Sunday, June 16, 2013

June Blessings

Two yellow day lilies are drinking water from a vase on the dining room table.  Katherine’s new wheelchair has arrived although the part to allow her to drive it has not yet arrived, so she went back to the old one for a couple of days in order to travel through her home.

It has been a pleasant week for the most part.  Not only did I get a nice visit with daughter Mary Ellen on Tuesday , but the next morning when I got out of bed at l0 a.m. (after surfing and catching up on the Internet too late the night before), there was a note in the kitchen from Mary Ellen with a meat loaf made from a new recipe she told me about on Tuesday and also containers of seven-layer salad—one for us and one for Katherine.  Both were very good, and one of the nice things about people sharing food is that often it is dishes you haven’t made in a long time—such as the that special salad that is so good but takes effort to create.

On Thursday I fried a package of fish that Gerry had cleaned and put in the freezer from their recent fishing time here.  With all the donations of food lately, our grocery bill ought to go down!

Grandson Sam and friends were out a couple of days to enjoy the lake, and I liked that. It is always good to see kids having a good time.   I finally got to meet his girl friend and a couple of other friends I’d heard about but never met.  There won’t be any visits this week, however, because he is at University of Illinois band and orchestra camp. His dad took him up in time to audition today, and he made second chair in the trombone section.  I was able to see Katherine’s pleasure this afternoon as she received the text message from David telling her about it.  To me the neatest thing about this camp is that our youngest grandchild Cecelie is there also with her violin.  That two cousins from opposite ends of the state can share this musical experience is very gratifying.

Last evening Gerald and I went out to dinner at our favorite quiet restaurant to celebrate our 57th wedding anniversary.  This morning at Bible study before worship service, we studied Job together.  It is good to find out with Job that some bad things which happen are not the result of our sin.  And it is also good to know that friends who want to comfort someone in trouble should not judge or claim to speak for God.  Job never knew why he was the recipiesnt of such tragedy, but I guess he not only understands it now but he can rejoice that for centuries humans have been blessed by his example when he assured us that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away—but we can still say, Blessed be the name of the Lord.  This example of faith when things don’t make sense is especially valuable to our family right now.

With the coming of two new night CNA workers—sisters who were going to cover for one another if needed—Katherine and I enjoyed thinking I could again limit my help to the evenings and no more night duty. That lasted six days because tonight one sister ended up in the hospital—I still do not know why.  The other sister did not know and could not be reached for a long time to come to Katherine’s in her sister’s stead.  But when she belatedly heard, she came but had to bring her children with her since she had not prior notice. So she is there now putting Katherine to bed—something I cannot do.  When she and her children leave, she is to phone me and I will drive in to town to spend the remainder of the night.  So as often happens, Katherine’s careful planning goes awry.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Busy Times

The iris blossoms were beautiful this year.  They have come and gone and I never once went out and picked one for the kitchen table.   Now the yellow day lilies line the side of the house with their cheery message.  Maybe I will find time to bring one of those in to brighten meals.

Today Mary Ellen came over to Woodsong to see her dad and me.  It had been too long since she and I had the opportunity to have a good mother-daughter time.  She has been working very hard up at Waggoner cleaning their home there and arranging with the insurance to repair the storm damage done to the house the other night after the tornado moved across the river from St. Louis. She has been down here with Brian and Trent for a couple of days now after taking Brianna down to Murray State University for orientation.  But she has worked just as hard cleaning their house down here and helping Brian, who never gets to stop this time of year. Amazingly, he has his crops all planted despite the rains. Mary Ellen left our house late, but I see a funny Facebook post lamenting farm life.  She and Brian were having hot dogs over a bon fire while Brian was spraying and she was working picking up fallen branches.  The latest post tells me they are finally back in the house, and she is getting the deer ticks off of herself.   Early in the morning she goes back to Kentucky to pick up Brianna.

Katherine too works hard just getting through her day’s appointments and agenda while struggling to not slip out of her worn-out electric wheelchair.  She worked diligently getting the correct one chosen in Spring 2012. A final step was for the salesman to come to St. Louis Rehabilitation Institute for a meeting with her and the physical therapist there.  He phoned he had a flat tire on the way up and did not make it, and then he kind of disappeared without answering phone calls.  Finally she found out the company had sold and she must begin to work with a new salesman.  This has gone on for months.  They did bring the ordered chair in the other day to her house—but adjustments still have to be made and she is being told some parts are  not yet  in.  I have spent a great deal of my time at her home the last few weeks helping out, and you would not believe how busy the days are with phone calls and text messages, people coming and going, and people wanting paper work from her despite the fact that her hands can no longer handle paper.

Actually everyone in the family seems to be working hard with little time to spare.  Gerry is recruiting for Georgia, and Tara is involved for two weeks with the softball camps there.  That means Vickie is busy taking three little boys to the swimming pool nearby every day.  Bryan has been briefly at his home office in Chicago, but he is back in Georgia now and I am sure the boys are relishing  plenty of father time in the evenings when he closes his home office.   Erin is working these same two weeks in softball camps at Texas A&M. Geri Ann will soon be in summer school, but I am pleased she has had a break to visit friends in New York.

The Eilers are winding down from their school year and facing the chores postponed till summer. At least Jeannie was able to get in 60 miles on her bicycle through the hills yesterday.  I would call that work, but she calls it bliss.   Elijah is back at school at Illinois State and sharing a small house with a roommate, which is an exciting change from dorm life although he liked that too.  Cecelie, our youngest grandchild, is ready to start high school in the fall and is now in eastern Kentucky with her church youth group working in Vacation Bible School there.  Having heard the impact this work made on her older siblings for many years, she was very pleased about getting to go.

After I came home from Katherine’s yesterday morning, I mostly spent the day just resting as I was exhausted from several nights’ care giving with only a partial night’s sleep.  I did not even have to cook our noon meal  as Vickie’s mother (Gma Shirley to that set of grandkids) had cooked and she brought me and Gerald a yummy meal when she arrived at Katherine’s house Sunday evening.  All I had to do was heat it up, so I napped until Gerald came in for lunch, and then I napped after lunch too. Gerald keeps busy mowing the every-expanding lawn and working on the lake and in his shop and on his small garden.   This time of year is very busy for farm families; so despite retirement, Gerald and I find ourselves with little spare time.  And though I sometimes worry about our children and their families being over busy, I am grateful for their work ethic and that they are living productive lives.