I do best photographing dead, stuffed birds. This one was alive and flew off a bit later. My bird knowledge is not deep, but this little jewel I know. IT is a yellow head black bird, a very handsome fellow.
Grandkids (7) a couple of daughters and sons-in-law, an aunt and uncle, a good party.
The gals fixed good food and we ate well.
It was our 55th anniversary and aunt and uncle's 63rd. That is a lot of years. We were 19, when we married, Aunt was 17, which proves the danger of early marriages!
Today I worked in the garden. There is a garden spot of about an honest acre. That is a lot of garden, more than I could handle, but there are others, I am the 3rd assistant!
And through it all my brain bangs back and forth in my pointy head. Our place in Idaho is in good hands, though it is not bringing in any cash at the moment. Not having a place to worry about is a great relaxant, at the same time it is also sad to be away from something into which I have put so much energy.
On the other hand (as we say) I can see how it would be so freeing to have less material and worry. All my life I have moved toward a more simple life and this could be yet another step in that direction. No one my age really needs to have a lot of space to occupy.
David arrives with the motor home/bus on Sunday. That will be another cog in this change thing. Sleeping in the teardrop trailer is good sleeping, but not really any kind of living.I have wondered about really living in an RV, but never have. This is my chance to see if we can life happily in 290 square feet.
I think it will work fine.
Tomorrow a grandniece graduates from nursing school. There is another party and I'll go. I forgot our dress clothes, but today I bought a new pair of blue denim pants and a nice blue dress shirt. In some circles that is high dress!
Miriam had a good day. She helped, she read she went for a walk with daughter.
There are times when you know it is the first time for something. The last time for something is not always so easy to determine. You may think it is the last time and it may not be.
Likely I played my cornet in public for the last time a few weeks ago. I began playing a cornet when i was 10. Where we are going there is a small college with a superb music department, and they don't need old mediocre cornet players.
Beginning tomorrow I am pretty sure that our lives are taking a major change of direction. I am not sure I am ready for it, and it does not matter. I was melancholy today, not really depressed, but very melancholy. The reason is obvious, but not pleasant.
One can moan and groan a lot too much, and endanger his sanity, so while my sanity may be up for questions, I don't want to be consumed by "What if's" and "Whens" and so on. And even though I think I don't do the moan and groan thing, I do.
This is an adventure. Father Abraham left on a journey and he had no idea where he was going. We went to Texas with nothing but a letter from a University I had never seen, and a road map. Compared to either of those events we are full of knowledge.
We are going to be surrounded, not with good friends, but family. Sometimes friends are more important than family, but at this point I think there is a shift coming.
Are we doing the right thing at the right time? Probably, but my head may need a bit more convincing.
I don't spend a lot of time being envious of others. It is a waste of time and energy. But this guy and his rig put me on the edge of real temptation. He and his wife were on the last legs of a 10,000 mile 2 month trip in this van. It is a Westfalia, a German made camper that is pretty decent for two people who like each other a lot. It is water cooled and drives right along, almost flawlessly! If and if and if. . . this would be a rig I would wish for. Maybe!
I suppose one never knows who his/her friends are until a need shows up. At the Bible Study group this week David told the group what was going on and for them not to ask Miriam and to be careful talking about any of it around her. I arrived late, on purpose so he could talk to the group.
After we were finished with the study and were heading back to the church, one of the member walked up to me and said: “Anything I can do for you, let me know, and I mean anything.” I know him and he meant it too.
This evening I was talking to my back neighbor Terry. I told him I was going to catch a ride back to Idaho so I could drive Miriam’s car to Walla Walla. Granddaughter Jessica is 18 and is taking drivers ed. The family car is a “big” mini van and she is terrorized about parking it.
So I explained to Terry, and that I was going to catch a ride back. That is I will if I can schedule it right. Terry said, shucks he and Mary, his wife, would be glad to drive up (just a nice day ride) and bring me back to pickup the car. It would be fun for them, he said. He insisted and if the schedule with David does not work out I’ll talk to Terry.
Those are real friends. Of course David is at the head of the friend category for the use of his motorhome.
Someone said that a friend in need was a friend indeed, and a comic quipped that a friend in need was a pain in the neck. But, more than I deserve, I have these wonderful caring people who will (or have) gone the extra mile for me and us.
You ask the girl to marry you and things are never the same (in my case that was pretty good). When you have a baby, you cross another of those, you can't go back, times.
Right now I get the feeling that once more we are in a change that will forever alter my life and our lives.
Mostly that is OK, or least it appears OK at this point. Give me a few months and I may well change my mind, but again I may not!
When AD first came into our lives, I did some thinking and wondering about life after AD. Now 12 years later, I am not sure there is life at that point, but maybe.
For sure, my daughter will take over often, and I should be able to escape and do something else.
The motorhome has a couch that makes a decent bed and I should be able to be gone once in a while and a granddaughter could stay with "grandma." Last year I left her with daughter two for a week and all went well.
So it seems that a change should be possible. But such a possibility raises as many questions as it answers.
Such is life.
A while ago daughter three sent me this quote: Great doubts, deep wisdom. Small doubts, little wisdom.
Well I have some pretty huge doubts, so I must be in line for some deep wisdom.
Through the years I have known a fair number of Jim's.
We buried one a few years ago. He was a prince. There is an extended family member with the name, and I probably would not use that term to describe him.
There is another Jim, one I might call Young Jim. He is about the same age as my grandson David. Jim and his wife Veronica just had their first child a couple of weeks ago. His life will never be the same.
Jim's philosophy of life is remarkable like my own. Money is not his goal, life is. He is a college grad, and is very curious, a wide range reader, and he is an avid gardner.
I have known his parents for a long time, his father was our assistant pastor for a decade, but it is through gardening that we have become friends. Jim's medium sized garden is an illustration of perfection. Raised beds, drip irrigation, plants well cared for and growing ahead of almost every one else's, including mine. It is beautiful.
So, yesterday he came to visit and he agreed to take on my garden spot as an extension of his space. From my point of view it gives eyes and feet on the place and keeps it all from going to seed and weed.
That makes me glad, and not so apprehensive of being gone. Juan watches the front of our place from his house, Terry the back from his house, and Jim looks after the garden. I can be gone and take care of Miriam with fewer qualms.
Jim's life will never be the same, with the birth of his son. My life is on a new trajectory. Neither of us know exactly where all of this is going, but that is how life works.
Shucks, if we really could see the future, it would take the fun our of life.
This blog began as a spot to vent about my life with Miriam and her time with Alzheimer's disease.
She was diagnosed in '99 and her decline has been quite slow. In fact some of our best years of our long marriage have been these recent years.
Alzherimer's, at least her version is a disease of waiting. One shoe drops and it can be a very long time before the other one drops.
So life goes on.
At the beginning of this blog I told the story of our courtship and marriage, about out family and our personal journey with this disease. The part that scares the most is the anticipation as the disease slowly progresses.
So, I will touch on that subject from time to time, but the entries will tend toward comments on life. I'll leave politics and religion for others to worry about, not that I don't have strong opinions!
I have my hands full just looking after my wonderful Miriam.
We met when we were 6, began dating at 15 and have been together since. We will have our 56th anniversary this June.
We have four wonderful daughters. Smart, independent, awesome. They have given us 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. None of them are little any more. The oldest is 28 and married, the youngest is 14.
Until this last fall we lived in a hosue I designed and built in the '70's and it is pretty weird and wild, but very comfortable. Last summer the girls came to the conclusion that I really did need help dealing with Miriam. Now we live on a couple acres with daughter 1.
Life has been good. There is not much I would do different even if I could. We are rich beyond belief but chronically short of cash!
And, unless stated otherwise all the photographs are mine.