This past week has rushed along in a flurry of family and friends and home and cooking and planning for our upcoming trip. When last we posted at this space, Rich and I were driving down home to spend a few days...that was last Friday.
Saturday morning I picked up what has become a tradition, Hardee's breakfast for all of us, and brought it back to Wayne & Mary's. We got to spend a casual day visiting with them, what a treat. Their back yard is fenced and the girls loved getting to run around while Wayne grilled pork patties for dinner to go with the green beans, potatoes, and her famous meatballs that Mary made...yum yum!
We also went to the nursing home twice to see Mom. Oh man, can she ever tell some whopper stories courtesy of the Alzheimers. It is fascinating to hear how her mind is twisting and turning events from the past into fictional compilations. Some of her stories are horrifying, floods and snakes and sleeping in the barn with the horse and guns, but not to her. She tells them with matter-of-fact clarity. I can usually get her memory focused back onto something that we did and she will seem to remember those good times. But then she will slip back into her anger with us or onto one of her imaginary stories. That's just the way it is and we just have to trust that our visits are somehow meaningful to her. At her request, we took her a banana split from Dairy Queen, a favorite treat, when we went back out after dinner.
Sunday morning we visited Mom again for a couple of hours before the four of us went to Virden to visit with Uncle Don, Aunt Audrey, and my cousin, Kathy.
Kathy is a baker, I've mentioned that before; she outdid herself again baking all the pies below. In the photo of the guys above, my favorite coffee cake is safely packaged for transport in the white box and two loaves of her artisan bread sit next to it. Additionally, Aunt Audrey had baked that huge tray of her delicious sugar cookies!
But that's not all, not by a long shot. Kathy had baked and brought the hamburger buns; Aunt Audrey had make chilli, her family favorite spaghetti, and the best home-cooked hamburgers I've tasted in decades. She also had salad, etc, etc. If food is love, and I certainly believe it is, we were well-loved that afternoon.
My cousin, Betty, dropped by too and then left for a few minutes after dessert to bring back another great treat...her two month old grandson, Carter. What a doll that boy is!
He sure is giving Rich a look in this photo. Do you think he's tired of being photographed all the time? teehee Getting to hold him was such a thrill for me; it's been a while now since we have had a baby around and I do love babies!
Mary loves babies too!
Uncle Don is Mom's brother. He is three years younger than she but, unlike her, he is doing great. Neither he nor Aunt Audrey look or act anywhere near their actual ages. They live with their youngest daughter in Florida much of the time so we have made a point of seeing them whenever we could while they're home these few months.
When we got back to Carlinville, we spent the rest of the evening with Mom, taking her some of those fresh-baked cookies. She was in rare form and especially funny when I tried to take pictures, sticking her tongue out and blowing air at me...honestly, you just have to find the humor in all of it.
My high school BFF, Dorothy, drove all the way to Carlinville Monday morning to meet me for breakfast and a few special hours spent catching up.
Wayne and I spent the afternoon taking care of some family business. Mary works and he bowls on Monday evenings so that is the only day they don't visit Mom. Rich and I spent our last evening there with her after letting the girls run around the yard again. Just look at those beige blurs...giggle!
Tuesday morning we said our goodbyes to Wayne and Mary, wishing his beloved Cardinals luck in the post season (well, I did anyway...as a Cubs fan, Rich was silent on the subject...haha!). While there this weekend, I had set up accounts for all of us on Skype after Shelby had been asking me to do that for a couple of weeks. On the drive home, Shelby and I chatted and I could show her Grandpa driving and share scenes of the beautiful fall colors as we drove...what amazing technological times we live in!!! Our grands were still on fall break until Wednesday.
The rest of this week passed in a blur of unloading the motorhome, cleaning house, doing laundry, Christmas shopping, menu planning & shopping, having our next door BFFs, Vic and Sandee, over for dinner and cards last night (AGAIN the guys took us down in cards...rematch next spring, definitely!), attending a meeting of the Christmas Party Committee and turning in the flyers I designed inviting all of our neighborhood residents, driving into the city to shop at our favorite Polish deli, and beginning to cook and freeze dishes for our upcoming motorhome trip...whew! My only regret this week is that I did not take even one photo last night; in my defense, I was having too much fun to even think about grabbing my camera!
Our calendar is nearly filled with appointments, chores, family celebrations, meals with friends, and trip preparations up until the day we leave but I'll try to remember to take photos of some of these fun times.
Lovin' Life ~~ Lovin' Our Time With Family & Friends