the countryside with a cargo load like ours. Leave the dead relatives at home if you decide to go.