Sunday, February 14, 2016

New Stamps, Other Weirdness, and a Question

When family asks what I want for Christmas, I generally ask for cash to spend on stamps in the coming year. Here's my first 2016 order from Hero Arts.

Some sets are from Hero's new release; others are older. I played with the layering set on the far right first and felt like throwing it in the trash. Not good. (I've had no problems with the butterfly layering set, but this floral one defeated my ability to line the layers up AT ALL.)

Playing with the other sets, however, has indeed been fun and worthwhile.

Consider that alphabet set. It's been around for forever. It has upper- and lower-case stamps of a font similar to (or perhaps identical to) Times New Roman, plus a cursive lower-case font. How cool!

My niece is attending a special high school for the arts, where she is studying ballet and writing. She's gifted in both. Now, my ballet skills are nil; my sister was the professional ballerina. But writing. THAT I understand. So I made this card to encourage her.

The funky combination of letters, the pinks and oranges, the hand-cut words...loose and fun and young.

I hope.

Now for the weirdness.

Yesterday (Saturday) I was rear-ended for the third time in just over 18 months. In all three accidents, I was at a complete stop when hit by someone not paying attention behind me. This third accident was the worst. I'd signaled and stopped for a funeral procession, as had the car in front of me. The woman coming up behind wasn't paying attention and plowed into me doing probably 50 MPH. I saw her coming in my rear-view mirror and tensed for the impact, so I'm a bit sore today. Our son Jack was with me, and he is fine. He was, in fact, a complete trooper through the whole experience.

The woman who hit us, however, was transported to the hospital. I have no idea how she is doing and hope to get some information tomorrow. She didn't appear seriously injured, but she complained of chest pain...what she described as feeling bruised on her chest, from the air bag. If you're the praying kind, please say a prayer for her.

My car isn't drivable, mainly because of damage to the muffler (smashed into the rear left tire) and tail lights (hanging by wires in the air). It will, of course, need a third new bumper. My mom asked if I was going to get rid of the car, which is a Mazda CX-9, and I responded that the car kept us injury-free through three accidents, so no. We're not getting rid of it. Then she suggested that I take the target off the back of it, and I said I'd consider that.

A friend suggested that my "magnetic personality" was causing the accidents. I seriously need to turn it down, don't I?

Let's consider for a moment why I stopped in the first place. I grew up in the American South, where the tradition of stopping for funeral processions lives strong. Showing respect for the dead and honoring the family's grief feel second-nature to me and not to stop would feel incredibly disrespectful and callous. I still remember watching a man in his yard stop and cover his heart while my grandmother's funeral procession passed his house in Shelby, North Carolina. I so appreciated his respect.

My husband, however, had never seen this until he moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and thinks it's unnecessary and dangerous. On Saturday, he was proved right, at least on the "dangerous" part.

Here in Ohio, given that there's a huge cemetery near our home, we see the tradition often, and George always complains about it. On Saturday, the person in front of me had stopped, so I didn't have a choice. It felt right and good...until I saw the Toyota barreling up behind me.

Is this tradition of stopping for funeral processions common where you are? How do you feel about it? Just curious.

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: various pigment inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensionals, scissors


  1. First, love the card for your niece!

    So sorry to hear about your accident, and glad to hear you and your son are ok.

    I grew up in MA and CO, lived all across the US thanks to the military and now live in Alaska. Everywhere I have lived pulling over and waiting for a funeral procession has always been the norm. I would never pull out in front of one. I think the only thing that is dangerous is the drivers on the road not paying attention, that is the true issue, not the respect being given to those who are saying goodbye to a loved one.

  2. I am so glad you are okay!
    Funeral processions used to be much more visible than they are now. Each car would turn on its headlights (day-running lights on most new cars render this almost useless), display a flag on the radio antenna (which few cars now have), and attach a magnetic sign on each side (which must have become too expensive). I have lived in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and now Maryland. … I was in a funeral procession here for which we were told to turn on our flashers (difficult to see on a bright day) and stay close to each other (which nearly everyone does too well anyway). That worked reasonably well until some of us approached a stop light at the exit from a shopping center parking lot, and nobody wanting to leave there was going to wait for anybody – until we laid on our horns and kept going. I hope never to be part of a funeral procession again!

  3. I grew up in MA, also,and was taught to pull over or stop. I've lived in WA for decades now and rarely see funeral processions now but would stop if I did.
    I'm so sorry about your accident, but agree that drivers don't seem to pay attention. Glad you are OK!

  4. Love your sites! My husband and I moved to Michigan a couple years ago and have been surprised that the traffic just keeps going when a funeral procession drives by. Everyone seems to be in a big hurry and has no time for such things I suppose. So to prevent getting run over, we try to pull to the side of the road and stop when a funeral passes by. I, too, am from the south and have experienced the respect of stopped traffic when my parents died. It was hugely appreciated.

  5. Great card, love how you mixed up the fonts and colours, works perfectly. I am currently struggling with a layer set, flowers and it drove me to putting them away to try again another day.
    In Australia I have never heard of stopping for a funeral passing but it is customary for cars in the procession to have their lights on which lets other drivers know and it is like an unspoken rule that no one interupt or break through their passing. You would never consider cutting into the line of traffic but I think very few of the younger generation are aware of this.

  6. Love the card,sentiment and colors used. Gold stars all around!
    I also grew up in a time period where oncoming traffic always stopped out of respect for the funeral procession. And sadly, like so many of our 'just good manners' acts, adherence to them has practically disappeared. And rear-ending accidents seem to be at all time high because so many pay so little attention to what is happening ahead of them. Thankful you and Jack did not suffer from the other drivers inattention. Suspect your insurance company will also suggest you take off the target :)
    Lu C

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  10. I am gland that you and Jack are OK. Very sorry about your car. I do think the target needs to be removed.

    I love your card - the fun fonts and the colors - what's not to love :)

    I think the problem is that people do not pay attention to what going on round them. Not sure why they couldn't see you were stopped though. I stop for a funeral processions - because that what my Mom taught me - respect other peoples pain and grief. I live in a smallish town in Michigan. But people aren't stopping for fire trucks or ambulances either.

  11. Sorry to hear about your accident. Glad you are ok. I grew up in PA and we always stopped for processions. I've lived in MA for the last 30 years and it's also the norm here to stop for a procession. Cute card for your niece, by the way!

  12. I feel your pain. My husband and I had a Pontiac Grand Prix that was hit four times - never our fault. The last accident totaled it. It was a guy with no insurance or driver's license who threatened my husband before the police came. THAT was an experience. One of our accidents was similar to yours - as a red light we got rear ended by a woman whom I can only assume was texting or something. So frustrating. We didn't feel the full impact until a few days after the accident. Not fun. My husband was hit for the first time in our new car last month so we are currently driving a rental. As to your question about funeral processions in my experience here in Omaha, NE people always stop. It wouldn't surprise me if we see that go away as society gets more selfish and impatient. I think that's why drivers are getting worse and worse. People are too selfish and have no attention span.

  13. Love your card. So sorry about your accidents - oh my gosh, three of them! I have lived in Minnesota all of my life. We do stop for funeral processions here, also.

  14. Here in the Netherlands we are used to stop for such a funeral procession as wel. Just for the sake of respect. I think you did the right thing to stop, and the woman behind you had to better. Hope youre feelling better soon. Hugs, Ankie

  15. I'm so glad to hear that you and Jack are okay. Having kids in the car always makes the experience so much more scary.

    I've never heard of an actual procession before where all the cars stay together except for a motorcade for a dignitary. Even with Catholic ceremonies where you go from the Church to the gravesite to the reception, everyone goes at their own pace here. I work near a cemetery and I can honestly say I've never seen a procession for which I would need to stop. I know to stop in New Orleans but I wouldn't have known that is a tradition elsewhere. That said, I always stop for cars with hazard lights on. I figure there has to be a reason for hazards.

  16. So sorry to hear about your accident. I am glad to hear that you and Jack are okay. What a scary experience! We will be moving back to the U.S. soon and one thing I am not looking forward to is driving. Hearing stories like yours makes me dread it even more.

    I grew up in the midwest...we ALWAYS stopped for funeral processions. All cars were labeled in the procession so you knew which cars to stop for and when it was okay to go again. I have a feeling people have become too busy and distracted to show this last bit of respect.

  17. It's common in South-Africa were I come from, but here in the Middle East (UAE) where we live now, I have never seen a funeral procession. It doesn't exist here.I have no idea in which way the deceased are transported.

    Always love reading your posts Susan!

  18. Good to hear that you and Jack didn't get hurt and prayers go out to the lady that hit you in hopes that she will ok as well. Sorry about your car tho. Just hope that the lady has insurance.
    Originally from Iowa, we Always stopped for a funeral procession as everyone else did as well. Was just common knowledge to do so . Everyone in the procession would have their headlights on and no one moved until that last car in the procession went by.
    Now here in Texas, a whole different thing unless people know that it's a military person then they line the interstate, streets, roadways, etc.
    Seems like more and more people loose respect for others.

  19. Sorry, got involved reading about your accident that I forgot to mention how great your new stamp sets are.
    Cool looking card as well.
    Always fun to play with new products when they arrive. Me, I feel like a little kid, all giddy inside when new products show up at my door step.

  20. Susan, I am so sorry but am so glad that you are both okay. Will pray for the other driver as well. This practice is very common here in Illinois and Wisconsin too, but inattention seems to be a serious problem, and worse with cell phone use when driving, I believe. Get better.

  21. Great card! Love the colour & different fonts.

    People do not pay attention. I see too many close calls driving around rural Ontario. My parents grew up in the Atlantic provinces and I gather stopping for a funeral procession was something they didn't do because I'd never heard of it until I was married with children but I do stop now if I can do so safely.

  22. Glad you and Jack are okay. I live in Michigan and I pull over to the outside outer lane. I was hit 3 years ago the day after an ice storm. All of the air bags went off, 2 cracked ribs a concussion and a totalled car later, I still hate driving .Love the fonts on your card.

  23. Dear Susan, so glad that you and Jack are ok. Will pray for the the woman that plowed into you, not just for a speedy recovery, but also that she will learn a lesson and pay closer attention when driving. It astounds me how many people don't understand that they must may attention to driving. Re: pulling aside for funerals -- a touching tradition. I remember the first time I saw that, in Concord, NC, my uncle's funeral. Even a UPS truck pulled over and the driver got out and took off his hat. The memory brings tears to my eyes 25 years later.
    Susan, thank you for sharing yourself with us. Thank you so very much!

  24. I'm so sorry to hear about your accident..again. Thanking God for no injuries to you or Jack.
    Regarding funeral pro sessions. One of my biggest pet peeve is people who do not pull over, or wait, or BREAK IN to the line. We buried my brother in law last Thursday. One person broke in and I got so upset. One thing I did see, that I never had, was cars coming in the opposite direction also pulled over and stopped. I thought that was nice. That was in New Hampshire. I'm in Massachusetts and you never know who will do what!?!

  25. I believe here in Illinois you have to stop for a funeral procession. Often times they're accompanied by police. Hope you're ok after your accident.

  26. I stop for funeral processions. I thought it was the law since I saw people getting pulled over for cutting into the procession once. Of course, people don't stop or pull over for emergency vehicles anymore either. Really, it doesn't matter WHY you stopped, the lady in the vehicle behind should have been paying attention.

    I know that you say that your car has done you well but aren't you concerned about it's overall structural integrity after 3 accidents? They don't make them like they used to.

  27. I stop for funeral processions. I'm from south Texas. I would consider it awfully disrespectful not to.

  28. We don't stop unless the escort has stopped the traffic. I've never heard of stopping otherwise. In LA, Calif traffic, it would be dangerous to stop unexpectedly. And everyone else would be really mad at you.

  29. The card is such fun. And I love alphabet stamps!

    So glad that you & Jack are ok after the crash. Never a good experience. Had a similar crash years ago, standing still in heavy traffic. Even now I am paranoid when people drive too near me, or rush up to a light.

    In South Africa we still stop for a procession, if even just for the first cars. Well, I do. And I stop and/or make way for ambulances and other emergency vehicles. Can't say everybody else does, even if they have too.
    They are the same ones that complain that the ambulance or police took very long...

    Must add here that in some communities people prefer cremations or private funerals, so processions are not so common anymore, or they are quite small.

    Interesting topic!


  30. Glad you and Jack are both fine after the most recent accident (it feels weird to say that). As others have already recommended, please remove the target on your car! Here in Wisconsin, we are required by law to stop for a funeral procession. I think that's only right. I'm sure some people are annoyed, but when I'm stopped, it makes me remember the processions I've been in and the people I've lost. And I say a prayer for the people in that procession, for their grief and loss. We need to be more in touch with the other people in our world; we may need them someday to support us.

  31. I'm so sorry to hear about your accident, Susan, especially your THIRD one! Yikes. I LMAO about your mom telling you to take the target off the back! But, seriously, sometimes the aches and pains don't appear for a couple of days and I'm praying that you and Jack don't end up with any residual problems. (You have new goodies to play with, after all, and can't afford to be laid low!) I would definitely keep that tank, too - being slammed at 50 MPH would demolish a lot of lesser cars! Love and hugs, Darnell

  32. I'm sorry to hear about your accident. So glad you & your son are mostly OK. Hope car repairs are swift & painless. Man, insurance companies are gonna flag you if this trend keeps up.
    I was born & raised in southern Indiana & now live in South Carolina. I'd be appalled if folks didn't stop for a funeral procession! I also know that many cities & municipalities no longer provide the police presence for those processions because of cost cutting measures, which is sad. Grieving families can "hire" them if they wish in some cases, which again is APPALLING!
    Now, about those stamps. I have several of those same sets on my "wish list", one being the layered floral set you said gave you fits. This would be my FIRST layered set, so I'm wondering if I should skip it or not.
    Love the card for your niece. Betting she will too.

  33. I'm sorry to hear about your accident and will be praying! Really enjoyed seeing your card and this set will be on my wish list ; )

  34. I don't know traditions but I do know that when I see a funeral procession I pull over to the side of the road and wait. Why? I don't know but it feels right. Suppose it is the southern blood in my heritage? Bummer on the accident.

  35. I grew up in Michigan...we always stopped for funeral processions to pay respect. As a law enforcement officer in Florida, I have escorted many Florida, processions have the right away and all traffic (vehicle and pedestrian) must yield to them. So, looks like you've not only been paying respect to the deceased and their most likely were obeying the traffic laws, too. :)

  36. Sorry about the sure you and Jack are totally ok before signing off. Rear enders can cause neck issues for years, so do be careful. I'm in California and never have heard of stopping for a funeral procession. Actually, it's been years since I've even seen one. Services seem now to be separate from the actual burial which is usually very private.

  37. So glad you and Jack are OK-I said a prayer for the other driver. I have lived in Ma all my life (you have a lot of fans here!) and even though we are famous for our aggressive driving- it is expected that you stop for funeral processions. I have seen cars pulled over by police for cutting into a procession-- yahoo- go our men in blue -my dad was a police officer and made sure I knew the expectations of the road! And I agree with you- your car has kept you safe thru 3 accidents- as long as it is safe to repair-- keep it!!

  38. Fortunately, you and Jack are fine, Susan. A car can be fixed or even replaced.

    I am not familar with the funeral processions you told about. Here in my little corner of the world, these funeral processions are already at the graveyard, so no cars around...

    Maybe the wrong question but what is told by law? To stop or not to stop? Think there are also differents, depending on which country you're in. In the U.S. you must not pass a schoolbus but have to wait. Here in Germany you are allowed to pass a schoolbus, but only at a very slow speed (maybe walking speed?!). I prefer your US rules because how slow is "slow" ? I prefer straight rules...

    BTW: really love your card, really colourful! Thanks for sharing,


  39. Relieved to hear you and Jack are ok. Thoughts are with the other driver also.

  40. So glad to hear you are both OK... and I like the card even though it had more white space than I can do myself ;-) On the topic of the funeral processions, I grew up in FL where you "yield" to them, but you do not pull over or come to a complete stop, and you never break in line, and you allow them to run a red light to stay together. For 30 years, this is all I knew. Then I moved to GA, which is the real south whereas FL is really just south NY, you know? So, my husband and I were like what is going on? There wasn't even a police escort, but we did as others did and pulled over, even though we were on the opposite side of the road. If it makes others happy, I don't mind but I saw an accident first hand that makes me question the point. Oddly, it was the motorcycle police escort that got hit... he swerved into the oncoming lane of traffic going the opposite direction as if to make the point to get them to stop. The motorcycle and a truck had an awkward dance and each swerved but ended up swerving into each other. What a senseless accident and an unnecessary distraction to the family of the deceased. I ended up being a witness and having to give testimony as to what happened. I still to this day do not know that actual law in GA is and who was at fault there but the cop was severely injured... as would be anyone who swerved into oncoming traffic. Duh. Respectful or stupid? Last thought... I know here they've taken Drivers Ed out of the high schools and privatized it which costs more than most folks can afford, or you just rely on being taught by a family member. Respect and rules of the road are being left out when its not part of a standardized course so teenagers may not be learning the geographical customs regarding processions. And then, some people just suck.

  41. Love your card, so sorry to hear of the accident - 50 mph is very fast and the impact must have been horrendous.
    Here in Northern Ireland and all over Ireland it is not the law to pull over for traffic behind the cortege or the traffic oncoming to stop but everyone does out of respect. No one would ever overtake a hearse. There is usually just one or two Undertaker cars which will follow the hearse and everyone else will travel to the cemetery at their own pace and the proceedings will not start until it is thought all are present. No lights will be used on the cortege or it's followers. Police may or may not be on duty at a major crossing. Like the American South we are still very respectful of the dead.

  42. I'm a bit late to comment, but I feel the way you do about funeral processions - it's one last way to honour the loved one on their final journey. I'm from s.w. Ontario, and almost everyone around here pulls over and stops for a funeral - it's a gesture of respect. It doesn't matter if you're in a car, or delivery truck, or school bus - you pull over (as soon as you can do so safely), and you wait until the entire procession passes by. Originally, the cars in the procession had their headlights on - now, so many cars have daytime running lights, so we use our 4-way "caution" lights instead to indicate that we're part of the procession.
    In the meantime, I hope that you, Jack, and the other driver are all doing okay!

  43. I'm a bit late to comment, but I feel the way you do about funeral processions - it's one last way to honour the loved one on their final journey. I'm from s.w. Ontario, and almost everyone around here pulls over and stops for a funeral - it's a gesture of respect. It doesn't matter if you're in a car, or delivery truck, or school bus - you pull over (as soon as you can do so safely), and you wait until the entire procession passes by. Originally, the cars in the procession had their headlights on - now, so many cars have daytime running lights, so we use our 4-way "caution" lights instead to indicate that we're part of the procession.
    In the meantime, I hope that you, Jack, and the other driver are all doing okay!

  44. In Canada, people stop for funeral processions. I assumed that was kind of universal.

    Now that I read you've been rear-ended 3 times, I'm glad you've replaced your car! Some cars just have bad luck. My last Honda seemed to have a target on it. People were forever abusing in parking lots (and sometimes not leaving a note). Frustrating. It has been replaced with a shiny new Subaru Crosstrek. So far, so good.

    I hope you are accident free for a looong time. I've been rear-ended stopping at a crosswalk, and it wasn't fun. My left shoulder bothered me for awhile after that. Hope you are feeling 100%.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!