Did I actually write nothing on Day Four or Day Five? How lazy! I believe the tally now stands:
Day One: 3,018 (3,018)
Day Two: 3,014 (6,032)
Day Three: 2,038 (8,070)
Day Four: 0 (8,070)
Day Five: 0 (8,070)
Day Six: 1,981(10,051)
Which, by no coincidence at all, is almost exactly On Target for finishing at 50K words on November 30th, because that’s when I decided I could comfortably stop for the evening. :)
Things have been busy. There was a memorial service for Dad at the church (it’s always been “the church” to me, even though Dad’s been active in the other church for the last several years). It was lovely, lots of various old friends, and the Minister, saying nice things about him. I got up and said some I thought rather confused and mostly ad hoc stuff (although I’d been thinking about stuff to say for a few days now). And coffee and finger-foods afterwards, and lots of good feeling and community.
One of the things I said first was that that community had always been very important to Dad, and to the whole family, and it has. Something very comforting about going back to the church that you grew up in, and seeing the building basically the same, with some changes, and the people basically the same, with some changes.
I also drove nostalgically from the church to the house, which is still there, and even presents the same red side in the same old shape to the street, through what looks like more or less the same tangle of woods. There’s a driveway now, rather than just a halfheartedly gravel-strewn dirt road shared with the next-door neighbors (and leading back and back into the woods). And the front looks fancier; I wonder if it is a doctor’s office or something now (the consensus of the Web seems to be that it’s still a single-family home, but You Never Know).
Proud of myself for being able to find the way on nothing but old memories, I drove out to the Nanuet Mall from there, looking at what had changed and what hadn’t in the meantime. Ralphie’s Diner is still down at the bottom of Remsen, on Route 59; I think it moved in there just about when I left, which means it’s been there for a good 30 years.
(It doesn’t seem to have its own Web page, but amusingly there seem to be about three zillion web pages about it, all pretty much identically empty as far as I can tell.)
And my old High School is still there, and the utility company opposite it, and various familiar music stores and bicycle shops. Lots of new things, mostly bigger than the former old things, even more than before with Hebrew letters next to the old-fashioned American ones. Funny how things linger as they change; where the old Hub Bowling Center used to be (it was old and on the way out even when I was little, as I recall), is now The Monsey Hub, a shopping center with something (perhaps “The Monsey Hub”?) in big Hebrew letters on the facade. Completely different, but still with that “Hub”.
After the service we drove up to the top of Bear Mountain for the scattering of some of Dad’s ashes.
It was a place that he loved, and that I remember vividly from being little. Haven’t been up there in far too long!
It was a gorgeous day.