Update 2/15 - 2/21
It was my mom's birthday on Monday. I was really thankful that I was able to spend the day with her, even if it was under sad circumstances. I gave her a bunch of pictures of me from India, I'm sure that was on top of her wish list. :) Patrick II gave her a card that said, "Enjoy doing everything you want while you can." We laughed at the truth in those words. We went to dinner at that cute restaurant again, but this time Leslie joined us. Leslie and Bill just got back from vacation so we got to get all caught up!
I spent the evening with my sister in my grandparents old room. I was reminded of the time that we forgot to tell Stacey to pack shorts the first time she came to Christmas in Chicago. Mainly because it was so hot at night that I would take Percy out for walks in the middle of the night just to cool down.
My mom apologized for waking us up the night before with her loud argument with Aunt Maureen. Mo and I hadn't heard anything.
Mo: Patrick, what did you hear?
Patrick: I heard Aunt Maureen say something and then Nana explain to her why she was wrong.
I also caused a bit of a ruckus with the fam, but I genuinely think I ended up helping, even if Uncle Bill ended up calling me Trouble for the rest of the week. I forgot to tell you this one story from when I was talking to Zach at the park, but I told it to Dawne to cheer her up, so I'll tell you now.
Zach: Did you get Mom's text asking us to do something?
Me: Nope, actually, she's not my mom, so maybe that's why I didn't get that text.
Zach: Oh man! It's just me and Nater so I'm definitely going to have to do it.
Me: What do you need to get.
Zach: Mom's good coat and Dad's suit and coat.
Me: Oh, you know your mom likes to wear her fur in Chicago.
Kelly: How are you going to pack that?
Me: I guess you're just going to have to wear it.
Dawne: I didn't mean my fur coat.
Me: I know that! You were talking about your black one - but this is so much more fun, let's see how it plays out shall we?
Zach ended up just taking an extra suit case so he doesn't think this is funny story, but I do, and I'm the one writing.
My cousin Julia and Martin from Germany were in town, and I it was really great seeing them. I even tried teaching Kevin some choice German phrases to share with her. A couple of us drove down to see Aunt Audrye and my cousin Bill and Sean were also available for lunch. Aunt Audrye assumed that we were going to TGIFriday's because that's the only place my Aunt Maureen likes, so when Aunt Maureen didn't come she literally had no idea what to suggest. We ended up at IHOP, which I thought was appropriate because that is an Uncle Ray approved restaurant. That's when I found out my Aunt Audrye's diet. Mind you she is the eldest sibling and looks amazing.
Aunt Audrye: I don't drink water, never have. Those people who say you have to drink 8 glasses of water to survive are lying because I only drink coffee. I have a chocolate donut for breakfast with a cup of coffee. And then I have Sour patch kids for lunch - and I don't put a limit on them, I eat as many as I want.
Mo: Doesn't that hurt the roof of your mouth?
Aunt Audrye: Nope - I must have a callous. And then for dinner I have some ice cream and good n plenty's. Sometime I decide to have a microwave meal, so I have one fork, knife and spoon - but that's it. I don't need extra silverware cluttering up my kitchen.
I adore her. :)
We all went to Uncle Bill's for lunch before the Memorial. On our way over, Maureen turned to me in the car and said, "I know today is going to be really hard for you, so if you need me let me know." I said, or maybe I just thought, "Why me? I thought we were all going to be miserable?"
Later in the day, I was talking about how Grandpa used to write all of his recipes using things like "Handful" of this, only his hands were definitely bigger than mine. Lucas replied helpfully, "At least it wasn't a mouthful."
Me (whispering): Dawne, which one is Amy and which one is Kara?
Dawne: Hey! Which one are you?
Me: I could have done that.
It was really great seeing everyone - we even took a group shot. I think mostly we did this to emphasize that even on a step or two above my cousins, I'm still embarrassingly short. Aunt Audrye hid in the kitchen for this by the way, so you might never know a person who lives on sugar and coffee alone looks like.
I was going to bring Percy back to Aunt Maureen's before going to the memorial, but Dawne told me that she specifically told the funeral home that there would be 2 dogs in attendance.
When we got there, we totally all fell apart. We were a blubbering mess.
Bill: What happened? We were all happy 20 minutes ago and now...
Me: I know
and I can't make it stop.
Pam: Shorty looks really good! She must be like 20 now...
Me: She does look good, but that's actually the 4th Shorty.
I met up with Dawne's friend's son Matt who is a professional UFC.
Me: I heard you're looking for your Rocky.
Matt: No, I'm looking for Apollo.
Me: No... aren't you looking for someone to fight because no one will?
Me: So you're looking for your Rocky.
Matt: Well I don't want to lose.
Me: Rocky lost in the first movie...
Me: Rocky lost in the first movie...
And this is when I realized not only was I at funeral, but I was fight with an ultimate fighting champion...
Me: anyway, good to see you! Gotta run!
We played a lot of Canasta while I was in Chicago. After the memorial, the boys tried to teach Lucas how to play and he just kept saying, "Oh, I see. That’s a Canas-don't."
We shared a lot more stories about Uncle Ray - although one of my favorites was when Teri, Dawne's BFF yelled from the back of the room, "Dawne! Where's Dawne? Come on, let's tell everyone the story about how your dad saved my life." And with Teri's help, Dawne was able to talk about her dad.
Here are some more that I shared:
We went to Spazzo’s the other night upon Luke’s request. My two uncles were not pleased with their meals, though one was significantly more vocal on the subject.
Uncle Bill: Ray, would you like to not like my Pizza?
Uncle Ray: No, I’ll just eat something when I get home.
Susan (to Aunt Pat): Is your kitchen open late?
After Uncle Ray did try and disliked the pizza: That is the worst pizza EVER.
Me: It’s less of a pizza than flat bread.
Uncle Ray: I hate flatbread.
Lucas: That will be on his tombstone “Will always be remembered for his hatred of flatbread.”
The next morning at IHOP, Uncle Bill said to Uncle Ray, “This is uncomfortable. I bought a gift certificate to Spazzo’s. Are you not going to use it?”
Zach: Slept in mom and dad’s bed last night. I don’t know what their sheets are made of but it feels like unicorn skin.
Uncle Ray: Those sheets are so expensive. I think they are 3 or 4 hundred dollars for sheets!
Zach: Well, of course they are! Think of all the unicorns they had to kill to make them.
Me: Okay guys. Check ya later! Have a great day!
Lucas: Where are you going?
Lucas: I thought it was Saturday.
Uncle Ray: I’m with you Luke. I had no idea why she would be going to work on Saturday.
Saturday morning, Uncle Ray asked Lucas how his night was, but he was almost giggling (if Uncle Ray giggled) when he asked.
Uncle Ray: You came into our room from the outside door, asking where your mom was. Grandma said you were sleep walking, but I didn’t think you were.
Lucas: Def. sleep walking. I don’t remember that at all. At least I had clothes on, right?
Me and Jordan simultaneously: RIGHT!?
Zach: You know, even though I hated that environmental weather class, I learned a lot of information that I’ll never use.
Uncle Ray: What do you mean? You just used it!
Me: I took a Film Noir class in college.
Jordan: That would be helpful if you were working for me right now.
Me: But I’m not.
Uncle Ray: Why would you take a film noir class?
Dawne: It was a part of her major. I just wanted my dad to know weren't a f*ck up.
Jordan: I think you meant “wasn’t always a f*ck up.”
Lucas made a deal with his grandfather that if he helped remove/cut up the hot tub and help put the new one in, Uncle Ray would help him build a 4’ x 24’ ramp on the sport court. I told Shane and he said, “I’ll be there the day it’s finished because to show up the day before it was finished is just stupid.”
I almost got into a fight with my Uncle Ray this morning. I told Matty and he asked “Was it politics? Religion? …” “Worse! Harry Potter!”
Earlier in the week, Zach was coerced into walking at graduation by his grandma. When his grandpa got on the phone he said, “I’m supposed to tell you to walk, but I don’t really give a sh*t, so I’m probably not the best person for this job.” He also announced that “Everyone down here are idiots” and couldn’t wait to leave PR and come back to WA. Until, or course he spends a couple of months here and then he’ll be saying, “Everyone up here are idiots…” We miss you too, Uncle Ray.
Dawne had been thinking about how much she didn't want to live in the brown house on our way to Home Depot.
Dawne: Maybe if it had hardwood floors so I could breathe.
Me: Sure, that's a reasonable request.
Dawne: But that kitchen, what am I going to do about that?
Me: Um, weren't you the one who designed a house once without a kitchen because "it wasn't that important?"
Dawne: Yeah, but I recognize that people like to sit around in the kitchen and drink coffee in the morning. And sometimes one person likes to cook some eggs every once in a while, and we like watching that happen.
Me: In that case, couldn't you just build some seating and remove the table all together and we could sit with our coffee and watch Jordan cook until we were ready to move to the next room?
Dawne: Sure... or we could change everything.
When we got back from Home Depot.
Dawne: I want to put hardwood floors in the brown house and figure out what we can do to the kitchen to make it better.
Uncle Ray: That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. You're not even going to leave there, why you would put any work into it. Seriously, dumb.
Dawne: Right. So... Dad? You wanna walk down to the brown house and tell me how to fix it?
Ten minutes later, they walk back upstairs.
Uncle Ray: I fixed it.
Uncle Ray: We're going to move two walls.
Me: How long is that going to take?
Uncle Ray: Three Days:
Me: So conceivably, we could finish this before Jordan gets back from his trip?
Dawne: It wouldn't be the first time I removed a wall in a kitchen while he was out of town.
Two days later we were supposed to go to a Regatta, but it got canceled. Instead, we go to Home Depot and get some tile for my bathroom, come back to the brown house and 15 minutes later, the picture window is removed.
Lucas: That's great! We're really one with nature now!
And over the course of the day, two external walls were removed. And then Jordan came home.
The next day I was telling my mom that Uncle Ray instructed me on several occasions that day that "Measuring is for Idiots."
Momela: So.... how big of an idiot were you?
After we took down the two walls, that's when we thought, hmmm maybe we should move some furniture out of the connecting rooms and cover them with some tarp. As we were moving these items, I said, "I don't know why we're doing this. It's only going to take three days."