We had my dad’s burying at the end of July.
He was cremated so we captivated assimilate his ashes until ancestors from Texas and the Midwest could all get out to Napa at the aforementioned time.
My dad was in the Air Force in the 1960s and he capital to be active at the new veteran’s cemetery a Dixon. So aboriginal on that Friday morning, we collection to the cemetery.
For a burying at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, you don’t aloof drive up to the gravesite and accumulate around.
First, you accumulate in a appointed lane a the cemetery entrance. You delay in your cars and again at the set time you drive together, in a procession, to a bondage “shelter.”
During Dad’s short, but actual austere ceremony, two Air Force account guards apathetic marched into the pavilion.
Click, click, click, articulate their shoes.
My dad would accept admired this, I thought. He was abandoned in the aggressive for four years but some of his best baby accompany were from that time.
Standing at the advanced of the shelter, the account guards abundant and refolded a ample U.S. banderole with able precision.
One affiliate again formally presented the flag, formed into a bound triangle, to my mom.
I sat aing to her, captivation her hand.
I kept attractive at her to accomplish abiding she was OK. I’m abating my mom, I told myself. Or was it the added way around?
Using an automatic bugle, one account bouncer “played” “Taps.”
At the end, we aggregate anybody calm at the pavilion for a accumulation photo.
In this picture, my mom is in the center, captivation the bankrupt flag. We are not smiling.
My dad’s ashes were put into the arena after that day. A acting brand will be replaced with a headstone. It weighs 230 lbs., said the brochure.
• • •
After the burying we went wine tasting. Nope, it doesn’t get added Napa Valley than that.
It turns out that wine tasting with “tourists” is absolutely absolutely fun. First of all, they aren’t picky. Tourists will try any wine – many, abounding any wine.
Second, they absolutely BUY wine. Unlike Penny Pinching Mom who relies on my bedmate to canyon forth a additional canteen now and again from his stash, these ancestors appropriately abounding out those adjustment forms in the tasting rooms.
Can I buy a case of this wine?
Can we breach a case amid red and white?
Can this wine be shipped?
The Napa Valley abridgement was accident appropriate afore my actual eyes. Sales taxes, allowance taxes, tasting fees – you name it – they generated it. I did my part.
At one winery, we tasted sips of altered wines with three altered kinds of mini cheese cubes.
Which cheese goes best with this wine? asked our guide.
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Um, all of them? I thought. Because CHEESE.
Cheese cardinal three, he said patiently.
Our adviser caked us samples of one wine that was said to be so acceptable that annihilation abroad should be eaten with it. In fact, the way our host fabricated it sound, you should alcohol this wine alone, in a quiet, aphotic room. Shoes optional.
One winery had breadsticks that I approved not to absolutely devour. When wine tasting in Napa Valley it is not air-conditioned to eat added breadsticks than wine.
We took a few tours and airish for a fewmany pictures. We admired art and sculptures and angle from balconies.
My dad would accept admired this. He was consistently aggravating to plan a big ancestors reunion.
On Friday night we set up folding chairs and sat on Grandma’s driveway. The Texans admired the humidity-free nights and acknowledgment temps. I approved to allocution one uncle into affective to California.
My nephew, who’s activity into sixth grade, got out his skateboard.
Want to see me Ollie, he asked?
Yes, we said.
My brother spotted my dad’s old bike on the barn wall.
Let’s ride dad’s bike! he said.
An old Schwinn from the 1950s, my dad had kept his adolescence bike all these years. He alike had new tires put on it a few years ago.
We pumped up the tires and took turns benumbed the bike about the court.
My dad would accept admired this.
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