Friday, July 05, 2013

The Pleasure and Excitement of Summer Company

After a spate of company last weekend with the Eilers and the Archibalds here, this week has been relatively quiet.  We often do not know who might arrive during the night and be sleeping in the next morning here at Woodsong.  Gerald did know that Tara and Bryan and our three great grandsons were coming to spend a day at the farm at the end of their vacation on their way home to Georgia, and he had been making sure the lime pile and toy machinery were ready for them.  I knew Jeannie and Cecelie were coming “at the end of the week,” but wasn’t sure when they would arrive. 

I was spending the night at Katherine’s, and when Gerald woke he could see who was in the house by the cars outside. Jeannie and Cecelie had picked up Brianna over at her house, where their family has been this summer—when they aren’t at Waggoner.  Of course, Mary Ellen came over the next day.  We liked it that it worked out so several of the family got to see “the boys” who, of course, are greatly changed every time they visit with most visits several months apart.

Jeannie came prepared with food and ideas and declared she was cooking for all of us.  We declared that her egg salad sandwiches for Friday lunch were the best we had ever eaten. Since people often sleep late and are barely up for lunch or have only recently eaten the bowl of cereal or toast, which is what they usually get for breakfast here, the egg salad was a great idea.  She also fixed supper that night, but the Archibalds had needed to leave before then--knowing they would still arrive home well after midnight. 

As usual, the three little guys rode the tractor, the lawn mower, the Gator, and played hard in and out of the house.  Cecelie and Brianna enjoyed entertaining them as well as Gerald.  When I arrived home, I played peep-eye with the shy one and gradually had my turn interacting with each precious boy.  Still in the flower mode, Gerald took the boys to the fields and let them pick bouquets for their parents.  I was impressed that they made sure their dad had a bouquet as well as their mama.   Later when Maddux was yawning and a mite cranky, his mother asked him if he was getting tired.  He nodded yes and added, “From all that flower picking.”  It is always sad to see them leave and we dreaded the long trip ahead for the parents, although they are pretty accomplished at keeping the kids occupied or asleep. 

The next day Elijah arrived driving down from Illinois State, where he is taking some summer classes and working.  I think the grandkids gathered up at Trent and Brianna’s house on Friday, and on Saturday Sam and his friend Anna were here at the farm for cousin activities. They always have plans since they keep connected by phone and Facebook.

 Elijah sang for us at church on Sunday, and then he was invited to sing again that evening at the Fifth Sunday Sing, where five or six of our rural churches meet together four times a year.  I missed that since I was visiting at Katherine’s.  Earlier that day, I think it was, Jeannie had taken her kids over to Carbondale to visit her alma mater, but she had left a loin roast in the slow cooker all day, and there were delicious pulled pork sandwiches for supper when I arrived back home.

Dodging the rain when necessary, Jeannie had, of course, ridden her bicycle every day—sometimes on local country roads and sometimes going over to Harrisburg and getting on the bike trail. On  Monday she started to bike to town, and Gerald and I were relaxing at the dining room table.  Suddenly she appeared with one hand over an eye with a bloody face and knees.  Broken glasses were in the other hand, and she was saying, “I’m hurt.” We sprang into action all talking at once--grabbing clean dish towels to soak up blood and trying to figure out what to do.  Cecelie rescued the damaged bike and brought it to the house.

Their little dog Leah, who had never done such a thing before, had run in front of Jeannie’s bike on our driveway before she had a chance to do anything to prevent the bike’s fall and her face going into the gravel.  As soon as we had the blood flow somewhat stanched, she was calling her insurance company and her husband and trying to figure out what to do in order to avoid the emergency room if possible.  There were no approved places in our area for her insurance, but they kindly told here that therefore she could go anywhere with pre-approval from them. 

With a deep looking gash  on her face above her eye, we were thinking plastic surgeon, but the telephone book did not help us. Gerald’s doctor said to call the hospital for a list, but they put him on hold and we gave up on that because we wanted to get things taken care of. We did not want to spend the rest of the day in the ER, and Jeannie did not want to end up unnecessarily with that enormous expense. I tagged along with Gerald and Jeannie because I did not want to sit at home not knowing what was going on. The first urgent care place we went to was closed for lunch.  We went to another. 

The girl at the desk was so attentive and assured Jeannie that the P.A. there did that kind of thing all the time, and Jeannie went in quickly.  Not too much later, she came out after a tetanus shot and four stitches on her forehead with bandages on her head and knee. She assured us it had not hurt anything like she thought it would.  By this time, it was well past lunch time, so we went to a nearby eatery to plot her next move.  She had also talked to her eye doctor at Freeport and was hoping she could have the lenses put in a new unbroken frame, so she could wait to replace the lenses back with her own doctor.   I could not imagine that anyone could get the one lens, which had some damage in its corner, out of the frame without breaking it. 

We bravely went to Wal-Mart and no one was even at the desk in the eye center.  That seemed like a bad omen since we saw some other customers sitting closer to the intersanctum.  But when that clerk came out, we immediately felt her concern and expertise.  Within a very short time, she had found a frame among the children’s frames that fit Jeannie’s lenses exactly, and she had both lenses transferred to the new frame, which cost $9.09.  We were happy campers, indeed, and were soon back at Woodsong feeling very blessed.

Jeannie, Cecelie, and Elijah were actually on their way to Nashville, TN, to visit Leslie, whose birthday was Tuesday.  The kids had concert tickets to celebrate. After a little debate, they decided all was well enough to head to Nashville.  Jeannie loaded up her crippled bike on the back of her van and knew she would be renting a bike in Nashville.  Rick is teaching summer school as usual, and he came through last night and left his truck here and took Elijah’s car on down to Leslie and Mike’s for the rest of the week.

The dilapidated Candy Land  game is once again under the flap of the couch in the living room.  This is the same game that little Tara used to play and made sure rules were changed as we went along because even back then she wanted to win. Now it is her sons who play with Gerald, and the game is interrupted as younger boys join Aidan, who is very kind to let them join in.  I had forgotten once where I had stored (hidden) the game, but Aidan quickly went to the couch and pulled it out

Now faded bouquets have all been thrown out, the leftovers eaten up, the bloody towels soaked and bleached, and we’ve had a calm Independence Day.  I went to Katherine’s most of the day before an aide arrived, and Mary Ellen came over to the farm.  None of the beds have been touched since people left, but since Eilers will be stopping by on their way back north, I will let them deal with that.     

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