Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Latona and I have only a few days left with my mom and stepdad.  We feel happy that they will continue independent living for a bit longer.  With the use of a local taxi company they will have the transportation they need, and a home health care agency will provide weekly check-ups.

Mom loves to "go" so this change will be harder on her than Chick, but she is also very pragmatic and will do what needs to be done.  We have marveled at her statements about just walking to the grocery store if necessary since it is over a mile away.  When we start feeling like wimps we just say "remember MOM"!

As always, we have been given many "jewels" over the past few weeks.  Our bird gifts have included Bluebirds and the Swallow Tailed Kite.  These are all in mom's neighborhood along with Cardinals, Mockingbirds, Sandhill Cranes and Red Shouldered Hawks.

This pic from Cornell Ornithological Lab Webpage
The community called The Villages is expanding and is creating a new section near mom's.  It is called Brownwood and has a western theme for all the building completed so far.  At the entrance they have added some sculpture that we stopped to see.

For us, exciting things have often been happening at the state park mentioned earlier where we go for our daily walk (usually).  The other day we saw that the Magnolias had started to bloom and some water lily pads captured memories of the previous evening rain.

But perhaps the "jewels" we cherish the most happen to us as we travel what we hope is the intentional path we have chosen.  This leads me to a few stories.  We have visited a neighborhood pub in the afternoon while Mom has her nap and were quickly adopted by a new friend.  Our shared times have been nourishing, and we already look forward to reconnecting next year.  Thank you.

We also had to have a visit to a body shop (nothing serious just some rust from the Keys) and had a conversation with a gentleman who wanted to talk with us about his daughter.  She had been seriously abused by a boyfriend and had chosen a female partner.  He talked about his initial struggle but his overwhelming joy at seeing her happiness.  He believed God's love had won out in her life. Thank you.

My last little anecdote happened in the supermarket.  I was about three people back in the line and was observing the two people at the register.  The one appeared to be the daughter, while the older one, who appeared to be the mother, was looking around restlessly and chattering to herself.  While we waited, a thirty-looking black woman entered the store and walked toward an aisle about 50 feet from where we all stood.  The older woman started yelling "youngin, youngin."  The younger woman heard her calling, spun on her heels and made a straight line to the voice she recognized.  She was immediately wrapped in the older one's arms, and after hugs and kisses, they parted with smiles spread across both faces.  The gentleman ahead of me turned to say that the older woman had been a teacher and had taught every kid in this town for the past forty-five years.  This one was one of hers. Thank you.

I have been reminded of all the "youngins" I have been privileged to teach, work with, and see go on their way in their own life.  To each of them I send out a loving shout-out and a special hug! Thank you.

And thank you to all the jewels in our lives.  We can feel your love and support wherever we go.

I am excited to share that I will pass the seventy-year mark before I write again.  Their are so many things to say as I pass this special milepost.  My heart is full and grateful for my wonderful life partner and all we share, my daughter and family, my birth family, my adopted children and families, friends, friends, friends, good health, and memories of the experiences that have made my life full and blessed.  In every way, and to everyone, THANK YOU!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Time with Mom and Chick

After a sweet, and always encouraging visit with Pat and Jean in their new home, we started to prepare for our visit with Mom and Chick.  Life was about to take a new turn for them.

We arrived the Tuesday before Easter, and enjoyed getting back to life in the adult community where they currently reside.  The pond near the clubhouse has a lovely fountain, a screened in sitting spot, a few alligators,  and some snakes that slither around.  A hot tub near the pool also gives us an evening soak which is a nice treat.

What we soon would learn was that Chick was required to surrender his driver's license. Mom hadn't driven for several years due to symptoms of glaucoma, so all of a sudden here goes independence and the ability to do what needs to be done for independent life.  No more shopping trips, doctor's appointments and even lunch at Wendy's without hiring someone or accessing senior services.

They are both amazing, and happily have been able to live as they have wanted for over ninety years.  So here goes another steep learning curve for all of us.

Questions we started to deal with:  What about the car and the signed lease? Will they take it back?  Do they need a new place to live and what will be helpful?  Is it time for Assisted Living?  What can they afford? Will a new place take the cat? Can we find a place in the Villages which would allow golf cart transportation? What are the other options for transportation?  How about home health care?  What about veteran benefits and other health insurance policies? And in all of it, what is comfortable for them?

I feel like I can honestly report that we are working well together so far, and that Mom and Chick are able to say what they feel okay about and what not.  Each day we make some progress. We have also been building a relationship with his son and wife that is very helpful for us all.

Latona and I go for a daily visit to our state park that is only a few miles away and get in a 1-2 mile walk and have a chance to confront some new wildlife adventure.

WE love the Live Oaks and the Spanish Moss in the wind

Part of the pathway

Warmer weather is starting to bring out the snakes which we haven't seen here before. The turtle appeared to have been laying eggs judging by the loose dirt around her tail and back feet.

If all goes as we hope, and Mom and Chick are comfortable and safe, we plan to leave here in several weeks and will head to northern Ohio for a special warbler festival, and then on to Pennsylvania and New Jersey for visits with my siblings.  (Always fun times)

Thank you for your interest in our "doings" as well as the health of our "beings".

More to come ...   please keep sending good energy and helpful prayers for Mom and Chick as they negotiate the next steps of their journey.  I am grateful not only to have my mother for all of these almost seventy years of my life, but to have a mother with such courage, strength, and a stubborn will for a positive life.