16 March, 2011

Getting Back On Track

I have been putting off writing this blog entry. I'm not wholly sure why, but I think it's mostly that I just haven't wanted to deal with the subject of my grandpa's death again. But, I am finally feeling recovered enough to do this now.

The two visitations were a challenge. For one, being in a strange parlor with the empty shell of a loved one, is often uncomfortable. Secondly, there's all that standing ... and in fancy dress and shoes ... especially fairly new platform pump heels ... it can be even more uncomfortable. Thirdly, for me, at least, it's never easy to watch my parents experiencing pain and anguish. And these events provided many opportunities to witness the pain and anguish of my parents. Add to that all the people to whom we were playing host/ess, several of whom my sister and I had never met in our lives, and you may begin to understand the challenge. Of course, it was nice to see some of the people we did know and remember. Some of whom we haven't seen in too many moons to count. Everyone seemed full of love and respect and a generosity of spirit that only good Southern American folk seem to know how to offer. (That is not to imply that other folks cannot share these traits or emotions ... rather that Southern Americans have a particular style of sharing.)

The funeral was really nice. It might be the nicest funeral I've ever attended. The pastor, very respectfully and very graciously, kept his speeches directly on the topic of my grandfather, his accomplishments, his family and friends, and his relationship with my grandmother. It was sweet, kind, sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes funny. It was all charming. (But, then, so was my grandfather, so that was more a testament to him than to anything else, I think.) The burial was at the military cemetery. They did a full military salute with shots fired, and a presentation of an American flag to my uncle. It was quite moving, and I'm not even a super patriotic person. Afterwards we all went back to the church where some of the families there had made us a potluck dinner. It was very southern, and very sweet. It was especially nice to spend some time with a few of the ladies that kept my grandfather fed and socialized. They are a fine little hen party, indeed. Ms. Loretta was my grandpa's closest companion after my grandma died. And Ms. Marie, one of my grandpa's neighbors is just so lovely that I wish I could carry her around with me all the time. Then there's Nioka, Marie's daugher, and Minnie, another neighbor. All fine ladies with distinguishingly fine taste in gentlemen friends.

So, to bring some closure to this topic ... on the page, anyway ... I would like to write this about my Grandfather:

Johnnie Milton Burdine was a heckuva fellow. He was equal parts hellion and gentleman. He was a baker of highly acclaimed pies; a grower of amazingly large and flavorful tomatoes; an avid traveler and RVer; an accomplished carpenter and handiman; a loving father and grandfather, and a devoted and totally smitten husband. He was kind, and generous, and he was the best storyteller I've ever met. (And I've met some good ones.) Above all, he was a true Liver of Life. I am proud to have his genes, and hope I can somehow manage to live up to them. May he be rewarded for a life well lived.

On a lighter note ...

With all of the travel to Kentucky lately, I've gotten about 3 weeks behind on my goal plans. So, when we got back from the funeral, I was planning to jump back in, full force, and get myself caught up and back on track as soon as possible. The Universe, however, had other plans. Apparently, it was necessary for me to take a little more down time and re-shift my focus slightly. Upon my return I developed a sinus infection, pulled my back out twice (twice!), and broke a light switch in the camper. THEN ... my sister and her canine companion, Fozzy, got into a car accident that smashed up her (dad's) truck along with two other vehicles. (Actually the first vehicle had only very minor damage, but the second was all smooshed up in the front and back. Thank goodness, no one was hurt.) My back is better now. And I was able to take some Quercetin/Bromelain/Vitamin C tablets along with some raw garlic and neti pot washes to help clear up the sinus stuff. (It's not gone completely, but enough so that it isn't keeping me from working now.) I'm still working on the light fixture, but Jim said he can help me replace the switch. (He is like my guardian angel here, I swear.)

So, over the weekend, when we had such BEAUTIFUL weather, I jumped in and got down and dirty in my storage units. I am almost finished organizing the Keeper stuff (in one unit!) and am going through the last of the Not Keeping stuff this week. I am hoping to have a sale ... perhaps an online auction ... of the Not Keeping stuff to act as a fundraiser for my trip. There's not enough to really make mad money, but if I can sell everything, then I am hoping to at least have enough to get my gear purchased for the trip. So, you will likely be seeing more information on that in the very near future. Keep checking in!

I still have one final chapter to finish in the Personal Training book. I'm hoping to knock it out this weekend, so I can try to start the test sign up process on Monday. Once that happens, I will be back on track again.

While sorting through the storage units, I've also been going through the camper and boxing the Keepers and purging the Nots. That will make finishing up the last of the camper repairs much easier, which means I should be able to start work on those pretty soon, too. I don't think there's really too much that needs doing, so I'm hoping I'll finish it up ahead of schedule and can get Rosy posted even sooner than planned. I'm trying to arrange possible housing options should I sell her before I am ready to leave on my trip.

My parents are leaving on the 29th of this month. It's so soon. And everything is so crazy for them right now, too, because they lost even more time than we did in Kentucky. So, my sister and I are scrambling to spend as much time with them as possible, and to help them as much as possible before they go. We are all having to take shifts driving Sister to and from work (Durham to Cary) while the truck is in the shop. It's a little crazy right now. But it's crazy in a way that seems to be somehow working, so I won't complain.

Mercury goes retrograde on March 30. I don't really like the idea of my parents still traveling when it goes retrograde, but I am trusting that the Universe will grant them safe passage to their new home. I hope this astrological phenom doesn't deter my planning process. But I'm glad it will be direct when I'm planning to be traveling ... at least the first leg of my travels.

Alright, it's late, and I'm finally feeling those first sweet suggestive signs of sleepiness, so I'm gonna turn in for the night. I hope you are having a sweet and dreamy evening wherever you are. Buenas Noches.


  1. So nice that you've got sweet memories of your grandfather. You're blessed. Love reading your updates and wished I had just a small amount of your courage! I'm in desperate need to part from a lot of my belongings!

  2. Sarah Jessica FarberMarch 16, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    What a moving tribute to your grandpa. You are a beautiful reflection of what you love in him, whether you know it or not.

  3. Melanie, ask GOD to give them a safe trip, darlin. Love Charlotte