November 8, 2008: Papa Doty’s Funeral

13 Days to Baby Day! (38 Weeks and One Day Pregnant)

I didn’t even wake up when the alarm rung this morning.  I was completely exhausted.  Dominica had gone to bed several hours before me last night and wasn’t feeling too bad this morning although she was quite tired too.  She woke me up and we got ready as quickly as we could.  The goal was to be out the door and on the road before six in the morning.

We did pretty well and were in the car around five forty.  We noticed that the front passenger tire was soft so we drove straight to the Exxon-Mobil station on the Peekskill roundabout just north of town at the foot of the mountain by Annsville Creek.  I put air into the tires (while wearing my suit) while Dominica ran inside to Dunkin Donuts and picked up egg and cheese croissants for breakfast that we could eat while we drove.

This morning is actually our first time ever making a trip, other than commuting, from our new home in Peekskill.  The drive that we are taking today, heading west on US 17 through New York’s Southern Tier is one that we are probably going to get to know quite well in the years ahead.

The drive went pretty well. We hit rain that we had to drive through almost the entire way but it was not too heavy.  We realized, once we were far too far away from the house, that we had accidentally left one of the sliding glass doors open so the house was open to the elements while we were gone.  The thermistat was set very low so the heater was unlikely to kick on but we did not want it raining into the nursery while we were away for two whole days.

We arrived in Waverly, New York at just before nine in the morning.   The trip took us just a smidgen over three hours with a breakfast stop and one bathroom stop along the way in the rain.  Not too shabby.

A little known fact about Waverly is that it is the largest producer of cheese for pizzas in the eastern United States.

We managed to arrive early enough that we were able to visit and say hello to everyone at the Birney’s home before we were all to drive into Elmira for the funeral itself.  The funeral mass was at ten at St. Casimir’s on Demarest Parkway in Elmira.  This is actually the first time that I have attended a funeral mass.

After the funeral itself there was a reception held at another church not very far away.  I’m not sure of the name of the other church.  The church ladies there made a very nice meal and we had a really nice time visiting with family.  There were a lot of people that I have not seen in a very long time and quite a few whom I have never met before.  The last really large and all-inclusive family gathering from Dominica’s mother’s side of the family was about eight years ago, just before Dominica and I started dating.  So I was in the somewhat strange position of having been around for seven years but having a lot of people not know who I was or to only know me through long distance correspondance and not in person.

After the reception the entire family moved from Elmira back to Waverly to spend the day at the Birney’s.  Dominica and I decided that we should run to Sayre, Pennsylvania where our hotel is so that we could check in, drop off our stuff and change into casual clothing since we had been all dressed up all morning since leaving Peekskill.

We have a room at the Sayre Best Western Grand Victorian Inn for the weekend.  We were very excited to learn that they accepted pets.  Large ones too which is very nice even though Oreo is just little.  He can go anywhere but people with large pets often have issues traveling with them.  I always appreciate hotels that accept them.  There was only a ten dollar daily charge for Oreo.  Although honestly if people knew how cute and sweet he was we would get a discount for bringing him with us.

The hotel was very nice – not what we were expecting to find in Sayre at all.  I suspect that it is used extensively by Guthrie Health and Medical Center which is very close by.  The hotel used to be called The Guthrie  The room was large and they managed to get us a king room even though they had been unavailable when we had first called.  The bed was nice and the bathroom was one of the nicest that we have seen in a long time.  Oreo loved the room.  He gets all excited when he gets to go to a hotel and he run around and jumps on the bed and rolls around.  He is so funny.

We changed and unpacked and headed back to the Birnie’s for the afternoon.  The crowd there was pretty serious, roughly seventy three people, I believe that I heard someone say.  Luckily the house is very large with several large gathering rooms all connected by circular walkway plus a really big enclosed patio area so seventy-three people was not an impossibility.  It was pretty cold outside, though, so the children were inside a significant portion of the evening and they take up proportionately a lot more space that the more sedintary adults.

We had a really good time getting to visit with everyone.  There are so many people that we get to see so infrequently and there were quite a few that I was just meeting for the first time.  For most everyone this was their first time seeing Dominica pregnant as well and, as you can tell from the baby countdown, she is very, very pregnant.  We were very concerned about the drive this weekend being so close to the due date but we figured out that if her water broke we could hop in the car and head straight for Peekskill and most likely would be there in plenty of time.

We hung out with the family until a bit after nine when the “party” was dwindling and we were completely unable to stay awake any longer.  It has been both a very long and very stressful week and we are both very short on sleep.  It is quite amazing that we made it as long as we did.

We got back to the hotel and were right off to sleep.  We will be heading back to Peekskill sometime tomorrow afternoon.

Leave a comment