This Folgers Has Gotta Go
A couple nights ago as my mother, brother, and I were returning from dinner, the cell phone rang. I answered and found that it was my dad's brother, Gene. I hadn't spoken to him since my dad's death - only to his wife. Now, I've always gotten along with my uncle well but never had a lot of contact with him. My dad has told me various things about him including that he's gotten a bit weird over the past few years. A bit reclusive, paranoid about his health, and very afraid of death. Still, when we've spoken, I've found him to be the same ol' Uncle Gene - friggin' hilarious. He used to make me laugh constantly when I was a kid. When my brother and I were going through my dad's pictures, we found one of Gene and we agreed that it was the perfect picture of him as it was the pose that he and I both remembered most: standing there with a baseball cap on, his shrit unbuttoned so his guy was hanging out, and a Pabst Blue Ribbon in his hand. Cuhhhhhlassic.
Anyway, he calls and asks how things are going. Then he starts asking about the fate of my dad's ashes. I didn't have them and just assumed that we'd scatter them here in the backyard. My dad was an atheist, my brother is an atheist, I'm an atheist - my dad only ever expressed his wish to be cremated. And, as my uncle and I agreed, he didn't care what happened to his ashes. Or, if he did, he never told anyone. So, since I was being asked, I knew something was up. Well, Gene wanted the ashes. He's got a plot in which to bury them and will spring for a headstone. In his words, "we can have to visit your dad." It was a bit weird but also very touching. By this summer, I'll have 2 uncles in Florida and a gravesite to visit. It's an odd thought for me to have a gravesite to visit. But I suppose that it will be nice to be able to catch some sun, visit the old man's grave, and see family. And there will, no doubt, also be golfing involved.
I talked to my UncaD yesterday who will be moving to Florida in July. I asked him and his wife to sign an affidavit that the lawyer needs. We chatted for a while and he said that he and his wife, Betty, would be up by Madison in June as Betty was going to be in a golf tournament. (Their condo in Florida is on a golf course.) He also told me that some small airline has flights from Milwaukee to Clearwater, where he'll be moving to. So that would make getting down there a breeze.
It is cloudy out today. We'll probably get some rain. I must do some cleaning, get some good coffee, and wait for phone calls. Other than friends, I miss music. I think I'm going to have to get the PC speakers out of the car and reattach them so I can listen to some Internet radio. I received some more bad news yesterday - I didn't get the job I interview for recently. I was told that I again made the short list but was passed over in favor of someone with real estate experience. So, going home will bring back all of my old problems once again. But, if I ever get back to Madison, I can start playing Dungeons & Dragons once more, I can go visit my friends at Toad Hill, cook up a big batch of jambalaya with some authentic andouille, get a hug, maybe start getting into photography, get a video together with Old Man Standiford - just have a life again.
And another thing - I am going to have tons of unpacking to do. My car is about 1" (2.42cm) off the ground. I snagged a bunch of tools for Stevie as well as a couple for myself. I got a few Japanese woodcuts that date back to the late 19th century which look really cool. Found the photo album from my parents' wedding too. I'll have a new PC and digital camera. Plus I kept a fair number of pictures, some old slides, and knick-knack stuff - just little items that I remember from my childhood like a tuning pipe. I am also taking back some kitchen items like a big cabbage shredder so I can make sauerkraut, a spaetzle maker, an ice cream maker, et al. I also got some fine crystal and some German bar glasses. One thing I took which I have no idea what I'll do with is an old pitcher and wash basin like those people used to keep by their beds. I guess it could make a nice decoration in the bathroom.
I just talked to my mom. She can take care of a joint credit card and has agreed to sign paperwork renouncing any right to claim anything from my dad's estate. She'll also be sending the lawyer some bills which shall count as a debt against the estate. Right now, what I need are death certificates and for my brother to get his ass to work so I can fax him the moving contract. But that won't be until three o'clock or so.
Well, I can say that I've learned a lot about this whole death thing. My advice to all of you is to make sure your parents have wills and that they give someone power of attorney. Also make sure they keep their house clean. hehe