Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Only Up From Here

I had to come back home late last week because I was having trouble getting into our TSA (Transportation Security Administration) database to get our KTN (Known Travel Number) so that we can go through the "fast" line at the airport next week. After an hour's drive up to the DMV Office where the Security people are located, we discussed why my husband and I were not in the database and the lady there was able to circumvent the tragic telephone tree where you never reach anyone and talk to a real person! It appears that there is a space between the letters of our last name (which is European) and I did not enter the space between the letters. It does appear that way on our passport, but I never noticed!  Load off of my mind on that.

Hubby in his frustration with his dementia wants so badly to go diving with his grandson who is 17 this year as one of his bucket list items.  So I am accompanying them to the Caribbean island for a week of lessons, etc.  I will not be diving.  I have not done SCUBA for years and find that just snorkeling is enough for me.

Our houseguest, my hubby's nephew, will remain here alone in the house and I am hoping he is careful on the stairs!!  I gave him our neighbor's cell phone if he needs anything because he has been told not to drive.  He will remain with us another week after we get back, and then his brother is flying up to drive him back home, if the Doctor gives his approval.  Below is a photo taken before the fall on the boat!

I will be so glad when the world slows down in September and the cool fall weather is back and I actually have time to read blogs.  Good days ahead!

Monday, August 08, 2022

Ten Minute Breather

Up early this morning and after a quick tea, changed the baby and then played with her for an hour hoping she would go back to sleep but no luck. She is a very sweet baby (now at 3 months) and even sweet when she is cranky. We are wearing N95 masks whenever we are close to her just to protect her from any asymptomatic COVID.   Wearing these masks  most of the time in the house  and all of the time we are around her, really gives me perspective on how difficult it  is to wear them for  long periods of time!  I now have empathy for those who protested, but  not enough to wave their ignorance.

Wearing this  mask and hauling laundry up and down narrow stairs  from the top  floor to the basement also makes me  realize I need to find some other exercises to give me more stability.  It does  not  help  when the mask pushes my trifocals out  of alignment either or the basket moves off my hip and locks my view.

My son is still running a fever of 99+ on the third day and hiding out in the dark basement which is his sound studio. It is cramped and full of electronic gear but has a bathroom all to himself.  Hopefully now that Monday has arrived, he can get an appointment with his  doctor and see about  geting Paxlovid.  I am  not sure how  contagious he will remain even after that.  It seems it took a  President  to show  us there is no magic bullet.  We will depend on tests.  I made him go sit outside for 10 minutes for  some change of scenery.  It is so hot and humid but maybe he got some vitamin D.

Their dog also demands walking and feeding times.  He  is too big for me to walk and he has to be fed sharply at 6:00 AM.  I think he has them well-trained, but it  does present problems when you then have a child!

Ah well, they are learning  the hard way.  I have an important appointment with the TSA in  a few days and hope that my daughter-in-laws mother can come down and help for  a while.

It is amazing  how much time is taken up with feeding, entertaining and changing a 3-month-old, making sure the dog is happy, doing laundry and helping with cooking in  a kitchen that  is not  mine.

Regarding our houseguest which I  mentioned in the prior post, it appears he  has broken his collar bone and hubby is trying to get a follow-up appointment with a specialist today.  Looks like we will have him with us for a few weeks (months?) more.  He drove up in a big truck pulling an airstream, so  he is not going to be able to make a getaway any time  soon.

Send thoughts  to  the powers that be for  good energies  here to  keep baby safe and  speed up healing  for those who are ill.  Thanks.

Sunday, August 07, 2022

Jekyll and Sapelo Islands and 16 Children

Putting aside the reality and seriousness of this world this morning, I will reminisce about my recent trip to the East Coast of Georgia with my husband and my 11-year-old grandson. Hubby and I have been boosted twice and grandson once. We we cautious but felt this opportunity was too important to postpone. Every time a grandchild turns 10 we take them on a trip of their choosing somewhere in the US. My grandson is 11, so we have postponed it once already. It is an opportunity for us to really get some one-on-one time, except, it is usually heavily scheduled. 

I apologize for the length of this post without photos, but it is what it is. 

Our trip out was a bit of chaos. We picked up C. at a restaurant midway between homes, where we had lunch with his mother. We got back to our house about 3:00 and as I sat down at the computer and checked my calendar, I realized that our drive down was supposed to have started that morning! It is a little over 11 hours and we broke it up into two days. Thus, we were already a few hours behind! 

We threw our gear into the car (all had been prepacked) and we headed out as I called ahead to the hotel to tell them we would check in after 10:00 that night. I was busy making sure that my grandson's gear was correctly stowed and that we had packed drinks and snacks. I had moved my two suitcases and small bag to the driver's side of the driveway for hubby to load. He was getting his suitcase from the house, so I moved in my large suitcase to the trunk while I pulled out some stuff to make more room and moved grandsons' stuff to the backseat. Then I got into the  car and made the call to the hotel as we backed out. I asked hubby if he had loaded everything, and he said yes. 

Lesson learned here is that if your husband has beginning dementia, you must follow through on your own for everything. When we got to the hotel I saw that he had walked right by the two small bags of mine sitting by the car and got into the car and started out! I was panicked, because my camera was one of the small bags and my toiletries, pajamas and medicine were in the other. I was angry and frustrated. All could be replaced except we had left in pouring rain and my camera bag would be soaked and I certainly needed my medicine for my chronic cough. 

In the hotel room as I opened my big bag to find something to sleep in, I saw I HAD packed my medicines in a small pocket. Relief passed over me as I accepted that a quick run to the nearby Target the next morning would replace the PJs, make-up, hair dryer, sunscreen, bug spray, and other stuff that had been left behind. I had failed to take my small camera out of my purse, so it would have to be the substitute. I also had my phone camera, but I have never like trying to take photos with it, although it does a fair job. (There are no photos to post as I am up at my son's house right now which another whole story.) 

 The next day we ate breakfast, shopped quickly and completed the second leg of our journey to Jekyll Island, Georgia. The hotel where Road Scholar had us pre-booked was a lovely old historic building sprawling across acres of grass and old trees with a croquet area, a swimming pool, trails to nearby historic sites, etc. 

 We soon met up with our group. Most of the children were not ten, but eleven and twelve. There were 8 boys and 8 girls. Because of this, perhaps, the rest of the trip was filled with giggling and roughhousing, etc. as they showed off for each other. There were a few times that they did not pay attention and when they wanted to have a table all to themselves without grandparents at dinner, this chaos lasted only one evening. A few of the young boys had ADHD and that added to the chaos. My grandson was not at all interested in the wild behavior. I am sure that some of the grandparents thought he was shy and nerdy with his glasses, etc., but he actually was not interested in crazy behavior but interested in a nice dinner with us. It certainly made our job easier. As a result we did enjoy the trip very much.

 Some of the grandparents were singles, some had serious health issues that required bravery on their part to keep up with the tours and stairs and sometimes odd seating. After a walk across a meadow that was supposed to house gopher tortoises and an arrival at the canal where the children would use dipnets to catch creatures for looking at under the microscope, one of the grandmothers leaned against a wooden fence over the canal in exhaustion and the fence gave way! It took several people to pull her back up before she completely fell in, and it did frighten her husband. 

 Another grandfather who was trying every single day to keep up did take a nasty fall adding cuts and bruises. 

 One of the visits was to an old lighthouse where we could go all the way to the top, about 129 steps. I made it up in the heat and humidity, but the next day my femor muscles were hurting with every other staircase I took on that day. 

 We also had a private show by some of the Gullah Geechee singers in which our grandchildren got to participate. This might have been my favorite activity. The children also went on a small shrimp trawler where they were able to look at and even handle some of the creatures in the waters of the sound such as stingrays, sharks and spot fish. All in all, it was a fulfilling trip and I learned much. 

This post is getting waaay too long so I will not talk about the scary near miss car accident on the drive home doing 70 to keep up with traffic on the freeway. Suffice it to say we missed any damage. I am posting no pictures, because I have had to rush to my son's house to help with the babysitting, as my son seems to have contracted COVID and his wife has to start work again and they need baby support. My husband is back home entertaining our house guest from Florida (his nephew) which is another story in itself as they ended up in the emergency room last night! Does this never end????