The Sunshine and Dad

I have spent the last week and a half with my beloved dad. It’s the time of year when mom and dad become snow birds and migrate to sunny Florida. This year it is just dad though since we lost mom last November. Today would have been her birthday. She would have been a very young 87. 

Traveling with just dad has been a wonderful experience and a treasured one at that. sitting amiably in the car chatting or sitting quietly, he is a man of few words, we just get along well. We took our time and enjoyed our trip driving south through several states enjoying the changing scenery that makes up our beautiful land. We even stopped and shared a pecan waffle at the Wafflehouse in honor of mom, because no trip would be complete without a pecan waffle and a cup of tea in her humble opinion. 

Since arriving in the beautiful southwest part of the sunshine state, I’ve shopped and dad has taken care of things he needed to. I’ve helped him with all his technical issues and we have gotten him settled. We have eaten so well that when I get home, I probably shouldn’t eat for a month!  Life here is on a different pace. It’s as if everyone is on a permanent vacation where he lives. I suppose they are. It’s a slower, more relaxed pace where people have time for one another.

I’ve gone to the beach, of course, but I prefer the pool. Going to the pool each afternoon I find the same group of characters. I call it social hour. Everyone catches up with the latest goings-on in the community. It’s truly an amazing place to be and they have made me feel so welcome. Just today, I had a glass of wine by the pool with these fabulous people. Such fun. And boy was it good!

The shopping is always good here but I was hoping to find a few more things at my usual stores which I didn’t. Had I gone to my other usual stores I may have but I don’t want to spend all my money. I look for bargains only. That I found. There are loads of high end stores but I don’t want to spend everything when I don’t have to. 

There is nothing better than the sound of the waves hitting the shore, in my opinion. Stress melts away instantly while just sitting there listening to the lapping waves and the sounds of the sea birds. I went only one day this time to the beach, but my stress from the long drive instantly disappeared as I sat there enjoying the sights and sounds for an hour. It was a cloudy day so I had the beach pretty much to myself. What a joy and spectacle to behold. 

Soon it will be back to the Midwest for me. Not that it’s a bad thing to go home but I miss this place when I leave it. This is my favorite place on earth. The sun shines so brightly here and the temperature is always warm and delightful. Knowing that I’m going home is like a double edged sword. I miss my husband and kids, I miss my own bed, but I don’t miss the weather. I especially don’t look forward to the winter. But life is what it is and maybe someday I’ll get a chance to love a life down here. It is my dream. Someday. 

That Elusive Sleep and Other Short Tales

Oh how I wish I could sleep like normal people. These days it just isn’t happening. Some nights are good, but this isn’t one of them. To top it off, I need the sleep. I’m headed out early in the morning with my brother and my dad to head out of town. 

We are off to a memorial service of a very special woman, my cousin’s wife who lost her battle with cancer recently. She was an exceptionally wonderful and funny person, always so full of life. She fought valiantly to say the least and will be missed by so many. 

As it is, if I were to fall asleep precisely in 3 minutes, I could get up to 4.5 hours of sleep. It’s a good thing I’m not driving, although I am a navigator since we recently were there at the same church for my sweet uncle’s funeral. My brother is driving and was out of town last time. Thank the good Lord above for GPS and Google maps!

I continue to heal these days, but my mind and heart have been rather heavy which is why I haven’t written much. It isn’t anything about my health I’m particular, just that I want so much to be completely back to my old self and I grow so impatient sometimes. There have been a few other issues that burden my heart, but they are mine alone. All I can do is pray for that matter to eventually resolve itself.

We celebrated dear Hubs’ birthday yesterday which was great. The cake that my middle 2 kids made was extraordinary! Bear was the baker and Bug was the sculptor! They even made their own marshmallow fondant! It was delicious too! I have to say, eating a cake so cute and named ‘Beau, the Otter’ is rather hard to do! 

Thursday will mark Hubs and my 10th anniversary. I’m very excited. I can’t say we have anything planned. I’m actually just glad to  not be in a hospital and to be feeling better at this point. Sure, I wish we could do something special, but all I keep thinking is the medical bills will be coming soon. Very soon. I didn’t think we would be where we are at this point in our marriage, in fact, I pictured things quite differently. What I can tell You is this, we have had our own very unique and bumpy journey to get here, but it’s proven that our love is a forever love based on the right values and morals with a foundation of faith. I wouldn’t trade this man in for anything. No one else would or could put up with the highly emotional, sometimes irrational, often overthinking, loud-mouthed, opinionated, but thoroughly lovable me. Thank you Jim from the bottom of my heart, for always supporting me No matter what! I never truly understood love until I married you.

Long Trip Home

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With the van stuffed to capacity, we finally began our long, arduous journey home yesterday afternoon.  Knowing you have 18 hours ahead of you on the road is never fun, especially with 3 teenagers and an 8 year old, but being prepared makes the world of difference.

The van was overstuffed with snacks, and I do mean overstuffed! Looking for any kind of snack food in particular? We were prepared. We even had the largest single rice krispie treat I’ve ever laid my baby blues on! If one person are the entire thing, they eat approximately 3600 calories! So, from that to wheat things to bananas, we were covered. My daughter even named the load of honey wheat bread, Greg, for no reason other than she could! We were prepared for a zombie apocalypse.

My hubby flew down the day before so he could drive us home since I was now on pain meds and loopy as heck! He is my hero! Nothing better than being stoned on Dilaudid and unable to drive )  husband drive. What a guy!

We stopped for one Cracker Barrel meal and several potty pit stops. We played Mad Libs, we chatted we slept. Jim drove on. He finally needed a break break after driving 14 hours so my daughter drove for a little while. Then my dear husband was back at it again and got us home.

All I had to to was sleep. Do you have any idea how difficult that is for me to do in a car, especially when it’s my van filled with the people I love and I’m not in control of driving? Thank you Dilaudid! Without pain meds, I would not only have terrible pain, I would also be fretting over everyone else’s driving! I am a superior driver in my own mind, don’t you know! I actually trust my husband implicitly but only him. It’s very hard for me to give up that control.

Did I tell you all of what happened on vacation? Of course not! Well, it’s Murphy’s law and Murphy and I are thick as thieves these days!

I was in the ER out second day there. Our van was hit in a parking lot and left without a note. Yes, there’s damage. The kids overflowed the Jacuzzi tub with mass quantities of bubbles, yes bubbles, more than once. My husband, in his tired state, locked the keys in the van while trying to fix taillights that were broken by the hit and run in the parking lot. And the topper-offer I left my full coffee cup on the counter of the condo and realized it 150 miles away! That was the Murphy’s law version of our week’s holiday to Florida!

The remainder was fun in the sun, sun burns, laughs, Harry Potter marathon, great food, swimming in the pool, alligator spotting, the ocean and more great times!

We take the good with the bad and the good always outweighs the bad. We remember all of the great moments. Holidays are bonding times a92nd this one was a great one. It just could have been longer! But I will say, oooh, my bed feels good!