So, there we were, two hours from home with a half hour to get to the wake on time (which was another solid hour's drive) and my kids were in grubby jeans and t-shirts with no suitcase whatsoever. After 15 seconds of panic time (all that I could afford) we ran off to Wally World to buy outfits, socks, underwear, shoes and diapers (for C'sa to sleep in). Of course Wal-Mart had nothing appropriate and NOT ONE DRESS, so I wasted more time trying to be creative with skirts and shirts. The shoe department was even worse. They did not have one pair that Xena could wear that was not with a heel (she is 5!) and all of it was for summer. She wound up with a very cute pair of flops that matched her skirt, but did I fail to mention that it was a brisk 30 something degrees, windy and snowing?
A hundred and twenty dollars later (and I was being as frugal as humanly possible) we left Wally World and changed the kids in the car. We raced off to the wake and arrived an hour and a half late, but we got there. K.Z. had a hard time with it and cried a lot when we left.
The next day things went off without a hitch. The weather was still cold, but bright and sunny and the service was beautiful. In lieu of a funeral service at the funeral home, my Grandmother wanted to be in her church so that's exactly where they held the service. It felt good to be at a good old fashioned Southern Baptist service and was quite comforting. The pastor knew her well and cared for her deeply and was able to personalize the message.
The internment was at a cemetery where her family has been buried since the 1700s. The land and church was once owned by the family but has long since been sold and it is now on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a beautiful place. Afterward we were greeted by an army of women back at the church ready to meet our every culinary need. If you have ever been to any Southern Baptist event, you will know that the food is worth every bite and popped button. There was all the typical southern food you could have asked for, fried chicken, mashed potatoes with pools of butter and gravy, mac and cheese, salads galore, sweet tea you could use as syrup and a dessert table that could put anyone in a diabetic coma. It was heavenly. Even skinny little Xena wolfed down three plates of food.
The day ended with a long drive back home and three exhausted kids, but it was a good day. We celebrated my Grandmother's life and spent time with much loved family members. Not a bad way to honor the end of an era!