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Funeral

Agriculture.com Staff 02/19/2009 @ 2:41pm

I'm worrying about my funeral.

For years I've been going in one night a week and reading to some folks at our local assisted living center. First we polished off my three books, and then moved on to "Tuesdays with Morrie." When we were almost done with that one, I went to a bookstore to figure out what to read next. At that time, the group was made up of only women, and I mentioned that fact to the book store clerk. She suggested I read "Little Women" to them. It seemed like a reasonable choice, especially since we already had a copy around the house. So, for about four months a copy of "Little Women" sat on the dashboard of my pickup. I lived in constant fear that I would be killed in a traffic accident and the entire eulogy at my funeral would be: "When Brent died, a copy of 'Little Women' was found in his pickup with him. What's up with that?"

And if people aren't able to think of anything to say in a eulogy, can you imagine what my tombstone will say? I'm guessing it'll read,

Brent Olson

Bald, but he meant well.

That's true, as far as it goes. I can't argue with the facts, but I keep hoping that some other good qualities will emerge for people to think about, so a few of my minor quirks will be a little less obvious.

To that end, I should probably start planning ahead, paying a little more attention to appearances. The other day I stopped in at my parents' house to drop off some photos. Dad asked what I was doing and I told him I was headed to town. He took a careful look at me and said, "You know, I have a perfectly good coat you could have; I never wear it."

I was a little offended. I was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt I bought just a few months ago. I clearly remember buying it, because it was my first article of outerwear in thirty years that didn't have the name of a farm cooperative or seed corn company on the back. Granted, it did stink of wood smoke, but for a quarter of a century my clothes smelled of hog manure, so I'd think a vote among the citizens of Clinton, not to mention my own family, would say wood smoke smell is a significant step up. And, of course, the sweatshirt did have foamed insulation smeared up and down one sleeve, and a fair amount of sawdust and wood chips were stuck to the stomach and chest areas, but all in all, I thought I looked fairly snappy.

I stopped at the gas station on the way home and noticed people peering through the window as I filled the tank. When I walked in to pay, the clerk said, "Well, I guess it is you. We thought some hobo had stolen your truck."

I didn't need that -- my ego can only stand just so many blows in one day. It made me think of another possible tombstone inscription.

Brent Olson

Not a bad guy,

But kinda funny looking.

I had hoped for more, but I guess I better settle for the truth.

Copyright 2009 Brent Olson

I'm worrying about my funeral.

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