Saturday, January 2, 2010

A busy two weeks......

Please bear with me while I am traveling.....I'm not posting as frequently as I'd like since I'm staying at various places and may or may not have access to the internet. Plus, how would it sound if I say, "Listen, I'd REALLY like to talk to you, and catch up on the news since I've been gone, but I MUST write on my blog. I have FOLLOWERS, you know?" Yeah. Just what I thought. Uncool. Sooo... things should get back to normal when we return.

My head is spinning from all the moving around we are doing. We spent a week in Northwestern IL at my sister's house, with the mouse, 3 kids from age 6 and under, and 5 adults (on a good day). Lots of activity there.

Then we drove up to Champlin, MN, where we spent the night at Jim's brother's house. It was fun catching up with them and also seeing Jim's sister, her significat other, and my 2 nephews. It was c-c-c-old up der in dem parts. In fact, my parts were cold!

In the morning we drove another 2 hours to Melrose, MN to another brother's house and ate lunch. Then Jim, Jason, (our son) and I drove over to the nursing home to see Jim's Dad. It was quite depressing. He's really gone down hill in the last year or so. He will turn 99 in February. He is a walking miracle (or should I say a sitting miracle since he is in a wheel chair) - the doctors are amazed that he is still alive. His kidneys are hardly functioning, his hearing is going, as is his sight. He told us that his life "was shot". My heart just went out to him. Jim's dad always had a great sense of humor. He was a very hardworking man and had a 200 acre farm and grew grain for the cows.

I'll never forget the time I told him about "tipping cows". He never had heard about this college prank of actually tipping a cow over. He laughed so hard till tears ran down his face. He said, "It must be those dumb Illinoisian cows - you can't tip a Minnesotan cow!" Right then a neighbor came over and he said, "Patty! Patty! Tell him the story about the tipping cow!" He continued laughing.

Later that evening with all of us kids gathered around the dinner table (Jim comes from a family of 8 kids), we discussed the cow tipping technique. We thought we should sneak out and try it, but thought that somebody should be on their hands and knees next to the cow so that it would have something to TIP OVER. Well, needless to say, we couldn't come up with a volunteer to be the tip-over-person. So the plan was scratched.

So to see Jim's Dad in the sort of helpless condition that we did was very hard. He had been a strong man and now he has no want or will to live. No one should live this long. That's just my own personal opinion.

That evening we went back to Jim's brother's house and spent the night. Another fun night of catching up on news, drinking, laughing, etc. Then New Years Eve morning we were on the road back to Chicagoland by 7:30 am.

By 5:00 that evening we were back at my sister's house. We shared a delicious meal brought in from Maggiano's - a great Italian restaurant.

New Year's Day morning Jim and I got back into the truck (borrowed from my brother) and drove 1 1/2 hours down to central Illinois to visit with my daughter and her family. It's been fun spending time with our granddaughter Lily. I will be posting pictures soon.

We depart for AZ on Tuesday. I hope to catch up on all your blogs.

Happy New Year everyone!


Gail said...

Sounds like a fabulous vacation.

It is hard with losing someone a piece at a time. That was the way it was with both my partents, but different conditions.

Soylent Green looks better the older I get.

Rae said...

I bet you will be glad to get back to some warm weather. It is soooo cold here. That is sad about your FIL. I think it is harder losing them slowly like that. Thankfully you have many good memories of him. Have a safe trip home. Look forward to catching up with you.

wenn said...

nice vacation! happy new year!

Boomer Pie said...

We had a road van called Big Red. I love Maggianos. Hey, we have similar interests! Enjoy your travels. I signed up to follow you on the road. Take a rest stop at my blog for Margaritas. But hold off on driving afterwards.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Travel Safe! It is hard when our parents get to that stage (at whatever age -- many don't make it as long as Jim's dad before getting there.). It's great you get to go see your family during the holidays. But bet you can't wait to warm up your "parts!" again.

Happy New Year.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Well, I can always count on learning something new from you Pat. I had never EVER heard of cow tipping - what do they spend the tips on anyway?

I will not report you to PETA. :)

Noelle said...

how funny! we were just talking about going out cow tipping last night...we didn't, of course, because we are full grown adults and full grown adults don't do that kind of thing. ahem. anyway, it sure was fun talking and fantasizing about it.

Brian Miller said...

sounds like you are having fun! cow have a nice scar from an attmpt...hope your living miracle keeps right on doing just that...smiles. travel light.

WhisperingWriter said...

The cow tipping sign made me laugh.

Have safe travels!

Barb said...

I'm sorry about your father-in-law. It is really hard when people get to that point. But I'm sure your visit was a wonderful gift.
I love the cow-tipping sign!
Safe travels to AZ

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

I hope you enjoy your travels, and I hope you have a happy new year!

Betty said...

Pat, dear, Happy New Year to you and yours ! The cow is too funny!
Safe travels
Take care!
hugs hugs

misslynda said...

Just started reading you tonight. Also read about the mouse in your last post. That was really funny. I remember when one of our cats brought one in - - - alive - - - and dropped it at our feet. We chased it around with brooms. She acted proud she could provide us with entertainment - - and food?!!!

SquirrelQueen said...

Sounds like you are having a great tip. I got a good laugh out of the cow tipping, oh for our younger days of such merriment!

Sorry to hear about your father-in-law, it would be so hard to watch someone slowly wither away like that.


Chatty Crone said...

Sounds like you had a nice trip - sorry about your FIL.

Cow Tipping - cute.

Sunny said...

I'm exhausted just reading your post! What a busy time, and it sounds like it had its up and downs. It's not easy to watch our loved ones grow old.
I look forward to more of your safe.
Sunny :)
Oh Happy New Year, if I didn't say that before!

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

So sad to lose a loved one - and even sadder when it's one piece at a time, as previously said. My MIL passed away in 2007 but she actually "left" us 2-3 years before that. When we saw her last (2005), Ron said that he thought he'd just seen his mother for the last time and that it was so hard for him because she didn't recognize him 100% of the time we were with her. In fact, she asked me if we had met before.

Sadly, this is also how I see Ron sometimes. I feel like I'm losing him a little bit at a time, and that is hard.