Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Finally Found Some WiFi....and can catch up!

What a whirlwind week this has been.  Phew!

Finally found a small town library with WiFi.  I am finally able to catch up after one week of no WEB or email browsing.

With the funeral arrangements to look into, the funeral itself, looking after guests, the post funeral luncheon and the legal and banking stuff that is required by law, it's been a hectic time.  But it all went without a hitch.  I should really be careful using that word "hitch".....considering our 5th wheel is still not repaired.
The beautiful countryside at my father in law's farm, east of Edmonton, Alberta.
Our son Deni is busy with the lawn tractor.
Because Jeanette's mom and dad have not lived on the farm for about one year, and although some of Jeanette's siblings will look after mowing the large yard, when Jeanette and I first arrived, I fired up the mower and got busy.  Four hours later, our son Deni arrived and he took over....only to spend another four hours to complete the work.  Sure looked nice after that.
The bird feeder - that was outside my father in law's window at the Long Term Care facility - was moved to my mother in law's window at the same facility.  She can now watch the birds that drop by to feed.
Late evening at the farm, Jeanette's mom took a walk around the yard and was busy smelling the fresh scent of these lilacs.

Everyone knows that planning a funeral and taking care of the numerous details can be overwhelming....while grieving too.  Jeanette and her sisters managed it all quite well. Such troopers they are. Sure, some bumps along the way but it was well paved over for the major events.
 A really big surprise and good distraction was the arrival of our daughter and her baby Easton from Vancouver, BC.
This was the first time Jeanette's mom - the great grand mother - was to see her first great grand child.  She was so anxious for Easton's arrival and what an event that was!  She quickly hugged the baby and was busy looking, touching and tending to his needs.
The funeral car arrived early Monday morning, at the farm house, before heading for the church.
Although some readers may find this odd, it is not unusual - in the farming community here - to have the deceased visit his home place before the church service and final resting place.  It was my first experience with this custom and I found it quite touching....and civil.
Mom and daughters saying their good byes.
From the farm to the country church was a two mile drive.  It's there that the Ukrainian Orthodox Service was held before a packed church with 125 attendees.
Heading for the small country stone church that was built in 1917.  A beautiful day.
The one hour service was spoken and sung in Ukrainian and English languages.  It was fitting.

Following internment in the church cemetery, the attendees drove three miles to the little town of Hairy Hill, Alberta, where a hot lunch was provided and where the eulogy (given by yours truly) was presented.  After the meal, the Reverend father then said the closing prayer and the funeral service was declared closed.
Jeanette and I stopped by the next day to pay our own private respects.
Jeanette captured this really nice photo near one of the really old homestead buildings on the farm.
Our son Deni spending time with his favourite (and only) nephew Easton.
Mother in law is standing next to their newest truck....after we washed and detailed it.
Standing on her front deck, Mary watches as one daughter leaves the farm yard back for home, 30 minutes further east.
Some serious storm clouds developed last night but they blew through and the forecast rains did not materialize.
Another view of the ominous clouds.
So, with the family 'to do list' near completion, Jeanette and I are slowly planning our return trip to the west coast.  That could take some time because our 5th wheel -after resting 2.5 days on the highway after the catastrophic shackle axle break - was finally trailered to Hinton, Alberta.  The RV dealer there has been wonderful to deal with by phone.  All the parts (so many) have been identified and ordered and it's hoped that the work will be completed by Saturday or Monday next.
Although the warranty has expired, the RV technician and shop owner feel the shackle damaged was catastrophic and caused by factory defect or weak metal.  I suppose I will  have a difficult fight on my hands dealing with Forest River, the maker of our 5th wheel, and the insurance company.  We'll see!

This blog pretty well summarizes the last seven days.  Thanks for dropping by.


  1. It is indeed a small world Rene. My mom, dad, brother and sister in law are buried in a very small private cemetery very near Hairy Hill! My sister in law's father was Arthur Moren Boutillier, elected Member of Parliament for Vegreville (1925) and WAS A meMber of the Progressive (Farmers) party. This party later became one of the founders of the CCF.

    The cemetery is on a corner of his old farm which was donated to the Church on condition they maintain the private cemetery.

    Some of the older members of Jeanette's family might remember the Boutillier family. Pronounced to rhyme with "beer" instead of the French pronunciation.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing Rene, you guys have been in our thoughts a lot the last week.

  3. thanks for sharing your 'week' day at time is all that you can do for now..

  4. Glad to hear things are starting to work out for you...hope all goes well with the rig

  5. Thanks for the update on the funeral service for Jeanette's Father. It sounds like the entire family stayed together to help each other through.

    I've noticed in our family that the presence of a newborn at a funeral somehow provides solace, hope and even joy at such a sad time. I'm glad Easton was there to provide some happiness.

    I couldn't help but noticing that the beautiful headstone for John and Mary must have been made prior to his passing away. Is that a Ukranian custom? I'm not sure how I'd handle that if it were me. Perhaps you could let us know about that in a future blog.

    All the best to Jeanette and your entire family.

  6. A lot can happen in a few days. My condolences on the death of Jeanette's Father.
    Hope all goes well with the Fifth Wheel. I recall my brother having some issues with the undercarriage of his fifth wheel at some point. I wonder if the underpinnings are somewhat under engineered?
    Good Luck.