Archive for That’s Just the Way I See it!

Hoping to Get My Groooooove Back

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 25, 2016 by drycreekherbs

For reasons I can’t pinpoint I have had zero interest in journaling. For starters, I feel like a dullard. I haven’t done anything interesting and I don’t know anything funny. Well, except I look like I have the POX from Florida, North Carolina, and Texas mosquitos. I must have AB blood…this is something I read recently in the NY Times. AND redheads, even faux reds are bitten more often….I was once a genuine red head so it must be my oils, or whatever.

I aIMG_3810.jpgm going to reflect/write a little about the trip to Florida for Cee’s memorial. I should have written immediately after but I felt waaaay too overfilled. Everything was big in my head. The main thing: I kept wanting to talk about it with her. We had some hair-raising fights and dry spells but we always liked an after-action review. Always. Sooooo, I stayed at Cee’s house with her remaining family—brother, Ed; sister-in-law, Lea, niece, Shelley; nephew, Scott and his son, whose name I could never ever hear well enough to repeat. He was an easy little 4 year-old who mostly played video games.

Lea asked if I would be ok on a blow up mattress….I must have let that sink in over two minutes but I managed to say as long as someone would help me get down and up. I arrived and hallelujah it was a tall blow up! It would have taken a crane to get me up otherwise. They resally did everything they could to make me feel welcome and loved and significant.

I say that because I may have been the OLDEST friend, 54 years, but she definitely had lots of NEW friends that were major important to her. It was odd though to sometimes feel on the periphery after so many years of feeling center stage….thanks to Cee and her family.IMG_3782.jpg I learned too much. I learned that it really wasn’t necessary for me to take so many things personally. Cee pretty much treated old and new friends the same….the new folks just didn’t take it to heart, or if they did they didn’t seem too injured. Eddie and Lea both said to people that I was like Cee’s sister. Here is what I can say now: I am sure I hurt her as often—I didn’t get it. So now she is dead and the reality is I miss her much more than I ever imagined, especially after one of our heated phone calls. And especially after she hung up on me.

The first thing Lea did was take me upstairs to Cee’s room, telling me to take anything I wanted. I came away with some very, Cee-like kimonos. Throughout the weekend, I was encouraged to take anything. Cee’s will arrived after I left for NC and Florida but Len read me the parts involving me. Two Mah Jongg sets…one, her great-great grandparents and the other, her mother’s vintage set…..Both I dearly love. In addition, she left me a very generous amount, I’m thinking for trips. I have not read the will and I don’t think I will. Her attorney was at the memorial –He handed me an envelope with photos of the Mah Jongg sets. I commented that this was exactly what I would expect from Cee. He agreed and said she was very thorough. Yup.IMG_3806 (1).jpg IMG_3743.jpg IMG_3763.jpg

So the memorial service was at a local park where Cee and other friends walked their dogs….a very nice, large, wooden pavilion set up with cold water bottles, fresh fruit, and sausage biscuits. Another table had a large canvas photo of Cee from her Hawaii days wearing a lea. Also a basket of sand dollars for take-aways, and index cards for memories. Cee’s daily lists were always on 3×4 neon index cards. Very appropriate choice. And there were dog friends in attendance, too. Eddie and Lea welcomed all, a fellow Kiwannian served as MC, and family and friends spoke. I spoke first and managed to do a good job. My comments were mapped around the poem about friendship — A season, a reason or a lifetime. Anyway, I received compliments. It was interesting to hear the other remarks…… Later in the afternoon, the family took her ashes out to Sister Key and Cee’s friends released evanescent bubbles from the sea wall. IMG_3772.jpg

There is a lot I am leaving out…much about the dynamics of her new friends and the family. I had a chance to really bond with Cee’s niece and nephew. Maybe what is missing is I can’t really figure out how to close the circle. This is waaaaay more difficult than I ever imagined. I will write more later, I think.


Posted in Uncategorized with tags on May 1, 2016 by drycreekherbs

I have to write in my journal tonight so I can cross it off my list. This might be it.

Things to write or have a nervous fit:

  1. It’s All About the Grief….a song I will write
  2. Too many deaths
  3. Cee’s memorial, scattering of ashes, and observations about wills
  4. What I learned too late
  5. NC cousin reunion
  6. Wonderful catch up visit with Marsha
  7. Reasons to get a vacation house in Hendersonville, NC
  8. Foy in new digs
  9. Shopping Addictions
  10. Dead heading flowers = Lou Ann
  11. Estate Sale
  12. Stephanie


A Good Way to Feel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 10, 2016 by drycreekherbs


Laid to Rest

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 10, 2016 by drycreekherbs


I am finding closure. The stars finally aligned. Ft Sam Houston Cemetery was available the same day the preacher was available. David and Frances were available so the Memorial Service was set into motion. We had the Memorial Service on January 28th at John Calvin Presbyterian Church, followed by a reception in the church hall. Mom preferred a graveside service because she had outlived most of her friends. She had been to several lonely services that made a sad impression on her. To be expected, Billy and I chose to do both. AND she would have been stunned and pleased to have such a turn out. About 60—75 attended which is more than I could hope to have and she was 94 years old! …. she had her loving former Normandy Terrace employees and friends who weren’t restricted by distance, health, or weather. Those who could not attend honored her with donations to their favorite charities….this was just as Mom wanted. We have received beautiful acknowledgements of their generosity and love. In addition, there were beautiful flowers sent by family and friends….and she did love flowers.


Rev. Peter Haas, the Interim Pastor presided and did a great job….he made his remarks based on our conversations then requested commentary from the congregation…There were lovely and funny stories, many from Mom’s and Betty’s employees and colleagues. It was beautiful. I was glad Betty agreed to sit with us and hear how much love and respect they had even from all those years ago. Talk about organizational culture and leadership—they rocked. Many of the long term employees started working at the nursing home as teenagers and continued until retirement.

I felt loved and supported—Cousins, Shawn, Julie, and Jan came from Houston; Susan and Bill from Pennsylvania; Justin from Massachusetts, Becky and Bob from Wimberly; Pat and Nora from Austin; Jackie and John from Killeen, Susan H. from Austin, Belinda, and Mary, as well as several life-long friends of Bills’. My dear Lou Ella W., my friend and former teacher colleague, surprised me at the graveside service. I have seen Lou Ella three times since my wedding 45 years ago….I cried tears of joy to see her again.

David played his bagpipes—Amazing Grace and Frances sang –she has the voice of an angel. Both these contributions made the services memorable.

Mom would have been so proud and pleased….Dr. Norman’s children were all there. Surely, I am leaving out big points. I was on God’s remote so I didn’t process thoroughly. The good news, I didn’t lose it. Billy and I pulled it off…Len kindly took pictures and the day was done. It was a good day to honor my sweet Mom. Betty said she could not think of a thing she would have wanted different…I liked that. We buried Mom in her new black purse from Nieman-Marcus. She had Kleenex, lipstick, mirror, and a pair of snazzy earrings with her. A good way to go since she never, ever went anywhere without her purse. She’s in the picture with Billy and me.

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Mom’s Obituary

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 23, 2016 by drycreekherbs


Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 23, 2016 by drycreekherbs

At last, I think all the arrangements are done. I went to San Antonio Wednesday. Thursday was the dedicated day to get things done. Betty suggested we talk to the John Calvin Presbyterian Church secretary first….smart advice. With her information we went to Ft. Sam Houston Cemetery and spoke with a representative—who just happens to be in Becky’s Sunday School Class. He was especially helpful; it is good to have connections. So, we learned that we could not have any service on a weekend…that created a timeline with the church. The memorial service will be Friday at 11:30, church reception provided by the church women, then graveside services at 2:45 at Ft. Sam. A home reception for family and friends at Mom’s after all is finished. This was all accomplished in one day. David and Frances can come, David will play the bagpipes, Frances will sing. Congregational hymn (Holy, Holy, Holy) chosen and flowers selected. Mom will have her own grave and marker because her name would not fit on Daddy’s flat stone. I think this is best anyway. They had been divorced for over 40 plus years and Mom was a veteran in her own right and so entitled to the cemetery.

I have several friends coming in from this area AND Susan and Bill are coming from PA and Becky and Bob and I hope some cousins.


Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 4, 2016 by drycreekherbs

There can’t be enough pre-planning….We thought we had it covered. Mom said all along she was ok with cremation, and Ft. Sam National Cemetery. That is just the tip of the iceberg. For every decision, twenty more are necessary.

A few years ago, I told Mom we needed to write our obituaries. AND, if she didn’t help me with hers, I said, I was going to make up some lies and put them in print. She would be a burlesque queen. Because she knew I had that capacity she agreed.

I am glad we did it, but sorry I didn’t do more research. For example, the big newspapers charge by word count and photos….makes sense…but how many newspapers and which newspapers? How much detail? How personal?

It is good to know which funeral home…hospice is helpful in that regard. I think if you live in a small town, choice is easy. Friends and family realllllly want to know all the specifics…because they either want to send a memorial or want to carve out time to attend. In our case…..we just don’t know because of cremation schedule and preacher is on vacation.