Thursday, September 27, 2007

Acts of Kindness

Life is beginning to settle into a better routine in this house of recovery. AM is feeling much better, needing less pain medicine and feeling more alert. I have sort of figured out how to get the kids to their multiple activities and keep this busy household running. I am only able to do this because of all the help and love that has been showered upon us. The refrigerator is filled with food prepared by friends and family, the mailbox overflows with get well wishes, people drop by to check on us and offer whatever help than can give. One day I mentioned that I had forgotten to buy ketchup (my grandson's vegetable of choice) and a few minutes later a neighbor stopped by with a giant size bottle of ketchup. AM complained of the toes on her broken foot being cold and another friend is knitting a special sock to fit over her cast. We feel blessed and are full of gratitude for the love and kindness we are experiencing daily.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I am home. It feels good to relax in my own space for a little while. A good friend is staying with my daughter tonight.

Daughter is doing better. The new mix of pain meds is helping and she is going five hours between pills now and has been able to get some sleep the last two nights. That makes all of us feel better. She has had some weird, drug-induced dreams. I don’t think you can seek too much meaning from dreams that involve narcotics. One of her meds lists as a side effect “May cause trouble with thinking clearly.” We can attest that this is true. She can think clearly later. For now we are just grateful for pain relief.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pain & Blessings

The picture posted yesterday is the post-op x-ray of my daughter’s foot. She really was screwed. It took two metal plates and ten screws in her ankle to get the bones stabilized enough to heal properly. She came home from the hospital a few hours after surgery yesterday. Last night was a very long night. Her pain medicine just wasn’t doing the job and she wass in terrible pain most of the night. We talked to the doctor this morning and he added a few new meds to increase her pain relief. Hopefully she will be able to sleep tonight.

There are blessings in this ordeal. We are very aware of the love and prayers of many friends. We have had lots of offers of help. We know we are not alone and there is a host of folks ready to do whatever they can to help.

Another great blessing is special time with my grandchildren. They are so concerned about their mom and have been so sweet and helpful. Since mom has been drifting in and out of her drug-induced haze the past few days, I get to hear the daily reports of their adventures at school. That has been fun. Last night as I tucked the almost ten year old in she wanted me to hear her prayers. She prayed a prayer of thanksgiving. “Thank you, God, that my grandma can be here to support us in our time of need while my mommy is sick.” I could only say Amen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I am staying at my daughter’s house for the next several weeks. She needs a bit of help running her busy household while her broken leg heals. She will have surgery tomorrow to put in screws and metal plates to stabilize the bones while they heal. Until the bones mend she will not be unable to put any weight on her right leg. She can’t drive. She cannot go up or down the stairs. She has three children who are in an assortment of activities. Fortunately she has many people who love her and are willing to help. She will recover and be able to do it all again, but not now

We sometimes forget how fragile this life can be. All is well, and then suddenly something happens and the world turns upside down. Her plans for the next three months have changed, but she will recover. We are grateful that it is just a broken leg.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


“Mom.” My daughter’s voice on the phone tells me something is wrong before she says anything else. “What’s wrong?” I ask. “ I’m in the hospital. I broke my leg. It hurts a lot,” is her answer.

It was a beautiful morning and she had been out on the Chesapeake Bay in a small powerboat taking pictures of a sailing race. She was having a wonderful time when all of a sudden she stepped wrong just as the boat hit a wave. She slipped and fell. There was this overwhelming pain and when she looked at her foot it was pointed in a direction that feet are not meant to point. The little boat sped back to the marina where an ambulance was waiting with pain medicine. It is a bad break, two breaks in the fibula and one in the tibia. After x-rays the leg was realigned which reduced the pain some, but she is still very uncomfortable. She will require surgery next week to put screws and plates in to stabilize the bones until they heal. Until then she can’t put any weight on the leg. She is staying with me tonight. We will think about how to get her home tomorrow. Tonight she needed her mom and her Percocet.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I rode into Washington D.C. today to enjoy an exhibit at one of the art galleries. Several large signs along the highway said, “Report any suspicious activity. “Call 800 ***-****.”

What should I be looking for? Just what might I see along the road that would something I should call in?

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Fourteen years ago today a baby girl was born and immediately took up residence in my heart. This little girl, our fourth grandchild, has grown into a beautiful, talented and loving young woman. It is hard to believe that she is in high school this year. The time has gone so very quickly. She has been bitten by the theater bug and loves acting and all things surrounding theater. She has just landed the role of the wicked witch of the west in a community theater production of The Wizard of Oz. That will be such a fun role to play. She dreams one day of becoming a make-up artist for Hollywood stars. I believe she can achieve whatever dream she set her heart on.

Happy birthday beautiful girl. I love you!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This morning my husband stopped in the grocery store on his way to work when the store’s speaker came on, “It is now 8:46 AM. It was at this moment six years ago that the first tower fell. Remember.”

The announcement caught him off guard. It was a very emotional moment as he did remember. This date will always be remembered. We were all changed.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hello Fall, Good By summer

Suddenly my schedule is getting very full. The lazy days of summer play and travel have been replaced with a calendar full of meetings, classes and volunteering. The busy schedule is of my own choosing and the activities are things I think are important and fun, but I guess it’s time to refocus my thinking from the beauty of Yellowstone to the activities of today.

Here is one last set of pictures from our trip. The animals that fill the park are always fun to see. We saw hundreds of bison, lots of varieties of birds, a wolf, some coyotes, an elk, some otter and some cute little wooly bears. These are just a sample of the many creatures that fill that great park.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

For Sarah

My young friend Sarah left for China while we were on our Yellowstone vacation. She will be there for the next year teaching English to Chinese college students. While we were visiting shortly before she was to leave on her big journey she asked that we do one thing just for. “I want to see a picture of the Grand Tetons like the Ansel Adams poster I’ve had on my wall for years. Take a picture for me and put it on your blog so I can see if it is as pretty as I think it is.” Well, Sarah, here is your picture. The Tetons are awesome. Words are inadequate to describe these magnificent mountains. They rise up from the sagebrush prairie like giants. Early French Canadian trappers named the Tetons. The word teton means breast or tit. The trappers thought these mountains looked like three giant breasts rising high into the sky.

Sarah is a wonderful person and a great writer. Read about her adventures in China on her blog.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Waterfalls and rivers are a big part of the scenery in Yellowstone. The two biggest are the Upper Falls and the Lower Falls that flow into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. This canyon is very deep and very narrow. I am told a river flows along the bottom of this deep canyon, but I did not see it. Seeing it would have required that I go to the very edge of the overlook and look straight down the steep wall of the canyon. I just couldn’t get closer than ten feet from the edge. I was pretty sure I would fall to my doom if I got any closer, so I just enjoyed the view from a few feet away. The walls of the canyon are a beautiful yellow stone, hence the name Yellowstone.

As we drove or walked through the park we came upon many beautiful rivers and falls. The pictures are of Lower Falls, Upper Falls, Lewis Falls, Kepler Cascade, Gibbon Falls and Tower Falls.

Why are waterfalls such a glorious and mesmerizing sight?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


The symbol of Yellowstone is Old Faithful, the geyser that goes off faithfully every ninety-two minutes, give of take fifteen minutes. Old Faithful is located next to three hotels and is surrounded by bleachers. As soon as one eruption has finished a prediction is posted for when it is expected to blow again. About fifteen minutes before the predicted time the bleachers fill with people waiting to watch it go. People filling the bleachers are just as predictable as the geyser’s eruption. When it erupts a great gush of water shoots about a hundred feet into the air for about two minutes. As soon as it quiets down the bleachers empty again. We watched old Faithful several times from different vantage points. It is an awesome sight, but actually it is not as awesome as some of the other geysers. It is just more predictable. We were lucky enough to be there when Castle Geyser erupted. Castle erupts every thirteen to eighteen hours, give or take four hours. When it blows water shoots into the air for about thirty minutes, followed by steam that pours out with the noise of a jet engine for another thirty minutes. Water cascades down its sides like a waterfall and rainbows glisten in its mist. I loved Castle Geyser. The fact is there are thousands of thermal features all over Yellowstone. There are colorful pools of boiling water, bubbling pots of mud, steam vents and geysers scattered everywhere. Looking down the Firehole River Valley you see geysers steaming everywhere. They are evidence of the fact that the entire park is sitting atop and old volcano that is still working not far below the surface causing geysers to erupt and release the pressure built up below. The old enormous volcano erupts every six hundred thousand years or so. It has been six hundred-fifty thousand years since its last eruption.

The pictures are of Old Faithful, Castle Geyser and the view looking down the Firehole River Valley.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Lake Yellowstone

We spent last week at the Lake Hotel in Yellowstone. It was a wonderful place to relax and to enjoy the beauty that is Yellowstone. The hotel was built in 1890 and has recently been renovated to its 1920’s grandeur. That means that the small rooms were clean and recently decorated. It also meant no TV, no Internet, not even cell phone service. We were disconnected from everything except the world of nature that surrounded us. Each morning I would look out our window and see the lake. Every time I looked it was different as the light played with the color of the water and the wind changed the patterns in the waves. Sometimes it shone like a mirror, other times it was rough with waves blowing across its surface. During the day we explored the trails around the lake. We saw multitudes of birds including white pelicans, woodpeckers, osprey and an eagle. Otters swam in the water. There were deer grazing nearby and a herd of bison passed in front of the hotel. One evening we sat by the shore and looked up at the stars. I have never seen the sky so clear. The Milky Way stretched from horizon to horizon. It felt like I could reach up and touch the stars. In the evening after dinner we sat in the grand lobby. There was a piano playing old, familiar songs. Some people sat near the piano and sang along, others danced. People sat around tables and played games or visited as they sipped their drinks. I read my book or enjoyed the company of people sitting nearby. It felt like time had gone backward to another more gentle time.

The pictures above show the view we saw from our dinner table and a view of the hotel itself.

Tomorrow I’ll post more pictures and more memories.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Interruptions

“Sue, I’m in labor and I have to go to the hospital. Can we bring Barak over?” It is one A.M. We have just been home three hours from our big trip to Yellowstone and I need to sleep. “Of course, yes, bring him. I’ll be waiting,” I reply. I meant to get a good night’s sleep, then unpack, do the laundry, go to the grocery store, catch up on my blogs, and post about our wonderful trip. Instead I curled up in my big chair with eighteen month old Barak and rocked him until he finally fell back to sleep. He wasn’t sure why he had been awakened in the middle of the night and brought to my house, but since he was awake he wanted to play. He finally fell asleep again. Rocking a sweet baby boy is not a bad substitute for sleep. He is so warm and cuddly. At four-thirty A.M. another call comes to say they are going to do a Caesarian. Pray for us. I pray. Barak wakes about seven and curls into my lap for his morning bottle. After a little cuddling he is ready to play. Dad calls about eight to tell us they have a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Mom and baby are all OK. I spent the rest of the day trying to keep up with a happy toddler who gets into everything. It is hard to do anything else with this little guy to need all of my attention. I told him he has a new baby sister. Poor little guy. He has no idea how much his world has just changed. Dad finally came to pick him up and take him to the hospital to meet his new sister. His gramma is driving in from out of town and will be there for the next few nights.

Tonight I will sleep.

Tomorrow I will tell you about the grandeur of Yellowstone.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


We have just returned from a week in Yellowstone National Park. What a beautiful pace! I have many wonderful memories which will be the fodder for future posts, but right now I am too tired. after a long travel day.
I did read your all the comments on my last post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on senior sex.