A Grand Day Out


So, the last two days have been sort of, well…


Yesterday was the “sea scattering” of my grandma, and since we had all of the sadness in the tribute and other places, this was really sort of a different kind of moment.  This was a gorgeous day in San Francisco, in spite of the fact that it looked like we were driving into the foggy maw of hell at the beginning.

When we got there, we found the fog lifting, and after wandering around and shopping (and blowing a wad o’cash at the puppet store!) we connected with the rest of the family (I started calling them the family amoeba– we gathered together, moved slowly, and occasionally some of us sheered off in an act of osmosis and went somewhere else) and a dribble and drabble at a time, made it to the gate to the ferry.

There, we met my cousin Yeshi, whom I’ve only ever seen a couple of times.  Once as a hyperactive six year old, once as a carefree twenty-three year old, and now?  He’s a world-traveler (well, his father is Italian and my aunt Carol is a world traveler!) and in this incarnation, he was handsome, funny, had an Italian accent via five years in Dublin, (*aherm*  For the record?  Dreamy. How do you get someone with those layered accents to NEVER STOP TALKING?  If anyone has a plan for that, let me know) and looked very very Bourne Identity.  I hope to talk to him and Carol some more this week,  and hopefully some of the awesome rubs off.  (I am sorely lacking in continental awesome.  Perhaps he’d be willing to share!  I am family, right?)

Anyway– we took a lovely ferry ride and scattered her ashes.  The older family scattered the ashes with reverence, my sons, of course, scattered them with ghoulish glee.  (This was a person?  Cool!) Big T was without his father or I as his turn came, and… well, of all of us, he’s the one who dumped the ashes directly into the wind, insuring that we all got to take a bit of grandma home with us–in our eyelashes, in our hair, on our phone covers, in our clothes–you know.  With us.  Mate and I were without words for how to explain to him what he’d done wrong.  What we came up with was “don’t dump ashes in the wind”, but really, how often is that going to come up in a real life scenario.  Besides.  He dumped all the rest, and I think someone else wanted a turn.  There was actually some sadness and some sentiment during the ceremony–including an impromptu “hymn” of Patsy Kline’s “Dream a Little Dream” led by Squish, which was really nice, and a whirlwind impression of grandma after Big T dumped the last bit of ashes, en masse, into the water.  But when the sadness had passed, we were really grateful–in one last gesture, grandma gave us a really really lovely and amazing day.

We were supposed to go for lunch when we got back, but the place we put our name in at was not really prepared for the grand lot of us.  After almost an hour, Mate said, “The kids are DONE–they need to eat NOW!” because they’d been living off of snacks and graham crackers since eight in the morning, and they were tired now.  So we said our goodbyes and ate a quick (and appreciated) meal of clam chowder in bread bowls, and then took off.  We took a brief pee break at the Golden Gate overlook, and came gratefully home to fall asleep in front of the television.

Okay.  I wish.  We came gratefully home where I wrote two blog articles for the promo tour of City Mouse, and the kids built Leprechaun traps.  And I went, OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE! Because Leprechaun traps mean Leprechaun droppings, and I had to put my shoes back on and drive to the store for candy and stuffed bears.  *headdesk*

But Happy St. Patrick’s Day– it would have been my grandma’s 92nd birthday, but I’m pretty sure she counted yesterday as a really decent party as it was.

0 thoughts on “A Grand Day Out”

  1. Donna Lee says:

    "Don't dump ashes into the wind" ranks right up there with "don't eat yellow snow". Life lessons.

    It sounds like a memorable day. My family doesn't do send-offs well. I think everyone is afraid of showing how they really feel in front of anyone else. We should really fix that. Bunch of stoic German/Pennsylvania Dutch types. You could drop an anvil on their feet and they wouldn't flinch.

  2. Such a beautiful setting for honoring your Grandmother. I was taking similar pictures of the bay this morning as I am back home visiting. I actually snuck away from family today to continue reading Country Mouse. I know I'm behind! Looking forward to City Mouse next.

  3. roxie says:

    When we took Mom's ashes out to sea, we had the same sort of perfect window in the weather. Mom would have loved it. Your grandma would have, too.

    Isn't it peculiar that458 kiteksh the only time you see the whole family is at a funeral?

    Lepruchaun traps? And droppings? What a good, good mom you are!

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