Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Who knew

Life can throw you some really unexpected curve balls. Who knew I would be invited to share a family vacation with my daughter? Who knew that one of my son-in-laws would suffer a massive stroke? Who knew that the summer would shape up to be so very busy? Certainly not me.

In May, our kids decided that I needed a break. How would I like to go to Italy for a couple weeks down time, all expenses paid?  OK, if someone would stay with Richard. So Dianna agreed to do so. Then just before I was due to leave, her husband Paul suffered a stroke, his third and worst. It landed him in the hospital and then in a recovery center. But since Dianna was not needed to care for him at home, she still wanted to stay with her dad. Then Paul had a brain bleed, which meant that he could no longer take the medication (blood thinner) that helped prevent additional strokes. He was readmitted to the hospital.

At this point I went ahead and found someone else to stay with Richard, a student that attends our church. She was thrilled at the opportunity to earn a little bit of money to go see her own dad. So I was off to our daughter Amy's house in Germany. I drove up to our son Rick's and left my car at his place. He drove me to the airport and Amy picked me up in Frankfurt. From her home, we drove down though Switzerland to Levane, Italy, about an hour south of Florence.

They had rented an apartment in an old villa from where we took many day trips and long scenic drives. We went to Rome, Piza, Florence, Luca, a large lake in Palusia Province, a formal garden, and one of the ancient hill cities. But while I was away, our son-in-law died.

Dianna had Paul's remains cremated and will have a memorial service for him on July 4, it would have been their 9th anniversary. Because of financial loss, Dianna will need to move, as well. So I, and others, have been helping her sort, get rid of, and pack. It is all a process, one we will get through. But it is hard.

We are expecting a lot of company too. It is always great to have company, but I was not expecting so many, in such a short time. I will deal with it and enjoy each one as they come. But I reserve the right to get tired. I do that a lot these days. It just kind of goes with the territory of getting older.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wild Spring

It has been a wild spring. Tradition goes that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. This year has clung to that saying in many ways, not all related to the weather. Yes it has been stormy and sunny. Today is just gorgeous. But March also brought a long string of visitors, family for the most part.

Having company is both wonderful and stressful. On one hand, you cherish the time together. On the other hand, it is exhausting. Our granddaughter from Germany arrived on March 17. We had not seen her for two years. She had not been to Oregon since she was a child. She is all grown up and doing her own thing these days. So it was great to have her here. Of course none of the local relatives had seen her in almost ten years, so that meant they came over several times, as well. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing all of them, but it was wave after wave in a short span of time.

One full day was spent driving a seven hour loop through the Cascades. There were areas that had only just opened from having been covered with snow and unfortunately, some of the sights were not yet accessible. Too bad, because they are beautiful.

During the second week of our granddaughter's visit one of our ex-son-in-laws died and so his children (both grown) flew out from Florida. They came down and spent the night, along with their mother. The house was full. It is always nice to see these two, it doesn't happen often. The circumstances could have been better, but they had not seen their cousin from Germany since she was three years old.

On March 27 our daughter and a grandson from Germany joined the group. She rented a vacation house at the beach as a birthday venue for me. So we all drove to the coast for three days stay. Unfortunately the house was not wheelchair friendly, but it was in a great spot, right on the beach. Our son and his family spent the entire time with us and all the local family joined us on my birthday. In all, there were fifteen of us. A friend also came down for one evening, bringing three children she cares for. We had a fireplace, lots of food, flowers brought direct from Amsterdam, all sorts of activities, live music, and a great view. We also stopped at several view points along the coast to take pictures. It was a birthday to remember.

Back home, the grandkids and their mom planted my garden, pruned the two largest apple trees, and mowed the lawn. That was a big help. We made a trip to see another granddaughter's new home and did a bit of shopping. During this time we also met a man who shares our last name and whose family originates from the same area of Sonora as ours. He runs a local restaurant. So we had a couple long visits with him, including a meal at his establishment. All our German family left on April 6.

By this time we were exhausted. The next two days found us going to bed early and sleeping in. The days were spent doing as little as possible. But life goes on, dishes and laundry need to be done. Medical appointments need to be kept. Friends come by to visit. Others visitors come as well.

This morning I found a doe and her fawn grazing in the back yard. These creatures have become way too at home around here. They are beautiful, but grass is not the only thing they eat. My peas and other tender plants are at risk. So, I may have to put up some sort of fencing to keep the deer out. So it goes.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Time Flies

2014 - Two months already gone. I know where they went, snow storms, hospitals, long recovery (still in it), and so on. I expect this year will vanish right before my eyes. But I need to focus on something else; good "things" that are happening or anticipated.
  1. Spring is coming - I got sugar pod peas in the ground and put in an additional three rassberry plants.
  2. We are expecting company - the kids and some of the grandkids will soon be converging to celebrate my birthday.
  3. Richard is getting stronger - he made it to Sunday School yesterday.
  4. There are no current crisis in the family - Thank you Jesus.