Friday, October 14, 2011

Autumnal Tumbling

Red and orange are gradually being added to the green, brown, and yellow leaves in Southern Illinois. Only a few leaves are falling so far. Yet autumnal tumbling describes our recent life at Woodsong. We seldom finish one activity or thought until another tumbles in to interrupt or change our direction.

Harvest on our farm is finished thanks to the great efforts and management skills by our son-in-law Brian. He also has winter wheat sown already. He must wait awhile to harvest the rest of his acreage—rented fields over near Harrisburg-- which were sown later. I hope he has been able to get some rest before then to make up for those nights he was still working at 3 a.m. the next morning.

Granddaughter Brianna was down to help her dad over the weekend as well as to enjoy her cousin Sam Cedar’s first Homecoming parade on Friday afternoon, the football game that night, and the coronation the next night with her mom, who had also shown up on Saturday to help with the harvest.

Despite heavy traffic, I made part of the parade, which Bri was watching with Katherine and David, but I hurried off to attend (late) the Women’s Club meeting at the library since I had missed the previous month and I especially wanted to hear Jon Musgrave’s program and his latest research for his next book.

Gerald and I went to our first football game in years in order to see Sam march in the pre-game show and at half time. We left early since we had to park so far away and would be walking near the edge of the street on rough ground. We didn’t want to do that in heavy traffic. Although we walked a long way, many more people were parked further up that road than we were, and I am sure it was the same on the other side of the school. We heard the end of the game just as our car arrived in the garage—and Marion won by one point. It was Centralia's first defeat this season.

Before we left for the game, we had a message on our answering machine from my sister that their daughter Candy was in the hospital and might not live through the night. We found out she had made it, but she was still unconscious; we were still worrying about that on Saturday afternoon when my brother Jim and wife Vivian came by for a visit after being in Union County celebrating with the Class of 1946 the 65th anniversary of their high school graduation. It was a two-day affair and they also added the third day so they could visit friends, Vivian’s sister Ruby, and us.

On Sunday we were enjoying all the photos posted on Facebook of Sam and his beautiful date for the Homecoming dance. We came home from church to find that Mary Ellen, Brian, and Brianna had carried in dinner for all of us from Kentucky Fried Chicken. So we had a good visit over lunch with no effort on my part before I drove in for an afternoon visit with Katherine to hear all about Homecoming from her perspective and their anniversary celebration the night before. Before David got home from his friend’s farm, where they are making preparations for hunting season, I got to take Sam to his youth meeting—that was after he came home from a friend’s house. My sister phoned that afternoon on my cell to give me an update on Candy while I was still at Katherine’s.

Katherine herself was still receiving intravenous antibiotic every twelve hours by home health aides and David. On the previous Monday, various complications at the Cedar home kept happening so that we helped out by taking Katherine to the ER at the Carbondale hospital for tests and to be given the right antibiotic with the insert of a receptacle left in her arm so that she was given the antibiotic every twelve hours at home. Since the extreme busyness at ER that night kept us there seven hours until 2 a.m., we were thankful we had taken her and that David was home with Sam. Katherine had been told that they were dealing with three heart attacks and the arrival of four ambulances.

It was a strange experience because the waiting room was filled with weeping people, and the crowd kept growing as the night progressed. The grief was so raw and intense that I wondered if a child was dying, but it was such a diverse crowd that I could not figure it out. We were shocked and very saddened ourselves when we learned that a kindergarten teacher in a local school had hung herself in a classroom after school and was found by another teacher. As the word spread, her fellow teachers were coming in praying she might live and trying to comfort one another. She did live until the next morning when organs were donated. The school, as shown on the news the next day, was in mourning and tried to help with counseling for the students, but who can explain suicide, let alone to children.

We were so pleased with the very sharp ER doctor that night. Katherine knew from previous infections what was needed and he listened carefully and was not threatened by questions by an intelligent patient. Instead he called her urologist and found out she was right, and consequently everything was done correctly. It is difficult for patients to advocate for themselves, but a good physician appreciates it. There was the sweetest and most understanding nurse taking care of Katherine in the ER that night, and it made the long tiring experience much less difficult.
On Tuesday afternoon this week, a visiting nurse came to remove the receptacle for the antibiotic and to write the final report. And this home nurse was so intelligent, informative, and supportive that I find myself really high on the medical profession right now. We have had some bad experiences with doctors and ER people in the past, and so has Katherine, so that makes you really appreciate the good people.

Some people are scared of any kind of government employees and, thus, are scared of government involvement in medicine. I am convinced that competent and caring people work in the government bureaus just as they do in private situations. And unfortunately incompetent, arrogant, ignorant, lazy, and cruel people also work both in private businesses and in government bureaus. All of us, whether we want to be or not, are at the mercy of other people. Most of us are not unfortunate enough to be in a beauty shop, on an air plane, in a church house, or at a political rally in a supermarket parking lot when a crazed individual shows up and starts shooting. All we can do is try to encourage one another to be one of the giving people and do what we can to prevent incompetents and crazies from hurting others.

Meanwhile down in Amarillo, Candy is better though still in the hospital, and her daughter is up from Florida to visit her. Her Oklahoma sister is coming this weekend. Her local sisters are hosting their niece, and when Katherine talked to Rosemary this week, Rosie and Phil were fixing another family dinner in addition to their regular Friday night supper for their clan.

While all this family unhappy happenings have been going on, we are also carefully following and celebrating granddaughter Geri Ann’s high school softball career down in Georgia. She and her fellow pitcher Courtney Poole, both seniors, are continuing their winning ways on the mound and with their bats. Geri Ann has just broken both the all-time season record and career record for homeruns among Georgia high schools. The playoffs with several more games will continue for the next two weeks. Someone may catch up with her, especially since no one will pitch to her now, but her grandparents in Illinois believe she will finish on top.

We are also excited about our granddaughter Leslie down at Belmont University at Nashville. Her Facebook page is filled with congratulations on her stunning performance with the Rock Ensemble there on campus Wednesday night. We find it hard to believe that our little blonde is a senior in college, but we aren’t at all surprised she is winning praise for her powerful voice. Hearing her called a rock star by her band friends and Belmont audience is somewhat unexpected. Anyone who has heard Leslie sing in her high school musicals, with her guitar at coffee shop concerts, or leading worship at church would not think of her as a rock star. Yet this was the campus ensemble she was asked to perform with, and obviously her virtuosity includes rock. Here is a link to one of their concert performances now on You Tube:

Panic Attack by Dream Theater-Belmont University Rock Ensemble
From the Rock Ensemble's 2011 Show Written by Dream Theater

Tonight our computer is moving so very very slow. A slow computer in addition to all the busyness contributes to my not blogging in a timely fashion lately.

No comments: