Sunday, September 12, 2010

How's That For A Saturday

Yesterday, I was up early to help Betty with Whitey.  He was pretty stiff and uncomfortable and each time we turned him today, he seemed pretty sore.  It sure hurts Betty to see him suffer so.

Then it was down to Mom's to sit with her for the morning.  Steve had spent the night and was up photographing flowers when I arrived.  He'd been out to get the paper and found a great shot of his long shadow across the drive that turned out great.  Note to self:  Don't ever go any where without the camera.  Steve's eye is attuned to the photographic opportunity of every moment.  He has trained his eye to see beauty and interest in the smallest of things.

Steve had no sooner gone home to bed when Mom began to stir.  Determined to remain as strong and active as possible, she opted for the walker over the wheel chair.  She takes her time and is careful, but oh, how weak she's become.  I fixed her a little oat meal, but she only managed to eat a couple of spoons full.  I wrote and we chatted here and there.  She kept insisting that I go spend time with my family.  I kept insisting that I'd hear nothing of it.  Her cancer is taking it's toll and none of us want to be far from her side.

Wayne and Susan had been here for a week and left yesterday.  The previous weekend, Mark and Susan had attended to Mom's needs.  Before that two granddaughters and a grandson were here helping as well.  We locals enjoyed a bit of rest and some good company, but are happy to be back to taking our turns.  We cherish these inspiring moments by her side.

Alyson arrived in the night from Vegas.  She's here to spend a few days with family and to be near her grandmother.  She and Katie came to Mom's around ten.  After a chat, they announced they were headed to Jeff's volleyball games.  Mom insisted I go with them.  He played two and scored a few points.  His coach is my long time friend Raedean.  I was impressed with the number of volleys these 8 and 9 year olds could get going in a row!  Darn good little players.  Jeff's family had spent the morning at a 5K Fun Run in celebration of Josh Graham's Birthday.  Josh's widow, and our good friend Toni had organized it in his memory.  John and Jen had helped with the logistics and Jeff had walked and run the entire distance with Cooper and Josh's daughter, Celestia.  Keaton, Toni's oldest, honored his father by winning the race in 21 minutes!  I'd like to have participated as well, but had other priorities this morning.  Jeff's team won one and lost one.  Good times.

On the way back to Mom's riding in Aly's new Maxima we decided to swing by the Cemetery and see the newly placed headstones.  Annie's has been there a few weeks but none of us had seen it yet.  It is lovely and certainly represents Eric's great love for her.  Mom and Dad's arrived just a day or so ago.  Steve and Cheya took Mom up to see it yesterday.  She was pleased and remarked how nice it was to get out of the house for a bit.  We were pleased too.  I love how they listed their children on the back of the stone.  Dad's military plaque remains there as well.

Cheya had arrived at Mom's just before we arrived.  She'll have the afternoon and evening shift.  Mom is most comfortable with her.  Tired from a morning sitting up doing crosswords and trying to eat, she went back to bed.  We're all thankful for lap tops as our computers go back and forth with every trip.  I had done my morning's writing while there.  Cheya will continue her quest to scan family photos and identify the people and record the dates.

I headed for home and spotted Lynn selling melons on Main Street.  He does this every year.  He runs to Green River and brings back a trailer load of the best ripe melons around.  I got a nice one for $4.00.  He's trying to move them fast so he can get home to watch BYU play Air Force.

Back at home, I found John and Ronnie digging up John's backyard to replace the sewer line.  We did mine three years ago.  Thankfully, Ronnie is a master at operating a backhoe and makes that difficult task look like child's play.  I'm so glad to finally have sons and love rubbing shoulders and working along side them.  We have the rented hoe for the weekend.  Gratefully they only charge for the time that's recorded on it's hour meter.  Ronnie's skill cut that time way down.  We started digging last night by hand but our lots are over an ancient riverbed of cobble rocks making shovels nearly useless.  There still remained some shoveling at the ends of the trench.  I was grateful to the periodic breaks to run over and help Betty care for her ill husband.

The old Orangeburg pipe was in horrible shape.  It was completely plugged with roots and debris.  It had been installed at way too steep a grade and its a wonder it made it this long.  The pipe was brittle and about to disintegrate.  After cleaning things up and assessing the needs, we found a couple of sticky problems.  I walked down to Kirk's for some advice.  He did his the year after I did mine.  He came down and we deliberated over solutions for a while.  He had an idea and he and I went back to his place to make a special tool for the job.  How glad I am for good neighbors and friends.  That problem solved, John and I went to Lowe's for materials while Jen and Megan went for Pizza.  She took some down to Cheya too.  The rest of us, including Ronnie and Kristi, Aly, Katie, John, Jen, Megan and Jeff ate at our picnic table.  How nice to have our homes back to back.  Every grandfather's dream and I'm living it.  Ronnie and Kristi brought some tomatoes from their garden, so be began planning for BLT's for dinner tomorrow.  How good to have all our children together for the weekend.  Aly and Kristi have been to the store to buy matching T-shirts for everyone so we can take a family photo tomorrow.

Jen headed for the store for groceries while John and I got the pipe all hooked up with two new clean-out locations added.  We all celebrated with a flush!  Everything worked great and soon the washing machine and dish washer were catching up and John was in a much deserved hot shower.  We still have the trench to back fill, but at least the plumbing is back in service.

When I went over to Betty's to help settle Whitey in for the night, she announced that she'd made arrangements to cover my afternoon tomorrow so I could spend some uninterrupted time with the family.  What a sweet thoughtful friend she is.

You know?  I guess you'd look on a day like that and think, "What's so great about a life where loved ones are dying and sewers go bad and money runs out and daughters live far away and headstones are needed and muscles are aching and widows are mourning and the ground is full of rocks?"  "People, that's what's so great about it!"  "Neighbors and friends, teammates and coaches, daughters and sons, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, grandsons and granddaughters, runners and walkers, workers and players; not to mention computers and adjustable beds and wheel chairs and backhoes and back rubs, and fancy new cars and toilets that flush!  That's what's so great about life!"

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