Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Monday, July 30, 2012

Rhode Island

This morning Christopher and I got up and after time spent with Susan we headed over to Hartford from where Susan and Jim live in West Hartford and took a tour of the Mark Twain home.  I had been there before, but this was Christopher's first time.  I liked our tour guide, she was well informed, pleasant and not over the top in anyway.  The guy in the group behind us was way toooooooo hyper for my taste, so we lucked out getting the docent we got.  It is a gorgeous house, filled with books and art and everything you would want in Mark Twain's home.  The interior design is gorgeous and the over the top Victorian period.  You just have to go their yourself, there is no way to give it justice with my description.

After Christopher's and my tour through the house we spent some time perusing the beautiful gift shop.  I bought him a mug with a picture from the original book, Tom Sawyer.  It has a boy white washing a fence only the fence is black.  But when you put hot liquids in the mug the fence turns white.  We both thought that was pretty cool.  I bought a small book with 4 of Twain's short stories for something to read on the trip.  We enjoyed all of our time there and took photos and laughed and then headed home to pick up Susan.

Susan drove us on this gorgeous spring day over to U of Hartford so that I could get Christopher his first none FSU college shirt, maybe.  The sun was shining and the weather cool and clear and the short jaunt from their home to the University again reminds me how smart Susan is.  She is an extremely intelligent person, but she also has smarts.  The house they bought when they moved up here is on a flat driveway, so no skidding up or down the drive when you come and go.  It is literally less then 5 minutes from her house and the neighborhood is just lovely, right on a golf course, so their back yard looks like it is endless green.

Susan took us across campus to the bookstore where we bought him a U of H shirt with the hawks logo.  She then walked us over to the conference center where we were able to see her office.  I was very impressed!  A window with a gorgeous view.  You go Susan!

Once we had decided on the shirt and visited the office we got in the toy, top down with the afternoon blue sky over head, trees forming canopies across the roads and we headed to Rhode Island.  It was a little over an hour, but it was truly a glorious ride.  Up and down and around the beautiful green mountains as we headed east to a state he had never stood in.  Susan and I chatted and laughed, the wind blowing our hair and our words in a vortex that flew out over the windows.  Christopher fell asleep and slept most of the way over and back.  It is hard for a 12 year old to sleep when there is an 18 year old in the house and giving them a little attention.  It is so nice to see how well Christopher and James get along.

Susan found a lovely spot in Foster, RI for us to get out and take a few steps in RI.  After about 5 minutes in RI, we got back in the toy, belted ourselves in and headed back to CT.  Susan and I talked as if we talked everyday like this, purring along with the top down, the sun in front of us, the air crisp and clean and green.

And now it is late and I am getting ready to go to sleep.  We had a lovely dinner with the family.  The boys are now playing video games.  Susan and I are heading off to our respective beds and Jim is watching the Olympics down stairs.  A family.  A sweet precious wonderful family.

Tomorrow we head to NJ and a new part of our adventure begins.  We will meet with OB tomorrow and go to see where the Hindenburg exploded.  Over the next many days we will go to DC, Delaware, Williamsburg, Yorktown and Philly.  Then once again we will change up and head to NC to spend some time with Kim at Loving Springs.  We will be staying at the Dragon's Inn.  Yes, another precious beloved ones to wrap my arms around and get to look into her sweet, lovely face.

But first to sleep and then to drive to NJ and to wrap my arms around that beautiful man and kiss his beautiful face.  And Christopher?  He is charming all that meet him.  His sweet, young boy with an imagination that is colorful and fun.  Those blue eyes, that precious smile, and to add onto it that intelligence and wicked humor, all wrapped in a 12 year old boy man.  It has been fun and there is more fun yet to come.

From CT to MA, VT and NH

Good morning!  It is a beautiful New England morning here.

View of Susan and Jim's back yard

Yesterday Susan, Christopher and I were in the Toy heading for VT by 8:30am.  Christopher would have preferred to have slept a little more, and it was drizzling rain, but today was the day I would get to wrap my arms around Annie and her Sam.  It has so very wonderful to get to wrap my arms around James, but now I was getting to see his magical, beautiful sweet sister.  So with the top up and Christopher ensconced in the back seat we headed north driving through picturesque New England towns.  We drove over and up and around the green mountains of VT.  Susan explained to Christopher that the word VT means green mountain (Verde Mont). 

One of Christopher's hearts desires on this trip was to touch a cloud and he had his chance yesterday.  The clouds sat low in the mountains and as we drove up to the peak of one of these mountains of green you could see the cloud resting it's thick gray bottom down through the trees wet and heavy on the road.  We rolled down a window for him and he reached his sweet boy hand out into the cloud.  His eyes sparkled and that laughter always on his lips gurgled out.  "I touching a cloud!!!"  Yes, he did.  We were in the clouds and at that moment Susan and I looked at each other and the joy of this young boy's excitement of touching the clouds spilled over us and we all giggled like children.  Instead of grey wetness on the windshield, it was the magic of a cloud and we were riding in it, up the green mountains heading toward our Annie.

We drove into Sharon, VT where Susan takes classes at the Law. School there.  It is a beautiful campus nestled in a town filled with tall beautiful old homes right out of a Norman Rockwell painting.  We circled the school and town, Susan doing an excellent job, as always, of playing tour guide.  Then we headed north again to meet Annie and Sam at Cockadoodle pizza.  Yep, a pizza place with a chicken name.  Sounded right up our alley. 

We parked behind Annie's car and standing there right on the side walk were the two precious beloved ones.  This was my first time meeting Sam, but Annie's Aunt Linda had already given him her seal of approval, so I did not have to ask too many questions.  Just one look and I knew he was Annie worthy.  He is tall and handsome and charming, but he looks at Annie with such affection and fondness and respect that I loved him for her immediately.

Sam and Annie
It was the most wonderful moment as I jumped out of the car as it came to a stop and threw my arms around that darling girl.  And then to hug that sweet man of hers.  We were not able to eat at Cockadoodledoo pizza because they are not open on Sundays.  It was not a good day for chickens.  But we just drove back to a restaurant that Susan knew from the law school and ate right on the square of this lovely little town.  We walked out onto the green where they hold the town celebrations and got pictures of my dear family in CT. I also got to talk to my friend Debbie who only lives about an hour from here, but life is so packed full right now that I was not able to get over to see her new home.  Okay, it is not so new anymore, but I have not been there, so it is still new to me.  I hope to get to see her next time I am up this way.......

The drive home was beautiful and we were able to put the top down and drive over to New Hampshire......
Christopher in NH
Back on the road.......

And out in MA....

Christopher in MA
We also drove past the John Smith birth place.  The home of the man who starts the Mormon religion.  It seemed appropriate this year with the presidential election.  Although I am very happy that we are not focusing on religion in this election.

For dinner we all snuggled up in the family room watching the Olympics and eating subway sandwiches.  It was a lovely day filled with precious beloved ones, touching clouds, adding 2 more states to our growing list this vacation, and seeing the world through the sweet freshness of a 12 year olds imagination.

Christopher is up and we are heading off to the Mark Twain house.  After our tour we will pick up Susan and take a tour of the University of Hartford, where Susan is a professor and James will be starting school this fall.  Then a kick hop over to RI and a family dinner out tonight.

Having fun and building sweet memories.  Sweet as the peaches of the season.  Sweet as the giggle on a child's lip.  Sweet as looking into a friend's face, so familiar, so loved and so filled with lives lived.  More adventures are yet to come!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

We are here!!!

Christopher and I have survived our trip to CT, and we had fun, and we still like each other.  That is pretty amazing after this outward bound adventure we have made for ourselves.  Yesterday was no where near as many miles, but there was way more cities, although we did bypass the biggies, New York City, DC, etc.  We have gotten into a routine of multi-tasking our stops.  Our most successful stop was in PA where we stopped for gas, bathroom break, picked up Pizza Hut express, at the gas station, and that was the first time that Christopher had put his feet on PA soil.  We stop in each state and at the minimum step out onto dirt before heading out again.  MD was tricky because we were only in the state for like 8 miles.  We pulled off on the side of the road because there was no exit for MD on the road we were on. 

We have now gone through FL, GA, SC, NC, TN, VA, WV, MD, PA, NY and CT so far on our trip.  Sunday we will drive through MA into VT and as a treat Susan told Christopher that we would also slip into NH.  Christopher looked horrified and asked how much driving would this entail.  Susan explained it would be like MD, just a short drive from VT into NH, so that will add 3 more states, with out that much driving.  Monday we will drive down to NJ to pick up OB.   Where we are going is just a few miles from DE, so for Christopher's first big car vacation he will have stepped on the soil of 16 states.  Pretty cool

Also because he is working on his citizenship award for boy scouts OB is taking us to Philly to see the liberty bell and the highlights of American history.  OB is an eagle scout (was?  or is?  I would think once you are an eagle scout, you always are) and so is enjoying taking Christopher through as much history as possible.  I love this kind of stuff so we will have a lot of fun.

It was hard travelling yesterday, mostly because our butts were sore.  I have Christopher doing yoga with me to stretch his back.  But we still used our travel time for some good educational fun.  Christopher looked up on the Internet all of the Presidents in order and where they were born.  I had no idea that more then half of the presidents have come from VA and OH.  VA I understood.  After all during colonial time some of our most affluent men, capable of leaving their homes and being involved in politics lived in VA.  I guess OH also makes sense, although I would not have guessed it.  After all the mid west was the bread basket of the US at one time, also oil and of course industries likes cars and appliances.  Anyway like 6 out of 7 presidents in a row were from OH.  You go OH!

We also looked up about John Brown and Harper's Ferry and after the history lesson we discussed the issues of slavery, motive and methods and discussed how it relates today with various issues.  We also learned about the mason-dixon line, which actually dates back to the beginning of the revolutionary war.  When we got to Susan's we were discussing what we had learned and we looked up the mason-dixon line again and learned even more.  Susan likes these kind of things also.

The ride was nice through the various mountain ranges, the weather was gorgeous to ride with the top down.  The vista's of farms and silos just filled my heart with such sweet memories of childhood and car trips across the country.  I was so glad to be sharing this with Christopher.

The travel was easy, well until we got to NY and CT.  In one spot it took us more then 15 minutes to drive about a half mile.  It was stop and go half way through NY and into CT.  But we made it.  The GPS worked great and kept up with us as we changed our route with out discussing it with her.  And she took us right up to Susan and Jim's front door.

It was like coming home seeing those beautiful faces.  And then James came in with his sweet beautiful Emily and my heart expanded until it burst into a giant puddle of ooze and I just held on to that gorgeous, sweet, talented young man while we just hugged and hugged.  I love these children, Annie and James.  Susan and Jim had 3 children.  John died so very very young of SIDS, and his birthday was just a few weeks ago.  He is as much a part of this wonderful close family as any of the other four members, or the three dogs, or the significant others of Annie and James.  This is one of the great families.  Christopher fit right in.  After all he comes from a very similar loving sweet precious family.

We stayed home and ate pizza and watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics.  It was so great being here with these precious sweet people that I have loved for my entire adult life and to share it with Christopher.  It was magical to see a family expand and add another heart.  The opening ceremonies was amazing, but I admit to being a bit confused by some of it.  I was also confused as they worked their way through the decades of music where were the Rolling Stones?  Where was Sir Elton?  Well, we had a lot of fun.  Christopher stayed up with Mr. Jim and James to watch the entire ceremony, I gave up in the "G"s and called Dad and then went to bed.  We are all sitting around watching the Olympics now. 

Dad is starting to say goodbye.  This is new this week.  He is so very lonely and he hurts and he doesn't really understand what is happening, but he knows that he is loosing control of his life and decision making.  He begged me not to put him in a home because he would loose who he was.  He cried and told me how lonely he was, but all that is left of his life is his memories, please, he begged, don't take away all that I have left.  I asked about moving the living room into the dining room to make it easier on him getting around the house.  JongAe had thought of this, and I thought it was a great idea.  Dad said it was a good idea, but said he really didn't want to do it because it would mean moving his paintings and memorabilia on the living room walls, and he is afraid that if they are moved, he will not remember them.  He knows he is loosing his mind at times.  And I understand that taking his life and memorabilia will be very confusing to him.  So that idea is out.  I am trying to be supportive as he starts to say his goodbyes.  I know how hard it is to live everyday knowing the end is coming.  To look forward to relief from the pain, the threat of death, and yet, he is not totally ready.  It more that he is giving up.  I want him to be okay, whatever that means.  I hate to see him so sad and confused.  It is hard getting old.  It is hard getting old and watching your father grow old and loose his mind, his freedom to master his own world.  To watch as he struggles with life and death.  I miss him, but he is really enjoying hearing about Christopher and my trip.  And he is happy that I have this time with Chris.  I think he is also a little relieved that he knows that he will go before me.  That is a huge fear of his, my death.  He does not want to face it.  Who can blame him.

Later today Susan, Christopher and I will drive to downtown West Hartford and walk around, maybe have lunch or ice cream.  It is a beautiful little New England down town and I am so happy that Christopher will get to experience this very different part of the US.  He and I are Floridians, and it is always so much fun to go to other parts of our great country and see how similar and how different we are all.  Especially as we come together as a country for the Olympics.  I am so glad to be here!!!!

Tonight or tomorrow night we will have a family dinner out, and Sunday I get to throw my arms around that tall beautiful fairy god daughter of mine.  Life is so good.

Monday we will head down to pick up OB and the adventures will change, and can it get any better?  I mean really!?!?!  Surrounded by precious beloved ones and travelling and learning and seeing new and old things.  It is just great.

Oh, before I left I found out that my adopted daughter, Amanda Street, married to the adorable Falcon, will be leaving in October as they move on to start their lives post school.  Amanda is a librarian and Falcon a computer security specialist.  They will have a wonderful life wherever they go, because they are just so great.  But I will miss them terribly.  I was just getting into my stride of having an adopted grown daughter.  I bought her sunflower canisters and she loved them.  I loaned her my white Gatsby dress for some acting she was doing for Goodwood Museum for one of their fund raisers.  She looks fabulous.  Much better then the dress fits me.  Gorgeous baby, really gorgeous.  Hmmm, maybe you should just keep that dress.

Another shout out this morning is a "Break a leg" to Jessie Moon and the Cicada ladies for their debut of their first CD tonight.  You rock ladies!!!!!!
And one more shout out to Jessie's mom:  Love you dearly, you know why today is a special shout out day for me to you. 

Well, time to get up and get going.  Their is a beautiful summer day in New England to enjoy.  We are here.  We have made it to CT!!!  and it is amazing and there is so much more fun left to experience.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hello from Lexington, VA

I was exhausted last night.  HA!  HA, I say.  This morning Christopher and I got up a little before 7am, got ourselves ready, went down to breakfast and prepared ourselves for a long day of driving.  Christopher made waffles and ate a banana and drank some apple juice.  I ate some hard boiled eggs, yogurt and bananas.  So refueled we hopped into the toy, put down the top and pulled out of Macon, GA heading for, hopefully, VA.  We drove north with Christopher learning how to navigate.  Yes, poor kid, talk about learning by trial by fire.  But he did great.  We tried some roads we did not plan on driving on, but somehow ended up getting where we needed to without doubling back.  I don't know how we did it, but we drove from Macon, GA to Lexington, VA today.  This is like 600+ miles.  And we had fun.  No really, we laughed, Christopher loved the mountains.  I mean we are both children of Florida.  So landfills tend to give us a thrill because of the height.  Christopher lives at sea level.  No really, he lives across the road from the Manatee River and it is sea level.  I know because it is about 3 blocks from where I grew up.  So hills and mountains are amazing to us.  And he was.  It was wonderful seeing the blue ridge mountains again through his eyes. 
We drove and drove.  Every state we drove through we got out of the car and stood in the state.  That was GA, SC, NC, TN and VA.  It turns out that Christopher gets car sick.
WHAT?????  Oh yeah, motion sickness.  How did I not know???  We looked for ginger ale, but could not find it where we were, but they did have Dramamine and so he was fine.  He took one pill and it lasted for 600+ miles.  No, he did not get sick in the car, other then a little queasy tummy, but that even went away with the is one tough 12 year old.  he dramamine

We texted OB and sent photos back and forth.  He is in NJ and getting to spend time with his daughter and two grandsons. 

We finally stopped around 7pm, checked into a HOJO and I called Dad.  Bless his heart, he is so lonely.  I call him and talk to him almost everyday, but sometimes I am the only person he talks to.  I feel so bad for him.  I talked to Christopher about going down to visit his Grandpa more often.  And asked him to please talk to his older brother and to ask him to try and find some time each week to stop by and talk to grandpa for half an hour.  It is funny how we can find time to do for others, but to just call your Dad or grandfather it does not even enter our minds.  I call Dad because I am not close enough to do more.  Once again, I am torn between my wonderful life, filled with travel and adventure and my desire to take care of my father.  I send money to my brothers to get things for Dad and I do try and call him every day, but he is still alone.  When I get home from my trip with OB to CA, I will have to go down and visit him and maybe see if I can bring him up to my home for a week or two.  I do love my Dad very much.

Well, we managed to get down the street to Berky's for dinner around 8, and now, here I sit, tired, guilty and confused about life again.  We still have many miles to travel tomorrow and I need to call Susan to give her an idea of where we have made it to.  So I will close for now.  Christopher and I both ate big plates of veggies off of the buffet.  The food was good, but we were so tired it took all of our energy to just chew.  And now I need to sleep.  Hopefully we don't have quite so many miles tomorrow, we did drive way more then 600, but I am not sure exactly how many, but we did it, and smiled and laughed and soon we will be throwing our arms around Susan and Jim and Jim (yes, 2 Jim's) and Skylar, Percy and Beebe.  Our shoulders, arms, necks and ears are red from the sun, but we are not burned, just brown little Florida Crackers. 

We are having fun, watch out CT, we are on our way.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Oh I'm on my way, I know I am, some where not so far from here......

That Cat Stevens song keeps playing in my head as Christopher and I have started our adventure to CT.  We left the house about 2:30pm and drove to Thomasville so I could meet with Dr. C, my digestive specialist.  He told me that they had a conference on me and that all the doctors in the group decided that I did not qualify for the Hepatitus C treatment.  I had wanted to find out if I qualifed.  I had no intention of taking the treatment, it just does not make sense for someone in my situation, but I would have liked to know whether or not I qualified genetically.  I still do not know.  It does not matter.  But Dr. C did prescribe something for my stomach issues and wants to see me back in 3 months. 

He called me "heroic" when I told him I was riding on the back on OB's Harley to CA, OR and maybe even WA to visit family and friends.  I laughed and said that there was nothing heroic about it.  He said getting up everyday with Stage 4 lung cancer and live life is heroic.  I did take a pause on that.  I do not feel heroic, just lucky.  Lucky to know so much about my life and what the future might hold.  It is like I have been given a crystal ball that tells me more then maybe I want to know, but let's me know to get up and get out and live life.  So I am.

We finally got on the road from the doctors about 5 and made it to Macon and into the hotel about 8pm.  Of course our exit was under construction so you could not see the name of the road, but we did see the LQ sign, so turned around and made it in with little to no problem.  The room is nice, the pool big and the hot, according to Christopher.  I guess I need to get the boy out of the pool before he turns into one big wrinkle.  We have a long day of driving tomorrow, so I am ready for bed.

Our trip so far, all 4 hours of it, have been great and it is so much fun to drive the toy with my sweet laughing 12 year old next to me.  He is a great companion, and helps me find our way.  We are on vacation, so we will see how far we get tomorrow, but it would be great if we could get 500 - 600 miles in so that Friday we get in at a decent hour.

It was hard leaving Harry again.  He is so tired of life and just fading away in front of me.  I think he will hang on until I get back.  He is not suffering, just fading away.  I have friends who will help Ms Elizabeth if anything should happen, but I am sure all will be fine.  Bob and Edna were not happy to see us go, but are getting used to it.  The cats all took it in stride.  I have to give Daddy a call and let him know we are doing ok.

Tomorrow a long road through SC, NC, TN, and VA.  The next day, VA, PA, MD, NY and CT.  Oh, we are on our way, we know we are, some where not so far from here..........  more from the road later!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Please don't pinch me

My life is so wonderful now, please don't pinch me and wake me.  If this is a dream, I want to keep dreaming.

I feel good.  Okay, I am tired, but tired from doing too much, not tired of life.  Harry, my 14 year old is getting tired of life.  Last night when I talked to my Dad, I said, "I'm so tired.'  His response was that he also was tired, but not in the same way.  No, it can not be from Dad doing too much.  His back will not let him.  He is bent over like a question mark.  He is in pain every moment of every day.  Bless his heart he just keeps getting up every morning and tries to live his life.  Would he have more life if he was in a nursing facility?  Maybe, but the process of getting him into one might break him.  And to try to talk to him and discuss the situation is impossible.  He is not able to understand any longer.  His mind no longer runs based on logic.  I love my Dad.  I know my brothers do also, and everyone is trying so hard to give him as he wishes, stay in his own home.  But this is a terrible burden on them, but they are trying to do it all to keep him where he wants to be.

My dream is not completely perfect, my Dad is tired, and I could loose him while I am gone on one of the trips I am getting ready to take.  I was as prepared as possible for the Spanish trip if he did not make it home.  My Dad is 87, and his bones are more arthritis then true bone, but he has led an amazing life.  Some of this arthritis is probably from all the football he played.  He played in High School, in the Army Air Corp and then in college.  He was an athlete and he took a lot of hits.  But for every hit he took then, it is a story now.  A happy memory of a life filled with so much happiness and joy and living.

Maybe that is why my brothers and I give into my Dad's wishes.  Maybe that is why as hard as it for everyone at this moment with my Dad, including Dad, that we can do what we are doing.

And I am having the most amazing summer.  Each day is so full that I can not squeeze another moment in.  Yesterday Christopher and I headed into Tallahassee and spent 3 hours touring the new and old capital.  We picked up records and papers, books and brochures.  We talked to the people at the information desks.  They were very pleasant and helpful.  They were knowledgeable and generous with their knowledge.  Christopher soaked in the information and did a fine fine job of asking questions, working on scavenger sheets and thinking about what our government is all about.  He is working on his Citizenship merit badge for his boy scouts. 

After checking out each nook and cranny of the capitols we walked over to the Tallahassee City Hall to look at the quilt show.  My friend Jeanne Brennan once again made my favorite quilt.  It was covered with white chickens all chasing one lone green caterpillar.  To a chicken collector it was wonderful!  From City Hall we walked over to the Museum of Florida History and concluded our tour of downtown Tallahassee, government and the history of Florida.  Time to make some history ourselves.

We drove Thomasville to the Goodwill, Monday is 50% of clothes.  Families are doing their back to school shopping and the goodwill was packed.  We managed to find a couple of great shirts but that was all.  We had lunch and got to see the announcement that Bobby Bowden has now been named the most winningest college football coach of all times right now.  Congratulations FSU football.

After refueling and filling a little more perky again we were ready to face another Goodwill.  Well, until we drove into the parking lot and realized that not only were there no parking spots, but cars will parked in the grass and in any spot where a car could fit.  I looked at Christopher and said, "No Way!" so we drove over to Wally world.  We picked up some clothes he needs for our vacation this week, we wandered around the store wearing out.  Okay I wore out, he slowed a bit, but that was all.

OB spent the day at the Hirschon Art Gallery in DC.  He messaged photos of statues of chickens at the gallery.  They were very cool.  I messaged him a photo of the chicken quilt. 

We had left the house a little before 10 am and we got home at almost 7 pm.  I know because at Wally world I bought a new watch.  Yep, a new Timex.  Takes a licken, keeps on ticken

Today Christopher and I will work around the house, take the garbage up to the dump and start packing our bags.  We will play and find fun things to do.  We will do some yoga and he will drive us in the golf cart up to McD's this evening when it is cooler to get some sweet tea.  We will get ready to leave tomorrow.  We will look at maps and make hotel reservations.  We will laugh and talk about what we will do on the trip and try to live each moment as they come along.

We will spend time with Susan and Jim and Jim.  We will even get to drive north part way to VT to see Annie.  We will get to go through the Mark Twain house, we will be in CT, New England, a world apart from the south.  An adventure into a new world for Christopher. 

And then we will head to NJ and pick up OB.  I am so excited.  We talk and message, but it is not the same as looking into that beautiful face.  Into those deep intense eyes, so filled with intelligence and life and humor.   I can't wait to have those strong brown arms hugging me close to his heart.  He is visiting his kids and grand kids right now.  He is visiting friends and enjoying his life and travelling. 

I am so happy to be getting in the toy with Christopher and heading north and driving and driving and driving.  Spending time together, out on the road, the top down, miles running past our feet, sky above and new adventures around the next bend.

And so much more in my life to be happy about.  Maybe before OB and I head out on our cross country tour, maybe we will go to the Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park for the concert to raise money in support of those damaged right here in the pan handle of Florida during tropical store Debby.  So many things to choose from, so much life to life.  Time for the beach, time to spend with precious beloved ones, time to spend travelling, the road beneath my feet. 

Yes, my life feels like a dream.  Some parts so unreal and scary, other parts so vivid and alive.  So please, don't pinch me, let me get dreaming this wonderful dream I am living.  Where cancer is part of who I am.  It makes me a tire easier, but it does not stop me.  It does not stop my dreams.  It inspires me to be more, do more.  It can not take away from me.

Oh, Christopher is ready for our morning walk and maybe even breakfast at McDs.  His piano lessons are coming along great.  His merit badge in progress.  His sweet face with those big blue eyes and those long lashes, a smile ready to break out on his boy lips.  Such joy to have so many wonderful people, things and moments in my life.

Off we go to start another day, so filled with potential.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Good morning

Good Morning
Isn't it funny that I have no problems about blogging about problems with side effects from the chemo
I don't have a problem about talking about my sweet and precious, generous and wonderful friends
but when it comes to talking about someone special
I am afraid to say something
I don't want to offend anyone
I don't want to jinx the relationship
oh yes,
it is a relationship
and I am crazy about him
He is kind
and generous
and wonderful in more ways then I can begin to tell you
But I can't seem to call him my boyfriend
Partner sounds more like what we share
Because our lives together are about
mutual support
helping each other
although he helps me way more then I could ever help him
He went with me to Spain and did things that it would be hard to ask of someone you have been married to for many decades.
We have only known each other for six months or so.
We were just friends for the longest time
although he is so handsome and sweet and good to me, that I admit to wishing he could care for me, long before I ever knew for sure
this is mostly why I have not been blogging
most everything I have done for the past several months have involved him.
and I was afraid to say too much
and I have been out living my life
rather then sitting in my red chair blogging

I miss writing in my blog
I miss keeping a journal of my days that when I am no longer able to get out and about
I will be able to read my blog and remember all the wonderful times
But there are months now with silence and holes
Days filled with laughter and joy
riding on his Harley as we roar down the black ribbons of asphalt
rock music screaming out around us leaving a trail of vibrating air
as visible to me as a snail trail on the sidewalk
only visible if you know where to look
We have been to museums and thrift stores
we love thrift store shopping
and antique stores
and Goodwills on Tuesday which is old people day
and we get 25% off
We go to Costco and graze around the store trying all the food they offer
We drive the toy
with the top down
We are both brown as berries
He buys me flowers and little presents
He cooks me dinner
and worries when I loose weight
He holds me as I crack under the stress of the changes in my father
He holds me when my meds are just too much

He stands up for me, where I am usually not willing to do so.
He opens his arms and lets me fall right into his heart

We are very different in so many ways
and so very similar in many important ways
and I am just crazy about him

We have started sharing our friends and precious beloved ones
but I know I am a little shy about meeting his friends
will they like me?
will they accept me?
I know my friends would like OB
But I am being shellfish, I want him for myself

He is gone now, visiting his son and then his daughter. 
Christopher, my 12 year old nephew and I will go to CT to visit

Susan and family
then we will drive to NJ and pick up OB

we will point the toy south and drive home,
taking our time to visit friends and places we love
and places we have yet to see
with the top down as we drive through the blue ride mountains

I am happy
I have my Christopher with me
We are getting ready to drive to CT
to visit precious beloved ones
to be with OB
to walk
and laugh
to throw my arms around him
and then cover his beautiful face with kisses

I am happy
I have found someone who is
so good to me
for me
who sees me for who I am
and still cares for me
who has seen me at some of my lowest points
and still cares for me
who likes me for who I am
and I really really really like him
for who he is
my life is so full
so happy
so full of laughter
and silliness
and happiness
and love
and joy

life is so very very good
I am so very very fortunate
in every way
happy sigh
happy happy sigh

isn't this just sickening?
I love it
hee hee I love him

Monday, July 9, 2012

It's good to be home

We made it. 
A lifetime ago, OB and I packed our bags and drove south to start our journey to Spain.
I packed Dad's bags
Rob drove us to the airport and the adventure began.
It was too much for Dad
It was too much for OB
It was too much for me
But we did it
We quickly slipped into a pattern,
working together these three people
Two who had never meant until they shook hands the first time
at the airport
We flew from Tampa to Miami
We flew from Miami
we flew
we flew
we flew
we flew
we flew to Madrid
Dad simply does not fit into a regular class seat in an airport
We was miserable
and in so much pain
but then
we got to Madrid
and we stayed in the Wellington
then we drove to Barcarrota
and then our lives changed

We drove over to Paco and Teresa's and it was so good seeing them.  They looked well.  This retired doctor at 80 and his beloved Teresa, a retired pharmacist at 78.  And we got to see Danny, Davey, Pablo and Fran.  We got to see some of the grand babies.
We got to see so many dearly beloved ones. 
They love Dad there. 
They really love and respect him. 
And the Conquistadors came from Bradenton. 
we spent a week celebrating Hernando DeSoto. 
long story
And we were there to celebrate my Dad
and we celebrated Dad
He was definitely the man of the hour
I still can not see certain colors blinded by all the flashes from photos of Dad by his loving town
I have a small idea of what it is like to have paparazzi chasing you everywhere
He is loved there
We did so many wonderful things
and saw new places
and familiar places and faces
and it was wonderful
and our family expanded
OB was officially adopted by Paco and Teresa
They saw how kind, how strong, how calm, how amazing he was with this 87 year old
this man who is slipping away
but because of our team of three
Dad was able to do almost everything
He was honored
he was loved he was happy
We didn't get much sleep
We ate and ate and ate
We laughed and spent so much wonderful time
with such beloved ones
Then OB drove us back to Madrid
back to The Wellington
into our cool luxurious blue room
beds that were comfortable
We watched Spain and Portugal play
Espana won
We ate room service and opened some of our
anchovy stuffed olives
and drank
some of our red wine we collected during our trip
We sat in big soft white hotel robes
Then we got up early
ate our last Wellington breakfast
for this trip
and made it to the airport
on to our plane
then we flew
and flew
and flew
and flew
and flew some more
OB was able to get Dad into First Class towards the end of the trip
Dad loved it
We ran through the airport and
led by our amazing
and worked our way
through security
through customs
through pat downs
and electronic waves
shaking our brains
then we flew some more
then we landed in Tampa
by the time we got to baggage claim
my brother Rob had already grabbed the wheel chair
and two of our bags
We drove home
we settled in
we slept in our country
with no time frames
OB and I snuck out for breakfast
We talked and decided to stay an extra day to help Dad adjust back home
to attend my sister in law's 50th birthday
happy birthday JongAe
and then the next morning as Dad was eating his breakfast
I hugged him
and told him I loved him
and then we slipped back into the toy
pointed the shiny sliver nose north
and drove home
there was visiting friends on the way
there was Goodwill's
and thrift stores
yard sales
I bought a $5 craft table
such a deal
We found chickens
We got home
We did it
We made it
We still all liked each other
It was tough
It showed so much about the three of us
I am so very
very very
very very very
fortunate to have these two men in my lives
Two men
so much a like
so different
two men I love with all my heart
a trip where we were
wrapped up in so much love
so much joy and friendship
It was a wonderful trip
especially now that it is over

We are home
I am getting back to myself
it was a hard trip
but I am home
and my heart and mind
filled with smiles
and love
and friendship
how perfect