Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Just Wondering

My volunteer sunflowers continue blooming in the fire pit. The barn looks like it is leaning in this picture. The wind finally blew both doors down and I have begun my relentless campaign to have them replaced. At least one cannot see all the junk He Who is a wanna be Fred Sanford has accumulated with the doors up.

I have Asiatic lilies! I didn't plant these either, but I have noticed them in several of my gardens.

Today should "feel like" 101 degrees. I confess that I am not looking forward to that. But, ....... the swimmers will be out in force. Good thing I have restocked ice cream.

I answered the phone as usual, identifying the place of business. "Is this Kan-Do Kampground?"
I am tempted to say that I just said that it was, but I just answer in the affirmative. "Is your alls's pool open?" Again, I say yes. "Well, I wasn't sure, what with all that cold weather we just had, I figured you all might have drained it and shut it down ........" Again I say that the pool is open daily from 11 am until 7 pm and give the price per person; my usual litany of information. "Oh, I ain't coming to swim, I was just wondering."

So happy to be of service to your wondering mind. Cold? It was not cold. The temperatures were in the 70's during the day and the 50's at night. That's not cold, that's perfect!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Life Is Entertaining

See here, where the wheels of the trailer entered my garden, plowed over the day lilies ....

leaving tire tread on the boulder, then taking out more day lilies .....

There was a boulder here.

Now it is here. I really don't know how he managed to disengage the trailer from the boulder. I don't know how he managed to turn so sharp as to bring the tires of the fifth wheel he was pulling over that far. My driveways are wide, my parking lot enormous .......... cause, you know, it is an RV park. Big trucks and motor homes frequent us.

The day lilies are hardy, they will grow back. The boulder can stay there until the next time we have use of the front end loader. But, his axle had to have sustained damage. He is here until Wednesday. His wife drove a car and next time I encounter her, I will have to educate her about the meaning of "one way" and "10 MPH." You would think after the incident they would be a little cautious.

While the downloading of the photos took place (painfully slow) I was pondering the oddities of life. Take laundry and socks, for instance. It always makes me happy when I have an even number of socks come out of the washer. It is a good omen. But, although I had 6 socks belonging to He Who favors those of the over the calf variety, all in black, there was only one actual pair in the six. I try to buy all the exact same kind of socks for him (knowing him as I do), but I sometimes encounter a bargain I can't refuse. Not that many brands carry the over the calf socks, so you would think I couldn't have stocked many different kinds in his over flowing sock drawer. They are all black, but some are a different weight. Light for summer and heavy for winter. I carefully pair them and lay them ever so neatly in the drawer.

So, why do you suppose he feels the need to un-pair them and mismatch them? I would think it would be uncomfortable to have a winter sock and a summer sock on. Never mind. I am just thankful he doesn't wear them with shorts.

In the midst of my pondering the sock dilemma, a man entered the store in a cloud of cigarette smoke and body odor. He enquired about the kind of bait I stocked (night crawlers) and then frowned at me in disappointment. He asked about my price and he exhaled loudly to indicate it was too high. I was doing that shallow mouth breathing thing to keep from gagging.

He bought two dozen and a bag of ice. I went and gathered it all for him to keep as far away as I could and facilitate a quick exit on his part. I watched as he strode back to his vehicle. An older two door sedan pulling a flat trailer loaded with what looked like household items covered in large trash bags. He leaned in to the open window and a woman handed out a very small Styrofoam cooler. He filled it with ice and still had half the bag left. This seemed to confuse both of them as they handed the half bag back and forth. Finally the woman took possession of it. I don't know what she did with it, maybe it is still in her lap.

There was a luggage carrier affixed to the roof of the car and he opened it and retrieved a bag of something that he threw into the dumpster. I was mesmerized as I stood watching at the door. The glass door tinted, so that I see out, but you can't see in. He fiddled with the rope he had holding the lid to the carrier down. The latches must have been broken. Then he looked all around before jumping through the window and into the drivers seat. I am guessing the door was no longer functional.

It occurs to me that I am easily entertained.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Not Myself

It has been an off week for me. I have had a dull headache all week long. Tylenol and I are very familiar. Thinking I might switch over to Aspirin if it continues. Just so happens, a bottle of Tylenol is on my desk.

The county fair has been going on, so the swimming business is slack, leaving me lots of spare time. The weather has been glorious, 70's during the day, cooling to 50's at night. Despite all this, I seem to lack the motivation to do anything. I half-heartedly mowed and mulched. Mindless chores that leave my mind open to ponder other things.

Last year when I went to see my dad, he still looked somewhat healthy. He still had lots of fight and determination to win his battle with cancer. They managed to shrink the initial tumor with chemo and radiation and he was all set to have surgery with a good prognosis for a complete recovery. The pre-op PET scan revealed that the cancer cells had spread. This was not good news, but he gamely opted for more chemo.

At this point, his only disappointment was that he did not lose his hair. I suppose he thought he should be rewarded for all the sickness he endured with the radiation and chemo. Mama is a groomer. She feels it to be her responsibility to present her husband to world well groomed and neatly dressed. Her grooming weapon of choice is tweezers. My dad has the baldest ears and nose of any old man around, thanks to Mama and her tweezers. I once heard her tell him to be still, she was not going to have him riding down the road looking like she didn't care about him. Daddy had high hopes that all his hair would be gone.

He took his chemo faithfully and after a time I got the call that he was in remission. We all sighed that huge sigh of relief. Except for the inconvenience of  a pump and a port, life was getting back to normal for him. Calls became infrequent and when I did talk to him he was still his old optimistic self, rattling on about his daily activities, telling me what he had for supper, when he mowed the lawn and what he planned to put in the garden. Phone calls with him are awkward. He doesn't always hear what I say and instead of asking me to repeat myself (not such a big deal for me, since I live with He Who can't hear either), he will try to assume the contents and come back with something totally off subject.

I prefer to write letters. I think he prefers that, too. I can, after all, spin a tale. I never expect him to respond in writing and he doesn't. He is also apt to paint a brighter picture of his future than is real. Mama called me around the beginning of this month and told me just how sick he was. Remission is over. He was given two options. More powerful and toxic chemo, or let the disease runs it's course.

I went last week, totally unprepared for what I encountered. He is so very weak. Frail does not begin to describe him. My Daddy, always bigger than life, the most dependable man in the world was so shrunken. Barely able to walk, but still refusing help. He is trying so hard to live. Not for himself, but not wanting to leave his family.

Everything else seems not to matter to me. A man pulling a trailer just plowed down one of my flower beds and drug a boulder a good way ....... and I didn't care so much. He will be here a week, no doubt to address the axle on his trailer. It was a huge boulder and he rode over one, caught the next one and pulled it down the road. I am just not myself, I didn't even laugh.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good To Be Home

Things are almost back to normal here at the kampground. I have been super busy helping get things back in shape. I left detailed notes taped eye level at the check in desk ...... what a waste of time.

I suppose he tried. He did admit that it was difficult to handle a weekend with only one person. But, I think he missed taking towing calls. I think he may have taken some and left the kampground on it's own.

I was so tired when I arrived home Sunday. I did not take the store keys with me, thinking I would not need them. I was wrong, as He Who Was Towing was absent on my arrival. Swimmers in the pool and lots of activity in the park. Sign with the happy frog proclaimed that he would "be right back".

After we gained entry and lugged all our bags in, I opened the store and took care of business, all the while watching the clock. I close early on Sunday and 6:00 could not come soon enough. I was itching to wander through my gardens. I picked collard greens and cooked them for Jill. Love my girl!

The real work began on Monday. I had asked He Who was in charge in my absence if I needed to check on the bathrooms before I retired for the night on Sunday. He assured me he had mopped and stocked that very morning ........

Monday afternoon we had a conversation that went something like this ........Me: "Honey, did you clean the toilets while I was gone?" Him: "I flushed them and put toilet paper in the dispenser." Me: "Did you clean the sinks?" Him: "Why?" Me: Did you clean the mirrors?" Him: "We have mirrors?"

My apologies to all who entered in my absence. All those areas have been addressed. You will no doubt catch a whiff of Clorox lingering in the air. I have been mowing and weeding and mulching since in an effort to tire myself, hoping for a good night's sleep. While my body is tired, my mind keeps churning and I find myself gazing at the dark ceiling thinking thoughts I would rather not think .......

My four legged children were ecstatic to see me. Almost as much as I was to see them. I actually slept a good 6 hour stretch last night, with Cujo tucked tightly to my ribs, Oscar at my legs and Toni Louise's head touching mine. I was all tucked in. Wall-E was next to He Who he loves most. The temperature was in the 50's and the fan was in the window. I caught an occasional whiff of basil. Felt like home. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Super 8 Ain't Super!

Baby Mason and Papa Bob napping. So sweet. My dad sounded so much better last night when I talked to him. I slept better last night.

Speaking of sleep ........ there is no bed as restful as your own. The first night of our adventure was spent in a Drury Inn south of Atlanta. It was great. A suite with a king bed. The bed felt extra roomy, even though I was sharing it with my daughter. No dogs snuggled up next to me. The sheets were crisp and clean, the bathroom pristine and the price very reasonable.

Jill and I shared a double bed at my dad's house. It was a bit too cozy. My child snores!! She informed that I did, too. We slept in shifts. I would lay very still until I knew she was asleep, then try to get to sleep myself. In doing so I would wake her ........ and again ......

On the way home we were thinking we would have another good nights sleep. Jill drove while I fretted about my dad going to the hospital and planned how to get back quickly. Both of us were emotionally drained and achy. We stopped for a break at an outlet mall. Jill was on a mission to address her mother's wardrobe.

After we walked and shopped what seemed like several miles we got back on the interstate, thinking to make great time heading north. We crawled along, stopping, then creeping forward. A call to my son-in-law, Nick provided an explanation. A wreck ahead.

We finally made it through that and changed drivers. You can't use the cruise in stop and go traffic and we encountered more of the same as we headed north. We didn't get as far as we wanted and were both exhausted. A Holiday Inn Express loomed in the distance and we pulled in ...... and right back out. They wanted $200 for a night's stay!

I saw a Super 8 right next door and although the doors to the rooms were outside and Jill did not like that, we decided we could handle it. I promised to shove a chair under the door handle. The clerk was nice and friendly and I presented my AAA card for a discount. We opened the door and Jill proclaimed it to be "cute". First thing she wanted was a shower and while I cleaned the TV remote (Matt Lauer would have been proud) she took over the bathroom.

The look on her face when she came out wrapped in the towel was priceless. She told me I could not have a shower. The shower curtain was nasty and we discovered used towels hanging in the bathroom! Gross!! I decided that brushing my teeth and washing my face would suffice and we would just get some sleep. Jill was already settled in her bed and we had already removed the bedspreads. I pulled back my covers, prepared to get in and saw blood on the sheet!!!!!

Jill leapt from her bed and actually exited the room. While I called the front desk, she called her husband (like he could fix our situation). The clerk asked how much blood was in the bed. Really. "Well, it doesn't look like someone was slaughtered here, but does it matter? The sheets were obviously not changed and I will not sleep on them." She pondered this and said she could either change the sheets or move us to another room. I chose the sheet changing. Who knows what may have been lurking in another room. I could inspect and watch the changing of the sheets. I told her I wanted both beds changed.

The same clerk that checked us in arrived with hot, fresh from the dryer bed linen. She pulled all the bedding and redressed the bed with a top sheet and a clean hot comforter. No bottom sheet? Nope. But it was clean.

We got in bed, sandwiched between the clean sheet and comforter. That is when Jill's friend, Sue decided to text with instructions to check for bedbugs, even including a picture. Thanks, Sue. I felt imaginary bugs crawling on me all night!!

To add insult to injury, although there was a safety device on the door, the door frame was so loose we could have yanked it off. The lone chair in the room that may have helped was too low to provide any extra security.

We left very early the next morning, after a fitful sleep we headed home. This room cost almost as much as the Drury Inn. Nothing around to explain the inflated prices.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Home, For Now .....

Back from my travels. It wasn't enough time. I don't think there is enough time. I will always want more. The visit was bittersweet. Seeing my always bigger than life Daddy so shrunken from his disease was almost more than I could bear. The biggest challenge was keeping my eyes dry while I was with him.

I gave up on make-up, even though my daughter agreed that without it I have no eyelashes. Despite that I posed with my Daddy for a picture before we left.

It wasn't all tears. We laughed a lot. My Jill got to meet her extended step-family and get to know them. I don't consider them "step" at all. Mama cooked and cooked. Jill complained that she would be able to wear her clothes after the stay. We got to meet a new baby and inhale that sweet baby scent. Abby (12) and her little brother, Mason (1) stayed the morning and I humiliated myself dancing a jig to enchant little Mason until he would agree to let me hold him. Jill and Abby bonded over making fun of my wardrobe. I was happy to provide them with all that laughter. My (step)sister, Glenda agreed with me about the clothes while my daughter and her granddaughter continued to make fun and laugh.

I am so happy that my Daddy is surrounded with love and laughter in my absence. The last day was the hardest. I had to make a deal with him to get him to go to the hospital. He was so weak and could not eat or drink anything and keep it down. He promised he would go if he couldn't eat the subway sandwich he requested. He tried so hard, but he couldn't. He went to the emergency room and we had to hit the road to get back in time for Jill's flight home.

Turned out to be a stomach virus and he was able to go home that evening after some IV fluids and instructions to stay on a Gatorade diet for 24 hours. Such a relief, as I was planning to board a plane as soon as I repacked and saw my daughter off. My next visit will wait until next month, as planned. Tomorrow I will enchant you all with more travel adventures ..........

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


My long weekend was tiring, but we had a great time. No big troubles. I spent the better part of Saturday getting kites in the air for kids. There is still a kite on my roof. I enjoyed showing the kids how to feel the wind in the string. Odd, since I never flew a kite when I was a kid ......

The golf cart parade was great fun , too. I actually locked the store and rode. It occurred to me that I had never ridden in one before. Gavin, my grandson is usually here and I let him have my seat. It was going quite well until the lead cart (mine) lost power. It was a bad battery, which was new. Butch has a gas cart and he came to the rescue. He towed us out of the way and the parade continued.

The fireworks are over and I am heading south. My daughter is here and we are all set to leave in the morning. My Dad's prognosis has changed an we all want to spend time with him as much as we can while we can. Next month I will go with my other daughter, then with son in September. I will go every time I can.