Saturday, April 5, 2014

A day

One month ago today, March 5th at 9:10 a.m., my life forever changed as a part of me departed this world. It changed me. How could it not?
Despite knowing my mother's health was declining, despite watching her struggle to breathe, despite sitting with her in hospice, clutching her hand in mine, it was a shock. A numbing shock. I still cannot believe she is gone.
My mother is dead, my mother is dead, my mother is dead. I never verbalized these words, but they rolled around inside my head making a horrible racket like marbles in a bucket, making me want to scream. 
I am more contemplative, more serious, more quiet, more tired. Exhausted. Even now, writing these words, a wave of nausea flows through me.
She hadn't yet passed the first time I thought of calling her. We took Little Bee swimming and she swam for two and a half hours. Natalie and I were walking down the hall, hand in hand, when I thought I need to call Mother and tell her about Natalie swimming. Then it occurred to me- I will never call her again. I have thought about calling her to tell her what is going on several times since.  We've had torrential rains this past week and flooding. Mother always watched the weather here and would call me to make sure I was o.k.
Last night a friend came from out of town and was my overnight guest. We ate out last night, we came home, changed into comfy clothes, I made a fire and we talked.
This morning, hair disheveled and eyeliner smudged, we sat, wearing pajamas, drinking coffee and talking.  I laughed. I yelled. I carried on.
We talked and talked and talked. She listened as I went back to the subject repeatedly - "mother this, mother that, since we've lost mother..."
We ate good food-delicious food and consumed some excellent beers.
Today, we drove from Bloomington to Nashville, Indiana and walked a bit. Then we drove the back roads and hills and through mud, with the windows down and sunroof open. We were silent. We breathed in the smells of spring, of earth bursting forth with fronds and green and sprouting and growth. We got a little lost and found our way again.
And I felt more like me than I have in months.
Today was a day. It was a good day.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Getting back to normal

Getting back to normal - perhaps I shouldn't use the word "normal."
Perhaps I should say "routine."
I was one of those people who always sent out Christmas cards. Always.
Once again, I did not get many cards sent out. 
Little Bee

On Thursday, December 12th, I flew to the east coast for my Christmas visit with my girls. Little Bee will be three in March. (HOW did that happen?)
Because I want her to grow up believing she is an artist, the two of us have started to "do art" together. She loves it. I have introduced her to wooden stamps. For this visit, I put together card kits and she made Christmas cards for Mama and Mommy.
She loves to dance and sing and tease. She cuddles and runs away.
Life is so much better with Little Bee. My visits with my girls always go by too quickly.

On Saturday, the 14th, I went to bed with a sore throat.
On Sunday, the 15th, I flew back to Indiana and on my flight my left ear popped.
It comes and goes but there are still times I cannot hear.

When I woke on Monday the 16th, I was running a fever and knew I couldn't return to work.

On Tuesday the 17th, I called the doctor but they could not get me in to the office and advised me to go to the walk-in clinic.
On Wednesday, I felt determined and rallied and returned to work.
Big Mistake. I returned home that evening feeling terrible.

On Thursday the 19th, I was up early and the first to be seen at the walk-in clinic. I  was diagnosed with a severe sinus infection and went home with four meds.

We were supposed to leave for North Carolina for Christmas with my son on Friday the 20th.
Also, my mother was hospitalized.
Because I had been so ill, and had just started my meds, we postponed our departure until Saturday a.m.

Saturday the 21st, we were up early to load the car. I was so worried about my mother and questioning if I should be going on this trip that I was sick. I was crying and nauseous and kept taking packing breaks to lie on the bed until my stomach settled down.
I decided I would have faith that she would be fine.
Finally, we hit the road. 
Friends since age 17.
Moi, my friend Laura (whom my daughter is named for)
and my Welsh Pembroke Corgi, Chelsea.

Each day I continued to improve.
I was in constant communication with my family regarding my mother's health.
It was her desire was to get to go home from the hospital for Christmas and she was released on the 23rd.

We stayed with my son and his future wife in their new home.
We visited with my friend Laura who also lives in the Triangle.
It was a restful, sweet visit. Following a Christmas Eve gathering, we woke early and hit the road to drive back to Indiana on Christmas Day.

My future daughter-in-law, Dino
My son, Bradley
et Moi
We thought it would be an adventure to drive back home on Christmas day. There were few travelers on the road. And, it was difficult to find anywhere to eat. We saw a Waffle House was open and went in. It was standing room only and we opted to press on. Finally, we found a truck stop plaza sort of place which had a food court.

On the 26th and 27th, I worked. There were stacks of work, but in two days I was caught up.

On Saturday, the 28th, the first real opportunity I had to do so, I drove to my hometown to see my mother. She was not well. I spent the day with my parents. Finally by late evening, my dad persuaded my mother to go to our local hospital. The ambulance took her and I met my parents at the emergency room. By one a.m., it was determined my mother would be transferred to Indianapolis. I drove over and met her there and stayed with her until five a.m. I returned home at six a.m.
Sunday, the 29th,  I slept for five and a half hours and we went to the movie theatre.

I went to work on Monday the 30th and yesterday, the 31st.

Today, we drove to Indianapolis to see my mother, again.
It seems we are getting closer to a solution.
Time marches on.

Although I am not yet ready to summarize 2013, I welcome the New Year and getting back to normal.
Wonder why I did not get many Christmas cards sent out?

Happy New Year

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bloomington, IN - 10.5 inches of snow, or more!

At one point in my life I had a great desire to move to Alaska to teach.
Everyone was incredulous at the mention of this desire.
I am able to romanticize about most any situation and my dream to moving to Alaska was no different. I imagined a cabin in the woods with a big four-poster bed, piled high with quilts, candles burning, a pot bubbling on the stove, perhaps an Alaskan man to cuddle with.
Today, I got a little taste of what that dream might have been like. Winter storm Cleon hit us hard. Last night we had freezing rain and hail. Then it began to snow. I love storms. I think storms are exciting. They make me feel alive. Last night we built a fire, I lit some candles and we scurried around locating flash lights. Fortunately, we never lost out electricity.
At some point in the night the snow ceased. Today, it started to snow again around 7:30 a.m. I woke to the sound of shoveling. I waited until this morning to make a decision as to whether or not I would go to the office this morning. The university was open, and I understand, because most of the students are on campus. But  it was not too convenient for those of us who do not live on campus. The roads were extremely slick. Only one of my colleagues made it to the office. I exchanged a couple of texts with him and he declared the situation a mess.
Around 2:30 this afternoon I bundled up to take Chelsea for a walk. I took my Nikon along. A heavy, wet snow was falling. It was difficult to keep my camera dry and to keep my lens from fogging. And, my trigger finger about froze off of my hand.
When we have freezing rain, I worry about the big pine out front falling on the house. The pine towers over the house. I'm certain it has an elaborate root system, but if it was to fall, it would demolish the house - not a very romantic notion.

Like a student, I greatly enjoyed this unexpected snow day.

The drive looking towards the road

Woodpile & Canoe

Our road - heading towards town

The road heading past our house towards Herrodsburg -
no one lives on the curve, but if you notice, a car is parked off of the road.

No paper today. I tried to see if there was mail,
 but the mailbox was frozen shut

The big pine out front -
the one I do not want to fall on the house

 Rolled hay made me think of loaves of cinnamon bread with icing

Looking towards our place from the road out behind the property

My Welsh Pembroke Corgi, Chelsea Kabob
She loves the snow - hops like a bunny and snuffles her nose in it

Pampas grass & small pine

Clothesline & the small chicken barn

Hurray for the snowplow

Heavy boughs on the big pine

Drive up to the house - shoveled at 8 a.m.
This photo was taken around 2:30 p.m.

I love this tree - the big Sycamore on the other side of the drive

Burning bush

Sundial in the garden

Bench with watering can in the garden