Our very close friend that has counted us a member of her family since we met has passed away recently. I chose not to post about it here but after my experience of participating in her funeral I decided that I wanted to write about that experience.
I was asked by Jewell's son and husband to be a pallbearer in her funeral and I accepted without knowing exactly what that meant. I pictured in my head a pallbearer from an 1800's funeral holding up the casket but in the funerals I have attended over the past few years I have always seen the funeral home to be the ones re-locating the casket as needed.
Although I didn't understand it fully, I was still honored to be asked to participate. The day of the funeral all six of the pallbearers were called together and given some instruction by the employees at the funeral home. We were told we would walk into the chapel behind the preachers and we would be seated in the front pews. We would then walk out when the preachers walked out. This kind of confirmed my feeling that a pallbearer is a hold over of tradition. Maybe not a necessary role in modern times. Don't take this wrong, I still took this seriously and felt it was important to be a part of the funeral. It just didn't seem like there was a physical need for this role.
At the conclusion of the funeral we pallbearers followed behind the preachers as they made their exit of the chapel. Outside the doors we were directed to stand three on each side of the doorway. The casket was wheeled to us and it struck me. We had a job to do! Without much warning or direction we were asked to pick up on the handles and walk toward the hearse. At the car the driver opened the back and directed us how to set the casket into the car and pass her forward.
What did it feel like carrying a casket? It was a little heavy trying to hold it with one hand as we walked to the car. It also created a unique emotion in me. This was not the sensation of carrying something down a sidewalk. The six of us were helping Jewell to her final resting place on this Earth. The sense of having her in my hands was real and increased the significance of being her pallbearer.
At the cemetery the six pallbearers gathered around the back of the hearse and, again, were given some brief direction. We unloaded the casket from the car and passed it back so that each person could have a hand on the handle. We carried Jewell to her grave and moved to the side of the canopy that had been erected to protect the grave site.
Standing on the side of the grave listening to the preacher's final prayers I no longer felt that being a pallbearer was a hold over of tradition. This is an important role and I am grateful to Allen and Bill for asking me to participate.
Our most recent family game night was a competition game of Domino's. The youngest is not old enough to play her own hand so each game night she chooses someone's team to be on. On this night she, wisely, chose to be on my team.
Once we won the game and retained the game night trophy I loaded up We Are the Champions by Queen to help celebrate.
Once we started using a trophy for our game nights we decided to keep a slip of paper tucked in with it to record the history. We write the date, the game played, and the winner of the trophy each time the trophy is won. This was our sixth game with the trophy and there are only two names on the list so far. 50% for dad and 50% for my oldest daughter.
I guess next time we are going to let Cari or the boy choose a game they think they have a chance at. Until then I'll continue caring for the trophy.
My wife took off and left town for a few days leaving me in charge of the house. This blog is evidence that I survived to tell my story.
Day 1 - I asked the youngest what time nap time would be. She told me nap time is when it gets dark out and we go to bed. There would not be a nap on day one.
There was also nobody to make me coffee. I would have to learn to work this Keurig on my own.
Since there was no naps allowed, I took the girl to a friend's house to help pack down some gravel. If I couldn't get a nap I was going to wear her down.
Day 2 was Saturday. There was still no nap on the schedule. For lunch we decided to have some chicken. In my house if it's not a chicken nugget and there are still bones under the meat it's called "bone chicken".
For lunch I tried to boost my popularity rating in the house by providing the popular meal of bone chicken.
Day 3. Went to church. On the seventh day God rested. Mr. Mom never rests. There were still more orders and chores to dole out to the kids while I watched NASCAR.
As a reward for their hard work I made a dinner that nobody complained about! YEAH!
Day 4. Thank goodness for school. Just me and the youngest. She helped me clean the house and make some dehydrated apples. We mostly relaxed on this day as we searched for Waldo in all the Where's Waldo books. This was my last day in charge and I was tired. Pizza for dinner.
At some point after dinner on Day 4 Cari came back home to loud cheers by both the children and by me. We were all glad to have someone properly running this house again.
I haven't done this in a long time so I thought I would update you on some of my most used Android Apps. Some of these are also available on the Apple iTunes store.
#1. Pocket Casts -- I have found this to be the best podcast app. I mostly listen to audio podcasts while driving and this app makes it easy to create a play list and hit play. It auto downloads everything I subscribe to every morning at 4am making this an effortless process like it should be.
For anyone out there listening to Podcasts, here is my playlist: The Moth (short stories), This American Life (an hour long weekly program with a theme. Interesting), Freakanomics (interesting stories with an economics theme), Radio Lab (interesting stories with a science theme), Engadget (technology talk), and The Verge (technology and culture talk).
#2. Twitter -- I read Twitter way more than I post on it. I have found Twitter to be one of the best sources of news headlines. If you have a smart phone but don't use Twitter I suggest trying it. Just follow local and national news stations.
#3. Google+ I don't use FaceBook much because there is something about it I don't like. I never have liked it. But Google+ is different in some way. Maybe it's just that Google put it together. Either way, I do enjoy using it daily.
Those are the top 3 apps on my phone that I use every single day. There are a few others that I use occasionally but nothing else comes to mind in the apps I use throughout each day. If you have a great app you use every day I'd be interested to know what it is.
What's your religion. . .and why? Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, etc. . . How many of us have ever tried one that we didn't grow up with? I imagine most of us continue the faith we were told to believe since we were children.
I haven't done any research on this but I would guess that those who fall away from their birth religion stop going all together rather than choosing another option. Those that do try another faith may be lead to try due to a marriage or a close friend that is in that second religion. I just believe that the conversion rate from one to another religion is very low.
I started to think it would be better if the basis of each major religion were taught in schools. Not the younger kids, but maybe in the last few years of high school. There are a lot of problems with this option and I don't have all the answers for it so let's not use it. . .yet.
Then I started to think that religion is a lot like culture. Each geographic area has it's own customs and culture. And the way religion is practiced changes from place to place as well. There would be no consistent or fair way to teach this in a school setting.
I started to think about this, not because I am questioning my own faith or religious practices, but it just struck me how the world's major religions have these geographic areas where they are strongest and there is very little blending in most places. It's one of those things that just keep getting passed down without anyone really questioning it.
I guess we'll have to leave it up to each person to research the various religions for themselves. With the result being that the majority will continue to practice the religion they were taught as a youth.
Google owns most of the sites I interact with on the internet these days. They own YouTube, Blogger, and Google+. When Google+ was first starting up they asked required people to use their real names. I signed up and didn't have a problem with it. I'm on FaceBook and use my real name there so I don't see what the issue is.
This blog and my YouTube account still use other names and recently Google has been asking me if I would like to convert these profiles over to my real name and merge them all into one. At this point I have declined the offer but I have been giving it more and more thought lately.
What am I trying to hide? When I started this blog in 2004 the internet was a different place and it has evolved a lot in the past nine years. My FaceBook page is basically only links back to this blog but is not open to the public. I don't link this blog on my Google+ page but a lot of the same photos get used in the same places. A quick image search on Google would probably make quick work of linking my name to this blog. Most everything I write on Google+ is posted publicly and can be seen by anyone.
Originally my only fear of using my real name was that I don't want co-workers finding my blog. Using a false name helps slow them down. Maybe.
On Monday a co-worker stopped me and said he was on Google searching about weather and after a few links he said a picture of me was there. I didn't ask any questions about how he got to me. I didn't really want to know what he had found. Maybe this blog. Maybe some Google+ post that is public. I just answered him with, "yep. I've been on the internet before." He was probably only one click from finding this blog anyway.
I think back on nine years of blog posts and I can't think of a reason I need to hide behind an alias any more. In 2013 Google knows more about me than I do and they are willing to share most of it. There is still something nice about hiding behind this curtain of DuckHunter but I think the curtains are getting a little thin and it might be time to take them down.
I heard a song on the radio the other day. It was kinda catchy and I even turned it up louder. I didn't know who sings it or what it was called but when I got home I was determined to share my new find with my family.
As I tried to describe the song to them I could only remember the line "I'll be your platinum". Cari didn't know what I was talking about but Meredith spun around to look at me. She had this silly grin on her face.
"What?", I asked.
"That song is Justin Bieber.", she said with a bigger smile. "You have Bieber Fever!", she told me as she bust out laughing.
I posted something on Google+ last week that started to gain some traction. In fact I woke up to my post having over 200 +1 (equal to people clicking LIKE on Facebook).
I pulled my post back up on the site and checked a link that is called Ripples. You can see it at this link.
I think it is interesting to see who posted this video on Google+ and how people re-shared it from them.
So the next time you start to see some really annoying post spreading like wildfire on the site you can click the RIPPLES link at the top of the post and find out who to blame.