Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Happy Birthday. Get your ass to work.

The funeral went well. It was very small, it was tasteful. My mother pulled herself together like a trouper.

The ceremony at the cemetery was very touching. There is something about the 70something volunteer color guard that gets me every time - these old guys (and in this case, an old gal) in their 70s, the gun salute, Taps, the folding of the flag, it's so very sweet and wonderful. The flag was presented to my mother by a woman who was about her own age, thicker around the middle but still ramrod-straight in her uniform. The patches indicated that she was Air Force and had served in Korea. The dignity and solemnity of it all is somehow enhanced by the age of the retirees performing the ceremony. We visited my husband's grave. I know this will sound odd to some of you but I don't feel anything at all when I see his grave.* It just seemed right to stop by.

*I had to come back and edit this a tad. I don't mean that as icky as it sounds. I meant that to me, that grave is just a place we ceremonially park the remains. He's elsewhere. I have no sense of him there, so it's not emotional to me. It's pretty, it's nice, it's better than a mayonnaise jar in the backyard we joked about. But it's not something that evokes a sense of...anything in me, other than, "Pretty place! Not much point in leaving flowers, the deer will eat them immediately...."

I was so proud of my son yesterday - he showed up freshly shorn and wearing a tie, (he who had slouched around with shoulder length hair and sandals through college). He served as a pallbearer and then escorted his grandmother to the pavilion for the cemetery ceremony. I walked behind them - we had a sprinkle of rain and he held the umbrella over her and held her hand. I know my son is an adult - he'll be 26 in September - but this was one of those times that I really SAW it, and I am so very proud of the man he has become. He's a winner. And he's single and more than one person has remarked on his resemblance to Orlando Bloom. Not that I'm fixing him up or anything, he does not lack for female companionship. I'm just throwing that out there. I don't know if he reads this blog but if he does I must embarrass him a bit.

Today is my 48th birthday. I got my tired 48 year old butt up at 5, did my 40 minutes on the elliptical trainer, (it gives me more energy to get through the day) showered, dressed, grabbed some lowfat cottage cheese to eat at my desk and went to work. I am dragging bigtime, I didn't sleep well - let's just say that I am 48 but still awaiting that smack from the menopause fairy's wand. She stood me up again this month. Bitch.

I am so glad I bought the elliptical trainer. I have to admit that I was afraid that it would get old for me and I wouldn't use it, and it was a LOT of money. Both Girl and I are using it faithfully. I record Olbermann, Stewart and Colbert and watch them in the morning while I exercise, and it has worked out very well. I can't exercise in the evenings, I'm an insomniac and it revs me up too much. I can't get to the gym in the mornings except on the weekends, so this is a perfect compromise. My bad knee is doing so much better with daily exercise, and my energy level is vastly improved. I used to practically fall asleep at my desk at 3 every day, but even today when I am truly wiped out I didn't have that exhausted feeling late in the afternoon.

Knitting: I finished the Clapotis and have no idea what I want to do next.


Donna said...

Happy Birthday, Catherine :)

Allison said...

Happy Birthday! It seems to be a popular one. Besides my Mom (who turned 51) it's the b-day for two of my co-workers.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!

caroline said...

Happy Birthday, chica! given the events of the past 2 months, may I suggest a discreet raid on the cracknit shoppe for your next project? and the menopause fairy's wand is waaaay overrated...

KatyaR said...

I agree with Caroline--I wouldn't be looking too hard for that menopause fairy--she's caused me quite a bit of grief (and lots of hot flashes).

Happy Birthday. I'm glad yesterday was good and that it's over. I hope your mom continues to do well and that things get back to normal (as normal as things ever get).

And yes, fiber does cure a variety of afflictions . . . .

Debi said...

Quite an auspicious birthday. Happy Happy Catherine, have a big glass of wine to better days!

Donna S. said...

Happy Birthday. Hope you can do something nice for yourself deserve it!!

Jill said...

Happy Birthday!

I'm glad the funeral went well. I feel the same way about graves, though my aunt assures me that this will change as I get older. I don't think so.

Orlando Bloom is a hottie, nuff said.

Geogrrl said...

Happy 48th! My 42nd is around the corner, so to speak.

Hum, next project. Well there's the Pi-R-Squared you were talking about. Ooh, and if you want a cute sweater, look at Knit and Tonic's "Somewhat Cowl". Worth the $5.50 IMHO. That might jump start ya. The original was made in alpaca/silk, but I'm going to make mine in cotton. The design is such that I think you can get away with a less elastic yarn.

How about that "Lily" top you were talking about?

Geogrrl said...

I meant to say, too, that I understand what you mean about your husband's grave. I feel the same about my Dad's. What's there is not Dad--he's somewhere else. The cemetery is just a nice place to park the remains and create a memorial.

My stepfather is very specific that he just wants his ashes scattered (I feel the same about my own remains). He says that if the family insists on a memorial, donate a nice park bench with a plaque or something.

cursingmama said...

Happy Birthday! Nothing like working on your birthday - is there ;)
I am glad to hear that the funeral went well and that there were no problems. Your description of your son caring for your mother brought tears to my eyes - he sounds absolutely splendid; you have every reason to be proud.

Happy Birthday!

Amie said...

Happy belated - sorry I missed the post!

I completely understand about your husband's grave as well. Some people need that place to remember someone, but not needing it only means you can recognize that spiritual and physical are not permanently linked.