Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Red coats

For me, when I try something on, it is all about how it feels. Or, how it makes me feel. If it is tight or uncomfortable, no way. I am often guilty of wearing my clothes too large. When people ask me what I was thinking when I bought something that is too big for me, my response is
 I was thinking I would wear this to the movies when it was raining on a Sunday morning.
You know, how you want to just be comfy and settle in and chill?
Basically, I dress for comfort.
And, I dress for how I think I look in my clothes.
How it looks in my head.
How I feel.
How I think it makes me look.
I love red coats. Throughout my life I have had several red coats. Red is captivating. I glow in red.
Recently, I saw a picture of Princess Kate in a red coat and realized she captures that feeling - that image of me in my head.
What I feel like it looks like
Then, I saw a photo of what I really look like in my red coat. It was a rainy, chilly day in South Bend, IN. We were on the campus of Notre Dame, being shown around by a couple of grad students who are our friends and family. It was cold and a steady mist was falling. I was wearing my new cream, soft infinity scarf which I pulled up to the back of my cap. I was freezing.

I am guilty of stuffing stuff in my pockets. I know on this day I had an extra pair of gloves and a head band/ear warmer thingy. Then when we took the picture, I put my arms around Mary and Q - which pulled my coat even more. 
What it really looks like
Even though I look like fifty cents in my red coat, I feel like a million bucks.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Serial (contains spoilers)

 Did you get hooked? I did. But like a lot of things, I was late to the game. Someone told me about it in the beginning and I kept thinking about tuning in and catching up. In the end, I didn't get around to it until it was nearly over. So, just like what we sometimes do with TV seasons when we watch an entire season at in a weekend, for about three days, I" binge listened" to Serial. I alternated between listening on my ipad and my phone. I took notes. I can't help it. I am a note taker. It helps me both remember and process what I'm hearing. And still, I want to go back and listen to the entire series again. Don't you?
 I loved the way Sarah Koenig talked to us. She seemed honest and open. There was talk about how journalists shouldn't have feelings about what they are reporting on and Sarah's response was something like "we'll, we aren't machines." Sarah investigated this murder case, but also allowed us to experience how she felt along the way. And then, if you weren't getting how she felt, she would sum it up in the next sentence for us. We were literally, along for the ride. In episode five when Sarah and Dana start out at the school and drove to the Best Buy - in twenty minutes - we were along. Kind of like "isn't this fun?" And the phone calls to Adnan - I loved those. My favorite part of the intro every episode was "this is a call from Adnan Sayed, an inmate at a Maryland correctional facility."
The other player I really loved was Deidre Enright - I know someone whose voice sounds like Deidre (and, amazingly, she is an attorney, too). I loved how Deidre spoke - I love the last time we heard from her how when Sarah called her Deidre sang out "Sarah!" Isn't it great that her students (the Innocence Project Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law) are going to get some DNA testing, FINALLY?
I have family in Maryland who live very near to where many places were referenced in the story. I've passed Patapsco State Park many times. (Was there really a trip to Patapsco/the cliffs?)
Many act as if this serial storytelling is a new concept. Isn't that what was going on when our parents and grandparents gathered around the radio to listen to stories in the days before t.v.? But even Sarah admitted this idea is not novel and as she said "as old as Dickens."
Listening to a story is comforting when we are children and I don't know that it ever ends. Doesn't everyone love to be read to? I remember when my children were small and I would take them to story hour at the library in their pajamas. I was a stressed out single mama and I would sit with them - my little one on my lap and my older one cuddled next to me and it was such a soothing time for all of us. When I was a child, they would read about Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat and film turning the pages of the book and it was restful.
Were you disappointed in the end? I was a bit, but not surprised. I figured we wouldn't get real closure - that we would be left hanging. I mean, this is real life - not a work of fiction.  I wouldn't have convicted Sayed, either. There wasn't enough evidence. Was it just me or was there a lot of confusion over who had the car and the cell phone when? This is a reason I need to go back to listen again.
In episode twelve: what was with this dude named Josh? Where did he come from? The entire country, millions of people are listening to this podcast and Josh just suddenly learns of it and has all of this information and answers? I thought he sounded like an actor whose responses were rehearsed. It was all a little too perfect for me.
The question in my mind which begs to be answered is Where Is Jay? Because IF Sayed is innocent, that means a killer is out there. Jay knew a little bit too much about it. He was terrified. Sayed wasn't terrified because (in my humble opinion) he was innocent. When he was first arrested, he kept wondering when they were going to let him go home. If he was a killer, he would have known the jig was up.
Jay never took a polygraph, there was no search of Jay's house and what was with that long pause every time they asked Jay a question? Because he was making up his answer! The man was lying out his patootie!
Everyone is saying this podcast series will change the way of journalism. What do you think? Yesterday, there was a Ted talk about reporting via cell phones - I have to say, I've given thought to verbal blogging. Aren't you dying to hear what my voice sounds like?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Take a walk with me

Last blooms

Doug built this chair for a Christmas gift to me a couple of years ago.

The bird bath I bought in memory of mother.

Coleus I allowed to run wild


another view

steps fashioned from local limestone

everyone calls her the baby

the old man

the best chicken, ever - Ms Ella Fitzgerald

Doug built this years ago

heads bowed

property across the road

property across the road

at the end of our drive

When I walked out to my car, after work tonight, you could feel the winds of change blowing.  I walked about the property this evening, taking these photos, with temperatures of warm 83 degrees. We are expecting thunderstorms tonight which will take the temps down to 66 degrees. They are predicting an overnight low of 37 degrees on Saturday. The temps have been as low as 40 thus far, but we haven't hit the 30s, yet. Soon the fall rains will begin and with them, the leaves will come down. I hope we have some time to enjoy the changing colors before that happens.
In the summer, we are mostly outdoors. When we are in the house, we never go into the family room which we refer to as the fireplace room. We only use the fireplace room during the months we have fires going. I need to get to work cleaning the fireplace room as we may be in there soon. Before I do that, Doug will need to clean the chimney. When I sat down to write this post he walked in and said "time to batten down the hatches, right?" Usually we don't light the first fire until mid to late October. If it is cold enough to turn on the heat, we usually have a fire going. Our fireplace has an insert in it with a blower, but often we sit in the fireplace room with the door open basking in the heat.
Certain things ruin you. I've had a sunroof in my car for years now and can't imagine not having a sunroof. The same with a fireplace. I just can't imagine winter without being able to sit in front of the fire. In winter, evening after evening, Doug and I sit in there, surrounded by our two cats and our Corgi. Doug is usually dozing. I read or get on my laptop. As long as I don't have to be out on icy roads, I don't mind winter. I have a friend who teases me, but I always stock up the larder. She started teasing me about this years ago when I lived across the road from a grocery - telling me if I did run out of something, I could just walk to the grocery to fetch it. She loved to say "this isn't Little House on the Prairie!" Even so, I like the idea of stocking up - of being secure in knowing if I'm snowed in I can bake bread or a pie or cookies or make chili and all of the ingredients are at hand. I need to get to work laying in the food supplies for winter.  
We are considering finding new homes for the chickens. We are both tired of caring for them. We've kept chickens for four years now and this past year, we didn't get new chicks in the spring. I made the mistake of naming a few of my first batch - my Barred Rock, Ella Fitzgerald, my speckled Sussex, Marvella and my California white, Jenny-O. These girls probably don't even lay any longer, but it is hard to let them go. But neither of us want to hike out into the snow and break the ice or make certain the water heater is working.
October is my favorite month of the year and we've only just begun, so we aren't quite ready for snow. I love crisp leaves crunching underfoot, football games droning in the background, sweatshirts, warm cups in cold hands.
I hope you enjoyed walking with me about the property.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Everything is going to be o.k. (?)

Remember the 1965 version of  Cinderella with Lesley Ann Warren and the song "in my own little corner, in my own little chair?" Well, this isn't a corner - it is more of a cubby - an awkward little space between two closets and here I sit. This was my daughter's chair - one of the Ikea Paong chair. I always loved to sit in the chair at her house and one visit, she sent it home with me. I still love it. So comfy. I sit in it, a place I go to hide, to be alone. A place to sit, watch movies, read or blog.
My poor blog. It has become a dark, sad place to go. People ask me if I am still blogging and I say "some - but you don't want to read it." I know everyone has to deal with their own grief in their own way. A lot of people don't want to hear about it - or think it should be over. The first year is hard - the year of firsts without her. And, it will never be over. When you lose someone you love, you just have to try to learn to live without them. The people who are the most understanding are those who have lost their mother, or had a similar painful loss.
Mother died in March and then my new granddaughter was born in June and then my son married in July and then I went to see my girls in the middle of August and ever since I returned home I just kind of fell off. I haven't been working out which isn't good. I'm not as cheerful and enthusiastic and happy as I normally am. I've made some bad decisions and I'm sure that is part of it all. It is kind of like when you go through a divorce - you feel crazy and you are grasping and trying to find something that will make it o.k. and for a long while, nothing really feels o.k.
Ever feel like the whole world is mad at you? I feel like that. And, it isn't the whole world - it is some people who will never understand how I feel about a certain subject. I stood up for myself and now things are a mess. I find myself wondering how or if things will ever get worked out. I have apologized, but was told it was "too late." It is never too late. What if people just didn't apologize? And I do know people like that who think "they will get over it." What do you do when you apologize and it isn't accepted? I was told my words were meaningless. My words are not meaningless. And even if the apology doesn't mean anything to the one who said that to me (who was not the person I apologized to), my apology is still there.
I find myself wishing I was Catholic. I don't even know too much about the Catholic faith, but I want to be absolved. I want to talk to a kindly old Father - someone like Father Tim in Jan Karon's books. (He is actually an Episcopalian.) I want a wrinkled, old, warm, soft hand, the skin on the back of the hand covered in liver spots, to pat mine and tell me everything will be o.k. I want to look into kindly clear blue eyes that are filled with care and love and understanding. I want someone to tell me what to do, how to fix this mess.
You know that smell in an old church? I love that smell. That Christmas eve, baby dedication, funeral, cold Easter morning smell. The smell of years of furniture polish rubbed into gleaming old wood, of wool coats in winter, of old pages in song books, of candles snuffed out and holiness. That is what holiness smells like to me. I want to slide into a pew and listen to a sermon of compassion and encouragement.  I want to sit in the congregation and feel that the minister is looking right at me and he knows what I'm going through.
I sound as if I am a pile of mush on the floor.I'm not. I go to work. I work hard. I am good at my job. I have this house clean, finally - prompted by a guest - I am a neat freak, but had not really cleaned probably since I lost mother. My house is clean. The pumpkins and gourds and mums are in place, the fall scented candles about the house. I keep moving. I keep walking, putting one foot in front of another. And I anticipate the next visit to my son's or daughter's and the happiness I feel in those visits -  a little hand in mine, a little girl yelling "grandma!" A baby making eye contact and smiling.
Some how, some way, everything is going to be o.k.
Maybe I'm not the only one who needs to hear those words.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Six months

I woke at 4:30 a.m. this morning. Today is the six month anniversary of my mother's death. Every month when the anniversary rolls around, I have difficulty sleeping. This morning I thought of mother, of sitting next to her hospital bed, holding her hand to my face, wishing I could just die right along with her. I asked God to just let me go - to let me go with her. Little did I know at the time that a part of me did go with her. I know this is true because of the hole that has been left behind.
This morning I thought of mother and life and death and relationships.

My alarm sounded at 6:15 a.m. and I got up and took my Welsh Pembroke Corgi, Chelsea, out for a walk. The air was dank. Rotting wet leaves cover the ground. The sky was the color of pewter with darker clouds mixed in. A rooster from a nearby farm sounded and our rooster seemingly answered.

I've thought of her all day. I sat this evening combing through photographs and although I had her all of these years, I already know there aren't enough photographs. I should have taken more.

I looked at my facebook page and started to write something but when I saw my post from yesterday, Little Bee's first day of Pre-K 3, I decided to leave what was positive and full of life and joyful and not mention the anniversary of mother's death.

I've thought of relationships with others. When you lose someone who is so precious, you realize the stupid stuff just doesn't matter. Life is too precious and short. I don't have time for stupidity - for stupid people and their stupid ideas.

I was fortunate to realize how precious my mother was while I still had her. Others have started to realize this since she has been gone. That is sad.

I feel sick and sad and tired and used up today.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts

One thing I'm guilty of is tearing/clipping recipes and not making them. Then I go through the stack of recipes and throw out the ones that I read and think what was I thinking?

The other option is to start making recipes. That is what I'm doing this week. I went to the grocery and bought ingredients for four recipes.

Slow Cooker Chicken Breast appealed to me because of the slow cooker part. A working gal like me can get it going before going to work and then finish it when I get home.

The recipe:
1 25 ounce marinara pasta sauce - I used Newman's - all profits go to charity and it is good stuff.
5 chicken breasts - I cleaned and cut into small pieces.
1 pkg (10 ounces) frozen broccoli cuts - the recipe says to put the broccoli in the slow cooker. Wouldn't that turn the broccoli to mush? I used fresh and steamed it just before serving.
1 pkg (16 ounces) penne rigate
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
Basil to garnish

Place marinara sauce, chicken and broccoli in a slow cooker. Turn to low heat and cook 6 to 8 hours or until chicken reaches a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Before serving, boil pasta; drain and divide into 4 bowls. Remove chicken from slow cooker; shred with a fork and place over pasta. Top with remaining sauce and broccoli and a spoonful of ricotta cheese. Garnish with torn fresh basil Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 4 servings.

This dish is very filling. My chicken was fall-apart tender. I shredded with 2 forks on a plate - returning it to the crock pot. The chicken soaked up the sauce and I feel it either needs more sauce or, I believe I will add chunky Italian tomatoes to it - and mushrooms, basil and oregano. I always feel I can improve a recipe - but I like to make it first and see what it is like. As it is sometimes, it was difficult for me to make it as it was. Once it was on my plate I stirred it all together. The ricotta was good - even though I bought cheap low fat ricotta. This was an accident - I never eat low fat because your body doesn't process that stuff I had the good stuff - something Italian in my cart and it was almost $6.00 in a small container - the Kroger brand low fat stuff was something like $ 2.99.

Next time it will be better.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

No net

Today is a day I would call my mother if I could. This is the hardest part - not being able to pick up the phone and hear her voice.

For a lot of my life, my mother's mother was my safety net. She was the person I would call. I once dated a guy who was annoyed by my calls to my grandma. I knew that relationship wouldn't last long - and it didn't.

I called both my mother and grandma for advice. Sometimes I took it, sometimes I made my own decisions. But they were there for me to talk to.

After my divorce, I grew very close to my grandma. Grandpa had passed away and grandma said "we'll do this together." If I was lonely or sad or just needed to talk or to know she was there, I would call. I spoke with her several times a week.

After grandma died in December of 2006, I dreamt she called me - from heaven. (I don't recall if I've written about this before.)
Doug and I were at a party.
The butler came to me and said "madam, you have a telephone call."
Doug and I exchanged looks. Who could be calling me - at a location which was unknown to all? Why wouldn't anyone who knew me just call my cell?
The butler asked me to follow.
He led me to a dimly lit hall. To a table with one slender lamp which was lit. A drink - somewhat martini-ish looking, which had a green glow to it sat on the table. Somehow, I knew the drink was for me. A phone with many buttons sat on the table - one button lit with a green light flashed.
The butler said "push the button and you will be connected."
When I pushed the button I heard grandma's voice.
"Cheryl Kay?" (Grandma always called everyone she loved by their first and middle name.)
I was incredulous.  "Grandma???"
She laughed. "Yes, honey, it is me. I'm callin' you from heaven!"
I was blown away.
"Heaven? How is it?"
"oh, honey, it is about as wonderful as you can imagine. I don't even have the words to describe how wonderful it is here."
We chatted about this and that.
Then she asked "would you like to speak to grandpa?"
Grandpa? Would I!
Grandma said "he is right here, I'll put him on."
Then it was as if someone put the phone on a counter and I could hear sounds - something like what you would hear in a hospital or a nursing home. I stood with the phone to my ear and listened carefully.
Grandpa never picked up. I stood and listened for quite some time, reluctant to hang-up the phone and break the connection.
When I returned to Doug, he found my story hard to believe. I said "who knows I am here?"
We couldn't think of anyone. I shrugged and gave him a look.

When I woke from that dream, I felt so happy. I felt happy all day long, walking around with a big smile on my face.

Today, I have felt tired and sad. Today is a day I would call mother just to hear her voice. Just to hear the voice of someone I love and someone who loves me. Just to have that safety net.

Monday, April 28, 2014

What she wore

What she wore or Grandmas can be groovy, too.
It is spring and I survived winter!
I am in the process of dieting, so maybe this can be a before photo.
(More about my diet in a post to follow.)
Currently, I am working on re-losing the weight I gained while mother was ill.
 I joked while she was in Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis that I had about every flavor of smoothie Au Bon Pain makes, but it was almost the truth.
Don't you hate re-losing? I do.
I am a few pounds from being classified as overweight rather than obese.
Overweight just sounds better.
White jacket by Dressbarn.
Pink top by Coldwater Creek via the best of Goodwill, Vintage Vogue.
(Have you heard Coldwater Creek is going out of business?
I loved their store, but have to admit, I rarely bought anything from them.)
Heart necklace by Brighton.
Pink watch by Avon.
Jeans by Cato.
Sandals by Dansko.
Here is a shot from further back so you can see our big flowering tree.
I'm not certain - it may be a crab apple?
The blooms really look red but in this shot somehow it looks pinkish-purple.
Everything around is in bloom.
Thus the pink top - I wanted to be in bloom, too!
One of my gal pals refers to strawberry pink as my signature shade.
What is your signature shade?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Blue on blue

Spring has sprung so I was off to the salon for my Spring Pedi. The polish I chose was Finger Paints - Tiffany Impostor. In my case it was Toe Paints.

For most of the day, I had a great day today. I emailed a friend to tell her I felt as if I was coming out of a fog.

Then, driving home from my pedi, a melancholy mood settled over me. Once again I felt tearful. Last week was a rough week. I shed a lot of tears last week. Each time I feel I have cried enough, I find myself crying again. There are so many things that prick my heart and the tears well up in my mind. Easter was the first holiday since losing mother. On Easter Sunday I drove the two hours to my hometown. I met my dad at church. He still attends the church I grew up in - where I married my children's father, where my children were dedicated, where I took my children to church. Normally, when I walk into the sanctuary, the multitude of memories cause me to be overcome with emotion.  A while back the powers that be decided to remodel the sanctuary. Gone are the cobalt blue stained glass windows (there are no windows), and the pews have been replaced with chairs. The carpet is new, the walls were a putty brown with baby poop brown contrast. It is now more of a multi-purpose room. Therefore, no memories, no emotion. Part of me was relieved. I sat with my dad during the service.

After church, we went out to eat. Then we took my mother's black mustang convertible out for a spin. (A family member will soon inherit mother's car.) The day was beautiful, full of sunshine and warmth, the temperature hovering around 75 degrees. We drove through one of the most beautiful areas in Henry County - Blue River Valley. We drove out in the country and looked at the Big Blue River. After that, we drove east on state road 36 to Summit Lake State Park. State Road 36 took us to the homes of both of my grandparents. We drove out that road for visits with them nearly every Saturday when I was a girl.

Summit Lake State Park is a park where I would go to contemplate life, to camp with my son, a place where I spent a lot of wonderful, special times. Driving around the park made my heart ache.
After mother was unable to hike about, dad used to take mother to the park for rides and to see wildlife. He pointed out to me places where they saw deer and a skunk. When we got out of the car to take a short hike, dad pointed out where he pushed mother in her wheelchair on a trail. For both dad and I, this park was a special place.

When it was time to head back to my house, dad told me my visit meant more to him than I would ever know. He said "we made a memory today - someday we will look back on this and remember when we took mother's car out for a drive." Then he told me that ride may have been the last time he would drive mother's car.

Through losing mother, I have changed. I look at myself in the mirror and the eyes that look back are vacant. I look tired. I am tired.
In these few weeks which have seemed like an eternity to me, I have changed. I am trying to take it slower. I am trying to forgive myself. I am trying to look past ignorance and people who are self-absorbed. In the past, if someone did something bad, I would think jerk! Now, I feel sorry for them.

While trying to navigate life following this profound loss, I have also been struggling with feelings concerning another situation which hurt me greatly. The line between hurt and anger blurred. Where, when and how does that happen? Sometimes I feel that when I am hurt I are being a vulnerable and then when the anger takes over I feel stronger. I used to carry a card in my wallet that read: Refusing to forgive keeps you in the role of the victim. When I don't forgive, I am giving the one who caused the pain power over me. By forgiving them, I am in control of myself and my own happiness. I always try to look at experiences and see what I can learn from it. I try to be the bigger person. I also try to realize where the other person is coming from. I try to think about what is going on in their life and what are they reacting to? I often say "they will get theirs." I have seen this happen over and over. What you give out comes back to you. Holding on to hurt accomplishes nothing. Today, I let it go. In my heart, I forgave, and it felt wonderful. I felt the weight lift from me. I have enough pain to process due to mother's death without allowing other circumstances to cause more pain.

What are you carrying around inside of you? Who do you need to forgive?

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

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