1) In the afternoon the nice lady from the funeral home came to call and review all the arrangements for, as she said to Mother, "when the Lord calls you." Laura and I hadn't met her - I forget why, but one of her colleagues handled all Daddy's arrangements - but she was absolutely wonderful to work with and a true professional.
1a) Mother particularly wants a Christian Science hymn, "Shepherd, Show Me How to Go," which includes the lyric "Lead thy lambkins to the fold." I will admit to getting a bit testy over discussion of whether or not it's a hymn or a poem. OH MY GOD, if you sing it, it's a hymn!
1b) I took care to mention that we would not have a gold hearse on this occasion, but I did not mention, as I have joked with Mother so often, having the ushers distribute paper napkins to everyone as they arrive. It has been Mother's lifelong goal to be sure that everyone has a napkin. :-)
2) I must say, Laura and I really cleared away a LOT of junk mail paperwork today, but there is no - NO - better way to clear a table than by knocking over a tall glass of water on it.
3) Cocktail hour! I enjoyed a manhattan in the living room while discovering the music of Rosita Serrano.
4) Younger Nephew Who Must Not Be Tagged and His Lovely Wife joined us for dinner at Big Daddy's, where I enjoyed a large, savory bowl of chicken and sausage gumbo.
5) Afterward we got to tour their new house, which Younger Nephew is seriously remodeling. They are growing fruit trees in their yard! I am so impressed.
6) Over ice cream at home, Mother and I wandered over a few topics, and I then asked "And what are we going to throw away next?" This led us down the wonderful rabbit hole of the remanining children's books in the house! One of the best things our parents did for us was sign us up for some sort of book club when we were little so that we got a new book in the mail - oh mercy, every few weeks. They are not all still here, alas, but many favorites are! We have just had an enjoyable journey renewing friendships with almost-forgotten friends.
6a) I am only going to allow enough children's books to remain in the house that will fit in a particular cabinet. Mother is already reclaiming some of my discards. :-)
7) Aside from alll the junk mail, we are also having to run interference with junk phone calls. Three times today - including just now, after 9 PM! - we have gotten calls from "Shreveport, Louisiana" - that have been from political organizations making "courtesy calls." I tell them all to take this number off their lists.