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1218 Chelsea, MI

In the morning we double-check the list for the memorial tomorrow. All is good.

Sharon’s husband, Ed, arrives in the early afternoon while we’re at lunch. It’s good to see him. I haven’t seen Ed in many years.

They live in Gaylord, MI. Snow country. He drove through a storm and into just plain cold on his way to Chelsea. He joins us for lunch, then wants to go upstairs and watch the Detroit Lions football game.

I need to spend more time editing, so go back to the restaurant downstairs. It’s closed on the weekends, so I have a nice corner booth to myself. I get the eulogy down to about 5 minutes and decide that’s good enough. That I’ll use what I have as an outline and edit some more as I’m talking. Going with the flow, as it’s said.

I get a call from dad about dinner. It’s 6pm. I’m mostly done with the eulogy prep and feeling ready to share tomorrow. I take the laptop upstairs. Sharon and Ed have gone to the motel where they’re staying. I take Sherman for a walk and then dad and I go to dinner.

Sherman discovers that he loves to shred small light-weight cardboard boxes. Like tea boxes.

1217 Chelsea, MI

Thee weather is cold. Near zero in the morning. I make Sherman wear his coat for our daily 2 mile morning walk. He’s not happy about it. After about 10 minutes of resistance with an “are you kidding” attitude, he submits.

Most of the preparations are done. Sharon’s done most of it. The biggest thing left is putting the photo montages together.


1216 Chelsea, MI

We arrive around lunch time. Bring our stuff up to my dad’s apartment. My sister is here. It is good to be together. We eat lunch and I get brought up to date. The plans that have been made. What still needs to be done. Sharon has a list of things she’s been working on related to the memorial and the cremation.

Dad talks about it being hard for him during a couple hours when she had difficulty breathing and was gasping. Then she quieted down and was pretty quiet until she died.

We mostly spent the day together talking about mom, about our recent lives, about what there is to do before the memorial Monday. They had already met with Cathy, the pastor about the service. I said I wanted to talk, and Sharon sent Cathy an email to that effect.

My mind had already been at work on what was there for me to talk about. To share. Tomorrow, I’d start to write it down.

It’s good to be here. Driving back was definitely the right thing to do. Wow, am I tired!

1214 Rock City State Park, NM

The last couple days in Rock City have been amazing. The energy here is so expansive. It’s not just the open horizon, there’s an energy here in the land. We’ve walked around, over and through the rocks for hours each day. Gone on a few of the shorter trails, and we went on a guided hike with a Ranger on a new trail that was mostly a bird watching hike. I was the only one without binoculars.

More Rock City Pics:

Rock City Park from the road.



1209 Rock City State Park, NM

Morning in Pecos, TX is VERY cold. The temp is about 22F, with a steady breeze. The “feels like” temp is about 16F. I am very happy that we are in a motel and not the van in a Walmart or Truck Stop parking lot. (There aren’t any parks nearby.)

Looking at the map in the morning, there are two possible ways to get to the Deming/Silver Springs, NM area. One is continuing on I-20 to merge onto I-10 to Deming. The other is to go north from Pecos on what’s called Texas Mountain Road. The guesstimated drive time is another 30 minutes through the mountains. I’m so tired of freeway driving I take the northern route.

This drive through some very desolate Texas rangeland with occasional oil well groupings. As we near the New Mexico border, we turn west into Guadalupe Mountains National Park. We drive into beautiful rocky mountains with a little snow on the ground. As we climb, there’s fog in the distance. We enter the fog and a frozen wonderland. All the plants are covered in frozen snow. The fog is intermittently so thick we slow down to 20 mph.


1208 Pecos, TX

We wake to sunshine and take a walk around the park. There’s a water plant here, but it’s too small to be a waste treatment plant. Must be a pump station for supplying water to the surrounding area. This was a great place to spend the night on our way to NM, but not a park I’d come to for recreation. Maybe if I had a boat… The reservoir is big and the water seems very clean.

So, it’s another long driving day. I’d like to make it to the western side of TX. Damn, this is a wide state. At least the speed limit is 80! As we drive west all day, the winds pick up and the temperature plummets. About 7pm, I’m tired. The windchill is brutal. It’s motel time.

The next town of any size is Pecos. So, we’ll stop there. I wonder if it’s the home of Disney’s Pecos Bill? I stop at one of the motels that doesn’t charge extra for dogs. As I fill out the registration info, the woman at the counter says she grew up in San Jose, CA. I asked how she got here? “A long story.” One that she’s not going to tell me. I mention that I’m certainly buzzed from driving 80mph on the freeway. She says how night it is to be able to get places quickly, but that the accidents are horrible.

Sherman and I have dinner in the room and as needed go out quickly for doggy bathroom duty. We spend a quiet, restful night.