I always smile when I hear someone say their family is weird. Basically all families are weird, people in general are weird, that's what makes us interesting and unique. But I will concede that some are stranger than others, and mine is without a doubt among the extra strange. Not that we look any odder than anyone else, and we do know how to behave in public, but when we're alone together in our natural habitat, look out. Particularly when my sisters and I are together and we get musing about various ideas.
A couple of visits ago I was watching tv with my sister Tracy, her husband Calvin was on the couch doing ipad stuff. As usual, Tracy was knitting and I was quilting and during the commercials and off and on throughout the program we had to chat or comment on various things that occurred to us. A commercial came on for The Good Witch and I commented that I'd always wished I could be a witch. Tracy immediately said "Me too!". Calvin's eyes kind of rolled in our direction in an "oh good grief" kinda way, then he shook his head and went back to his ipad. It seems he thinks we're a bit batty already, but we're ok with that.
This June while I was visiting the Plymouth Cemetery with Dad he told me that his and Mom's plot had been bought large enough to hold all 5 of us, just in case. Mom is the only one in there now, and Dad is planning to be cremated and sprinkled in the Tusket River off the Gray Road in Kemptville, so he has no use for the space and wanted to be sure that I and my sisters knew that it was there, paid for, and available should we need/want it. That's great to know because I do want to be buried in Plymouth, regardless of where I'm living when my time comes. I don't really care if I'm whole or cremated, as long as I'm in Plymouth.
So one night when Tracy and I were huddled in her screen room watching netflix on the computer (that's a whole 'nother story), I brought up the cemetery plot in case she didn't know, which she didn't. She was so happy/relieved because she'd always wondered what she'd do if anything happened to someone in her family. She's very close to her boys and wants to keep everyone together regardless of where anyone ends up. And so the tale begins ....
For some reason Tracy seems to think she's going to die first. I have no idea why, but that's how it got started. She wants to be cremated and buried in the plot in Plymouth. We figure if we're all cremated there'll be plenty of room for everyone rather than have to squeeze in caskets in the limited space. Then she started saying about how she wants her whole family around her, so we graduated from everyone getting an individual ashes box to having one big box that we'll all go in together. It could be as big as the space allowed so the'd be plenty of room for us all. We got thinking about how messy (and gross) it would be to have to keep digging up the box to add the next person, so it would be much more convenient if we had an alternate delivery system. My solution for this was to bury the box at an angle so the ashes would naturally settle at the lowest point, then have a PVC pipe at the high end going from the box to the surface with a cap on top. Then as each person dies and is cremated they can just be funneled into the pipe and slide on down the box to mingle with the others in there.
The problem of security then arose. Like, we don't want just anyone going in with us, or someone putting out a cigarette butt in our box, or even worse - peeing in the pipe. A PIN pad wouldn't be practical, or a key, because of weather durability or chance of losing either the code or the key, plus who would be the keeper of the key? We figured with technological advances a retina scan would be plausible by then, but whose retina would have access? Well, it's already been decided by Tracy that she's going first, so we figure before she's cremated we have to make sure they save an eye and we'll have it preserved in a special box. It'll be handed down through the generations so that as people need it we just beep the eye, dump in the ashes, close it up and pass the eye down to the next person. It'll be called the Ancestral Eye. Then when the box is full or it's decided that it's no longer needed, the eye just gets tossed in with the last person and the pipe is capped off for good.
By the time we finished talking through this we were laughing so hard we could hardly get any words out, tears streaming down our faces. Calvin's reaction was similar to the witch episode, basically eye rolling, head shake and a sigh. I think he's getting used to it, poor guy.
I did warn you.