It’s been a long time since I’ve had a regular routine. Being self-employed contributes in a big way, and on the whole I think I prefer being irregular. Now don’t get me wrong, I poop nearly every day, but I think predictability is overrated. Even so, this has been a strange few weeks. I haven’t felt like doing much. The calendar marches on, and stuff needs to get done.

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Thanks for you kind words & prayers. It means a lot to me. I’ve been well-supported by friends, and I am thankful.

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We traveled to Michigan, made funeral arrangements, began sorting through the mountain of Dad’s stuff and papers, had visitation and a funeral, cried a bit, saw lots of family and old faces, racked up significant dollars on the credit card, divvied up inheritance items, and returned home. There’s so much that happened in that week, it’s hard to believe it all.

What pissed me off the most was the crass salesmanship of funeral homes and cemeteries. They seem to expect that folks will do whatever it takes in a time of grief, and never miss an opportunity to upsell. While having lunch directly after the funeral service, a lady walked up and showed me this lovely memorial plaque they had made, with a picture and little engraved nameplate. I munched on my ham sammich while she explained that ‘this one is for you, and you can order more, but they cost $40 each.’ I managed to remain polite, but it took strong filtering.

Dad had purchased a 2-place crypt 20+ years ago, but that didn’t include opening and closing. You know what it costs to remove 4 screws, slide a casket in, and put the granite cover back in place? $1652. And, they’ll charge that much again when it’s Mom’s time to go. They suggested we could pre-pay for her services, to ensure we wouldn’t have to pay more later. My sister, the vet tech, said they treat people with more dignity when dealing with the loss of a pet.

We found the most recent will was drawn up in 1984. Mom’s MS was not dominating her life, we kids were still living at home, there were no grandkids, and the estate was in a very different state. It would have been good to have a more recent set of instructions.

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On tap this month: Meet with a lawyer and write up our estate plans, play a couple back-to-back gigs with the band, immediately after the 2nd gig hop on a plane to Guatemala for a week-long visit with these folks, come back to Raleigh, and drive up to Michigan to help my sisters with the estate. Trips to Goodwill, storage, and various houses with furniture and stuff and more stuff. Need to fix up the house a bit, perhaps have an estate sale, and rent out the house. It’s daunting, but doable.

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Woke up at 4 this morning to rescue my shelter tent from the snow. We’ve got one of these that I put up on the back deck for parties and to keep my tools out of the rain during projects (we have a shower replacement underway), but they don’t tolerate nasty weather that well. This is my 3rd one, the first blowing over in a bad windstorm, the second collapsing under a freak rain event, and this one was starting to give out from a pile of icy, slushy snow. After knocking the snow off and bending a few struts back into place, I think it’s saved from this storm.

I got sleds, I got boots, but a snow shovel I don’t got. Time to see if there are any for sale.

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