Saturday, November 6, 2010

Baby, Its Cold Outside

Had to do it.

Even though the gas logs were keeping the den nice and toasty at 6:00 am this morning, the thermostat had to be manipulated. After checking in on WB and KB at two separate ends of the house, I knew they had to be freezing.

The duct work in the go-down leaves much to be desired. I've often said that if we had built this house, we would have been taken to the woodshed by the circuit court judge who would have made us buy it back. The size and location are perfect for us, but we continually have to work on it to make it more comfortable. Matter of fact, my Christmas present to myself will be the purchase of some better paint in more pleasing colors. My anniversary present to myself were lights for the very dark basement.

We feed and watch the deer at daybreak each morning within 20 yards of our back deck. Always the outdoors man, WB studies the hunting shows as if he were leaving to go to the woods for the weekend. Most of his adult life, winters were spent in some variation of a "cahaba lodge" in south Alabama, perhaps more about the hunt and comradeship and less about bagging the big buck. Even with the finest of equipment (guns and scopes) he's had a hard time with the kill.

We have managed to get him a trip planned at least once a season with a close friend or two who can help him with all the paraphernalia (camouflage, boots, under armor, gloves, hats, rifle, ammo, glasses, etc) as his organization skill set is now greatly impaired. He worries so much during the foreplay, that he and his helpmates are generally worn out and late to the stand.

When Bill was first diagnosed in the fall of 2007, we were fearful of turning him loose in the woods with a firearm of any kind. Could he remember to keep the safety on, would he harm himself?

So, we feed the deer. Number 2 son, Mike, delivered a feeder to him for his birthday 2 years ago and Hunter recently had it repaired. I am hopeful that a trip around Christmas to see Mike and his family in Texas may bring about an opportunity for WB to hunt for a couple of hours.

Just last week, WB worried me until I laid the Rubbermaid bins out for him to inspect. Making sure all of his things were intact and still in place, we inspected and replaced his favorite hunting gear. Before AD, he could tell you exactly what he had and now each viewing is like a kid at Christmas. I have placed the bins close to his basement chair so that he can peruse and inspect at any time.

Much has changed since this time last year but many things remain the same. Kate is studying at the University and comes home after class each Friday and returns to class on Monday mornings. It is a 45 minute drive and generally by Wednesday of each week, WB is asking for her. By Friday mornings, Bill and Kate's Australian Shepherd, Andy, are pacing the floor awaiting her arrival. Her being here on the weekend changes the dynamic and relieves me to worry about other things. I still generally get more computer work and studying accomplished on Saturday, Sunday, early in the mornings and late at night.

We have such a blended family, that holidays from the start were always a challenge. There are other mothers and fathers, in-laws and outlaws to visit and in our first years together I planned trips for us during the holiday break. Selfishly, I planned outings that would entice the kids to come away with us and for the most part, it worked. Now they have families of their own and we (WB, KB and I) concentrate of making the trek to Kerrville.

Bill's illness has taught us something. Life is sometimes just not what you expect and plans will surely change. His diagnosis on the heals of my grandmother's passing has certainly changed my outlook and attitude. It was losing my grandmother that brought my uncle back to me. It was Alzheimer's that brought Susie and Amy back into our home with their children.

So, I dread the cold but am looking forward to the holidays. Bill's oldest daughter, Susie, will be flying in from Boston with her daughter Meghan on the 17th and we are planning a mini-Thanksgiving that Saturday. WB won't know that it is not really Thanksgiving Day, he will just enjoy having his kids and grandies surrounding him.

Then, the following week we will celebrate Thanksgiving here with the Woffendens, who have families too far away to get to. In festive pajamas, we will have an early dinner instead of lunch and play the wii late into the night.

Last week and then into next, we have a gaggle of yearly appointments to make; the internist, the neurologist, the clinical trial and follow-ups. It has kept WB from his weekly outings with Amy and thwarted my tending to other responsibilities. One doctor appointment will absolutely tear down an entire day.

Thinking today of our friends in Costa Rica. At last report they were without fresh water and had spotty electricity from the rains of Hurricane Thomas.

Today, Kate will finish the rag quilt she cut out over the summer and hopefully complete a scarf she began crocheting last night. I am no Martha Stewart, but still intend to pass on to her those special things my grandmother taught me. She will plug a movie in and sit with WB while she works and that will thrill him to no end. That she takes an interest warms my heart, but the minute reinforcement arrives, she will retreat to her space. Silly girl.

Will be sure to post pics of her finished products.

WHOA, I realize now I have sorely missed my early morning journal.

Posting a link to a site I've built for The Hamburg Hunting Lodge.

Just Brantley

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