We went to Missouri this weekend for Uncle Ted's funeral and it was such a special funeral and it was wonderful to see family! Friday was a travel day, and we left Burley at 8 am to head to Boise airport with a connection in Salt Lake City to land in St. Louis just to rent a car and drive the hour to Sullivan. After a 5 hour delay in Salt Lake, I took happy pictures of us on the plane then turned on and listened to my Relaxation Exercise which I promptly conked out and slept for an hour :). We were pretty darn tired when we finally landed in St. Louis, and the lady at Alamo Rental Car was super nice and added an extra driver for no extra charge. We headed to Aunt LaWana's house first and thankfully there were still family awake, so we got hugs to finish off our very long, exhausting, irritating, five-adults-in-very-tiny-planes-and-cars day.
Saturday was the funeral and graveside service. What I remember most from the funeral was the music. Todd shared a few facets of Uncle Ted's life and shared stories and songs. The sisters sang "Blue Bird Bonnie Bird" and the whole family sang a camping song, “That Good Ol' Mountain Dew" (something that Uncle Ted INSISTED be part of the funeral! :) They had a men's choir for the hymn "Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy," and then the brothers sang "The Test," which was a real tear-jerker but oh-so beautiful. One of my favorite parts was when Noble and Liz shared some of Uncle Ted's qualities that the grandchildren carry on as a legacy. At the graveside they honored Uncle Ted as a former marine with a flag and a gun salute. I wish you could see, but the line of cars circles all the way back across the tree line at the cemetery. The Hamblins were shown a lot of support from both their earthly family as well as their church family. I got a few pictures of family with some solemn and some silly. Tricia started it with the silly faces and the boys didn't need much encouragement. That's kind of my family in a nut shell :).
Sunday was wonderfully relaxing. We got lots of visiting and games and messing around squeezed in. After church we congregated at John's beautiful house but most importantly beautifully BIG house. I think the final count was 86 people. To keep down on the foot traffic, we kicked our shoes off and piled our coats near the door. Amanda made a DVD of photos and then added some live action at the end. They have video of him singing and some moments of his last week and the interview for the two missionaries out right now. The missionaries sent in some questions about life they wanted his advice on: marriage, service in the military, etc. Sunday was David's birthday. We wanted to make sure he had some good memories to associate with his birthday. Do you love the bonfire that is his cake with strategic candle placement by Tricia Brown? Can you imagine 80 people singing you, "Happy Birthday"? It was crazy! One funny story is the wrestling match. What started out as an arm wrestling match between my sweet, funny cousin Wendy and my tough, gentle giant cousin Jeff turned into a wrestling match involving a chilly ice cube with Wendy, Katie, Jeff, his daughter, Kelsey and few other little ones mixed in :). Aunt Mary reminded Jeff that Wendy has a bad back, but Tricia was sure to yell out when Katie joined the tussling that Katie's back is just fine. Here's a good action shot of Jeff getting the ice into Katie's MOUTH! ewww! My favorite was when Jeff had Katie pinned and Tricia yells at Katie to keep her mouth closed.... and then laughs because he went for the nose! He he he. Maybe you had to be there but we laughed and laughed and laughed and people would dog pile on Jeff and he would just roll over and get four of them pinned at once. sigh. That was a good day.
Monday was a good day too but it started early. Our flight left St. Louis at 7:30 am so we spent the night in St. Louis at Linda's house. We had to be up by 5:00 am so we could return our car and go through security at the airport. I think we pulled into Burley at about 4 pm and I'm pretty sure we all just crashed after that. With the Hamblins you play hard and sleep when you get home. I'm exhausted but it was so worth it!
I grew up in a little town with just under 10,000 people. I like the sense of community and family. Not at first though. Like most teenagers I couldn't wait to get out of here. And I did. I went to college and then university. I studied lots of different material and mets lots of different people. I had some really awesome experiences and some rather trying ones too. It was during those difficult times that I found who my real friends were so I like to stick with them. Once a friend; always a friend.