Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Strange and Unscheduled Week

I have not meant to change my writing date from Wednesday to Saturday, even though it seems as if that has happened. Our lives have been in too much turmoil to keep any kind of schedule for several weeks now.

Gerald and I drove to the Crabb-Abbott Farm east of Vienna on Tuesday after stopping for a hamburger at Ned’s Shed. It was raining too hard to walk down to the creek where the Trail is most obvious, but 88 people braved the rain to come out for the unveiling of the sign marking the farm as one segment of the Cherokee’s Trail of Tears.

We stood in Joe and Ethel’s open garage for brief meetings before and after the unveiling. Our Trail of Tears Association president Sandy Boaz told us that when she checked the Daniel Butrick journal, she found it was also raining on January 8, 1839. Then we all headed over to the Dixon Springs State Park kitchen, where Joe and Ethel and their daughters served us all chili, white chili, hot dogs, and all kinds of other extras and goodies including a surprise birthday cake for Joe.

A special treat for me was being able to visit with the Jim and Maybelle Watkins family--who were my Jonesboro neighbors on Cook Avenue when I was growing up. Their son Jim and wife Nancy were also there. Jim had been in my mother’s classroom in the second grade and then again when she was moved to teach fourth grade to his class two years later.

That night we learned the sad news that the bone marrow test for Gerald’s brother Ken showed an abundance of leukemia cells again. We went up to the hospital the next day and intended to stay all night with our daughter’s family in Lake Saint Louis and come home Thursday morning.

Instead Gerald’s sister Ernestine flew in from Rock Springs, Wyoming, and we met her plane Thursday afternoon. Ken and Opal had been told by the doctor that morning that he would receive a transfusion and platelets and be sent home since the chemo had not worked and the doctor could do nothing more for Ken.

Unfortunately and weirdly in all our opinions, the transfusion and platelets did not arrive for Ken until almost midnight. His two daughters were able to take Ken and Opal from the hospital a little before 2 a.m. on Friday morning and they arrived at their Marion home at 4 a.m. It had been a long and exhausting time--over a day and a half for Ken and Opal when they were finally able to go to bed in their own bed Friday morning.

Since then Ken has been rejoicing at being home, and he and Opal have been holding open house to their children, grandchildren, and siblings. Today their son took Ken and Opal on the drive he wanted to Union County and visited with several of Opal’s family who brought him all Ken’s favorite treats they could think of. He went to bed early tired but happy I think.

We have been sharing Ernestine with her other brothers and wives. Consequently, we’ve been treated to dinner at Cracker Barrel last night and at Ryan’s tonight.

The downstairs Christmas tree is back in the closet where it belongs, but some of the ornaments are still spread out on the bed in that room. Upstairs, when we got home with Ernestine, I put away all the holiday accessories that were lying on the bed in the guest bedroom waiting to be put away. Yesterday I took the living room tree down and boxed up those ornaments, but I could not get one part of the tree pulled apart to fit in the box. I must call that to Gerald's attention to finish that job for me.

Yesteday I barely made it to a doctor's appointment made a year ago, and the office was all torn up and being painted. The woman at the desk explained that our answering machine had not worked when they tried to phone and cancel the appointment. Having been told my new glasses would be ready this week, I then fought the after-school traffic and went to get them assuming they too had been unable to leave the message on the non-working answering machine. There after a wait, the right person got off the phone to tell me that they had been mistaken--because of some problem my glasses had to be outsourced and maybe I would get them next week--although she wasn't sure.

As I said, the week has been filled with unscheduled activities as well as ones scheduled.

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