Sunday, did the Reno Birthday bus trip - it was probably the only upbeat thing this week. Had lots of fun with da relatives. We had the entire bus for family - people brought lots of munchies and drinks - orange juice, coffee, tea, soda, water, cheese, salami, crackers, pastries, breads, and manju. Yum. The sad part was that I lost big time *g* I do much better on multiple day trips - I can usually win back most of it. I swear the slot machines saw me coming and automatically went into "take all her money as fast as possible" mode. Even video poker hated me. *sigh*
Monday was spent driving down to Los Angeles and doing the sister bonding bit. G & I drove all the way down - compromising on what music was played. Thank goodness K decided not to bring REM. We sang along to the Beatles, This is Alice 6 and Monkees'Headquarters. We left Alameda around 9:45 and were in Gardena by 3:30 with just a few rest stops along the way. Comfort food was on the menu - rice balls (nigi-nigi) and salami. Real healthy, it wasn't, but it was good.
Met up at the best western where the norcal cousins all were staying. We went down to the bowling alley of all places for dinner - more comfort type food. Restaurant served your usual hamburgers and sandwiches, but also lots of Hawaiian-Japanese stuff. 13 year old cousin Michael was extremely happy with his loco moco (hamburger patty, scrambled eggs served over rice and covered in gravy). Miso soup was lovely. K & G had miso salmon, I had miso saba. Aunties Clara & Yoshi were quite happy with grilled hot dogs. K & I decided that we were going to come back on Wednesday morning for the hawaiian royal breakfast (chashu (bbq pork), portuguese sausage, green onions and scrambled eggs over rice).
I don't think it really hit me that Irene was gone until we actually sat in chruch. The minister's comments about how the family was not only grieving over Irene, but how we also would be back in the church on Wednesday for Joanne's funeral. I'd not seen this done before, but they had an 8 x 11 1/2 slide of Irene with a back lit projector of some kind. I guess the Ike genes win out, because Irene sure looked like Mom and that's what hit me hardest. Irene actually died early Tuesday morning - which means that she and Mom share the same date of death. Meinichi??? Mainichi?? There's a j-term for it. Gads, Mom's been gone for 8 years now.
I never knew that Irene loved Star Trek and Lord of the Rings and stuff like that.
After service, we went back to Rick's house. It's been pretty bad for him - Joanne's his sister and Irene was probably the cousin he spent the most time with.
He promised Karen a thermos full of really strong coffee for the trip back. We had to laugh cuz we hadn't been back to his place since - 1977??? We used to always stay with his family - his mom was mom's next older sister. After Dad died, we stopped doing the family trips down to Los Angeles - it was more I'd go down to Disneyland with friends or Mom & I would go down and visit relatives, but stay at Auntie Hey's house.
Rick's brother Scotty showed up soon after so we did get a chance to chat a bit. Found out a little bit more about Joanne - autopsy discovered that she had a bad heart - and between the meds and emphysema - it was too much strain. Her partner Gary said that they gone to Emergency, but were sent home. He said that she went to sleep, lots of snoring and that he awoke to too much silence. He ended up calling 911, and tried cpr, but it was too late.
We weren't sure whether Rachel would be living with Gary, her father or would live with Scotty and his family. The current plan is that she'd move in with Gary. She already has her own room at his place, so that would be less of a change.
Left Rick's house at 10:20pm - gassed up car and I ended up driving the first leg of the journey home. Stopped at the Buttonwillow rest stop and Karen drove the rest of the way home. Made it home by 4am. Crawled into bed for a whopping 2 1/2 hours of sleep. I did doze on the way home, but it's hard to sleep with hard contacts.
Tuesday was spent in training - Faith took pity on me and brought me back a grande nonfat latte at morning break. It was a joint class between the web developers (microsoft .net) and the software developers group. Tuesday was the overview and theory stuff. Wednesday & Thursday was to be build an application - a browser based time card entry screen. Putting a nice front end, but keeping all the business rules from our legacy system. I actually enjoyed it.
Dashed home from work, dropped off car at dealership (passenger side door locking mechanism not working and warm start stalling problem), and then off to the airport for flight back to Los Angeles. It's amazing the number of things I forgot to pack - contact case and solution, hair brush, socks... *sigh*
Rick picked K & me up at LAX. He was going to lend us his car for the next day - but it wouldn't work as neither Karen nor I can drive a stick. Ended up that Skip would drive the car. Rick just kept looking at us and shaking his head. How could we NOT know how to drive a car with manual transmission??? K & I both immediately crashed once we got to bed.
Up early on Wednesday so we could go back to the bowling alley for our Hawaiian Royal breakfast. Definitely yummy. Auntie Yoshi had been talking about waffles until she found out they had rice and fried bologna. Comfort food wins hands down.
Back to Gardena Valley Baptist Church for Joanne's funeral. Joanne's death has been so much harder to accept 1)she's only 5 years older than me 2)it was so unexpected 3)she's one of my "big sisters" - heaven knows how we were underfoot while we visited.
Learned that she was a huge Stevie Nicks fan. As people were filing out and paying their respects, Fleetwood Mac played over the loudspeakers. Had to laugh, was expecting something somber and it was Rhiannon.
We all met up at the cemetery for the burial service. It was weird - I've never seen the actual "burying" part. Instead of taking a handful of dirt and putting it over the urn, they used a shovel. Then the workers came with the tractor full of dirt and the machine that actually flattened the dirt over the grave. When they were through, you couldn't even tell that there had been an open hole there 5 minutes ago.
Spent the rest of the day at Auntie Hey's - lots of chatting, hugging and eating. Got to cuddle with newest cousin - yet another Scotty - all 7 weeks old - and he was born on April 17th - Mom's birthday. Played a bit of peek-a-boo with his 2 1/2 year old brother Joey. They're both cuties. I think I need some snuggle time with Alani & Kyle. Rick dropped us off at the airport and we were home by 10:30.