And actually, it all went adequately well. I've driven the six hours back home, and while I'm tired beyond belief, I'm even secretly rather pleased I went.
Last night an old family friend - contemporary to My Dear Sister, the daughter of my parents' oldest friends - had those of us still around after the funeral for a picnic in the evening. The weather had been foul most of the day, but it cleared up slightly, and we sat in her lovely garden, in the back of the house built by her grandfather, and enjoyed the long, lingering August evening. I thought about what all of our lives would have been like had we not moved away from there in the mid-70s; if like our friend's family we had stayed, if we still lived in those foursquare houses of brick or clapboard, still worked in our family business and sat on all the local boards and committees...
It would have been, I suppose, a good enough life - our old town has a surprisingly number of mod cons these days, from Thai food to coffee shops to a truly startling number of hookah bars - but what a very different one indeed. And no Mister in it, so just as well it didn't happen, no?
But now I'm back, which is very nice indeed, and have walked the dogs and plan to spend this rather shorter summer evening (just that short drive north really does make all the difference - the sun up by the lake lasts, at least in lingering half-light, 'til nearly ten) on our balcony. Less spreading than the lawns above, but home.