Friday, March 14, 2008

Play Your Strengths

Although I may be ineptly dealing with the grief I feel in the wake of my father's death, and although I haven't quite been flawless with this whole Executor thing (Still have to call the farflung relatives, although now what's holding me up is coming up with an excuse for being a week late with that; finally got around to letting the State Pension Fund know of my father's demise), there's one thing that I do know how to do and do well: throw a party.

My father's funeral will be held on Saturday, March 29th (we Episcopalians don't do the funeral thing during Holy Week), and it will rawk. My brother and I are taking pains to pick out the hymns and the scripture readings. (Question for Mary O and kit: there's a hymn which I recall singing often at St. Lukes's. If it had a title, it would be "Songs of Praise." In the hymn, various aspects of the life of a christian are described, and it's pointed out that "Songs of Praise" will ring out at each event, as when we enter into paradise, we'll join the chorus of the Saints singing songs of praise. Or something. Can anyone help with a number in the hymnal there?)

I came up with my great daffodil idea. Y'see, after my father retired, he devoted himself to working on the property. One of his endeavors was to plant thousands and thousands of daffodils. In a few weeks, the ol' homestead will be awash in daffodils. So at his funeral, I'll have pots of daffodils on the altar, and folks attending will be invited to take home a pot, put them in the ground, and have a lasting memorial to Howard Kramer right there in their own backyards.

Nice, huh?

And then there's the reception after the service. It's going to be a Tea. Yes, friends, there will be cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. There will be scones (and not the oddities sold under that name at Starbucks). There will be tea cakes. My sister-in-law and I will be spending the day before cooking things, and we've enlisted the aid of the Corps Of Older Women Much Esteemed from St. Paul's to help with the preparation and the service.

Oh. And then there's the whole "In lieu of flowers" thing. (Remember, I'll be providing the daffodils, so don't send flowers.) I might have mentioned that when this issue was first broached by the funeral director, he asked if there was some charity that we wanted donations sent to rather than have people sending flowers. My brother and I looked at each other blankly. Then I said, "Knowing my father, he'd want it to say, 'in lieu of flowers, this November, vote Democrat.'" My brother appreciated this, but the funeral director, not so much."

I wanted to strike just the right note here. I didn't want the American Cancer Society or the Red Cross or some such. I wanted it to be a group doing good work that was under-funded and in an area that my father would have approved of, and one which I find compelling, too. The issue that came first to my mind was all of the men and women coming back from Iraq and Afganistan, with wounds both mental and physical. I hunted around, and put in a call to my congressman, who has been active in that area, and I think I've come up with a winner: Check out the Wounded Warrior Project.


Oh. And my father's cigars. Tragically, he smoked candellas, and I smoke maduro. So I had over two cases (eight boxes per case) of cigars that I had to deal with. I stopped in to my local cigar place. They agreed to take them, even though they're only machine rolled. The owner and I talked it through. He's going to sell them off one by one for about a dollar each, and there will be a sign encouraging folks to enjoy a cigar and think of Howard Kramer, a devoted cigar smoker, and that a portion of the proceeds will go to support the Wounded Warrior Project.

And, I may get a break ever hereafter on cigars that I purchase at the Classic Cigar Parlor. Here's hoping.

I love it when a plan comes together!

So much to do, so little time.

And now, I am blessed with a deadline: I go back to work at Ho(t)me(n) Depot on March 31st. Which means I have two weeks to make substantial progress.

And I had a thought on getting help to fill up the dumpster: I'll see if I can recruit some of the misbegotten youth of the Starbucks in Doylestown to help me out for $15-an-hour. That should be a huge help to them in getting the money they need to pay for all that marijuana they seem to consume. And I might even place a phone call to none other than Bucky ('member him?) and see if he would be available. Hopefully, it will be unseasonably warm that day and he'll take off his shirt.

But as with everything these days, we will see.


kiturgy said...

i'll email you about music stuff. there's this website with snippets of hymns...

blessings, friend!

beaver4 said...

Consider a piper.