...or, rather, what passes for normal in our house. OUR normal. The easy-going pace of life that we prefer is again possible after the travelling and co-ordination needed for us to attend the very wonderful day The Husband's sister arranged for the family and closest local friends to gather to say goodbye to the matriarch.
Sleep Tight, Our Ma.
It was colourful, cheerful, and very musical interlude, lots of laughing and smiling through tears during the service, and just laughing, reminiscing, teasing, eating, drinking, hugging and kissing the rest of the time. It was truly perfect. How often can one say that about a funeral?
So, we are back in our country fastness now, and a bit reluctant after all the emotions, and the exertions of travel, to stir our stumps beyond the weekly supermarket shop and a spot of light gardening. As I sit on "my" sofa tapping away on my laptop, The Husband is perusing the screen of his laptop, sitting opposite me on "his" sofa, one either side of the fireplace facing one another. It's like that glorious vision of quiet domestic contentment that Gabriel Oak has during his first proposal to Bathsheba Everdene: "Either side of the fire we shall sit, and when I look up there shall you be, and when you look up there shall I be."
I have loved those words ever since I first began to read Thomas Hardy in my mid-teens. And now, forty years later, in our retirement, they have come to pass. Thank you Our Ma for bringing up your baby boy so wonderfully well he has become a man so cheerful, so calm and comfortable to be around, that I know of no-one who has ever taken a dislike to him.
My Gabriel Oak.