Saturday, October 31, 2009

My day ...

... actually began in the middle of the night. I had the most restless night, tossing and turning and then getting up to either use the ladies' or walk around a bit. My right leg was threatening to severely cramp up every so often - one of those utterly devastating cramps that, if you let it really get hold of your leg, you cry out in agony and it takes many minutes to go away.

Then I was cold. I put another blanket on the bed and waited for my body to get all nice and toasty warm. Finally, I fell asleep and was very rudely awakened at 7am by my alarm going off. I thought, "What the devil is that horrible noise?" before realizing what it was, then turned over and snoozed until it went off again.

Fred Wang's memorial service was scheduled to be held at 9:30 this morning and I had told myself that I would go if the weather held. Well, it was just gorgeous outside. Quite a change from all the stormy weather we've had. To say that all of the ground in the Houston area is saturated would not be an exaggeration.

I am so glad I went. The wing of the funeral home where Fred's memorial service was held was filled to capacity and there were flowers everywhere! I recognized three or four others from the world of duplicate bridge, but the rest were complete strangers to me. Except for Amy, of course.

It was a Buddhist ceremony ... lots of chanting, incense and bowing. There was a formal viewing of the body, where one could bow or whatever - stopping to say a word or prayer, perhaps, as they passed by. I was one of the first ones through this long line and didn't realize the proper protocol until much much later, after I had already gone right by Amy without saying a word, bowing, or anything. I was too busy trying to find out where I was supposed to go next.

Then, on the other side, I walked behind his daughter and two others in the immediate family w/o realizing that I was to walk in front of them and offer whatever condolences I had to share. I thought, because I could see what no one else in front of me was doing, that I should not walk in front - that I should try to avoid obstructing the family's view of the proceedings. Oh, my! I sincerely hope that I did not offend anyone. That would have been the furthest thing from my mind.

Concluding the ceremony were statements by Fred's two children. His daughter read hers, which consisted of several typewritten pages. She talked about how Fred had shared his love of music with her and the many times the two of them had gone to Jones Hall to hear the symphony. They would sneak up front - he had bought cheap seats in the back - so she could see all the instruments and identify them. They would listen to the music being played and try to name the composer and composition w/o referring to the program. She had many heartwarming stories to share about her times with her father. It sounded like they were very close.

Fred's son, on the other hand, went up front to speak with no notes and began his statement with (something like), "My father and I did not get along very well." He had trouble completing even that little bit before he broke down into tears and was unable to continue for a few minutes. Gradually, however, he was able to compose himself and went on to deliver some very stirring remarks about the family's time together, including their celebration of Fred's 60th birthday just last month.

Well, that's how my day began. It was my very first time at a Buddhist memorial service. Should I ever have occasion to go again, I hope I'll remember how to conduct myself.

Afterwards, I went on a serious hunt for 12" by 36" furnace filters. Do you remember my decrying - some time back - the shock I felt when Randall's (from whom I had always bought my filters!) changed their filter brands and raised the price like 3X?

I had been paying those exorbitant prices and using those filters w/o realizing that anything was amiss until my ARS guy told me that those filters were way too heavy duty and causing my AC and furnace to work too hard. The air draw was just too much, he said. Ye gods! When I told him how much I had been paying for them, as well, he could hardly believe it.

I asked him where I could find ones like he was talking about, but he couldn't help me. Well, shuckeydurn anyway! And so, whenever I was at a store - HEB, Randall's, Kroger's, whatever, I looked. They all had furnace filters, but either not in my size or the 'way too heavy duty' kind that cost more than $20 apiece.

Anyway, today was going to be the day, I decided. There's a Home Depot a couple of miles from my house. I thought I'd try there first. Bingo! Not only in my size, but the price per each is a little less than $5!! I bought three. I'm supposed to change these out once a month, he told me. Tomorrow's November 1st. What better date than the first of every month, right?

So, I'm good to go until February 2010. Does that sound like a date way in the future or what?

Tonight I'm going to treat myself - have been doing a lot of that lately! - to The Kid. This is a 2000 film starring Bruce Willis as a highly successful but unhappy image consultant who changes his life completely after being visited by himself as an 8-year-old. It's a fable, of course, but a movie with a really good story. And, of course, there's a lesson to be learned.

I've seen this movie once before and am looking forward to watching it again. During commercials, I'll be flipping over to the World Series, game three. Somehow or another, game two completely escaped my attention. I enjoyed watching game one, where the Yankees got creamed. What happened in game two? Well, I'll find out tonight, won't I?

I like Bruce Willis! Do you? The movie I'll be watching this evening reminds me a bit of the role he played in another film, The Sixth Sense. This 1999 film stars Bruce as a child psychologist who is trying to help a young boy who says he sees dead people who don't realize they're dead. It's a dandy! If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. There's nothing macabre or creepy scary about it, I assure you, although there are some parts that are a little unnerving. No zombies or anything of that nature. Don't let my synopsis turn you off. Another really good story.

I finally sent Marilyn Methvin, my New Orleans bridge-playing friend, an e-mail telling her that I was playing some bridge online with Bridge Base. I heard back from her a short while ago. Her user name is "aztecroi", don't you just love it? Mine is "hmm7". Boring, huh?

ANYhoo, that's my day for Saturday, October 31st. Tonight, while all of the ghosties and goblins and mischief makers are out and about, I'll be here at home minding my own business and trying to stay out of trouble. What will you be doing?


The Bug said...

Sounds like a busy day! I get cramps like that sometimes - VERY annoying!

We just finished giving out a ton of candy. Well, Dr. M mostly gave it out - I went in & out of the house because I was COLD! Dr. M took his renaissance costume & changed the hat to a scarf - and voila! Pirate! I just wore my witch hat again.

Goldenrod said...

Hey there, Bug, great to hear from you! I can definitely relate to getting in out of the cold.

Tammy said...

Loved The Sixth Sense...LOVED it.

kathalidal said...

Thanks for your blog on Fred Wang's Memorial Service. I didn't know of his passing until yesterday, Nov 4. I didn't know Fred well, only played bridge with him once, at last year's Pro/Am game. He was a great partner and said very encouraging things to me. Every time we saw each other after that we would greet each other or at least nod from across the room. He introduced me to Amy, as well. I appreciate your two blogs regarding him.

Goldenrod said...

Hi, Kathalidal! I just tried to bring up a profile on you, so I could find out who you were, exactly - I would know you, cuz you're in the duplicate bridge world, right? - , but one doesn't exist (according to Blogger).

I'm so glad you found my two posts on Fred. He was a unique person. You would probably have gotten a lot of the memorial service. It was truly special. I'm so sorry you didn't find out about his passing until yesterday.

Please identify yourself to me next time you see me. We'll give each other an 'in commemoration of Fred' hug. Are you playing in any of the mentor/mentee games? I am mentoring Roop Prasad this coming Wednesday morning, and Walter Freitag and I have a mentor/mentee game every 4th Thursday evening at the studio.

I never had the pleasure of playing with Fred, so you're 'one up' on me with that one!