Archive forMay, 2017

Little by Little

We’re making progress. Slow but sure.

I’ll bet within a week we’ll be able to park at least one vehicle in the garage. We still have a long way to go to be finished because we haven’t done anything in the basement. It actually feels good to be purging even some of the junk.

I fear that we haven’t been brutal enough. We should have just trashed everything, but instead we’re saving some stuff and I can see our “collection” growing again.

We have eliminated a lot of the throw-away stuff but we’ve kept some and I fear that trash will just breed more. Example – John is determined to keep a whole plastic bin of recipe books. Most of our good recipes are on my computer or on line. We don’t need a whole slew of books. To me, the only item of value is the bin.

Getting rid of basement stuff has prompted us to eliminate some other items. We’ve put a couple items on Craigs List and I’m even thinking about selling some items on eBay.

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Fish and Friends at the Moose

Last night at Saginaw Moose Lodge 82, we enjoyed the best walleye – correction the best fish, we’re had since the last time we were here. Florida may have fun activities but Michigan’s fresh-water walleye and perch are better than any fish we’ve ever had in Florida. (It’s all you can eat with extras for $10.50!)

We visited with a friendly couple (Val and Jim) we’ve seen at various country dances and at the Moose many times. They are related to a couple down the street from our house here in Dude Estates. Val was saying that she’s depressed due to several situations in her life including the recent death of her best friend.

I told her how isolated I feel in Michigan and we’ve vowed to get together.

She’s bouncy, cute, 79, with energy galore. Hope we get together.

The band started at 7:00, our favorites: the Dixie Highway Band. Russ even remembered that I love “Wagon Wheel” which they played as their first number! (We danced to it near our table.)

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Stuff we may not have found without the flooded basement

We’ve been sorting through things that were stored in our basement. Several items have turned up which we didn’t know we had. For instance, I found a bin of yarn on cones. (I had forgotten I had them.)

Today I found two large plastic bins of my sweaters. I will donate most of them (and most were very nice) to the Salvation Army. (I found three or four that I want to wear. Two were Christmas sweaters so I’ll take them south in case I need them for a holiday event. One was black (crocheted) covered with flowers with pearls in each one.)

We found a Sharp SlimCam (video recorder), a couple of unaffected suitcases, and some interesting photos. John found a nice pen.

Most of the junk just goes in large plastic bags to go to the curbside Friday.

We’re making a dent.

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It just keeps piling on

John’s attitude has been grand but I can see that the whole health situation, flood, car problems, and other challenges are getting him down.

Sunday he broke off his front tooth. It’ll be about $1,500 to replace it. So far he’s had a root canal and a temporary put in the spot.

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Death Is Nothing At All – Poem by Henry Scott Holland

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

(Written by Henry Scott Holland (27 January 1847 – 17 March 1918).)

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Our weekly garbage collection (Friday) took away a load of junk that was left when 18″ of water flooded our basement.

We also gave the seven-piece sectional to a fellow who answered our Craig’s list for-free ad as well as bunch of Christmas tree ornaments and an old card table. He was glad to take the stuff.

We burned some junk wood from the basement yesterday.

There’s still a lot of stuff left in the basement and garage but we’ve made a dent.

Some of the big items are a refrigerator and chest type freezer. We’ll get it all done, but it’ll take months.

This flood has forced John to realize that this house is a “huge burden.” (Yes, he said that.) We’ll see what happens.

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We’re back in Michigan

Made it to our place in Thomas Township (west of Saginaw) at 2:00 pm yesterday. (Monday)

We had imagined what we’d experience with the remnants of the 18″ flood. Actually it isn’t as bad as we’d feared. Yes, it is a mess with lots or ruined stuff, but the house itself doesn’t smell bad. Today we got rid of the seven piece off white sectional. We gave it away to a man and his son who were very appreciative. They are convinced that it can be spot cleaned and it is a nice, high end piece of furniture without any rips or tears.

As it turned out, the chest type freezer in our garage also died. The stuff inside it is still cold so doesn’t stink yet and tomorrow the manager of the company that did the restoration is coming back to clean it out.

As the pile of junk is reduced, even slightly, it doesn’t seem as daunting.

Tomorrow we have dentist appointments in the a.m. and Thursday we’ll go to town so John can see his Saginaw pulmonologist.

We’ll need to put a lot of stuff at the curb for pick-up Friday. We can put two large items out as well as lots of bags and garbage cans. Hopefully we can make a dent in the garage. Then there’s the mess in the basement.

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We’re on the road

It’s raining.

We’ve hoped for rain for months now because so much of Florida is a high risk for fires because of the lack of rain. Here we are nearly to the Georgia border and it’s raining pretty hard. Not helping the driving situation.

Traffic isn’t too bad. We hope to get to Marietta, GA, which is north of Atlanta. Atlanta is always a bear to drive through but might be easier on the weekend. We have found that the traffic into Atlanta is unbelievable in the morning so we’ll miss that. Then tomorrow we’d like to get to Dayton/Miamisburg, Ohio so we’re past Cincinnati for the same reason.

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Almost Ready to Leave

John had the endoscopic ultrasound and biopsy on Wednesday, May 3rd. The results weren’t officially given to him until Tuesday, the 9th. Thank heavens the news was the best we could hope for. The “tumor” ended up being a good-sized benign pseudocyst which was aspirated (drained) and now we just have to “watch it” to make sure it doesn’t regrow. He’ll have another ct scan in four weeks. Hopefully he’ll be fine.

The whole pancreatius and biopsy experience has drained his energy.

We’re packing to leave tomorrow, Saturday. It’s always tough to pack and with his weakened condition, it’s been especially tough. The heat hasn’t helped.

And then there’s been the problem with our Florida car, the Jaguar. When I had to drive him home from Tampa, we had major brake problems. Without brakes, it was even more frightening than it would have been. I was white knuckled but got us home and we are getting the brakes fixed now. (We should be able to pick up the car later today.)

We hope to take off early.

We haven’t been having much “fun” this winter/spring. On May the 4th, we did go to a party at the North Club Gazebo hosted by the Ringenbacks, the Michigan Club Kentuck Derby Party May 6th, and I attended a birthday for Caroline Cooper on May 8th at Little Harbor.



Things just aren’t going our way. We got in the car so we could go pick up our Jag (it was having the brakes worked on) and the truck battery was dead. It wouldn’t start – battery was dead! Recharged it but John’ll go get a new battery. What else!!?

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If something awful happened

Last night it hit me, I am not close to anyone except John. If something happened to him, who would I call?

I used to feel I had Linda Conklin who I knew would respond anytime I needed her, but now that she’s moved away, and I haven’t spent time with “the girls” because I’ve been so busy watching after John’s health.

What if I lost John? What would I do? Who would I call?

Sweet Florida friends who have offered assistance come to mind:
Caroline Cooper
Marilyn Enge
Edie Cronin
Paul Hunt
Linda Ringenback
Sharon Nead
Valerie Whipkey
Shelly Brooks
Cindy Baker
Judy Reintsema
Ann Marie Long (neighbor)

But if I was in Michigan, who?
My brother, Denny
Uncle Martin

To be honest, I’m not very close to any of the above mentioned folks and since many of them head north part of the year, it would be hard to pinpoint any of them. I wish I’d cultivated deeper friendships. Calling someone with a serious, personal problem would be tough with any of them. I’m sure they don’t feel that personally involved with me.

Hopefully there is still time to grow closer to someone. But who? Who has really reached out to me and wanted to be closer? Probably Edie and Paul. Who do I feel most compatible with? Maybe Caroline and Marilyn. Who would be here whenever I needed them? Marilyn, Linda, Sharon, Valerie, Shelly and Judy are all “full time” Florida folks.

It’s just not in my nature to try to get close to someone for my own purposes.

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Life goes on

John has been feeling somewhat stronger.

Tomorrow he’ll have the endoscopic ultrasound at Moffitt Cancer Treatment Center. We won’t get the results for a week. Hope the outcome is positive and we can think about heading north.

Nothing has changed there. It’s warmed up some but there has been more rain. Hopefully there won’t be any mold or foul smells. We need to clear out the stuff in the garage and what’s left in the basement. At least John consented to having the yard mowed so when we get back it should look better.

I’d love to put the Saginaw place up for sale, but the way it is now, and with the present economy in that area, selling our house would be impossible. We’ll do what we can. I think even John is seeing that limiting our northern commitments would be a good move!

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