Gosh it’s good to be home. Yes, we had a really good time, but it’s always good to go back home, sleep in our own bed, love on our cats, vegetate on the couch, or whatever. Normal. I love “normal.”
We took off Wednesday about 3:00 and, for the most part, had a very uneventful trip to Lisa’s parents’ home. We arrived there just about 7:00, after having stopped in Elmira for scones and coffee. I was a bit on edge because we had no idea how her father was going to act/behave. He’d recently had a carotid artery roto-rootered, and a pacemaker installed. It was a 50/50 shot that he’d be nasty, complaining, and self-absorbed, or he could just be pleasant. As luck would have it, he’s feeling so good from the surgeries, he was pleasant, jovial, and enjoyable to be around. I was very grateful for that!
Lisa’s mom had just taken ham and bean soup off the stove, so we sat down and enjoyed a hearty bowl of soup, and chatted until about 10, when Mom begged off for the night, blaming exhaustion. This woman had open heart surgery and a carotid artery roto-rootered this past May, and isn’t back to 100% yet, either. We were up early the next morning, peeling potatoes, making salads, and generally helping to prepare the dinner. Folks started arriving around noon and, by the time we sat down for dinner, there were seventeen people there. After dinner, and after we’d cleaned up, some of us headed upstairs for the spare bedroom (read: spare TV) and turned on the Atlanta/Detroit football game. After that was the Denver/Dallas game (I’d picked Dallas to win in our pool) — we all had a great time hanging out, watching football, busting each others’ chops here and there, and just generally doing what families do. Just before the game ended, Lisa’s mother came upstairs with a bowl, with small pieces of paper in it. The “Kris Kringle” drawing. Imagine my delighted surprise when she shoved that bowl in front of me, with a huge grin, and said “Pick a name.”
Lisa later told me that her mother had mentioned a conversation they’d had last year and Lisa’s wish that I be included. Mom told Lisa that she’d have to ask all the siblings if that was okay. I’m very proud of the fact that I bit my tongue, holding back the argument “Did they survey the family each time one of your siblings got married?” Baby steps forward, in our minds, are way better than giant steps backwards. And, while the “sentiment” of canvassing the family for their feelings on it is very much like the conservative right wanting Americans to vote on whether our relationships should be recognized, the intention behind it is different. They’re just handling it in the only way that they can. What’s important is that, by including me in the name draw, they’re acknowledging our relationship as valid and important.
Friday morning we headed out to an open house Lisa’s aunt (on her bio father’s side) was having at her store. We picked up Lisa’s sister and then her niece (she’s 15). Emily (the niece) was craving a “girls’ day out” and we set out to not disappoint.
We knew we were in trouble the second we walked into the place, because it’s *our* kind of place. But, we behaved (sort of) and spent only 20 dollars or so. Then we went to a few other antique/craft stores right there in the same village, then decided it was time for lunch. As soon as we got to the restaurant, Lisa’s mom and I decided we need to use the little girls’ room. I went to deposit my coat at the booth first and, as I returned to the restroom area, I saw Mom shoving the door shut behind some woman. I fell in line behind her and, as we waited outside the restroom in the little hallway, she told me that, as the restroom emptied out and she was ready to go in, this other woman came from nowhere, berating Mom and haughtily exclaiming that she’d “been waitingt” to use the bathroom — apparently from over at the counter. Mom wasn’t amused at all with the woman but kept her cool, somewhat. Then, when the woman came out and saw two of us there, in her haughty tone she said “Well, I guess I’d better get my daughter.” Mom asked testily “Is she standing in line somewhere too?” I nearly peed myself trying not to laugh at the whole scene. People can be so damned rude, can’t they?
Home by mid-afternoon, we just sat around and chatted (I knitted). Saturday we went and did a little bit of shopping (at Gertrude Hawke’s — YUM!) We decided to stay away from the mall (for obvious reasons) and just shopped within that little plaza. We had a good time with Lisa’s mom, then went home and then over to Lisa’s grandparents.
Now, you have to understand, I absolutely adore Lisa’s grandparents. Grandma Ruth is 91, as is Grandpa Karl. (Grandpa Karl hustled right on over to me and gave me a big hug — which sort of surprised Lisa.) Oh sure, they’ve got their infirmities but they’re just as sharp as tacks, mentally. And, since Grandma Ruth had her pacemaker put in, she looks better, she has more energy and, with that energy, she was pretty fiesty in conversation. She had me in tears laughing so hard. Gosh, those two can remember who married who in every town within a 50 mile radius. And they tell stories from their past. At one point we got to talking about George Burns and how he’d lived past 100 years. Grandma Ruth quietly said “I don’t want to live to be 100.” I asked her why not and she said “I don’t want to lose it.” I think this poor woman has been worried about becoming mentally incapable all along. I don’t think the physical limitations have bothered her nearly as much as the thought of mental limitations. I told her that, from all the reading I’d done, mental activity staves off dementia. They’re always doing word puzzles, crossword puzzles, and logic problems. They read a ton, too. I told her that I’d bet an entire year’s pay that, if she didn’t have Alzheimer’s or dementia by now, she wasn’t going to.
When we got ready to leave, Grandma Ruth gave me a big hug and told me “We love you too, you know.” It was the first time she’d ever said anything like that to me and, not only was Lisa terribly pleased, but I was humbled by their openness and caring.
I lost my grandparents more than 25 years ago. My grandmother died in October of 1979 and my grandfather quickly followed her in January. They were only in their late 60s and, while they’ve been gone for half of my life, I still remember them as being a large part of my life when I was a little kid. I guess Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Karl sort of fill that void for me. I just adore them.
We left PA Sunday morning and arrived home just shortly after the opening kickoff for the football games. We ordered a pizza for dinner around 4:00 and just sort of sat like toads blinking at the television for the remainder of the evening. Our bed felt SOOO good that night!
Menopause, my achin’ ass!
It was tough getting back into a rhythm of going to work again. I felt pretty *blech* yesterday — tired, disinterested, achy, had a nasty headache in my eyes, stiff neck and shoulders. It occurred to me that these were flu-type symptoms but I’ve never had the flu so I doubted I was coming down with anything. Later in the day I realized that my lower back was feeling a lot of pressure and I had *that* discomfort in the lower left side of my abdomen. I commented to Lisa that my body was, in every way, acting like it had every intention of having a period. Sure enough, this morning, I started a period. Major bummer. Haven’t had one since July and was sort of getting used to the good feeling of not having them and not having to worry about them. More importantly, though, earlier this month I’d had my FSH levels tested and they tested at a level that would indicate post-menopause. I was told that, at this point, any bleeding should be considered abnormal and to call if I experienced any. So, I’m waiting for the doctor to call me tomorrow to see what she wants me to do. I told the nurse that it really acts just like a plain old monthly period and nothing more. *shrug* She said that it’s likely the doctor will want to do an endometrial biopsy — but hey! I just had one done (along with a D&C) in April!
It’s Christmas time in the city…
We’re tentatively planning to get out all the Christmas decorations tonight and begin putting them up. Lisa is SUCH a Christmas kid and she loves to go all out on decorating the house — inside and out. But, between you and me…..it’s infectious. I’ve taken more interest in decorating since Lisa’s been with me than I ever did even when the kids were little. We’re planning on rearranging the living room to make it “cozier” and to make room for our couch from upstairs to be moved down there for the holiday dinner.
We’re going to have 15 hinies to park at dinner tables, not to mention that they’ll need someplace to park before and after dinner. We decided last night we’d ask Mary if she has any chairs we can borrow. Other than that, we’re at a total loss as to what we’ll do. I guess we should have thought of that BEFORE we invited a dozen guests, eh?
I guess I should get something done here at work — these greedy bastards actually expect me to WORK for my paycheck. Imagine that! The nerve of some people….
Laugh for the day
A man and his wife were sitting in the living room and he said to her, “Just so you know, I never wanna live in a vegetative state, dependant on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug.”
His wife got up, unplugged the TV, and threw out all of his beer.