Usually when I go "home" it's a quiet time with lots of sitting in the woods and that big silent old house where I grew up. I love it. I loved this visit, too, but it was way different. Nine of us in the big old house, including four under the age of six years. Uff da. I did indeed sit in the woods this morning for about 90 minutes and got repeatedly and thoroughly scolded by a trio of red squirrels. Of course, the family service last night and Pete's funeral today were amazing opportunities to reconnect with family and others I haven't seen in way too long. We laid Pete's body to rest in the southeast corner of the Faaberg cemetery, just a few feet from my Mom & Dad's graves, so after the service I swung past their spot to say hi. There were a few other familiar names on some of the headstones, and as I wandered through on the way back to the church basement I was amazed (again) by the way their faces just pop up from the headstones and I see them singing in church, or visiting over coffee, or in their living rooms as we came to carol them at Christmas many years ago. It's a bit strange when so many of the saints I know are now underground. Their bodies, at least.
We made a point of extending a few conversations over the church ladies' wonderful repast, and then swung by to see one of my other uncles who has a hard time getting out these days. That was very fun. Aging is a strange phenomenon -- you don't get a lot of choice in how it happens, only in how you react to it.
All in all, it was a great time but I sure enjoyed the last four hours of silence on the road. I guess I'm just wired in such a way that I need a lot of processing time.