There’s no place like home. Except your childhood home.

I am alive!

Wednesday morning I got the call that Grampa died and have been immersed in that.

From Thursday night to Monday afternoon, I had been in the car for 20 hours. We did leave the kids home with Hunky’s mom, so they got to spend a long weekend at Gramma’s house. They got to spend time with Gramma and I got to not listen to two quarreling children for 20 hours in a cage with wheels, so everybody goes home happy. Elli stayed with Mom on the farm in Coldwater while I was in Midland and did farm dog stuff; rolling in and eating disgusting things, investigating horses, etc.

I’m not sure how deeply I want to dissect the last few days, because I’m just exhausted; physically, emotionally, and mentally. So we’ll break it down in a safe, distancing, I Use Humor as a Defense, sort of way. Ready… Break!

Dear Toll Booth Operator in Chicago on Thursday night at 11pm,
Thank you for making such a fuss over my dog. I think that made both our nights; yours and mine.

Dear Almost-Ex-Sister-in-Law,
It was absolutely totally inappropriate for you to show up at my brother’s grandfather’s funeral. I don’t care if the divorce isn’t formal yet. Contrary to your erroneous belief, you are most decidedly not still part of the family. You rejected him, you don’t like us, we don’t like you. Why in the name of Bob would you even want to subject yourself and us to the awkwardness of your presence? Why can’t you just act like a normal woman instead of a stupid psycho bitch from hell?

Dear Gramma’s Friend,
Thank you for letting us stay with you Friday night. And for saying I’m cute. And for letting me have the only cigarette of the weekend that was warm and relaxed. Being the only smoker in the family, the rest of them were alone and outside visibly shivering in below freezing temperatures.
The memories you shared with us gave me a glimpse of Grampa I never would’ve had. I’m so thankful for that.
And? You have smoked in your house for about 40 years and maybe I will quit smoking soon. Again. We’ll see.

Dear Catholics,
Why, oh why, do you beg and plead with God to accept the dead person into His welcoming arms? It’s already a done deal. Is the dead person saved? Yes – dead person already there. No – dead person is not there and no amount of begging, pleading, and cajoling is going to change that. God’s rolling His eyes at you. Re-read His instruction book for His rules. He explains them fairly clearly.
And directing your comments directly to the dead person, by name, towards his open casket? Really spooked me out. He’s not there. That is his shell. He is, as I already mentioned, up in heaven partying with God and stuff. He heard his name, and you distracted him from his party. Knock that crap off.
No, there is absolutely no way that I am sharing one wine glass with 50ish other people with 50 jillion cooties. Nuh UH. Nope. Not happening.
Also? I’m not understanding what all the liturgy does for you. I’m just me, but it makes God seem farther away. Why would you want that? I’ll take God in extreme close-up when I’m all, like, contemplating my own and everyone else’s mortality, thankyouverymuch.

Dear Inventor of the popular card game Spades,
I love you. You make good family memories even better. But why do you make scoring your game require math? It’s entirely too hard to do and makes me feel stupid, so I don’t play when my dad’s not there to keep score. How about instead of playing to 500 points, we play to, oh, I don’t know, chartreuse? No? I love you anyway.

Dear Gramma,
I cannot even begin to imagine what you’re going to be facing the next couple weeks. Or months. Or years. I ache for you. I am already putting together a care package that seems stupid and meaningless to me and that won’t even put a nick in your pain, but I can’t think of anything else to do to show my, well, care. So, care package it is.

Dear Horses on Mom’s Farm,
I got some really great pictures of you, but mostly frames full of snotty nostrils because you were so interested in what I was doing. That was awesome. And incredibly, painfully, achingly cold. Your portraits will be up soon on my blog; Mom and I are creating that post together. You’ll love it. Thanks to the wonders of Wi-Fi, Mom may even bring it out to the barn to show you. Or not.
Oh, and about my dog? She didn’t mean to startle you; she just isn’t used to horses. Thanks for cutting her some slack, and not stomping her into the frozen ground.
Best Wishes,

Dear Mom’s Friend’s Dog out in the barn,
Why in the name of anything would you actually growl and fight over a frozen horse turd with my dog?! It’s a poopsicle, for pete sake! There is no word or phrase that I could possibly concoct that would have the power to begin to describe how sick and wrong that is.
Supremely Repulsed,

Dear Green Bay Packers and especially Brett Favre,
You’ve broken my heart in a way that may be irreparable. I’m shaken inside to my very core. I don’t know if the damage can be undone. It may take long-stemmed red roses. And some pretzels and a keg on tap. And a signed jersey.
It’s the least you can do.

Dear Toyota Avalon driver near the I-56 exits on I-80W,
We couldn’t figure out if you were telling off Hunky, or car dancing. So, either we’re very sorry, or incredibly entertained. Wait. Both.
Warm regards,

Dear Elmer and Emma,
See? I told you Mommy and Daddy always come home! Yes, I brought That Damn Furball back home with me. You should have figured out by now, almost two years later, that she’s here to stay. I can’t believe you have the nerve to act surprised.
The least you could have done is pretend to be glad we’re home. Furry little finks.

Dear Grampa,
I miss you already, but I’m so happy for you. See you again, someday.

7 thoughts on “There’s no place like home. Except your childhood home.

  1. * Kudos to the toll booth person- of course they would make a fuss over your cute adorable white tornado!
    *I cannot believe she would show up if theres that much anger
    * Yay for Grammas friend!
    * TY to the horses for not stomping Elli into the ground!
    * I agree with the packers breaking our lil hearts. it was so sad 🙁
    * my heart goes out to Elmer and Emma- i know they think each time the doggie will not be back and each time they are wrong.. poor kitties.. lol

    * awesome blog and cant wait for the snot filled horse pictures!!!!

  2. I’m so sorry, Honey. Gramps is definitely in a better place (I’m Catholic but I believe what you believe – straight shot to heaven with only a brief detour to Purgatory. Like a nanosecond.) But poor Grams. Bless her heart.

    Re: Packers. I’m a cradle Bears fan (Grrrr) and still the Pack broke my heart this year. Ugh. Poor Favre. There’s no way he can retire on that last play. No. Way.

    Re: Catholic Funerals. I think it’s different from priest to priest. I can’t imagine my priest personally addressing the casket. I’ve never seen that. Or maybe I wasn’t paying attention. No, I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen that done.
    That just ain’t right.

    And the heaven thing? Gotta go through Purgatory to purify yourself and get all squeaky clean for heaven. That’s what they tell me, anyway, and if you’re raised that way, you tend to believe it. Even if in your head it’s only a nanosecond of a trip.

    Also, if you’re raised that flavor and an oldest child and somewhat controlling, it helps to feel like you’re helping him get in. Alternately, it’s kind of like cheerleading…I’m just sayin’.

    Re: Wine. I’m right there with you, sister. Don’t even think about the backwash the priest is finishing off. Eeeewwwww. Oh. Sorry. :o/

  3. Hold up. This was your step-brother’s grandfather? So…your dad’s wife’s father?
    Just trying to figure out the relation here…

    My condolences.

    A very nice attitude to have towards Grandpa — we’ll see them again and we should be happy that they’ve moved on and are upstairs in the big house awaiting our arrival 🙂

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