Tip? Somehow the word triggered a wild thought, "Are they wearing G-strings?"
"Absolutely not!" Jesse used the tone that left me no wiggle room, but I couldn't stop. I went on, "Where am I going to stuff all those dollar bills then?"
"Do not talk like that when we're there. I will be so embarrassed." She rolled her eyes and shook her head at the same time. Since when she's the good girl?
"And no F word, no goddammit, no cussing while down there. Remember: we are going to the Bible Belt." She added.
I'm already not liking this pending trip much--not that I cuss often. I just don't want to walk on ice all the time while there. Sometimes my mouth has its own idea of what to blurt out aloud. Plus, it's 95 degrees there with 69% humidity, and this is only the beginning of June.
She also suggested a show we should see with the word "shepherd" in the title. I told her I wasn't going to travel two thousand miles to see a show of gospel music. The phrase "wholesome fun" sounds alarmingly unfun to me.
I gave another serious consideration to the dress I'm going to wear for the event: collarless, sleeveless summer dress with big flower-and-leaf design all over, and a neckline that doesn't really say "I'm a nice Catholic girl" either. I don't want to cause any heart attacks with it--one memorial is already too much. I could hear them whisper to each other now: Look at that woman from California! And look they all will, because I will have to sit up front to "man" the laptop and TV for the video showing.
Let them gasp, I decided. I'm doing this for Jesse, who told everyone to dress colorfully for the occasion since Wes, Missouri born and raised, loved color. The idea didn't go well with folks back in his hometown, who had a hard time understanding the concept of "celebration of life" in Jesse's email. They solemnly reminded her that this was a memorial, not a celebration.
We were going home when the G-string conversation occurred, after spending an afternoon at Monterey, where Wes' ashes were scattered. She took a panorama view with her video camera of the bench on which they often used to sit, the ocean waves crashing on the rocks, and the golf course; but the sun wasn't cooperating and not a single ray was beaming down when we got there. It was normal for Monterey, where it's always grey, cold and overcast, but we were hoping Wes would pull some strings up there and perform a small miracle.
To my relief, and sadness that followed, I didn't see any ashes among the ice plants by the bench. I always hear stories of wandering spirits that couldn't rest until their earthly remains are properly buried. What about spirits of cremated remains that are scattered about? How are they going to find peace? Do we imagine the unsettling souls because our own spirits need to be comforted after a loved one departed? I will make this the number one question to ask of the good folks at the Bible Belt.
Better get ready, Branson--California girls coming your way in two weeks. It's hard to predict which party will be more surprised.
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In my opinion, this is Branson's most beautiful attraction--rocky landscape: