Sunday, July 25, 2010

Funerals, Fentons and flu

Aunt Nell's funeral was lovely. There was the sadness associated with mourning, but like most LDS funerals, it was balanced by the hope derived from faith. Then, too, Aunt Nell was a hoot and there were plenty of funny stories going around about her. People laughed as much as they cried.

There was also a lot of singing. My extended family is very musically talented (I've always felt a bit sorry I didn't get much of it, but you can't have everything) and not only did we sing hymns as a congregation, but the service included recordings of Aunt Nell as a young woman, singing selections from Mozart and Delibes' "Les Filles de Cadix." My Aunt Marcia and Uncle John also sang a heartfelt rendition of "I'll Be Seeing You," which was a perfect match -- the song was popular when Nell was a young mother, and the lyrics work all too well for a funeral. They broke down a bit in the middle of the song, which was only to be expected; both were very close to Aunt Nell.

Afterward there was a family dinner, where everyone sat around and yakked heartily at length. Sitting and listening to people talk and laugh and exchange stories, I wished there were regular family reunions for the entire extended Kest clan. There are family members I tend to see only at weddings and funerals, and I'd love to have an opportunity/excuse to see them more often.

That evening I was fiercely jonesing for Fentons toasted almond, so my cousin's wife Joy and I drove over to Oakland for some primal ice-cream therapy.

Mmm, Fentons. As far as I'm concerned, this is the premiere place on earth to get a black & tan: vanilla and toasted almond ice cream, served with Fentons caramel and chocolate fudge sauces, whipped cream, nuts and a cherry. "Good" doesn't begin to describe it.

It was a Saturday night and the joint was jumpin'. People were milling about in the street outside, and every table was taken. Even the take-out line stretched out the door.

Fortunately we were there for take-out, so we didn't have long to wait. We bought ludicrous amounts of toasted almond ice cream, caramel sauce and chocolate fudge sauce and promptly beat feet.

I don't know how well you can see it in this picture, but way in the background there is a stuffed Dug from the movie Up, wearing a Fentons shirt and cap. Watching Up, especially the ending, inspires Pavlovian drooling in anyone who's ever been to Fentons.

Alas, all is not quite well, despite copious quantities of ice cream. There's a 24-hour flu virus going around the family and I'm thinking of self-imposing a quarantine in the hope that it will die with me. Mom's had it already, and Miss V has been suffering with it, vomiting most of the morning. (No, I do not and will not have pictures of this particular experience. Sheeze.)

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