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My mom called yesterday afternoon to tell me that her youngest brother had died.  His health had been declining, and he had reached the point where he didn’t know anyone and couldn’t make sense when he talked.  She was the youngest child, and he was second youngest and, due to the way their birthdays fell, they went through school together.  That means that three of the four girls and six of the eight boys (yes, 12 children) have now passed.

The funeral will be held in a town just south of Houston, Texas (over 600 miles away from where we live at the top end of Texas). Fortunately, they are having it on Monday, and mom was able to get the flights she needed to get there in time for the funeral and then fly back that evening.  (Getting a weekend flight that has to go through Dallas on just a day’s notice is practically impossible.)   She’ll fly into Hobby, and one of her nieces will meet her.

My dad cannot be left alone for more than 2 hours at a time, never mind the whole day, so I’ll be getting up at ye-gods o’clock in the morning (probably around 3:30), so I can get over there in time for her to drive to the airport (which is on the other side of town) and catch her 6 AM outbound flight.  If her inbound flight is on time, it’ll be well after 10 o’clock when she gets back.  It’ll be a long, sad day.

I have already gotten her set up for WiFi, so I can take my Kindle, and I’ll probably take my latest crochet project as well (making a set of 15 crocheted snowflake ornaments for CJ). I’ve finished 3 and almost finished a 4th, which leaves 11 more to go.

My mom’s birthday is this Sunday and last Friday, she’d decided she’d had it with that hulking behemoth of a TV of theirs (about 3 x 3 x 3 feet and 500 lbs worth of cathode ray tube).  It had gotten to the point that you had to turn it on and off and on and off repeatedly for ten or fifteen minutes to get it to actually turn on.  The day before, it had refused to turn on at all, so she and I went down to the same local store where she’d bought it and bought a new flat screen. (She likes that store because they deliver and set up the new one and haul the old one off at no charge, and they do their own repairs either on-site or in-store.) While she was there, she also bought a new refrigerator (she was having to kick the door shut on the old one to get it to seal properly).  The old one was a two-door side by side (freezer on the left side, refrigerator on the right) and she wasn’t in love with the design.  The new one has the freezer on top, and the refrigerator on the bottom.  It’s the same height, but is narrower and deeper.  It’s also black to match her “new” oven.  It was her birthday present from her to her.  It was also on sale.

Their house was new construction with new appliances when they moved into it in 1962.  She’s already had to replace the original oven, and has already replaced at least one burner on the original electric cook top; recently she had another one go out.  (Wouldn’t you know they’ve quit making burners that will fit it.  I mean, she’s only had the thing for 50 years!). They brought a refrigerator with them when they moved, and she replaced it with the one she had to kick to get the door to shut.

This afternoon, I’m going to make her some biscuits and take them over so she can have them for Saturday morning breakfast.  She loves home made biscuits, but dad always made them.   The only kind of biscuits she makes are the ones that come out of a can. The recipe I have makes 5.  I think I’ll double it and keep half of them.  I have some left over chicken gravy in the fridge.  Biscuits and gravy.   Yes’m.  That’ll work just fine.