Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Everyday miracles

Good merry morning!  It is foggy here this morning.  It is supposed to clear somewhat and give us a little sunshine.  I am glad for that.  The gray skies are a little depressing to me.  Actually the last week has been a bit depressing as my father's sweet wife continues to decline.  She is only awake for very brief times now.  She eats very little.  The hospice nurse noted that she has lost an inch and a half of muscle in her arms in the last month.  She is so thin it is shocking.  So the time is soon that she will pass from this earth to the next life.  It is hard on my dad.  He tries to be cheery, but when he is not engaged in conversation he seems to be sad and pensive.  He is very close with his sad feelings.  Every once in a while we talk about Barb, but I think he does not like to dwell on the sadness.  And he does a very good job of staying positive.  He loves to sing, "Young at Heart" and will often start singing it...where ever we happen to be.  The other day we were at the VA getting his hearing aids adjusted.  The technician took his hearing aids into the next room to work on them and he started singing....at the top of his voice, because without those hearing aids he cannot tell what his volume is.  It made us all laugh, even the tech in the next room.  I love my sweet father!  I am so glad I can be here with him.
I am amazed at how well things are working out for us here.  I know that the Lord is blessing us in so many ways.  I see His hand in our lives and the lives of our children.  The impression came to me the other day while I was praying, that the Lord loves my father very much, and that we are here because of that.  And it is true.  In so many ways we did not see how we could do this at first.  But all of the obstacles we thought we faced have disappeared.  Of course, Satan is always busy trying to put new things in our way, but I know we have angels that help us and watch over our family while we are gone.  It is very evident to me.  And it strengthens my testimony.  I feel like I have a little bit of an understanding of our pioneer ancestors, who despite their many hardships were blessed with what they required.  I love the movie "Seventeen Miracles".  It clearly shows how often the Lord's hand is there for each of us.
Every day brings the challenge of what fun thing to do with my dad.  Yesterday we drove to Myrtle Creek to check out the airport.  Mel is taking some refresher instruction for his pilot's license.  He is supposed to do practice landings in Myrtle Creek and is a little nervous about it.  The airport is known for having difficult cross winds for landing...which of course is why he needs to practice there.  Anyway, we had fun trying to find the airport.  It is tiny....at the end of a dead end road.  The runway is fine, but rather short.  I am glad he has an instructor with lots of experience.  It will keep him safe, and he will soon have some valuable experience himself.  He has always loved flying, and I am glad he has a chance to be up there in the sky.  The other morning I saw him up there as I was driving to Roseburg. It looked fun.  I hope I can keep that perspective when we fly together.  I tend to get a little airsick.  Except in open cockpits.  I keep telling him we should get an open cockpit bi-wing....but they are around $160,000, so that is probably not going to happen.  Besides it is hard on hair dos.
Well, I am getting a bit silly.  I hope all is happy and well for you out in cyberspace.  Take care and have a very, very, very gut wan!!!!  Melody

Friday, May 6, 2016

More

I'm sitting in my dad's house watching Donald Trump live. He's in Eugene tonight...only an hour away. He is full of bluster and bad stories. I really don't understand the appeal he has.  I think he is ignorant and bigoted. He won't get my vote!  I am shocked at his poor use of the English language. He is crude and inelegant!
So in other news...I have been painting. Not much yet. But I feel like I have broken through the barrier. I have a painting space again. It feels good. 
Most of my time is spent with Dad...and Mel. We have a kind of routine to each day. I'm glad we are here. And I love our little house. It's so nice to have our own place. 
The other plus is the missionaries. We have 2 sister missionaries and we see them a lot. Last night they came for dinner and brought an investigator. We had a great visit. I enjoy missionary work. It is so inspiring to watch people accept the gospel and the challenge to be baptized. It strengthens my own testimony. 
Last night as the missionaries were talking about Christ I noticed that my painting of Christ blessing a child was right behind them and it made me feel good...like my painting was also contributing to the spirit in the room. It made me glad I am painting again.

Well I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Have a great evening!  Melody




Monday, April 25, 2016

Life As We Know It

I'm sitting at my dad's house waiting to take him to a physical therapy appointment. His knee bothers him a lot. I am hoping that while we are there he can also have his hearing checked. It has been worse since our trip back to Oregon from Idaho. 
We went to Idaho to pick up some furniture. We finally found a house to rent. It is a newer home...very small but sufficient for what we need. It has three bedrooms so I have room to set up a paint station!  I am so glad. I plan to paint a couple of hours each available morning. It will make our time here more enjoyable. Not that I don't enjoy being here with my dad, but he sleeps until 10:30 so I have a lot of time to be productive. And we can have home cooked meals!  I just need to shop. It is hard to fit everything in!  One step at a time!
Things are good here. Although Barb sleeps most of the time now. I am amazed she is doing as well as she is. She is home and her daughters and one of her granddaughters take care of her 24/7. They are bringing in a couple of home health care people next week to try them out. It has been hard to find reliable help here. So I hope it works. 
My main job is my dad's well being. He is a pleasure to serve. Well, I need to scoot!  I hope all is well wherever you are in cyberspace. HAVVVGW!!!  Melody


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Frizz and Fuzzy Memory

It's a soon to be sunny morning here in Sutherlin.  I guess because there are so many rivers around here, there is usually a sky of haze or mist in the morning.  If it wasn't for the weatherman I would not have any idea that it is going to be sunny and warm.  I guess we may climb up to ninety degrees today.  Yesterday it was 82, which was record breaking.  I like the warm weather!  But it is so different from anywhere I have lived before.  My hair is a frizz bomb!!!  I straighten it most days to get the frizz out, but it only takes an hour or so for the frizz to come back.  Today the humidity is 79%.  I think I have counted four rivers in the immediate vicinity.  Plus there are lakes and ponds everywhere.  I think I will have to figure out a hairstyle that can handle this...or just continue to go with the frizz!
I am finding life is challenging.  Mel has been in Idaho the last week.  He is coming back today.  I am so glad.  I have missed him so much!!!  But he does have a business to run in Idaho, and though he can do a lot from here, he needs to make contact every so often.  I am so grateful for our son in law who has held it together for him while he is out here.  And I am so grateful for the internet that allows so much to be done from far away.
My days are still a little weird.  I think much of it is because I am living in a tiny trailer.  Actually the trailer isn't too bad.  But we are looking for a house to rent.  It is hard to do.  There is so much competition for good housing.  And the property management places have a real hold on properties.  I have applications in with three different places.  So eventually something should come through.  And then it will probably change here.  Barb is definitely in the last stages of her disease, but we are told it could go for quite a while.  She sleeps most of the time.  But she gathers energy each day to greet us and to talk with my dad.  She stays so positive!  Actually they both do.  I think they count it a blessing to be in their nineties, and they don't complain much.
My dad's hearing is becoming a problem.  He has hearing aids, but they are not enough lately.  And he is getting quite forgetful.  So between the two things we have odd conversations.  Yesterday I was thinking it might be fun for him to play air hockey.  He asked me what I was thinking.  I told him, but he heard "hair cut".  He asked me if I wanted him to get a haircut.  "Yes", I told him, "but I was thinking you might enjoy playing air hockey."  He said, "Haircut?"  I finally spelled it for him, and he seemed to understand.  But a minute later he was asking me again what I was thinking about.  I guess he has lost his ability to retain the short term memories.  Most of the time I can laugh inside about it...knowing it is not his fault.  But sometimes I lose my patience if I am stressed anyway...like when we are driving.  Oh well, here I am complaining, and I am only in my sixties!  I already have trouble with memory, and definitely with hearing.  I can only imagine it will get worse!
That is something I think about a lot here.  How am I prepared for the future?  Not the unknowable stuff, but the aging stuff.  It is inevitable, unless you die of course.  So what am I doing to prepare for the future?  I'll let you know when I have figured it out.  In the meantime I will ponder the question.
So I think the silliness is beginning to set in.  I hope all is well for you out in cyberspace.  Have a very wonderful day!!!  Melody

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Slow Goin'

It's been an interesting week. Barbs daughters have decided to move her back home. Her youngest daughter is moving in too to take care of her. So Mel and I are back in the trailer. It's good in some ways. It gives us a little break and some new scenery. It's definitely small though. 
Today Mel had a baptism to supervise. Dad didn't want to go so I am here with him. We will probably meet Mel at Red Robin in a while. Dad is pretty insistent that it is the best place to eat. We have taken him other places but he really doesn't like it. So I try to cook things he likes. But that is hard not living in the same space. I'm sure we'll work it out once Barb is back home. She moves back tomorrow...Easter Sunday. 
Mel is also supposed to speak in church tomorrow. So he's feeling a bit busy. I think it's good. But I'm glad I don't have to speak in church tomorrow!
Things are kind of different for me here. I do way too much sitting!  I guess because I am often waiting for the next thing. Life is much slower when you're older. I have to remind myself of that and I guess it's good. I am trying out being more mindful of everything. 
Well I guess it's almost time to go meet Mel. I hope all is good in cyberspace!  HAVVVGW!!!!  Melody

Monday, March 21, 2016

Moss Back

Good morning!  It is Monday and we have a list of things to accomplish today.  Foremost on the list for me is buying new sheets.  The kind on our bed here are the old fashioned kind with shallow corners.  We brought a memory foam topper for the mattress, but the sheets won't stay tucked in. :)  It's funny how very spoiled we are. I think we are learning to realize that here.  Sutherlin is a very depressed community economically speaking. I think many people here are barely making it, and many more are not.  We see many examples of people just getting by in the community.  I think the majority of homes are trailer homes....so many of them old and worn out.  The main source of income is probably logging and industry associated with that.  And logging is very regulated, so that many people have lost their livelihood.  It is evidence how important it is for people to have work to do.  I keep wondering how to help people.  I think having the gospel is a first step.  I am glad for the involvement we have with that.
It has been raining here a lot since we arrived.  I never realized how much rain there was in Oregon.  I was born in Portland, but only lived here a few months before my family moved back to the SF bay area.  My dad liked to tease me, that I was a "moss back"...born in Oregon.  I never really realized what that meant.  Now I do.  Moss grows everywhere!  It covers the trees, the bushes, and even grows in lawns like weeds.  The cracks in the sidewalk have moss too.  They have a product at the store to control the moss.  I am going to research it a little.  I remember seeing a program about intentionally growing moss as a ground cover.  It might be fun!
Well, I guess it's time to get on with my day.  Hope all is well in cyberspace!  Melody

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Good Day

So I had a pretty good day today.  I went with the sister missionaries to visit a lady who is investigating the church.  She is excited about the gospel, and is going to be baptized a week from Saturday.  Her husband is already a member, though he has been inactive until recently when she became interested.  It was fun getting to know her.  I felt the spirit very strong.  I love missionary work.  It is nice that Mel is the new ward mission leader here in Sutherlin.  It makes it feel like we are on a mini mission while we are here helping my dad.
Barb is not doing too well.  I feel bad for her.  She mostly sleeps.  My dad visits a couple of times a day, but it is hard for him as she is usually asleep.  I think it is good we are here, as he would be pretty much alone in this if we weren't.  He has such a positive attitude.  It is inspiring to me.  He manages to find happiness in whatever he is doing.  It is a real gift!
My new calling is to teach the 12 & 13 year olds in Sunday school.  They are a good bunch of kids!  I am enjoying getting to know them.  It is fun to remember how new life felt back then.  And they have so much enthusiasm.  They are excited to learn.  I hope I can be an effective teacher!
Other than that life is pretty simple here.  Mel works on his design program...designing molds.  I work in the house...laundry, dishes, the usual.  Dad wakes up late.  He reads the paper, then I take him to see Barb.  Then we come back home and have lunch.  Sometimes we drive to Roseburg for a late lunch at Red Robin.  He doesn't seem to like any other restaurants here.  Then we come home and he takes a nap, or if not we watch news on TV.  Then we visit Barb.  Then we come back here and watch Jeopardy and news.  Sometimes a basketball game.  I often escape into our bedroom and do my own thing.  I brought my nice iMac, so I can watch Netflix, or follow Facebook.  I should have brought my Adobe sketch pad.  I brought my paints, but it is hard to paint here, as I have no space set aside.  I still have no idea how long we will be here.  I've just decided not to worry about it.  But I would like to be painting at least a little.  I feel a little like Alice when she couldn't find her muchness.  But I think I will work it out somehow.  Today was a good day.  I think I have to figure out meaningful pursuits....that is always the trick I guess.
Well, I hope all is well in cyberspace!  HAVVVVVVVGW!!!!!!!  Melody