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Today in My History

2000:  Family Ties
2001:  Three in One Year--Whether I Need them or Not
2002:  A Uniboob Kind of Day
2003:  Another Milestone
2004Jiminy Cricket
2005:  Rumble, Rumble, Rumble; Mutiny, Mutiny, Mutiny

2006:  A Day in the Life
2007:
  Jello, Anyone?


IN MY OPINION
The Secret Garden

Books Read in 2008
 
Updated: 6/18
"Vanish"



 


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THE FINAL GOODBYE TO MICHELE

23 June 2008

Today we said a final goodbye to our friend Michele, who died last November.  The plan had been to scatter her ashes on the property she and her husband owned in Mendocino County, but November was too wet to "scatter," and also Tim, Char's oldest son, who lives in Maryland, wanted to be here, so we waited for better weather--and for Tim.

Sadly, Walt was not able to make it, as he is still with his mother, so I went and represented the family.  I drove to Cloverdale, 15 or so miles north of Santa Rosa, and met Michele's son Eric and his wife there.  Eric rode with me in the car and we caravanned up to the property--about an hour's drive, often on very winding mountain roads.

About 20 of us, young and old, met at the roadside entrance to the property and then hiked down to where we all used to camp all those years ago, when the kids were little, when they put on skits on an improvised stage, where Jeri "married" Cam, with Tim officiating, where Richard made gin fizzes by hooking his blender to the battery of his car, where the outhouse was a 2-seater open air building (no door) that looked out all over Anderson Valley.  When you needed to use the facilities, you raised a wooden warning for others to stay away...but the view was glorious.

(I think we stopped using the outhouse when they started logging below the property and you might run into a workman!)

It was also the property where we gathered around the table and played cards and other games.  We all gathered huckleberries each year and did "quality control" so we could have sourdough pancakes the following morning (made from Char's starter, which she took to bed with her to keep at body temperature so it would grow during the night).

There was no better place for Michele's ashes to be scattered.

Jenny's daughter, Haley, who, Grandma Char says, has never had an unexpressed thought (we're sure she's going to be an attorney when she grows up) announced after 2 minutes that she was bored, that there was nothing to do, and that "nature was boring."

No such problem for her cousin, Katie, who had come from Maryland with her father Tim (and mom Juliet and brother Jonathan)  Grandpa Mike found a banana slug and told the kids all about them, including giving the thing a kiss.

Katie appeared to be enchanted, and went about cleaning up the slug, learning about it, watching how its eyes went in and out of their sockets, etc.  Katie won't be a lawyer, but will make a fantastic scientist some day.

Eric's wife, Nan, broke out the crackers and cheese (Michele's favorite brie) along with grapes and brownies, made from Michele's recipe.

Richard opened several bottles of champagne and we all drank a toast to Michele.  Then Eric brought out the ashes and each person took one or more handfuls and decided where they wanted to scatter their particular bit of ashes.

Not surprisingly, all of us who had been at the property with Michele over the years chose to find huckleberry bushes to "fertilize."  We are sure there is going to be a bumper crop of berries next year.

When we had finally finished, we packed everything up to go back to the highway (Mike, Richard and I claimed "old and fat" as an excuse to get a ride!)

Then we headed for the town of Mendocino, where Nan had made reservations for lunch at the lovely Mendocino Cafe, where we sat overlooking a gorgeous garden and, beyond it, the ocean.

I had a lovely crabcake caesar salad and we all shared the 2 desserts that were brought for 3 birthday people (one of whom was Richard, who just turned 78 last week).

Then we wandered around in a toy store and the kids liked to play dress up.  I took this picture of Haley.

When she looked at it she said, "Yep...I look good."

We moved north to Fort Bragg and the Quality Inn, chosen because it has wi fi.  They lie.  Nobody can get it.  Char can connect, but it won't hold a connection; I can't even connect.  They tell me I have to contact my internet provider.  I don't think so!  So I'm writing this in the room, but it will have to be posted tomorrow, from home.

All in all, though, it's been a lovely day, despite the sad nature of the reason why we are all here.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

Tim scatters some ashes on the spot where
he first discovered the huckleberries,
many, many years ago.

 

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MILES TO NOWHERE:  53 miles

 

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