Tuesday, April 30, 2013

4/30/2013 Getting’ to My New Normal

(Tucson, AZ)

I start my new normal today.  First thing we had to do was take the rental car back.  (Look a picture!  I’m back with my camera!)


I rented the car yesterday at 4 pm and the paperwork showed I had to have it back by noon today.  I thought I rented for 24 hours.  The fellow at the desk assured me I could take it until then but we were there and our next stop was the grocery store anyway!
I’ve never seen such empty refrigerator and pantry shelves as I saw when I checked to see what was needed from the store.  This was going to be some shopping trip.

As it turned out it wasn’t all that much anyway because I didn’t know the store and was getting weepy looking at things like Old Bay seasoning which me reminded me of the delicious shrimp my dad made for us.

I’m finding it doesn’t take much for tears to start to run down my face.  I think about him or my mom and the tears flow.  This is all new to me so I’m hoping this is perfectly normal and, if the truth be told, I hope it doesn’t last long.

I think about my dad so much and the memories that come to mind are things I thought I had long forgotten.  Good memories, fun memories and some not so good.  Life wasn’t always a bowl of cherries for the two of us.  In some ways we were too much alike I think.

We’re near 100 degrees today.  It’s hot.  Our air conditioners don’t stop, they are running 24/7.  How anyone could choose to live here in this heat is beyond me.  Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s a DRY heat.  Dry or not a hundred degrees is a hundred degrees.

Tomorrow I will start getting our ducks in a row with all the notes and emails and get a good timeline written down in black and white.  We’ve been here too long and things have to move now.

Monday, April 29, 2013

4/29/2013 …and the Tears Finally Flowed

(Wilmington, DE - Phoenix/Tucson, AZ)

We woke this morning dreading the day.  Today I fly home to Phoenix and leave my mom.  I don’t want to.

I had some last minute things to put into the box I was shipping home so I finished packing that and got it taped up.  That was an ordeal in itself.  Mom had a roll of packing tape but darn if we could find the end of it to get it started.  We turned that roll over and over but neither one of us could see or feel the end.  I finally took a razor blade to start a new end but I didn’t realize just how far I had cut down.  As you can imagine the pieces we were able to get off weren’t very long and it was a pain!  We decided to find some duct tape but somehow that roll was MIA.  Mom finally found a roll of blue tape so we used that.  Half way through we realized it was the tape Billy used when he was painting.  Yep, painters tape.  Back to the packing tape we went.  After much peeling, cussing and determination we finally got it going and taped that box up good!

A run to the post office and the box was on its way.

Billy was to pick me up at 11:30am so we didn’t have much time.

We agreed the night before that we wouldn’t cry.  Mom assured me she wouldn’t, that she would point to the door and yell, Good Riddance!

Right on time, Billy arrived.

After some small talk it was apparent that the time had come.  I had to leave.  I hugged her and said I would see her soon and that I would be back as fast as I could.  I turned to Billy to tell him I would carry my laptop case and when I turned back to her I found she had walked to the kitchen.  I was a little taken aback that she left that quickly and went to the kitchen to find her.  She stood at the sink looking out the window trying hard to hold back the tears.  I walked towards her and couldn’t hold my tears back any longer.  It was like a dam had broken,,,,finally.  We pulled it together after a few minutes and each gathered that composure we held on to so tightly these past five weeks.

Walking out that door was truly one of the hardest things I had to do.  I didn’t want to leave for it would mean she was alone.  For the first time in her 78 years she was going to be alone. Alone, her new normal.

I was finally in the car and on my way home to Bob.

Of course there were more tears when I had to say goodbye to Billy.  They were close to the surface so they came easily.

I got through security and headed straight to the USO lounge in the airport.  This is the first one I had been in but I had plenty of time before my plane took off to check it out.  I didn’t know that there was food, drinks and candy, there for the taking.  I helped myself to a package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and sat and talked to two policemen who were in there on break.

As time got close for check in I asked how far away my gate was and was told I was at the opposite end of the airport.  Oh.  Great.  They offered me a ride on the back of their golf cart and I jumped on that.  Since it had POLICE emblazoned on the front and both sides I got some looks as we rode through the terminal.  We had to stop for foot traffic and I heard one little girl ask her mom, “What did she do?” 

I got to my gate in record time and had time to search for a cold Pepsi and have a bagel toasted.  I boarded with no problem.  I found my aisle seat which I paid $40 extra for because it was a choice seat.  I don’t know what so special about it, it looked just like the others.  The seat in the middle was empty and Amanda sat in the window seat.  Amanda is from Philly and was flying to Phoenix for work.  She was a most enjoyable seat companion with a good sense of humor.  She had an IPad with her and we played a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit as we flew across country.

It was a smooth flight and when we landed everyone was talking about what a smooth landing we made.  It was like we were in the air and the next thing we knew we were on the runway but we never felt the touchdown.  Kudos to that pilot!

Upon landing the pilot said, “The local time is 3:48pm and its one hundred and three degrees.  Welcome to Phoenix!”  I was the only on this 757 who was dressed for the weather in Arizona.  It was chilly, rainy and overcast when we left Philadelphia.  I was the only one who traveled in shorts and a top and was I ever glad I did!

Remember back in the day when flight attendants, then known as stewardesses (a word typed using only your left hand)  were always female, in their twenties to early thirties, usually blond, beautiful and size 2?  Well, those days are gone!  Today the flight attendants were a crew of four, two male, late thirties to early forties, totally bald, and just average looking.  The women, one in her forties,had salt & pepper hair color and she looked tired.  The other woman was a woman of color, had a great smile and was shall we say, pleasingly plump.  Oh how times have changed.

I hopped in a cab and twenty one dollars later arrived at the Enterprise Car Rental store.  I had my reservation number and everything went smoothly.  Until.  Until the fellow was going through my bill with me and explaining the charges and telling me a deposit of $250.00 would be applied to my credit card as a deposit.  I told him I wasn’t told that but that I didn’t have a problem with it.  He then asked if I wanted to pay the $50 drop off charge now or did I want to wait until I actually dropped the car off.  My response was, “What drop off charge?  I wasn’t told about any drop off charge.  What’s it for?”  Well it turns out you have to pay fifty big ones if you drop off in a different place which I was, in Tucson.  I simply told him I wasn’t told about this charge and I’m not paying it.  For all I knew he could have been putting that fifty dollars in his pocket.  He then said, “Well, since you weren’t told about it, I can help you out and knock it down to $35.00.”  I told him he needs to drop it down to zero because I’m not paying it.  I guess he realized by the tone of my voice that I wasn’t playing around and he quickly agreed to waive the fee.
I got a black on black Chrysler 200.  The car handled nicely and has a very nice sound system in it.

I drove to Quail Run, our winter perch to pick up our mail that was being held for us.  I stopped to see my good friend Sandy and spent some time with her.  I spent a few minutes with another friend, Bonnie and then hit the road for Tucson.

Since I hadn’t talked with Bob since the day before yesterday I thought I had better call him and let him know I was in Arizona and on my way home.  My phone battery was deader than a doornail.  Oh well, I would just drive on.

He didn’t even hear me drive up and when I walked in he was surprised to see me.  When he got up from his recliner and walked towards me, well, I just lost it.  All those tears held in for five weeks were finally being released.  I was finally getting in that good cry.  He just held me and let me get it out.

Its been quite an emotional day.  Certainly not one of my favorites.

I’m home again, where I belong and my mom is going to be ok.  I just have to believe that.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

4/28/2013 Sticker Shock!

(Wilmington, DE)

Today I started getting ready to go home again. 

I packed another box to ship home.  I wonder if it wouldn’t have been less expensive to go to Goodwill, buy a large suitcase and just check the bag at the airport for $25.00.  Yep, that’s what I should have done!  Even if it had cost me fifty bucks it would have been worth it.  Lesson learned.

Mom and I didn’t do anything around the house today.  Not that there wasn’t a project we could have completed but we both knew that this would be my last day and without saying it out loud I think we just wanted to enjoy the day keeping each other company.
I didn’t go to church this morning with my mom.  I just couldn’t take it.  Not that I didn’t want to be with her or listen to the pastor, I couldn’t take the music director another Sunday.  He’s been with the church for the past two and a half or three months now and he’s not making many points with the church members.  While I like some of the “new” hymns that are more modern and have a beat, if you will, I don’t like having two guitars and a set of drums on the stage that play so loud that I feel like I’m at a rock concert.  There’s a time and a place and this isn’t it. Speaking of rock concerts, this music director jumps around the stage and in place so much that he looks like a jumping bean.  I don’t get it.  I was waiting for him to smash his guitar at the end of music portion of the service.  I’m not the only one that feels this way.  Mom knows of several families that don’t come there anymore because of the music.  She doesn’t care for it and the people who sit around her have all voiced their dislike of the situation.  I asked her why doesn’t anyone say something to the pastor then.  She couldn’t give me a reason.  I would like to see at least one Sunday a month when the old traditional hymns are sung.  Me and a whole lotta other people.

While mom was gone in the morning I got online to make reservations for a rental car once I reached Phoenix.  I started with the rental agencies right on the airport complex….hence, the title of this post.  The smallest car and the cheapest price I found was $99 and it went up to $107.  I don’t want to buy the darn thing I just want to drive it to Tucson!  I called Enterprise Rental Car agency at the 800 #.  What a difference 5 miles makes!  If I take a taxi from the airport to the rental agency I could get a mid-sized car, think Chevy Impala for $35 and change.  I don’t have to pay the “stadium tax” if I rent away from airport.  Yes, you read that right, STADIUM TAX.  Phoenix has a new stadium for one of their sports teams and to help pay for it visitors to the city who rent a car at the airport pay an extra tax.   WELCOME to Phoenix.  So, needless to say, I rented from the off-site rental agency.

Mom and I spent the day playing cards, sitting on the porch watching the world go ‘round, at times lost in our own thoughts, and talking and laughing and making plans for the future.

After dinner it was more cards and TV and going to bed knowing that after tomorrow,when I walk out the door, she will be alone.  Her new normal.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

4/23–4/27/2013 Time is Going Too Fast

(Wilmington, DE)

This past week we have been putting the finishing touches on the house.  Pictures are once again hung, dishes are back in the china closet, several boxes have been filled and delivered to the local Thrift Store.

It’s been one heck of a lot of work but its beginning to look like home again.

Again this week we’ve gone out to dinner.  On Thursday we drove down to Dover to the Air Force Base so mom could get her prescriptions refilled.  On the way back mom, my friend Cindy and I stopped for dinner.  We feasted on a great salad bar, a brick oven pizza and for dessert Bananas Foster.  We stuffed ourselves but it was so good!

We shopped several times this week for small house things.   I've never shopped so much as I have these past weeks.

I’m going home with a lot more than I came for so I’ve had to ship three boxes home.  We won’t even talk about how much that cost.  Mom gave me my photo album of my first year and some things she no longer wanted but I did.  Where I’m going to put these things is beyond me but I just had to have them.

This week is flying by and I’m just hating this.  I don’t want to leave my mother alone.  When I leave here on Monday its going to hit her that my dad is gone.  We’ve kept so busy and had so much to do that she hasn’t had time to grieve.  Monday, she will and my heart just breaks thinking of her in the house by herself.

We had a chance to talk about this a little bit and she told me she’s glad this happened this time of year if it had to happen at all.  She loves working in the yard and will keep busy this summer doing that and going to the beach house.  If this had happened in say, October, it would be getting cold in Delaware and she would be in the house for the winter with all those short daylight days.

My brother will take me to the airport.  There’s no way I would put my mom through taking me and dropping me off.  She was relieved when I told her because it had been on her mind.

It is going to be so hard to walk out the door on Monday,  I simply dread it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

4/22/2013 Carpet Installation Day

(Wilmington, DE)

The day we’ve been waiting for!  The carpet installation guys are coming and starting this evening we can start getting this house back together again.

Mom and I thought we were ready for them.  Little did we know.  We had emptied everything we could, took drawers out and stacked them in the kitchen, left minimal furniture in the rooms.

Much to our surprise, when the fellas arrived they took all the living room and porch furniture out to the front lawn.  We had to keep an eye on the chairs and tables all day because in this town if you put stuff out, that’s a sign that you don’t want it anymore and are putting it out for someone else to take.  My parents have gotten rid of a lot of stuff that way.

They started with the living room and dining room as they run into each other and was one large piece of carpet since mom chose to have the same colors in both rooms.  That went fairly fast and in no time they were putting the furniture back and we were putting drawers back in the buffet, centering the dining room table and straightening the table cloth again.  We were on our way!

The hall and bedrooms went just as quickly and once the furniture was back in the rooms they cleared out and we got started making up beds with all new linens and bedspreads.  We worked until 9 p.m. and made great headway in putting things back in order.

We were both looking forward to going to bed at the end of the day.  We were both physically exhausted.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

4/14-4/21/2013 Bits and Pieces

(Wilmington, DE)

Ok, I haven’t updated the blog in a little while for several reasons.  First and foremost, one word, BUSY! 

My mom and I have been working around the house getting tons of stuff done.  All the painting is now done.  The new carpeting was supposed to be installed on Saturday the 20th but the carpet installer forgot he had a bowling tournament he paid for so that is being pushed back a couple of days.

As we do things in a room mom has been going through every drawer and getting rid of stuff that serves no purpose for her anymore.  This has freed up lots of space and she’s moving stuff around since there are all new storage areas open to her.  Unfortunately, she can’t find a darn thing now.  I hear a dozen times a day, “Snookie, do you know where such and such is?”  I thought it best to write things down so I got a little notebook and write down things for her that she can reference once I’m not here.

Speaking of which, I’ve made my plane reservations to return to Tucson.  It’s time.  I need to get to help Bob with the 5th wheel issues we’re having.  That is usually my territory, dealing with the service writer, etc. so I need to get back.  I’ll be flying to Phoenix and then renting a car to drive to Tucson.  I’m not crazy about flying to begin with, I will fly, but I can’t say I enjoy it.  The flight from Phoenix to Tucson would be on a puddle jumper and when I flew out a month ago we were knocked all over the sky because of the wind.  I’ll drive the two hours, thank you very much.  I will make a stop in Quail Run to pick up our mail and a box we had delivered.

On the 5th wheel issues we’re having, we have the component manufacturers involved now and DRV who built our RV.  Since we contacted these companies things are starting to get done and we’re getting answers.  This whole thing will be easier on both of us when we’re under one roof and not trying to get organized and compose letters and keep all of the facts straight with his notes in Tucson and mine here in Delaware.  Thank heavens for email and cell phones!

I miss my camera!  I’ve wanted it so many times over these past weeks.

I’ll be glad to get back to Tucson so that I can wear something different.  I don’t think I told you what I actually ended up packing that day when I got the call.  Now remember, my world was turned upside down and I just threw stuff in a suitcase.  I packed two pairs of black slacks, a white pullover tee, one blouse, one red short sleeved sweater, two pairs of sweatpants, four sweatshirts, four pairs of socks, four bras and eleven pairs of panties.  Shoes included a pair of sneakers, a pair of flip flops and a pair of black flats.  Oh yeah, and a winter jacket.  That’s it.  I have been wearing the same thing day in and day out for the past month.  Now I did do some shopping since I’ve been here because we had that heat wave two weeks ago.  I bought four pair of shorts and six tops.  I think I’ll be shipping stuff home!

I hate the thought of leaving my mom.  I know she’s going to be okay but I hate the thought of her being here by herself.  We’ve had a talk about it and she assured me that she will be busy with yard work at home and at the cottage in Maryland.  She’ll split her time between the two homes.

As soon as our issues are dealt with and we close up the park model in Quail Run, Bob and I will be returning to Delaware for the summer.  It will be too hot to stay in Arizona and we really need to be here.  There are some things around here that mom needs help with and we can’t depend on my brother to do everything.   If you think about it he now has three houses to look after, his own, mom’s and the beach house.  Too much to ask him to take it all on.

Mom and I have been out to dinner a few times, we play cards, we try very hard not to miss the reruns of Big Bang Theory (Sheldon is my favorite!) and laugh a lot.  We are so tired that sometimes we laugh so hard over the stupidest things.

More to come.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

4/13/2013 Our First Trip to the Cemetery

(Wilmington, DE)

This morning our town held a town-wide yard sale.  We put a few things out that mom wanted to get rid of.  A coffee table, an end table, a pole lamp and grandfather type clock.  My parents used to go to all these time share presentations, they never bought, it just gave them something to do for an afternoon.  They would use the gift certificate they were given to go out to dinner, add another inexpensive 35mm camera to their collection, bring home another small grill and fill the gas tank with gas money they were given.  One time they hit the jackpot and got a grandfather type clock.  It stood in the living room for years but now its time for it to go.  Lucky for us within two hours those things and a few other small things were gone.

After we put a few things away that didn’t sell we got in the car and headed to the cottage in Maryland.  We were to meet my brother there to clean up the yard so the young fellow who cuts the grass could get started for the season.

Billy turned on the water and we found a leak.  Billy says it will be an easy fix and he’ll take care of that soon. 

The cottage is another place that will need to be cleaned out of things my dad held on to.  The cottage needs work to be done to it.  Between Billy and Bob and mom and me we’ll get it back in good shape in no time.

We got the yard cleaned up and were soon on our way back to Wilmington.
On the way back we decided it was time to go to the cemetery.  Delaware Veteran’s Cemetery was on our way so it only made sense.  Today was the first day we actually even talked about it.  I think we both felt that if we didn’t talk about it then it really wasn’t real.

We found where he is with the help of the directory.  Those who are cremated can be entombed in one of the walls that have been built.

The final bronze plaque hasn’t been installed yet.  Right now there is just a temporary label with his name on it.  I shouldn’t be reading his name on this wall yet.  Mom and I have tears that fall silently, neither one of us willing to be the one to let go first.  What I really want to do is bang my fist on this granite wall and yell at him for leaving us, but it certainly wasn’t his idea to go so soon.  Too soon for me.  There are still things I want to ask him.  I want to tell him I love him one more time.  I want to hear him say, love ya babe,  when we hang up after talking on the phone.  I’ll never hear my dad tell me he loves me again.  That hurts my heart so much.  I want to hear those words one more time.  Just one more time.

It was a silent ride home, both of us lost in our thoughts.  This visit to the cemetery today was another first in our new normal.

By the time we reached the house we shook off our sad feelings, both of us determined to be strong for the other.   We didn’t talk about it, we just went on with our day with our usual activities, we just went on in our new normal.

This new normal I write of, this life that goes on without my dad…..   I. Hate. It!

Friday, April 12, 2013

4/12/2013 Carpet and Furniture Shopping

(Wilmington, DE)

Today mom and I went carpet and furniture shopping. 

We went to a flooring contractors showroom to pick out new wall to wall for the living room, dining room, hallway and two bedrooms,  We have a family friend who knows a carpet installer and he sent us there to pick it out.  It was difficult at best.  it’s hard to help pick out carpet in colors you don’t care for to begin with.  When I saw she kept going back to a certain color I agreed that that one was the best.  I’m sure it will all look nice when its all said and done.

From there we went to a local department store where she saw a sofa that she liked.  The store has 20% off today so we went to get it ordered.  It will be in next week.

While in the department store we stopped to buy new curtains for the dining room.

I’m glad we have these things to keep us busy.  I’m afraid if we didn’t there would be too much time to think.  There will be time enough for that later on.  At the same time it is just putting off the inevitable for her.  Her new normal.

Back at home we continued going through drawers, cabinets and closets.  My mom is ready to clear things out that she doesn’t use or need anymore.  That was hard to do with my dad around because he was always saying,,,,I might need that someday or I’m going to fix that!  Now, it’s going!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

4/8-4/11/2013 3 Seasons in 4 Days

(Wilmington, DE)

In the past four days we have experienced winter spring and summer.  We went from highs in the low 50’s to the mid 70’s and then we hit 90 on the 4th day.  Crazy weather.
Mom and I have been busy filling out paperwork for this benefit and that.  I now know my parents social security numbers by heart.

We play a lot of “remember when” and it brings smiles so its all good.

Bob is still at Lazy Days in Tucson.  Authorizations are coming in, parts are arriving but the problem is getting service bay time.  Thankfully, the weather hasn’t gotten too bad yet.  He’s able to keep the main living space comfortable with the air conditioner and running one fan.  He tells me the community in the parking lot is stable, no one is leaving.  I guess when you are warranty work you are on the bottom of the totem pole.

To all of you who have written me emails, called me, left the wonderful comments on the blog, since the last time I said thanks,,,,thank you so much.  Each message means so much to me.

I’m anxious to get back to Bob but I dread leaving here.  I can’t imagine what it is going to be like leaving my mom.  We’ll return as soon as possible but I absolutely hate the thought of leaving at all.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

4/72013 Two Weeks….

(Wilmington, DE)

I sat on the enclosed porch today in his chair.  I found comfort there.  It’s been two weeks today since we said our so longs.  Not goodbye because I will be with him one day again.

It still doesn’t seem real to me.  I walk to the porch several times a day and my eyes are drawn to the right to his chair.  I still expect to see him sitting there reading his ever present book or newspaper.  He read the paper.  Every article, front page to last.  Every comic, every obit, he read it all.

I’ll miss sitting with him and discussing the books we read.  We liked the same authors, Patterson, Grisham, Clancy and a few others.  Whenever I came home we would sit for a while and tell each other of must read books.

So today I sat and thought about the dad I knew.  I sat there while scenes from my life flashed through my mind….

Four years old and helping my dad wash the car,  six years old and watching my dad play pool at the Officer’s Club, nine years and it was just me and him for a whole week when my mom was in the hospital having my brother, (yeah, they actually stayed a week in the hospital back then) twelve years old and him taking me ice skating with other Guardsmen’s kids on the pond at the air base, sixteen and taking me out driving and then going with me to buy my first car.

In my minds eye I watched him give me the oath when I joined the National Guard and I remember how proudly I marched at graduation from basic training because I knew he was in the audience.  My mom and brother were there too but I was marching a little taller because I so wanted him to be proud of me. 

I remembered our father/daughter dinners out when we had National Guard summer camp at the same time at the same place and local restaurants sounded much better than the mess hall.  I remembered the lecture about how when we were in uniform he wasn’t my dad anymore but my superior officer and I had better salute him and call him sir.  And he was serious!  He drove this home when one time we passed each other on the walkway from the street to our front door.  I was just coming home, probably from Happy Hour somewhere and he was going out for an evening staff meeting.  I looked at him and said something like, "Hey dad"  He stopped me right then and there and let me know that he wasn't Dad but that he was LTC Rhoads and that I had better render a salute.  He was doing this for my own good.  The Delaware Guard is proportional to the size of the state which means in actuality the Guard is a very small community of citizen soldiers.  It would serve me well to remember this lesson.

I remembered his arms around me, holding me close when my heart was broken in two at twenty five.  

He proudly welcomed Bob into our family when I was twenty seven.  Through the years he gave me/us advice on household/parenting/financial matters.  It wasn’t always asked for, but we got it anyway.

I remembered that he was always my rock.  The first man that ever loved me and the first man I ever loved.

This doesn't seem real yet.

Friday, April 5, 2013

4/1-4/5/2013 So Much To Do!

(Wilmington, DE)

Monday morning we hit the floor running.

There is much to do this week.  The cemetery needs more paperwork, pension papers have to be dealt with, insurance papers have to be filed, accounts closed, accounts changed to my mom’s name only, dozens of phone calls and dozens of forms to be filled out.

In between all this we’re trying to get thank you notes written and getting this house put back together.

I’m encouraging her to clean out and get rid of stuff. It isn’t taking much persuasion.  I never realized what a pack rat my dad was.  We found eleven pairs of glasses he didn’t wear anymore.  Why he held on to them is beyond me.  Some had the glass missing, some had one ear piece missing, it was beyond baffling.  All that stuff has been cleaned out now.  We donated the glasses and frames to the local Lion’s club.  Someone who wouldn’t otherwise have glasses may now.

We dropped all the clothing off to the Veteran’s Hospital Community Living Center.  They were most appreciative of the donation.

My mom is great for displaying pictures in frames.  She kept adding to the collection over the years so we gathered them all up in one place and will pare that pile down considerably.  She still had my high school graduation picture on the wall.  I graduated 43 years ago!  It’s time for it to be put away, wouldn’t you agree?

She gave me my baby book and the album of pictures of my first year.  I keep looking at the one of my 20 year old dad holding a three week old me.

I miss him.  As busy as we are I’m well aware of his absence.

Bob and I talk everyday on the phone.  He’s in Arizona and the dealership doing our warranty work is very slow.  We totally understand them putting the ones who are paying cash for their services ahead of us but its getting to the point of ridiculous now.  There isn’t anything we can do, we’re at their mercy.

Bob has been busy dressing all the wood in our 5th wheel and believe me, there’s a lot of it!  He says he can’t wait for me to see it.

The community in the parking lot, where our home spends the majority of the time, is growing.  Bob has made friends with others and Happy Hour is now an everyday occurrence for the group.

Its getting hot now in Arizona.  Bob says the air conditioner runs non-stop.
I’ve talked with several of our friends still in Quail Run and I’m told the place is all but empty.  This certainly didn’t turn out to be the three months we wanted to spend in there.  They’ll be gone by the time we get back there.

Time is going much too fast for me.  We have so much to do and the time is going to come that Bob is going to start on me to come home.  He hasn’t said anything as yet, its only been two and half weeks since I left, but I know he must be missing me….or at least my cooking….or maybe not.

It hasn’t been all work this week.  One evening our cousin Kathy came to take us out to dinner.  We really needed that night out.  We laughed, a lot.  We reminded each other of family stories long forgotten.  Mom and I needed this so much.

Neither one of us is much liking this new normal.  We would give anything to turn back the hands of time.  Then reality sets in and we are once again reminded that death is very much a part of living.

Did I tell you I miss my dad?