Within one week I have been to a cooking demo and wine tasting with a gaggle of girls, to hanging out with furry police dogs, to sitting in a funeral service.
Thursday got me into a fun evening sponsored by Fresh&Easy.Â Always love it when you put girls together in a room and let the wine flow. 🙂
Sunday got me into the Orange County Police Canine Association show at the Orange County Fair.
If you remember, I go to one of these every year in the fall to support our friend Steve and his canine Lycos.Â This year, they’ve been invited to do the show at the Fair and it was a lot of fun.Â Although, I have to say, in the past fall shows at other stadiums, we’ve been spoiled with a 2-hour extravaganza with helicopters flying in, and sometimes landing on the field, and a firework show afterward.Â There were two shows at the Fair and only about an hour each.Â A flyover by one helicopter, one flash bang granade, and no fireworks.Â Still it was superfun.
Brandon talked to someone and got me ring side to take pictures.Â I had such a good time capturing the event and here are the pictures to show it.
Photography is a lot like cooking.Â The love you put into it makes a difference.Â 😉
Monday got me into a funeral service.
A colleague’s husband, after a long struggle with illnesses, passed away, and just about everyone in the office and former employees came to his service in Alta Dena.Â This makes my second American funeral.Â And it was a completely different flavor.
My first American funeral was Brandon’s friend Fabian.Â It was in a massive funeral hall, felt almost like a church, and it was Catholic.Â The service on Monday was a lot smaller and it was Christian service.Â At risk to sound completely ignorant (which I still am here and there with American culture), it was like a gospel church.Â A lot of hallelujahs and amens, and singing.Â A lot of jokes and good moments for the man as he wanted his life celebrated instead of mourned.Â Even his portrait the displayed was one of those that instantly bring a smile to your face.
And then it got the sermon.Â I love the part when he asked if we know where we are going, that all the material stuff we can’t take with us when we’re dead, that our loved ones who passed on are in a better place, in this case, back home with God.
The part that got me fighting very hard to not roll my eyes or walk out was that whole “accept Jesus into your heart and you’ll be saved; otherwise you’ll be in hell”.
Okay, I’m not the super religious Buddhist.Â But I would like to think myself a Buddhist-based spiritualist.Â I believe that there’s a god/spiritual leader for everyone.Â Mine is not the same and yours and that’s totally okay.Â I really don’t like it when people push their believes on others. Â And it pisses me off something fierce when you’d go somewhere clearly in mixed company and get preached at.
I can take it fine about the bible says marriage is between a man and a woman when attending a Christian wedding. I can take it just fine about accepting Christ when I go to mass with Nora.Â Nobody ever threatens me with hell if I don’t accept Jesus at a Catholic church…yet.
But here in a funeral service for friends of the religious person, hurting for our friends and now getting beaten over the head that we’d go to hell if we don’t accept Jesus. I just didn’t think it was appropriate that day since those who already believe should know.Â And the rest of us didn’t want to get preached while attending a FUNERAL, for crying out loud.
The funeral also got me thinking about my own.Â Say, if my bus flies off the freeway tomorrow, how would that work for me with families and friends on (at least) two continents!
I definitely want all of my organs donated: whatever they can use, they can take. Â Then I want to be cremated.Â And I definitely do NOT want the traditional 7-day of wake/praying.Â Just give me one day of Buddhist service and go ahead and float me.Â More than likely, I’ll die here so that’s a lot easier to deal with than having my body transported home just to be cremated again.
I want my friends to party at my funeral.Â Think wedding but it’s a party for a dead woman with an international buffet, an open bar, and a dance floor.Â You can only wear black if it looks hot on you.Â Two parties, one in the US and one in Thailand.Â Ooh. Fun!
And all the talk about death, in there somewhere, I received an invitation to a destination wedding in Costa Rica in 2010.
I am currently plotting that trip with my best friend Nora as the Mister had enough of non-English speaking Third world country for a while.Â I am also going to reconnect personally after 20 years with a Costa Rican friend and trying to have other friends from that camp to meet up there.
In a span of less than 7 days, I got to make new friends and marvel over food and wine, hung out with police dogs, ponder my spirituality and death, and plan for my future adventure with an old friend.
When the universe wants to you do something, it’ll conspire to get you to do it.
Apparently, I am to think on my death and to start living my life.