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The Big Boom

For future reference, fireworks and funerals go very well together. It was an emotional day yesterday. Of course it decided to rain and snow the whole time. I don't think I've been to a funeral in Illinois in the last 11 years where it wasn't either blazing hot or freezing cold. People just don't seem to die in the Spring or Fall. It's a cliche I know but there really was not a dry eye in the house. And that's a good thing that people love you enough to cry at your passing. The military aspect of the funeral really got to me. Someone folding the casket flag always gets me. Too many years spent as a military brat and memorial services at Arlington. The 21 gun salute still made me jump even though I knew it was coming. I felt sorry for those guys, having to stand out in the driving rain. It was no more than 33 degrees out. The poor bagpiper was in a kilt for Pete's sake. He didn't look warm at all. You could see the condensation hanging around him because he was blowing air into is pipes to try and keep them warm. But there's nothing like hearing Amazing Grace on bagpipes in cool, moist air. Devin gave me the responsibility of radioing the fireworks crew and giving them their cues. So when the time came, I keyed the mic and said simply, "light 'em up for Bill guys!"

Even inside the tent, the salutes were impressive. 12-3" Titanium salutes followed by 12-4" Multi-shot artillery shells and ending up with 4-6" heavy report Freeman salutes. They literally shook the funeral tent. Devin lost it at that point. Pretty much everyone who wasn't crying already, lost it at that point. Afterward, one of the Christian churches had everyone in for a huge dinner. I'll say this for Christians, they know how to feed you and they know how to eat. There's always a meal associated with most of the Shawnee events I've gone to, well most any tribal events have food. Pagans I'm not so sure about. Seems most of my Pagan friends are vegetarians. So we ate and we talked and visited with everyone. Then the family and close friends went back to the house and ate some more from all the food the well-wishers had brought over. I pretty much chucked my eating plan for the day yeasterday. Back on it today though.

We buried Bill with a lot of things. Photos of the grandkids, badges from his years of being a Scout Leader, his pea splitter cap from the American Legion, but also, his shoot shirt from the fireworks and we managed to squeeze in a 3 inch steel mortar tube. We figured he might want to play around with some explosives wherever he was going. As funerals go, I'd have to give this one a 10. It did everything it was supposed to do, it gave you the opportunity to let go and to look forward with hope.

This whole week has felt like the cosmic tumblers have rolled forward a click and new things are about to happen. Besides the coming of Spring and Bill's passing, Fiegl's Foods, our great little grocery store in Rushville closed on March 14. Apparently, Vince Fiegl decided he didn't have to pay taxes for an extra-special long time and the IRS seized the building. It really pisses me off too because it was the only store for miles around that had good prices, a great meat section and a really nice deli/bakery. I'd go in there every Saturday and be able to spend about $20 and get enough food for the two of us for the weekend and then some. Everyone knew you when you walked in. They were all friendly. They bagged your groceries and if you weren't too careful, they'd carry them out for you too. I flat out refuse to patronize the IGA store which is now the only grocery store in town. You'd think th IRS would have noticed that someone hadn't paid their business income taxes in 15 years wouldn't you? I mean you have 20 employees who are all getting their W2 forms each year listing Fiegl's Foods as an employer yet you are not getting the tax payments from the employer. Just something screwy about that. I'm also pissed because it's just not the kind of example you want to see in a small community like that.

I spent last weekend up in Madsion, WI in the company of two gorgeous women, 9ahau and my friend Dragonfly from NC. There is just something intrinsically satisfying about spending time with beautiful women. Sort of makes you feel more alive somehow. I don't get to see Dragonfly that often anymore. She's in love and very involved in her relationship and I'm happy for her. We just don't seem to get the time together that we did before. So the prospect of spending a whole day and night with her was just too tempting not to make the 3 hour drive up north. We did some bead shopping downtown Saturday and then went to Red Robin for dinner. Of course, as always happens with us, the conversation turned to sex at a certain point. There was a lot of white noise at the place so I guess we were both talking a little louder to compensate. And we were both being pretty frank and explicit in our discussions of various aspects of things. After awhile we noticed two 14 year old girls in the next booth were listening intently to our conversation. Dragonfly laughed about it but we decided we should probably go somewhere else to discuss things. I told her they were probably more knowledgable than we were about sex anyway. We drove around town for awhile, trying to get lost and not succeeding very well. Then we finally decided to go back to the Mother House where she was staying. We plopped down on the comfy couch and spent the rest of the evening talking about spiritual matters. Mostly we talked about the similarities between Paganism and Shamanism and indeed all of the big "isms" of belief. Sometime after midnight, I went back to my hotel feeling a lot less spiritually numb than I had been in quite awhile. Sunday morning we sort of slept in. I checked out of my hotel around 11 and we went out to Perkins for breakfast. Dragonfly was irritated that I'd insisted on picking up the check the night before. She should know by now that chivalry prevents me from letting women in my company pay for their own meals, open doors, etc. So she conspired with the waitress to make sure she got the check for breakfast. Afterwards, we headed over to the bead show where we met up eventually with 9ahau. I think we all got the beads we were looking for. My purchases will make for some really cool designs in upcoming months. Pretty soon we all headed downtown again but found the rock shop closed that we had intended to visit. So Dragonfly asked me to take her back to the Mother House for awhile and 9ahau and I took off to find a diner so she could get some food. I had a strawberry malt and a slice of carrot cake as my evening meal. Maybe not the healthiest choice but it was food at least. Hey, I did get calcium, protein and some vitamins in there. We talked for awhile, just catching up. Not as long as I would have liked but we agreed to get together again soon. I had to be going as I didn't want to get back here too late. I stopped back by the Mother House to get one of Dragonfly's awesome hugs and kiss her on the top of her cute little head before getting back on the road.

The trip back was uneventful expect I made a wrong turn at Rockford and almost ended up in Chicago. Then I was tired and made another wrong turn at El Paso and ended up in Gridley before I figured out my mistake and turned around. So I got home after 11 and sat down to unwind. I was just about ready to go to bed at 1 when the phone rang. I didn't recognize the voice through the tears but it turned out to be Gwen telling me Bill had just passed on moments before. And there started the whole strange week. Deb has stayed at the farm the whole week which has actually been kind of nice because it has given me some time to meditate and to think about things. Somewhere in the midst of this week, I found time to get my 2004 year end review. I received the higest rating and highest raise of anyone in my division with a promise of pushing my promotion thorough next month. So in the end, I guess everything is all good. Still, all the change at once is a bit unnerving so I'll be glad to have this weekend to do absolutely nothing if I want to.




( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 25th, 2005 07:56 pm (UTC)
I found some neat rural ruin in Apex today...
Mar. 25th, 2005 08:27 pm (UTC)
Wonderful. I can't wait to see it.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Wander aka StoneBear
Bear Dancer Studios

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