gsp Thoughts From A Diva: 9/14/03 - 9/21/03

Thoughts From A Diva

Random images and thoughts from a misplaced Minnesota Diva trying to survive in Wisconsin.

Friday, September 19, 2003

The Wake

After the funeral, we went to T's younger brother's house. D2 has a great house. Very nice wife and good kids.

K & T's two boys showed up with their spouses and their kids. Plus D1 and his wife and child. Lots of friends and other relatives I wasn't sure about.

T's sister C was there. She was in my class in school and we were best of friends. I think I spent as much time at her house as I did at my own. It was great catching up with her.

Their mom also was there. Mom-In-Law was a sweet woman. She is very ill. Dealing with cancer, too. She has lost most of her hair now. And she is very weak. It was very hard to see her that way.

I went up to MIL at one point and asked her if she remember me. She just kind of looked at me and then shook her head. When I told her my name. She looked shocked and said, "No, you're not!" I had to laugh.

We had a great time at D2's house. We laughed and talked and remembered T. We played football and played with the babies and talked about T.

That was a much better remembrance of T than any funeral ever could have been.

That is where she would have wanted to be. And I am sure she was there with us...laughing.

The Funeral

T's funeral was held at a beautiful cemetery in Eugene called Sunset Hills.

She was cremated per her wished and placed in a nice urn. She was supposed to be buried next to her father, but her brothers and sisters did not have the extra $900 to place her there.

So she was placed in the mausoleum. She has her own place now and think she would have agreed with their decision.

My Dad led the service. He is a retired Methodist minister and led a very casual service. He asked people to talk about T and her brother spoke about what a klutz she was and that he will always remember her that way. Then he lost control and wept.

Several other people spoke and we listened to a nice rendition of Amazing Grace. That was T's choice for music.

It was very nice. I am very glad I went.


Growing up, I lived in a small town in Oregon called Cottage Grove. We lived there from the time I was in the fourth grade until I started my Sophomore year of high school.

I had not been to that town since I got out of boot camp in 1986. It was very interesting to see how much the town had changed. And to realize how much I didn't remember about the town.

There is a brand new high school there. Lots of new houses. Lots of people I did not know.

When we lived there, the big thing was to go to the local pizza joint for supper on Saturday night. The place was always packed. When you walked in, there was a huge fish tank next to the door that you could see from inside and out. It had the biggest goldfish in I had ever seen.

When you got inside, there was a Ms. PacMan game with a waiting area for the take-out pizza.

You ordered your pizza at a wood counter and waited for your number to be posted on the electronic board at the back of the restaurant.

They had cool names for their pizzas. Like Gipettos. And Goofy's Revenge and fun thinkgs like that.

When we went there Wednesday night (for old-times sake), we found nothing had changed. Well, almost nothing. The only thing different was they no longer use the electronic board. It is still there, but they don't use it.

Even the manager/owner is the same guy that was there 25 years ago.


My Dad

My dad is getting older. He is not old, but he is getting older. He is 63 now and sometimes gets a little forgetful.

Now, don't get me wrong. My dad can still discuss religion, politics, computers, sports and numerous other things until you are ready to run screaming from the room. But he is getting forgetful.

On Tuesday night, just after D and I arrived at the RV, he started looking for the remote. He continued looking for the 30 minutes we were there. And then another 30 minutes after we left.

Finally, Mom and K asked him if he had looked in his pockets.

SURPRISE! Found the remote.

The next morning, Dad couldn't find the spare battery to the video camera. He wanted to have video of the service.

We searched everywhere. Mom asked him several times if it was in his pockets. He kept saying no. He even emptied out his pants pockets a couple of times. He had just had it out he said.

Finally, K asked him if he had checked his shirt pocket.

SURPRISE! Found the battery!

That night after the service, we all went out to dinner at the local pizza place. (I'll explain why we went there another time). Anyway, Dad was eating these slices of pizza just heaping with toppings. They kept dropping off and going down his front. I teased him and said that when Mom washed the shirt later, she would find pizza in it.

We went back to the RV and started to say our goodbyes. I went to give Dad a hug and noticed a grease stain on his shirt. I said "What's in your pocket?"

SURPIRSE! We found pizza toppings!!

We laughed for an hour!!


After we boarded the plane in Phoenix, I immediately went to sleep. I slept through takeoff. Don't even remember the plane leaving the ground.

When I woke up, I thought we had been in the air for at least a couple hours. I looked out of the window and my first thought was "Wow! That looks like Lake Mead and Hoover Dam". That would mean we were only about 45 minutes out of Phoenix and entering Las Vegas air space.

Suer enough! That is exactly where we were! It was kind of fun seeing Las Vegas from so high up. I lived there for several years and had never seen it from so high up.

The lady sitting next to me was from my home town in Oregon. We knew a lot of the same people and same places. It was a lot of fun chatting with her. That just goes to show how small this world really is.

On both flights the places were packed. Everyone was headed West. Not sure why.

As we got into Oregon air space, the skies clouded over. We had clear sailing up to that point. Then the turbulence started. Did I mention I hate to fly?

After a couple of drops, I felt like that cat on America's Funniest Home Videos. You know, the one hanging from the ceiling by his claws?

Anyway, we finally landed (safely) in Portland. Of course, it was raining. I hear it was the first rain the had in over 90 days. That is almost unheard of.

My sister picked me up at the airport and we got out of Portland as quick as we could. Way too much traffic!!

We headed south to Creswell, where my parents were staying in their RV. We checked in to a local motel and hit the sack.

US Marines

Early Tuesday morning, P drove me to Minneapolis. I caught an early morning flight to Portland. I had an hour and a half layover in Phoenix.

The first leg of the trip went very smooth. No turbulence (I hate to fly). We landed in Phoenix and I made myself comfortable in one of those lovely, comfortable (ha!) seat they have in all airports.

I was thoroughly enjoying my book. (Finn MacCool by Morgan Llewellyn). I knew people were coming and going all around me, but I was mostly oblivious as I delved into my book.

When I next looked up, I was surrounded by Marines! I mean, darling, drop-dead gorgeous United States Marines!! I was so excited I could barely contain myself. My first thought was maybe they had just arrived home from overseas or something.

Then I started really looking at these Marines. Man were they clean. And very young. Then I realized they were getting ready to board a plane to San Diego. Then I noticed their bags were all shiny and new. When I saw one of them pull out a ruler to measure where his ribbons should go, I knew they were not experienced soldiers.

So after a few select questions, it was determined that they were fresh out of boot camp and headed for Camp Pendleton for Combat Training.

I asked the one young Marine how boot camp was. He replied, "Rough." Then they all laughed.

My oldest son has decided to join the Marines in January. Seeing these boys/men made me realize how rough that is going to be on all of us. But how very proud I am going to be of him.

Bless them all and keep tham all safe.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Home Again

Well, I am home again.

The funeral service went well. Tracy is now at peace.

Thank you to all who sent their best wishes to all of us.

I will write more when I am not so exhausted.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Passing On

We have lost a lot of great people this week:

Warren Zevon

Johnny Cash

John Ritter

And now, my sister-in-law Tracy.

I will be leaving for Oregon this afternoon for the funeral services.

Thanks to everyone who sent their prayers our way.

Hail and Farewell to all who have Passed.