My daughter planned to pick me up at 6:10 a.m. At 5:35 I woke up with a start. I only had a half hour to shower, dress for funeral, feed the cats, give my husband last minute instructions, and get all of my final items stowed into my bags. I got up and started running. By 6:30 we were on the road.
The GPS said the trip to Pine Grove, WV would take 3 hours and 42 minutes. I had driven it before myself in 3 and a half. But construction zones sent us twice in the wrong direction. We adapted and made a quick stop at a Burger King for breakfast. We got into slow traffic and stopped for gas. From there it was winding mountain roads behind slow moving trucks carrying gas line pipes and fresh cut logs. I was determined not to miss a minute of my uncle’s funeral. We arrived in Pine Grove with less than 5 minutes to spare.
But we made the wrong turn into town. The street sign had the right name but there was no funeral home, only a dead end. A creek cut us off from driving further into town. I had been here before and I knew we were within a few feet of the funeral home but we couldn’t get there. The seconds were ticking down. I panicked and called the funeral home for directions. We made a fast circle back to the highway and raced across the next bridge that would put us on the other side of the creek.
Country music was playing as we slipped through the funeral home’s door and grabbed two chairs at the back. I breathed a huge sign of relief as we sat down just moments before the minister began.
The service was full of fire and brimstone. Repetitious fire and brimstone at that. I guess I should have expected that from the 80-ish year old southern minister who had been serving my grandparents family for decades. Looking around the room I was pretty sure everyone there was already “okay with Jesus” and I thought it would have been nice for my uncle’s grandchildren to have heard some of the great stories about their grandfather instead but…no matter. It was what the family was used to and it was blessedly short. We were out the door in 40 minutes and on our way to the cemetery for a second, very quick few words and a 21 gun salute by the local veterans.
I would have loved to have stayed and gotten to know my cousin and his family a little better. I hadn’t seen most of my cousins in years. Even those I grew up with and knew well are now scattered across the country. But things had happened so quickly and our plans had been made in such a whirlwind. Time was pressing. We had to be to our B&B by 8 p.m. and we had no idea what our afternoon drive would be like. We got on the road and began slowly winding our way through the mountains.
…Continued in Antiques Extravaganza: Day #2 in Kutztown