Although we missed out on one big snow while we were gone, we came home from Texas to experience the next one. Schools were closed, and people were pretty much home bound by the ice and snow.
Our middle daughter Jeannie has been our extremely dedicated bicycle rider and healthy food advocate. We were shocked to find out that a second surgery was required after a negative biopsy. We delayed our trip up to Jeannie’s because of the fear of roads. (I felt as if the worst thing we could do was to go up and have an accident and add to family woes.) We were glad we waited. Despite the snow in the fields beside the highways for the length of state, the roads were all fine. So we arrived last Friday—the day Jeannie came home from the University of Wisconsin hospital a day early, which we thought was a very good sign.
The weather had not only gone from bad to beautiful in Freeport, but we had to laugh when Gerald reported from a phone call to our nephew DuWayne that the temperature down here was colder that where we were at the north end of the state.
Once Jeannie arrived at home, her positive attitude kicked in, and she started walking every day. She is determined to be as healthy as possible as she recovers from this unexpected adversity in her life. Since she is not allowed to ride her bike yet, she is substituting walking. Her daughter and son-in-law arrived the same day we did. Mike left Sunday with Millie and Sidney (their big dogs), but Leslie stayed to support her mother. Despite a busy high school schedule and working a shift Saturday at the thrift store where she clerks, Cecelie was in and out with her boyfriend. They impressed us with their serious chemistry study at the dining room table after we ate.
Leslie was there until Thursday of this week when she back flew home to Nashville. Elijah was on spring break from Illinois State, and he arrived the day after us on Saturday in perfect timing to work the opening day at the famous Union Dairy (the place where people in Freeport go to get their ice cream cones every spring and summer). He was able to see how well his mother looked, take Leslie to the airport, and make himself useful during the week however he could. I am sure Cecelie was glad to have the companionship of her siblings during this time.
And I am sure they ate well all week, because Jeannie’s church was sending food. We enjoyed part of that good homemade food. I even came home with the recipe that the pastor’s wife sent with her Quinoa chicken salad. I had just learned its surprising pronunciation before we went to Jeannie’s, but I had never eaten it. Now if I can find it at the grocery store, maybe I will cook it and join the other gluten-free Quinoa enthusiasts. We were especially blessed Saturday evening to get to hear Leslie and Elijah practice “At the Table of the Lord,” which Jeannie had requested that they sing the next day at their morning service.
We felt we needed to leave Sunday morning instead of going to worship with them, because we wanted to stop in Mattoon to see my brother Jim, who is still recovering from the heart procedures earlier this year. After a lazy and pleasant breakfast at our motel, we took off. We knew my nephew Robert was staying with Jim and Vivian this winter helping them—they brag on his cooking. We were looking forward to seeing him for the first time in a long while. We were even more excited when we arrived to find our great nephew Sean and his two sons there visiting. I had not seen Sean since he was a young boy and had never met their toddler Lincoln (called Linc) nor Vincent Indiana Roland Jones, age 5, and called Indy. Linc had beautiful red hair, the kind we had always wished someone would inherit from Vivian. She graciously explained that Sean’s wife Paige had red hair in her family too. They soon had to leave, but Indy sparkled and entertained us while they were there, and I had to notice his excellent vocabulary.
As I had hoped, next my niece Judi dropped in. We had missed Sean’s brother Ryan from Champaign-Urbana, who visited the day before. And we had to leave before our niece Jane and her daughter Vanessa dropped in, but we still felt we had great dividends for stopping for that brief visit and seeing so many of the family.
We have had a busy week here as one of Katherine’s new aides ended up at the doctor’s with kidney stones and was unable to work all week. Fortunately that aide was friends with another woman who came part of the aide’s shifts, and I helped out as did some of Katherine’s friends who have generously given her their help. This was spring break for schools in our area, so Sam and his dad David had gone to visit a couple of colleges in the Southeast. With Trent on break to go with them, Brian and Mary Ellen traveled down to visit Brianna at Disney World. Fifi, who travels well, was able to go along because Brianna was missing her too. She was able to stay in the kennel there since Brianna had a discount. Mary Ellen and Brian must have felt rejuvenated by their trip, because they were already heads up painting the ceiling in their living room changing the brown wooden tiles to white. It was looking good when I stopped by. I got an air hug from Trent, who wasn’t feeling well. I had never had an air hug before but I imitated and sent one back.
I think all the family is back in place now, and we are hoping Katherine’s aide has no more health problems. I finally had my evaluation appointment, and I will start two weeks of physical therapy on Tuesday, Most of all, we are praying that the week goes well for Jeannie as her treatment continues. So many people are praying for her, and we would be grateful if you would too. She might get to complete her planned bicycle last lap to the Gulf Coast this summer after all.
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