Funeral - 8/25
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Joke of the Day

The three wise men (or wise guys as Lewie calls them) had come to Bethlehem to see the new born child.  As they enter the barn, the last one bumps his head on the doorway.

He exclaims, "Jesus Christ!"

Mary looked at Joseph and said, "You know, that's a much better name than George."

It was a rough night and neither of us got much sleep with my constant sneezing, nose blowing, and hacking.  When I lay down, everything fills up.  If I were at home, I'd sleep in my recliner but there is no such luxury in our trailer.  Thus I finally create a makeshift recliner with pillows against the wall above the couch and a kitchen chair as a footstool.  It was marginally effective and I got some sleep.  But at least it got me out of bed and allowed Denise to sleep.

Once Denise awoke, we packed all our dirty laundry that had accumulated over the past ten days or so and went to town.  It was quite a bunch as we used two of the 50 lbs. and one of the 35 lbs. washers.  We also did a little grocery shopping before rushing back to camp so I wouldn't be late for the funeral.

The funeral was to begin at 1:00 pm so Lewie and I arrived at the church at 12:30 pm.  The church had a large parking lot that was completely full including the surrounding lawn.  There had to be around 200 cars.  The streets were also lined with parked cars for several blocks in all directions.  The general traffic in Fergus Falls was much more than usual.  From the outside, it looks like a big church but it can't be that big.  How are all of these people going to fit?  (Later we found out there were about 700 attendees)

We got our answer.  There was a long line just waiting to get into the church.  But these people were well organized and it didn't take long.  For example, instead of leaving the guest book intact, they'd removed the pages and laid single sheets in six spots on the signing table.  Thus six could sign at once.  Then the minute a sheet was filled, it was replaced with another.  As soon as one signed, there were several others whose only job was to pass out the "programs" since I can't think of the proper term.  Then there were ushers about every 10 to 20 ft. directing people to seating.

As we walked down the halls, we passed several classrooms filled with chairs and people.  The edges of the hallway were filled with multiple lines of various cables.  Then I saw into one of the classrooms.  In the front was a 27" television on a cart and a set of speakers.  We were directed into small gymnasium.  There were basketball hoops that when lowered, formed a elementary school sized court for one of the room's many functions.  I'd say there were roughly 150-200 chairs in this room.  And just one 27" TV like the classrooms. 

We found seats about halfway back but knew we weren't going to see much.  And although the sound system was pretty good, the acoustics of the gym left most everything muffled.  Lewie hardly heard a word, even with his hearing aid.  I could hear the professionals such as the minister and solo vocalists just fine.  However the friends and family that spoke were very hard to understand, half because of their grief and half because they just didn't speak clearly.

The funeral lasted about an hour and a half, although that could have been shortened by at least 20 minutes if the minister would have left out the sales pitch.  I didn't come here to learn all the reasons why I "should give my heart to Jesus" and how it "would be the most important decision of my life" otherwise I'd "never know eternal peace".  I'm happy the members of that church find so much comfort in their beliefs but don't try and shove it down my throat!

I was glad Lewie wasn't interested in attending the graveside service or the social gathering at the Baptist church.  Thus we left and headed back to camp.  That make two trips to Fergus Falls so far.

It was about 3:30 pm when we got back to camp.  Denise and Lewie wanted to go to the Elks Lodge and have a few cocktails.  OK, this is a record.  Three trips to Fergus Falls in one day.

But we had fun.  It was bingo night at the lodge so we stayed until about 9:00 pm.  While playing bingo, I kept one eye on the severe thunderstorm warnings being broadcast on the local station.  From the reports, I was pretty sure that our campground was right in the path.

And it was.  When we returned, we could see the effects.  Fortunately, there didn't seem to be any severe winds but about 3 inches of rain had fallen in an hour.  The area was flooded almost as much as it was when we had the tornado or straight wind last week.  I'm sure the dogs were scared as Pearl's crate was full of puke.  But then again, maybe not as Pearl does that a lot anyway.

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