What I Did On My Weekend Vacation, by Annie. I wish it were fun, kids, but it was just plain hard: I launched my dad and my uncle, in a canoe, into the middle of a lake in western NC. And when they got to the middle of the lake, where it was so deep and dark that you couldn't see the bottom, they lowered my grandfather's urn into it and watched him disappear.

The urn itself was a magical, biodegradable creation specifically designed for burials at sea. (It came in a box labeled "for burials at sea," so that's how you know I'm not making it up.) Choosing one was rough, as there are a number of options in the biodegradable urn market, ranging in attractiveness from "faux marble stereotypical urn shape" to "bulldog's ass." I'm serious, if you're ever looking into this sort of thing - and I so hope you don't have to anytime soon - you'll just hurl. Neon orange seashell shapes! Glitter and glitz! You can go completely nuts, har har har! Apparently, funeral supply companies have a wicked sense of humor... or death of a loved one makes some people completely blind. (By the way, you'll be sorry to hear that we went with the lame-o plain white one, instead of the one with embossed grapevines... for the wino in your life!)

We decided we would have breakfast at the lake, which in my family does not mean a box of Entenmann's and a gallon of OJ. Six AM, we were making quiches and baking bread. Eight AM, breakfast was loaded into the car and we went. Eight-thirty AM, mid-unloading, my sister and I discover the box - which we had never seen - behind the mushroom and spinach. Eight-forty-five, we're still staring at "for burials at sea," which is printed in an outlandishly cartoonish font (because that makes it more fun!), and my mom has to come get it because we can't seem to move.

The dropping (lowering? what word does one use when describing this?) of the urn was surprisingly peaceful; it went below the surface and started to dissolve almost right away. For a horrible, chilling moment, I thought, "Hey, just like an Alka-Seltzer!" which made me cry. I was so tired, and so emotionally shot, and there I was cracking wise in my head about my grandfather's urn. It's obviously my defense mechanism, but oh, the guilt.

So we did the right thing, and it's over and done. Off you go, Bestefar.* Bon voyage.

* Norwegian for grandfather. Like you didn't know.

Moving on... I'm down to two kids, one of whom is my own and therefore way WAY more fun than the other. I've got the preschooler for a few hours a day, three days a week, but it doesn't really count since it's during naptime and they're all sleeping. Can you imagine? At least an hour wherein I get to diddle around on the internet, or read a book that doesn't involve singing what a sheep says, or just sit and stare at the wall imagining that it's actually a Tahitian sunset! "Stoked" does not do this justice.

And behold, the other wonder of my world: new, beautiful hardwood floors in my messy, cluttered kitchen. Thanks to a friend of a friend, we got free (!!!) wood and an extensive installation lesson. The miracle Rob hath wrought! Life, she's good after all.

(And if you look really closely, you can see Norah's hot hot HOT pink life jacket, which she wore when we went tubing down the Davidson River, on the steps. The river was about three inches deep, so don't panic - I think I can spit faster than it flowed. She thought it was some kind of wild ride, though, so it was super good all around.)


  1. smooches to your family