Hey Bloggie Friends - Has it really been almost an entire month since I last updated y'all? Well, life happens as they say. Even in sleepy towns where I'm from. The days pass faster and faster when you have so much to accomplish. Families grow and that's just what mine's been doing. Growing like weeds!
When I last spoke with you, our new addition Brennan was wishing his mommy a Happy Mother's Day and a little birdie joined us for lunch one afternoon. It was the end of a very lovely May here in upstate NY. The college kiddies left town till next September and the weather was warmer than usual. Everyone here in Delhi hoped it would be the beginnings of a great summer. June started and so did the rain. We've been humid and wet for most of the month. Today was no different. Rain showers began in the early morning and steadily became downpours by the early afternoon. I took a nap on the couch with Rowan after work today to the sound of the rain pelting our picture window. I think we had heavy rains for nearly a continuous 4 hours. Our flower boxes are going to be a sloppy mess! The lawn is longer than we usually let it get. The nice days we did get have been busy with work and the days available for mowing were hampered with wetness.
We were able to get away during the very end of May on our annual trip to Lancaster, PA. My Dad and Stepmother along with her parents and sister (and family) joined us for a Memorial Day weekend tour. We had the usual spots that all of us wanted to visit; the candle barns, farm stands, petting zoos. We left on a Friday after work and stayed till the following Tuesday so we could go to the Roots market. That Tuesday is when the rains officially started. We drove all the way home in rain and it hasn't stopped since. We all had a WONDERFUL time. I always look forward to Amish Country for all the inspiration (and homemade canned pickles) it provides! Yum!
Next came June. This is a month that all upstate Funeral Directors dread. The start of the Spring Burial season. Most cemeteries around north country close November 1st. and reopen the end of May. The harsh winters make it hard for cemetery caretakers to safely dig graves and allow families to tour the icy grounds. The simple solution they all came up with is to close down completely. All caskets are stored in vaults until the cemeteries reopen and are deemed safe for entry. We serve roughly 125 families every year out of our 3 locations around the county. On average 30 to 40 deaths occur during the winter months. The families are familiar with vault storage as it's become a tradition. Our procedure is the same every year during this time. We gather all the folders during the end of May and begin calling families and let them know now is the time to set a date and time for a graveside service. Every year most families request Saturdays or Sundays as this is most convenient for their busy schedules. Those days are filled quickly as there are only so many weekends in a month. So we end up scheduling a graveside in the morning and afternoon on Saturday's in June along with afternoon burials on Sundays (most ministers have church services in the AM). After weekends are filled, we move on to Fridays and Mondays as the next most popular days. And the weeks fill up from there. We also have the regular at need services to schedule around the Spring Burials. June is always just a blur. Work, work, work and little else.
My FIL was in and out of the hospital again as was my SIL. My DW has been keeping the homefront together. She returns to work part time in July and full time in August. What a great relief it will be to have 2 incomes again! Thank the Lord that my job provides us with a roof over our heads and the utilities too. We've been paying out of pocket to keep our health/eye/dental insurance since my wife is on leave from her job and that's been enough to cover a small mortgage payment alone. It just blows my mind that healthcare costs are so high. It's worth every penny though for her to be able to stay at home with the kids even if it's for a few months. Family is always first!
In happy news. I've been made an Uncle for the first time. My brother and his wife welcomed a new baby son in June. Parker and his parents will be up for a visit very soon! Can't wait!
I spent the majority of this week at a work conference in Batesville, Indiana. I flew out Monday and returned on Wednesday. I spent 2 days with a dozen other funeral directors from around the country being pampered and informed about the latest and greatest in burial products. We ate, drank and had a great time. Watch out for those off the clock funeral directors. We can sure be a crazy bunch. Letting loose on the few days during the year we are not on call.
While I was in Indiana my wife took Rowan and Brennan, along with my Cousin and her two kids to visit my Mother and Stepfather in Lewes, DE (right next to Rehoboth Beach). They shopped till they dropped and visited the beach.
I took a few hours here and there to participate in a few quickie unsewn swaps on the About.com Quilting Forum. I was able to join Deb's Patriotic 2.5" Noodle Swap; Christine's Bug, Novelty and Veggie/Fruit Jar Swap & Merry's 5.5" Spring into Summer Charm Swap.
Pictures of everything to follow...