(The story until now: Olga Waring is sitting on the patio of the Caffeine Den in Madera, California. Her friend, Roxanne Delacroix, has arrived complaining of a backache and gone inside to get a scone and a latte. Olga turns her attention to her iPad, but becomes worried as Roxanne seems to be in pain as she emerges from the coffee shop.)
Olga Waring watched with alarm as her friend, Roxanne Delacroix, limped toward their table on the patio of the Caffeine Den, carrying a latte and a small brown sack containing a blueberry scone. Roxanne always bought a blueberry scone. Four hundred forty calories. Roxanne’s bad back, which she had had for years, apparently was causing her extra pain. Roxanne’s pained look as she had gone inside the Caffeine Den had reminded Olga that she, herself, had been wondering about death — her own, of course, not Roxanne’s.
As she continued those thoughts, she had pulled up an app on arranging one’s funeral. She wasn’t quite sure why thoughts of death had been paying her mind a visit lately. She didn’t feel all that close to death. She was barely eligible for Social Security. But she knew she was closer to her funeral than she was to her birth, and sometimes that bothered her, as it did most mortals. For no particular reason, she would suddenly find herself wondering who would come to her funeral, or if her husband, Bradley Waring, the owner of Brad’s Auto Parts (“Where you auto go if you need parts!), would even hold a funeral for her.
She had no reason to believe that if she died first, Bradley, who was only a little older than she, wouldn’t arrange a funeral, and a big one at that. That is, unless he decided to have her cremated and put into a fruit jar. He had kidded her about that when a friend of theirs had been cremated. Most of the friend’s ashes, in a large urn, went to his wife, but little urns of his ashes had been sent to his children and some of his relatives, and also to an old girlfriend...