Yesterday was a busy one. Really busy, especially since the first part of the week ‘slid’ past like chilled molasses. Bottom line; I slept in and Marcia is still out. Seven AM and little Mr. Coffee just alerted me that it’s ready; now, first my mug of coffee.

Since my keyboard efforts are still horribly slow. And since immediately after posting I have to run (not literally, explain shortly), this week’s Ramblings will be somewhat shorter than what you are used to.

Which does lead to a question; let me know either by comments or mail if you prefer a bit shorter Ramblings stretching into the future.

The “Logging” Road – Now that winter is here, our F150’s heat has called it quits. Through the fluke of some horrid engineering a problem, which I now realize has been around for at least a decade, has raised its horrid head and (with the fancy title of) the Heater Box Actuator broke.

The part is a mere handful of dollars. To get the old out and the new in has Ford dealers – with a straight face – tell you it’s a six hour job. Translates into $1,000 to $1,4000. Predicament? with my eye situation I can’t drive and with the cold, Marcia won’t. It needs fixing!

Some decent research and I’ve found an independent garage willing to tackle the situation. Once at the place, friendly staff, shop is pristine; but it’s the driveway to the place Marcia noted with consternation. The shop (and several businesses) sit behind the Rumpke Recycling center. Where the drive is still a joint one it’s wide and paved. As soon as the Rumpke trucks pull into their facility that same drive turns into what I view as a “logging” Rd in our part of Canada – complete with the, requisite, water filled pot-holes.

We’re dropping the truck off shortly after posting this since we need Adrianne to haul us home and she’s also got stuff going on. So here is the lineup:

Dirk – Navigator w/ minimal sight (mostly quite minimalist)
Marcia – Driver ‘sans’ heat
Adrianne – Uber driver par excellence.

What a cast; Marcia is in a bit of a panic.

Jeff Knoop’s passing – came as a shock. We knew that he had one of those insidious terminal diseases, his being Pulmonary Fibrosis. Younger than us, his passing did come as a shock. Jeff and his wife, Mary Anne, have been friends and neighbors since our kids were toddlers.

Early in his career he headed up the music department of a large neighboring school system. Loved, absolutely loved, classical music with Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana near the tippy-top of his favorites list; I’ve inserted this full rendition by UC Davis California in his honor:

Yesterday was Jeff’s funeral, held at Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary. I mention the name since it’s our areas;

“…. only dedicated natural burial ground in the Cincinnati area. We are here to provide a “green burial” alternative for the Tri-State while offering compassionate care to individuals and families as they grieve and process the transitions of life and death……..

Before there were contemporary conventional cemeteries with graves organized in carefully measured rows and marked by gray cement headstones, there were natural burial grounds and practices that did not include chemical embalming, varnished caskets with velvet lining, or concrete vaults. A natural burial is a return to a tradition that provides a simple, less wasteful, non-toxic means of dedicating one’s physical form back to the earth to rejoin the soil with dignity and minimal environmental impact.

I found it to be a wonderful and comforting and participatory service. It was so much more personal and embracing than those I’ve, and we all, have gotten accustomed to.

Marcia on the other hand made it very clear that for her cremation and then placed on the mantle is what she thought as best. My question (not asked) is; “just how many ‘elves-on-a-shelf’ do we need?”

For both of us it’s a bit of a ‘starting-the-discussion’ point, and that isn’t all bad.

Now, if everything goes as planned it’ll be a couple of hours of volunteer work at Matthew 25 Ministries with Adrianne, Vai, and Vili right after lunch.

Ciao. Stay strong; keep pushing onward, stay connected and safe.

Keep on storming the castle. Pray for Peace.


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