sunflowery's Diaryland Diary

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I'm back and Updating

I have a lot to report, so let’s get started.

I drove to my folk’s house on Friday morning. The weather reports were for snowing and sleet, but when I left at 9:30, it wasn’t doing much of anything. The roads were OK…a little slippery in some areas, but for the most part, I got to WI in the same amount of time I always do.

My first stop was to the local coffee house for some Chai. Then it was off to my nephew’s elementary school. I was surprising them by picking them up and taking them to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. There were surprised, though disappointed that Uncle Supe was not along for the ride.

We had fun catching up. The kids are always a blast to have around. I love them so much. My youngest nephew, repeat, asked me, “When was the first time I ever saw you?” I told him it was the day he was born. “No, not as a baby, as a kid…when was the first time I ever saw you because I don’t remember the first time.” Cute! We had that four square pizza deal from P1zza Hut and hung out until 9:00.

Saturday morning brought sunny skies and some spring-like warmth. I drove my dad to the airport in his fancy-schmancy vehicle and then drove to my friend Laura’s home. I hadn’t seen her in almost a year and I had not been to her home since they had moved over a year ago. It was beautiful! We had a good visit, though one of her beloved doggies seems to be dying. He was very ill and is not doing very well. Poor boy.

We visited for some time, and then I had to take off and run some errands. We said goodbye and I headed for Target where I bought software to do our taxes and a new CD player since mine died on the way down. You know, now that the CD technology has advanced, you can pick up a regular CD player for under $15! I didn’t want digital CD technology or one with a radio…just a regular CD player and I got one for $10! Woo! I also managed to pick up some personal hygiene items.

After Target, I went home to chat with mom for a bit and then over to my brother’s house to watch his boys while he and his lovely wife attended a function. The boys were WOUND UP! However, we had fun. They are funny, smart, and so much fun to be with.

When I got home, I was able to talk with Mom some more and I did our laundry. Mom and Dad are so kind to let us do our laundry when we come. It’s so nice not having to pay during that time. In addition, my husband called me from Florida to tell me that though he arrived safely and soundly, the airline lost his wheelchair in Atlanta. They wheeled him to the plane and once he was settled, they were supposed to take the chair to the cargo hold. Someone didn’t do their job. They were set to give him a chair from the airport, but it didn’t fold and wouldn’t fit into the car, so they had to leave it at the airport. The airline said they would get him a new chair to replace the one they lost, but by 10am on Tuesday morning…no chair in sight yet. They have compensated him well with two round trip airfare vouchers to use sometime in the next year and a first class nonstop flight home, but that doesn’t help him to enjoy his time while he’s in Florida. They had better get him a chair today or heads will roll. Hello! He’s in Florida! Land of the aging, home of the snowbird. There has to be a zillion medical supply stores nearby that the airline can call to have a wheelchair bought and delivered to him. I hope it all is worked out soon. So far, the most he’s seen of Florida is the view outside his window at the hotel.

Sunday was church. It was a good service and I got to see some friends I hadn’t seen since August. Jody and Mary are new attendees there and though they knew my folks and my brother and sister-in-law, they didn’t know they were MY folks and MY brother and sister-in-law. So that was fun.

After church was lunch at Red R0bin. Yum. It was quite busy but we had a good table, good service and a good time. Then it was time to say goodbye to my brother and his family. They boys wanted to know when my next trip down would be and I had to say I didn’t know. They suggested St. Patrick’s Day. Sweet.

I got home with Mom, finished up the laundry, packed and decided to take off a day early since the weathermen were reporting snow, sleet and a wintry mix for the next day. I left around 4pm in a light rain and by the time I hit the freeway at 4:20, it was snowing big, fluffy flakes. It snowed/sleeted the whole way home. I stopped in Mauston for some wine and cheese and when I got back on the freeway, I started to see cars in the ditch. I slowed my speed and just decided it wasn’t important to make good time. I was sleepy and the snow blowing at me made me more so, but I just listened to my CDs and went on my merry way.

Until…roughly 75 miles from home, right outside Menominee, my cruise control flipped off, my truck started decelerating, and there was a loud thunking noise coming from under the truck. Thankfully, I was RIGHT at an exit and at the top of the exit was a truck stop. I pulled in, shut off the truck and went inside to use the phone. I wasn’t sure who to call. Who could help me? Supe was in Florida, as was my Dad. My Mom and Brother were way back in Southern WI and I was out of cash. I prayed a quick prayer and decided to call my brother-in-law and sister-in-law who live near Hastings, MN. They own an auto repair place and if they couldn’t help me, might know someone who could. I called their home first and got their machine so I tried my SIL’s cell and was able to reach her. I told her my dilemma (not without crying) and she told me she would call her husband and I should call her back in a couple of minutes. I went into the bathroom of that truck stop and cried. Then I washed my face, composed myself, and called my SIL back. She said she and her husband would come and get me and the truck but that it would be a little bit before they could leave. I was so grateful! So grateful. You will just never know.

So I bought a book, went into the restaurant, ordered coffee and a piece of pie and settled in. Around 11 or later, they came and got me from the restaurant. My BIL hooked the truck up to the trailer he brought and he and his boy drove together in one car while my SIL, their daughter and me rode in their other car. They took me to their shop, dropped off the truck and then we went to their house where they gave me a loaner car to get home. You just can’t even know how grateful I was and still am. It was such a blessing. I drove home and walked in the door about 1:45am. Just as I walked in, the phone was ringing. It was Supe wondering if I got home OK. I had called him at the truck stop to tell him what had happened. He was so worried, but I made it home safely and soundly. I was glad I had set out a day early because I had my appointment with the psychologist Monday afternoon and if I had left Monday like I was originally planning, I would have missed it!

I just found out what is wrong with the truck. It has two definite problems at this point. The rumbling noise I heard were the bearings in the rear end of the truck, the good news on that is it is not real expensive for parts. My BIL will need to tear the entire rear end of the truck apart to make sure the rest of the parts are ok. The other problem is the fuel pump, which is why the thing would not start right away when they got there to pick me up. They call it long crank time but what it really is that the pump cuts out from time to time so the engine starves for fuel. The bad news is the discounted cost for the pump is about 330.00 because it is the whole assembly and the truck is too new to get the part in very many other places. So that’s what happened. I just thank God that I was close enough to home to call for help. Also that when the problem occurred, I was right at an exit with a truck stop. Now that I’m home, I just parked the loaner car and am driving my own car.

I got home and was just exhausted. After talking to Supe, I went straight to bed and slept until noon the next morning. Then I got ready for my psyche appointment. It went really well. My MMPI results showed that I am even, well adjusted and ready for the surgery. My counselor took some more health history, eating/diet history and personal history and based on everything, she said she would recommend me for the surgery. Now she needs 2 weeks to write up a report and fax it to my Dr. Then they will call me to set up a 1:1 meeting and set my date for surgery! I am still expecting it to be in June. So, it’s more waiting…which, as you know by now, I love. But so far it’s all systems go.

It’s been very lonely without Supe. I notice at night I am more jumpy and easily scared than when he’s home. But I also noticed that I like the sense of independence his absence has given me. I have missed having “Just me” time. He gets lots of it as he is home all day when I’m at work. But I have very little of it and didn’t realize how much I miss it. I miss him more, of course, but I do find myself liking some of this time apart. I also like that when I clean, it all stays clean. I have become a cleaning maniac. I cleaned out our fridge and our cupboards and our bathroom and our files. I also got a bunch of stuff ready for when I do our taxes. I am hoping to get to that this weekend, but we’ll see what happens.

So, that’s the update. Lots of stuff happened in a short amount of time but it all made for an interesting time off.

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A Year Ago Today: February 24, Camp Story and Missing the Sun

OK...this weekend was especially craptacular, so instead of listing every horrid incident, I will recall a story from my youth. This story was prompted by today’s weather. It is an astonishing -9 here today! That is stinking cold my friends. I was pondering the birth of Spring and the lovely blossoming of summer to follow and remembered some fun summers past.

In the summer of 1987, I was a brand new camp counselor. The camp was a small Bible camp about 12 miles from my parents’ house. It was my first summer after college and I thought a good way to spend it was away, but not too far in case I needed stuff...like money. So, I lived at this camp most of the summer. I made great friends and got as good a tan as I (the pasty princess) will ever get. Seriously, at summer’s end, we were all comparing tans and while mine was the pastiest, the contestants were blown away when I lifted the bottom of my shirt to reveal the whitest stomach you ever did see. Compared to my stomach, my arms and legs were positively mocha java baby!

Anyway, this is what I remembered. During junior high week (the most hellacious week as a counselor), the girls in my cabin were not getting along with one another at all. As I remember, I had a small cabin, with only 5 or 6 girls. But they were being petty and selfish and whiney...your normal junior high girl. Something broke the camel’s back and I cannot remember what the heck that was. But I remember being an earnest young camp counselor, so I told the girls that they would learn to work together if it was the last thing they did.

5am dawned and I woke the bunch up. I had them get dressed and I dragged them down to the edge of the lake. I picked out a canoe and had them haul it to the middle of camp where the ball field was. Then I lined them up from the ball field to the lake and gave them each a plastic cup. I told them that they would have to work together to fill the canoe with water from the lake. The first girl at the lake would have to fill her cup and walk it to the next girl who would walk it to the next girl etc until it got to the girl at the canoe, who would then dump the contents into the canoe. It was brilliant. They hated me, but they did it. I just walked back and forth to make sure they were doing what they were supposed to do. I was really going to have them do it until the canoe was filled, but I didn’t want to have to spend all day supervising that action, so right about the time the other kids were getting ready for breakfast, I called them over to the canoe. I made this huge speech about working together and what they can accomplish as a unit, a team, a band of sisters united to one effort. My speech was supposed to end with a satisfying viewing of the water in the canoe...a visual example of what they can do when they work together. Instead, when we turned to peer into the canoe, it was empty. Completely empty! I was livid! I asked the girl in charge of filling the canoe what happened. She said she was mad, so instead of filling the canoe, she dumped it on the ground. Sure enough, the ground all around the canoe was wet and spongy. Good god junior high girls drive me crazy! It makes me mad (as well as laugh) to think about this again.

But I couldn’t let her/them get away with that, so, at free time that day, they all had to stay in the cabin and write 100 times, "I will do my best to work together with the girls in my cabin." I should have thought of that one first!

I worked at that camp 2 summers in a row, loved most every minute of it and made some amazing friends. If you have a chance to go to camp, work at camp, send kids to camp...I suggest you do it!

Have a great day!

1:24 p.m. - Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2004
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