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The Fredder Mojo Train seems to be working for me; this is the first time I've asked for it. After a really rough week, Dad managed to make a few smart ass comments tonight. He's been so quiet as of late, but now I understand why. Mom has pulled herself together today, so she wasnít dissolving into tears. I don't think they're out of danger yet, but things are a tiny bit better. I won't get on a plane quite yet - in part because I'm pretty sure if I do, next weekend's business trip / event will completely fall apart.
This is a very rude and late April Foolís Day joke: six inches of snow were dumped on us today. I am hoping, praying that all the tender young shoots that I exposed on Saturday will survive, including the buds that were forming on lilacs and roses. I donít know how long it will take to melt all this snow. Of course we got an inch or two more than neighboring areas, even just up the street, at the top of the ďhillĒ. Our property is definitely in a colder micro-climate. I am so tired of shoveling out by hand.
This was the first time I couldnít really get a handle on what someone was trying to do Ė their actual purpose or things they have accomplished Ė so there was no way for me to find the pitch on what we could do together. Or how they were funded to do anything. Even knowing it was a small operation, from what he was saying, it just seemed implausible and impossible. I kind of got the feeling this was someone with no actual experience - no business experience, no domain experience, nothing. So after an hour, I left with no new information.
The big, multinational concern is ready to pay money to use our software. Thatís a very good sign. Just how much money isnít exactly clear Ė particularly as they would like certain additional features, ones that are not in our current roadmap, but do not appear to be very complicated. But before we can accept payment, we need two things: an appropriate software as a service license, as well as the actual ability to accept payment via credit card. Both of those things are probably going to take about a month to iron out. Assuming resources are available in coming weeks.
In the early decades of online communication there were bulletin boards, where youíd talk/post with other people. When you discovered someone new, who had their style of writing, and something of interest to say, it was like talking to them in real life: you felt you could see the person, not just their words. I remember staying up late, ďtalkingĒ with interesting people. There hasnít been someone ďnewĒ in any of the Rav groups that has caught my eye in a long time, but today, it was a bit like falling down the rabbit hole Ė if Iíd had more time.
First Friday of the month, so it is knit nite. I really do prefer Friday nights. Tonight was a full gathering, and we talked about retreats and camps. We went from the far away Ė Edinburgh, Iceland, Ireland Ė to Knit Camp in Wisconsin, and other events closer to home. I havenít gone to Rhinebeck with the group, but I would like to do that. I am not sure I can imagine traveling further afield with this group, except in specific, limited combinations. I am committed to Maine this September, but anything else of significance would have to wait until next year.
After the call from mom, I started writing down the list of things that have to get done, and the things that I need to pack. And every flight tomorrow is sold out. Every flight on Monday is sold out. How the fuck can this be? It isnít a holiday. Thereís nothing actually going on in southeastern Michigan. Nevertheless, I canít get there until Tuesday. Even if I could start driving first thing in the morning,. I wonít be there until Monday noon. But thereís a lot that needs doing before I leave, whenever that may be. Clock starts nowÖ
Quite literally, I donít know where Iím going this week. I am supposed to go to an event in Charleston for business at the end of this week. I should be packing for 80 degrees and sunshine. But even though Dad is a bit better today, I cannot escape the conclusion that I will be going to Michigan, the sooner the better. Iím trying to take care of various household chores today with the assumption Iím going to Michigan and may be gone for ten days. Which would be challenge enough, never mind the kitchen renovation that is in progress.
This was a lousy 70th birthday for mom. It started with snow. By the end of the day, she was so clearly worn out and worn down by the last two weeks that there really wasnít anything to discuss. I told her I was coming out ASAP and then went through the hoops of online ticket sites to find that seats for tomorrow are still available. So I bought my ticket Ė one way for now; Iíve no idea when Iím coming back and it isnít Southwest. Whatís the point of money in the bank if not to facilitate unexpected trips?
The drive from the airport should have been the scariest part of the day. I know sheís distracted and trying to show me what has changed, but as she drove through town I really thought we were going to cause an accident. I should have just told her Iím driving. I havenít gotten over the fact that they are my parents. The basement is in bad shape. I am hoping that some of dadís fogginess and downright forgetfulness is due to the chronic pain. If it isnít from the pain, then that is truly the scariest part of the day.
I am trying to be patient with everyone and the situation. Patience is something that requires a conscious effort on my part Ė unless I can knit while waiting. And so yes, I knit while we are at the talking at the table, during evening television, during the quiet of the afternoon when I know thereís not enough time to do anything productive for the office. I also observe while knitting Ėsomething I cannot do while reading, which is my other trusted time filler. Knitting is also soothing, which is fortunate as much of what I am observing here is disquieting.
ďNot eating enough to keep a bird aliveĒ is the quaint saying. Such a terrifying thought when applied to an actual person that you care about. Especially when it applies for more than a day or two. As mom casually recounts past events over the last few years, I am realizing more and more that thereís a whole history that was never discussed with me, including trips to the ER. Her comment during the ER visit two weeks ago, which she did tell me about Ė the comment that she wouldnít hide stuff anymore - makes a lot more sense now.
Embrace the suck. That is the theme of the week. And probably next week. And the week beyond, possibly. The cats are upset and acting out. Geoffrey is upset, managing the cats and the renovation I had to leave behind to be here. Dad is fading in and out of the here and now, sometimes very present and engaged, laughing and being a smart ass, sometimes heís a frustrated, little boy in pain. I am not sure what I can actually do other than help with the house, and try and get dad to eat, and entertain him whenever possible.
Looking at another stash of family photos is an opportunity to go diving into the past. Dadís report cards from school are another window. Teachers at the University Lab School Ė K-12 - wrote detailed summary commentary Ė an essay about the studentís progress- at the end of every year. I can only wonder how grandmother, also a teacher, reacted to several of the letters. It seems evident she didnít clearly believe in Dadís own native abilities. I recognized the names of some of those teachers Ė did grandmother know them well while dad was in school, or was the only connection professional?
I didnít get along with any of my cousins when I was younger. The boy younger than me was spoiled by his parents. On the other side of the family, the younger girl was a vicious terror, like her father. Her brother, a few months older than me, seemed weak. Looking back at, I think he was just avoiding conflict at all times. In the last forty years, however, heís clearly turned into decent, hardworking and nice family guy who made a big mistake and learned from it. He is another local resource my parents can tap in an emergency.
Driving to the store to get supplies recommended by our peripatetic house doctor, I took a few extra minutes to drive the long way around, just to see what had changed. Or more accurately, what I remembered well enough to notice that anything had changed. Iím certain most of everything has changed to at least some degree, but there are only some bits of the neighborhood that I remember with great clarity. It was only my home turf for a few years and I didnít explore it much. I couldnít find Teresa or Tammyís house now for love or money.
Leave. Leaving. Taking time. Racing time. I had hoped to leave this week, to go home to my own house and husband, but clearly, I cannot leave them stranded here. It is going to take time to figure out whatís wrong with dad, to get him to right side of 50/50, and to get some support for mom. I feel like weíre racing time Ė can we keep giving him enough food and liquid until we find out what is actually wrong and a way to fix it? The only way out is to take leave from work until something improves.
As he left today, Dr. Donís comment echoed what G said last night, that my being here was making a positive impact and it is the right choice. Iím having difficulty seeing the impact so I pondered a bit today. Yes, Iím an extra set of hands and legs to fetch, to run errands, to clean around the house Ė so what? But I do hear more of dadís snarky, side-eye comments, and understand the context faster than mom. He is there, even if heís a little unstuck in time, not clear of the day of week or time of day.
Waking up today to see that Dad was up and about, I felt myself breathe. I didnít realize I was holding my breath all day yesterday, but clearly I was. After the Imitrex, he was barely there, doing the old man shuffle. Today, his voice is still not strong, but heís clear eyed - and aware that mom sometimes either isnít hearing or understanding him. Iíve got to talk with her about her hearing. Oh, wouldnít it just be perfect if she has some hearing loss? In other news, the photo of the glass fronted cabinets just about undid me.
One step forward, two steps back. Dad isnít quite as bad as he was, but it is a close thing. Meds donít really seem to be doing much, which makes me wonder if theyíre the right meds Ė and if the diagnosis is correct to begin with. Dr. D visited today, so he was able to see and evaluate Dad when heís not such a happy camper. Mom is improving, slowly, day by day, which is a relief. But dad is definitely worse than he was Ė and the chest x-ray is abnormal? Why does this stuff always happen on a Friday?
It was so quiet in the surrounding area this morning Ė no noise from neighbors or cars or anything Ė I could hear the beating wings of the bird fluttering about, in and out of the hydrangea. The woodpeckers were drilling away at some tree or another Ė as long as it isnít one of the buildings, no one cares. The woods may not be at the peak of health, but there is wildlife everywhere. It was another warm evening and the peeping of the frogs at the bond was a steady pulse you could hear tonight even with all the windows closed.
It is Earth Day today. And I am seeing spring happen in The Woods for the first time in 35 years. And Dad has pneumonia. For some reason, my brain is having difficulty holding those concepts at the same time. I donít know whether to feel relief that Dadís recent decline was due to pneumonia Ėand that it was quickly identified and is easily treatable, or worry that he and mom both have variations on a theme. Given dadís long-term health issues, he is likely to get pneumonia [a word I donít think Iíve written much (ever?) before now] again.
Despite the increase in the human population, thereís a lot of nature to be seen here in The Woods. I keep hoping to see the turkeys on parade in the morning again, it was charming. I have heard a turkey nearly every morning, but I havenít been able to watch them in a line again, not since that first morning. Iíve caught a few glimpses of them in the afternoon and evening, or late morning, wandering around the ridge. Dad and I saw a fox come down from the north, then turn and trot down the driveway to the street.
Dad is having another day of improvement. Two days in a row of forward moment is very good, but weíve been here before. I need to see a third day before I agree to leave, no matter what Dr Don says. And Iím a little freaked by how many people are commenting that Iím such a good daughter. What, I was supposed to leave my parents alone while they were both sick, unable to care for each other and just hope for the best? I am just sorry I didnít come out sooner, right after dad landed in the ER.
It has been a long time since I stress bought yarn, but I am certainly doing that this month. My second large purchase of cashmere in less than a week. I had certainly planned to buy some yarn this month, but definitely not this quantity. I shouldnít, for many reasons Ė the yarn closet is pretty full, and I need to save my pennies for the kitchen Ė and Maine! But today was even more of a challenge, everyone feeling just enough better that rather than easily going along with the flow, they need to assert their independence and go it alone.
The last time I drove many of these streets was ten years ago and It is like excavating layers of memories. I am trying to see the buildings I remember that are buried somewhere underneath these current structures. Memories Iíd forgotten about begin to surface Ė Barb lived on that street; Krista lived in that house; thatís where we went for lunch if you brought a permission slip to leave the school grounds. The birthday party Ėwith the whole class- at the Gibsonís. After school treats at Tammyís house. I wonder what else Iíd remember, if given time to explore further.
After a long day of travel Ė delayed due to weather at LGA - I finally arrive home. I am delighted to discover that I have not actually missed spring here. Forsythia is still in brilliant yellow bloom everywhere. The small trees that wear white flowers are in bloom, and magnolias are blooming. Most of the non-flowering trees still are wearing a small fringe, not full leaves. It is dark enough when I get home that I cannot see everything that is in bloom, but it has clearly been cool enough that most of the early spring blooms are still evident.
The backsplash is the last major decision remaining. The tile I really want is not a viable option Ė himself really doesnít like it. I know the look I want, I just canít find the tile that will give me the look. Real subway running bond has a specific proportion, most of the tiles Iíve seen do not conform to that proportion. And the issue of the accent border; we cannot seem to agree on specific tile. We were able to agree on the general layout of running bond and accent. But without the countertop sample, it is impossible to choose.
Breakfast at the diner is an indulgence that still doesnít set me right for the day, so I know Iím in rough shape. It is to be expected: when youíve survived a stressful time, the body falls apart. Iím tired, so tired. I feel listless. I would like to sleep for a week. I am so very glad himself suggested taking tomorrow off, I cannot face the idea of the office right now, with the piles that are waiting for me. Today, I am trying to enjoy being at home, with my husband, the cats and the arrival of spring.
When we are on, we are on. We scooped up multiple hardware samples. I grabbed the paint chips in minutes. After looking at so.many.tile on Saturday, today we immediately discovered a concept that we both really liked. When the saleswoman caught up to what we were talking about, a light bulb clicked in her head about a tile offered by the company we'd spent so much time looking at on Saturday. With all the samples home in our kitchen, we laid everything out on our cabinetry and stone countertop. Fifteen minutes later, we'd made all the remaining selections.
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