My mother and her trip

Life is good. My mother and I are planning a t rip to Florida to see my brother, who has been ill. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but my mother is 96, is on a walker and tires easily..

We’ll take two days for the trip and stay there for four or five days, then two days back. After that, she’ll stay here with me for a week or two before I take her back  to Brevard. None of that is a problem since I’m retired and told my freelance employer that I’d be gone for two weeks.

She has been so concerned about Chip that she really needs to see him. Besides she hasn’t been out of Brevard for more than three years. It’s time to get away and see different scenery.

It will be rough on her, but she wants to do it. She can recover at my house. And if it does her in, she will have had a happy trip. There’s no reason to think it will do more than make her tired although she is likely to have a bad day before we go. When Shannon (her granddaughter) visited from Washington, my mot her had a wonderful weekend but one of the worst Fridays she’s had in recent weeks. I think she worried about everything she couldn’t do for Shannon.

I must say that getting old is not easy. You have to fight to d everything. But this one thing we are doing.

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Family brings special joy

My niece, Shannon, is here to visit her grandmother. And the two of them plus Michael, Shannon’s friend, and me – we’re all having fun. That fun, unfortunately, includes food, lots of food. We ate at Rocky’s in Brevard, a hot dog place. I had chicken salad, which was good (not too much mayo). They had various types of hot dogs, potato chips and chocolate milkshakes. The pickled tomatoes are great.

Supper was with Becki and Roger at Marco. I had Greek salad with chicken (and I brought half of it home). So once again, I did OK. My mother got dessert and I had a bite. I also had a small glass of wine.

More important than the food is the love Shannon shows for her “Nana.” It’s a special sight to see. She’s 28; my mother is 96. But they speak the same language when it comes to values and ethics. It has been a great weekend for my mother, who was having a bad week before Shannon arrived. She hurt, felt lousy and felt sorry for herself. She was depressed and out of sorts because she couldn’t get ready as she to do when family was visiting. But Shannon didn’t care. All she wanted was her Nana.

The life of a homeowner

The life of a homeowner is tough.

I am getting a new compressor for my air conditioner this morning – a couple of thousand dollars. But I have been without air conditioning (in South Carolina, no less) for three weeks. Most of that was my problem since I didn’t call the repair man. But when I did, it took some time to find the part.

Then, good news. My insurance company is covering the cost of a new roof because of hail damage. The adjuster said there was significant damage. It has come over the years rather than in just one storm, but it’s being attributed to a 2012 storm. The roof is 23 years old, and I’m replacing it for the cost of my deductible on my homeowners.

The next step is getting my garbage disposal and kitchen sink working right again. But that should not be super expensive.

Isn’t it interesting? I retire so I no longer have a bi-weekly check coming in. Then the bills start hitting. So far, I’m fine with savings. But I certainly hope things slow down for a while.

To Mark: Forever 6

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Red and yellow, green and blue, pink and white – the balloons float up to Heaven

Through rain and sunshine, clouds and wind.

They begin their journeys in Florida and Rhode Island, South Carolina and Massachusetts, even Washington, D.C. But they all end in Heaven with Mark.

Those bits of rubber, air and color each honor the youngster, showing him he had family he’d never met – sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, even his mother (whom of course he knew) and a stepfather.

A person’s life and worth is not measured in years but in love.

Mark is rich in that.

(His mother holds a balloon launch on the date of his birthday every year.)’