Sunday, January 8, 2017

Nell passed on her birthday, a few hours after I posted the Happy Birthday post. 

Whirlwind of a week culminated in the funeral yesterday in Navasota and burial out at WhiteHall Cemetery, on a hill overlooking a pond. The fact that I seemed to bring the cold weather with me didn't make anyone but me happy as we stood out there. 

To back up a bit . . .

With news of Nell's death, things were suddenly put into flux. On Wednesday the decision was made to have her funeral the very next Saturday, which meant the flight back to Orlando had to be cancelled, Nick's flight to Nashville for his first professional conference had to be cancelled, and I had to work out how to move all the chess pieces to get us into Navasota. 

Sam and Jason drove back to Austin with Nick and Ali and all four of them got to Navasota Saturday morning together. 

I already had a flight into Houston late Friday after work for a week's stay, so that worked out. 

Bob Sr. was driving down with Melissa and Heather, but they needed flights back on Sunday to get back to work. I got Bob a flight into College Station so they could pick him up without having to drive into Houston. Then he's driving back with his Dad to Amarillo, then flying back to Denver next week. 

That meant I suddenly needed a dog-sitter for Evan and Amber was wonderful about taking him on short notice. 

I could drive Bob to the airport Friday morning, come back, work, get Evan, pack up, head for the airport again for my flight, and drop him off along the way. I'd leave the car with the parking slip and directions to it for Bob, who had to remember to take the spare key, so he could return, get the car, pick up Evan, and get back home. 

Steph would pick me up for my ridiculously late flight into Houston Friday, drive me to Navasota for the funeral on Saturday, where we would collect Sam, Jason, and all luggage from their three week stay, to go back to her house for Sat. night and get them to the airport Sunday morning. I had tried to arrange a rental but was unable to pick one up that late on Friday night, and Saturday morning I'd be rushing to get to Navasota, so I arranged to pick up a car for the week when I returned them to Hobby on Sunday morning. 

The same morning I'm making all these arrangements, I get an email from work telling me that, after three weeks of waiting, my new account is starting. 


Conference call in one hour. 

Perfect timing.

Also, I need to finish the memorial video, write the obituary per Bob Sr.'s request, and contact the funeral home regarding these things. While I'm on the phone, they start asking me to select times for visitation and services. I pick hours that will probably work best with all the travelling involved, check with Bob Sr. to make certain that's okay, and get onto my conference call in the nick of time. 

I start working on them, running into road blocks, contacting support, getting one hurdle cleared before running up on the next one. Meanwhile, I'm pulling in photos and songs and trying to sort them correctly and get the video done. 

That night we had our one meal out together to celebrate Nick's upcoming birthday next Tuesday, when he was supposed to be in Nashville.

It had started snowing as the cold front blew through and we practically had the restaurant to ourselves. We headed back home to have a birthday present and pie. 


Thursday morning, still snowing, the kids pack up in Nick's Jeep and hit the road for a marathon day, 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The weather relents by the time they're in southern Colorado and they have a seamless journey into Austin. 

The account I pick up is going to require clean-up, lots of research and work on getting old claims cleared out, as well as the current stuff, so I spend the 14 hours they're travelling, working. Friday morning, between getting Bob to the airport and myself ready to go and more work, the hours fly by. Bob is having difficulties all afternoon with American delaying the first  flight, which made it impossible to catch the second into College Station, having to rebook for a later flight, which is also delayed, etc. 

I get Evan to Amber's, get myself to the airport for my light at 8:30 that evening, and Bob just barely lands ahead of me, even though I dropped him off some 9 hours before I started my journey. 

Steph gets me at Hobby after midnight, we get to her place, and crash until morning when we get up and head for Navasota. 
flowers sent from my folks

Everyone made it. Nick and Jason served as pallbearers. 

I was shocked to see Courtney at the cemetery. She'd slipped in the back as the service was starting and, in the family area, you can't see everyone else. 

We had a small gathering after the cemetery with just family at a little place in Navasota before we headed back to Houston, Steph, me, Sam, Jason, and all the luggage. 

last moment for all of us to be in the same place for another year!

We get back into Houston, meet up with Steph's husband, her two kids, his daughter, and have dinner before crashing again. 

This morning, up and packed and out the door to get them on their flight back to Florida and me my rental car. 

Steph drops us off and heads home. 

I get them up to security and then head for the rental place, which has a sign saying "Please proceed directly to the shuttle"

So I go out, wait, get picked up by the rental shuttle over to the car lot. Go in, no one in line, think, "This is going to well,"


I pull out my wallet to produce my driver's license and . . .  no driver's license. 

Now, if I'd been able to come straight off the place and get the car, I'd have had it. But in the melee of getting through security, removing shoes, removing laptop, going through the detector, collecting bags, I apparently had shoved it with my boarding pass into a pocket of my laptop bag. When I pulled out the boarding pass to get on the place, there the license sat, tiny and hidden, waiting for me to discover it was missing from my wallet when it was in a bag, back at Steph's house, while I was standing here at the rental counter. 

I call Steph. 

No answer. 

I call some half a dozen times over the next hour, text her daughter, who is the only other number I have, and get no reply. 

Finally, at the end of a long hour where I'm reduced to researching whether I can get an Uber to pick me up, Maddie wakes up, sees my text, and goes to alert her mom that her phone is getting blown up, with the sound off. 

She searches the bag, finds it, and she and Robert drive back over to Hobby on their way to the boat show to save my skin, again. 

I now have my rental for the week. And my license, firmly back in my wallet. 


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