Griff and I filled the old furnace air return with gravel and concrete and yesterday we set the tile.
But David invited us to go camping and that is an invitation I cannot turn down.
Of course the tear is in Washington State, but we have tents and sleeping bags and sleeping pads and such. We can easily scrounge up enough gear. Griff is going to camp next week, so he has his sleeping bag and gear.
To make it even more interesting, we are going to go to the same lake we were at last weekend, except we will be on the opposite side of the lake. One side has a very developed campground with power and water and even sewer hookups. The other has a few pit toilets and not much else. No water, no power, but more isolated, and a LOT cheaper.
We will be there for a few days. David is my next to favorite camping partner (Miriam of course, is my all time favorite). He will be roughing it out of his 32 foot Avion and we will be in our Eureka Tetragon 11. Kinda the Mutt and Jeff of the camping world! David is on a diet that is so restricted (by my standards) that we won't share much food, but we will still have a great time.
It is good to go camping any time, better yet with good friends. Last year Griff and David along with Miriam and I spent a weekend in the same area. We had a great time.
In his story a very wealthy landowner offered two trusted men all the land they could walk around in a day. The first one found a wonderful little cottage with some fine shade trees, he walked around it and then sat in the shade of that wonderful spot.
The 2nd man ran all day, coveting and then running around this piece and that piece until by evening he dropped dead of exhaustion.
How much land does a man need, Tolstoy asked?
As I contemplate life on the simple side, I wonder about posessions. How much?
It is not all that easy.
There are thousands of items in this house that remind me of great times with Miriam, our daughters, and grandkids. There is a picture here of 2 year old Alan, a picture there of 5 year old Emily. Miriam’s handiwork abounds.
How much of that does an old man need? I fear there are no answers, but I am searching. And unless this sound more maudlin than I mean it to, there is also a great degree of adventure in all of this.
Those memories are so good. Maybe I just need enough of the memories to trigger the emotion.
In time he had to put her in a home. Neither were happy with it, but it had to be done.
He would visit her often, probably daily or more. He was a good husband/caretaker.
When it was time for him to go she would cry and beg him to "taker her home."
I know his heart would break each time. He dearly loved her and wanted to have her close to him, but it was impossible to go back to the days when all was well.
I think of him when Miriam cries about moving back to our home, here in Idaho. It is a nice home. It is comfortable and we have enjoyed living here, but we need to be in another situation right now, one that she cannot really understand.
The family, including me, know what we are doing is the best for her and us, but Miriam not not capable of good reasoning now days. She does not mean to hurt me.
There are jobs that need to be done before anyone can rent our house, and we brought a strong 15 year old grandson for help (and ice cream).
Thursday night, we were camping with family and I locked the pickup keys in the pickup. We were about 30 miles from a locksmith and about $50 away from home, and spare keys.
But if we made a run to Idaho, along with 21 year old grandson Alan, we could bring Miriam's Cavalier back and eventually get it to Washington where it can be wonderfully useful. So Alan, Miriam and I made the run.
The pickup key was easy, it was on the loft steps. The Cavalier key was more complex. We looked in all the proper places, then began looking any where. I looked in boxes of stuff Miriam had not used since her days as an illustrator, and after 30 minutes of such search, I found a single key to the doors and trunk of the Cav.
I sent Alan out to make sure, and like a good kid (which he is), he checked the glove box for an ignition key. He returned with THE key. We celebrated with a dish of ice cream.
The AC is not functioning in the Cav right now. Fortunately it was not a hot day and Miriam and I made the trip back to our camp without any problem.
Sunday Alan drove the Cav (along with the teardrop) back to his house, which is 40 miles from our RV home in Washington state.
Along the way I caught a cold that went to my lungs. My lungs are my weakest link and when a cold settles in it takes a while to dislodge it. Right now I am up way too early, coughing with a brain splitting headache brought on by all of this coughing.
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.