Friday, December 3, 2010

Putting the Fun in Funeral

My Grandpa John passed away this Halloween.  He was 87 years old and one of his greatest accomplishments was being the source of a wonderful family.  He was also a pilot in WWII.


Grandpa was buried next to Grandma in his hometown of Deer Park, Washington.   His funeral was the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I flew out that Thursday morning around 5am.  A couple days before I had gone out and bought a new carry-on rollar board suitcase because my normal carry-on suitcase was still lost in space.  It was still dark when I woke up and I was all packed and ready to go.  I wheeled my suitcase to the stairs and then stopped to put the handle down to carry it down.  But the damn handle wouldn't go down.  Trevor says step aside, let me try... but even he can't get it to go down.  GREAT what am I gonna do now?  I fuss with it a little more while Trev tries to manhandle it down.  He looks for a hammer while I start scurrying around for a new bag.  This bag won't fit in the overhead with the handle sticking out and if I check it it will surely break off and then what's the use?  I quickly re-stuff my belongings into a duffle bag and scurry to the airport.  I have not had much luck traveling lately.....

I made it to Washington and so did my bag.  I met up with Aunt Barb and sister Nancy at the airport.  The rest of the family would not make it in till later that night or sometime the next day.  So Nancy and I accompanied Barb on a few errands......  We rented the cars, checked in at the hotel, made sure all rooms for our party were on the same floor and near by, stopped by the cemetery to check on Grandma and make sure things were ok, stopped by Grandpa's old shop (Ericks Realty),  stopped by the church, stopped by the funeral home to check on Grandpa, stopped by the print shop to make sure the pictures were ready, stopped by my dad's friend's house to pick up some of Grandpa's belongings, then picked up my grandparent's good friend Jannis and took her to the Steer Inn for some burgers and fries.  Phew.  Afterwards we picked up Bridget and Colleen from the airport and had a nice little girls night at the hotel, just us and Barb.
The Road to Deer Park

Grandpa's business

Egger Meats.  Home of excellent meat sticks.  My grandpa sold this property to Bill Egger some 20+ years ago.

Inside Egger Meats

The next day we picked up more family from the airport.  My 2 cousins, Brian and Kelly, I hadn't seen in 15 years!  We also got to see our little brothers, Matt and Sam, who I haven't seen in about a year.  It was a nice reunion despite the sad circumstances.

Big headed babies

Sally,  toothless Matt, and me

Matt, Sam, and Nancy

Colleen at the Steer Inn (our 2nd visit in 2 days)

Taking a sister break at the local martini bar

Cousins Tricia and Christina arived

Saturday was the funeral and it goes without saying that it was a painfully sad day....

The Cemetary in Deer Park

Picture of Grandpa John, Grandma Katy, little Barb, and baby Dad

Sam and Matt looked stunning

Samuel was very well behaved.  When he was awake he clapped when the trumpeters played Taps.

Afterwards there was a reception at the church:
Samuel & Matt, bros for life

Bridget and her brothers

Kelly, Christina, & Tricia

Tricia, Bridget, Matt, and Brian

Nancy and Matt (Dad's friends Foot and Snook in the background)

After dinner, we had a little party in the "gathering room"
Step-mom Sally and Uncle Funny Robert

Brian and Nancy (Barb chatting with her cousins in the background)

Bridget, Aunt Lori, Me and Colleen

Sally and Barb

Admiring Brian's tattoo of his sister

 The last day we had to ourselves.  And because it was a Sunday and all the thrift stores were closed, we decided to practice our shot:

Grandpa would have been proud!

Kelly picked out the big gun!

It was Colleen's first time shooting a gun.  She was a little nervous...

I picked out the baby gun... The big guns scare me.

The last night there, we had a little birthday party for Mr. Samuel who turned 2 on Thanksgiving and took some family photos:
The Ericksons

John & Katy's Grandkids
 Top Left to Right: Kelly, Me, Tricia, Bridget, Nancy

 Bottom Left to Right: Colleen, Matt, Brian, Sam, Christina

We each received our own pair of Grandpa's zebra print pajamas.  What?  This isn't normal?

It was an exhausting weekend and we stayed up late our last night just chatting and catching up until we fell asleep.
 We all departed the next day for our separate homes in California, New Jersey, Florida, Colorado, Oregon, Delaware, Seattle, Wyoming, Hawaii, and Idaho.  But it was really nice that everyone came together  for one weekend.  I think Grandpa John and Grandma Katy would have been quite pleased...


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