Monday, May 23, 2011

The Mixing Of The Bitter And The Sweet

Last night we arrived back in Maryland in the wee hours of the morning. After we dropped our trailer, we parked in our spot and just fell into bed. It was almost three in the morning. The air-conditioner in the sleeper was on the fritz and as I drifted off, I thought it felt cool, but then it slowly starting spitting out piss warm air. It was a miserable nights' sleep for me. Ed said he felt like he was a kid again in Texas. I felt like I was suffocating.

When we got up this morning, we learned that the load we were supposed to take out on Tuesday wouldn't be ready until Wednesday. My mind started to work - we have been wanting to see the Guitar Heroes show for months, which we had been planning for but were just waiting for the right time and then (and I know this is not going to come out right), I got word that my Aunt died and the wake was being held in the Bronx. Tonight. So we sprang into action; we were going to the wake and we were going to the Guitar Heroes show. Somehow, we'd make it happen.

First thing we did was rent a car. Then hit Target. Then I went to Payless to get a pair of shoes, because I didn't have appropriate footwear for the wake (there was no way I was wearing the heels I wore to the truck show VIP event since I couldn't walk for two days after it was over). And I couldn't walk into a wake, in the Bronx, in front of my very stylish cousins, in flip-flops, so I got these cute ballet flats. At $14.99, they were a steal.The hardest task - appropriate clothing - was now taken care of, next we had to pick up the rental car. Once that was done, I packed our bags; computers, cameras, power cords, clothes, extra batteries, GPS, money for tolls, etc., and then I made sure the truck was ready to be left alone for a few days before we took it back to the gated area where we park. A quick stop at McDonald's for an icy cold Diet Coke, and we'd be on our way. It was a three and a half hour drive and I knew by the time we got further north, at the hour we'd be approaching, we were going to hit traffic.

Almost four hours later, we arrived at our hotel near the George Washington bridge. It was only ten miles to the funeral home in the Bronx from the hotel, so we quickly checked in, took showers and changed. By the time we left the hotel, the traffic was a little heavier and the short drive to the funeral home wound up taking a half hour; we go there an hour before the service ended. Whew!

We were greeted by my family, introduced to some of their close friends and people who knew my Aunt Jennie, and then milled around talking with the family. Aunt Jennie, if it can be said about someone who just passed, looked great. The photos my cousins chose for the collage they created, brought back so many great memories. We talked a lot about her cooking, her famous meatballs and how she wasn't sick a day in her life. It is rumored that she never even had a headache.

After, we went back to my Aunt Rose's house and hung out, ate, talked, laughed and generally covered everything. It had been a long time since I'd seen everyone. Ed said I monopolized the conversation (like it was a surprise to him) but afterwards when I apologized for talking so much, everyone said it was no problem. Which, if it were anyone else, I'd think they were lying, but my family is so great, so genuinely real, that I believed every word.

Tomorrow we head into the city for the guitar show, and then dinner in Little Italy - we're kinda lame in that respect. There are just so many choices, and on such short notice I was not prepared to hunt for a restaurant. Overall, the trip up to New York seemed to be working out pretty well which was great, since once we get back to Baltimore, we'll be full steam ahead for another round trip to Seattle and back.

Things just have a way of working out, it seems. And amidst the sadness of Auntie passing away, was the opportunity to go to a show that highlights not only a guitar that my grandfather owned, but also showcases the man who made it, seems to say to me that that's just how life is supposed to be.

A mix of bitter and sweet.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A Great Start To A Weekend In New York
Sing Sing Singin’ The Incarceration Blues
Flame Sandwich
Every Eight To Twelve Seconds
6 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post for this day.

1 comment:

Gil said...

Wow brings back memories of my fathers family. They were from the Crotona Ave area of da'Bronx. Hope you enjoyed the guitar show.