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 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 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

Thursday, February 25, 2016


Greetings!  It's been awhile since I have blogged. Life got so crazy!  But things seem to be settling back down. We are driving through Oregon today on our way back to my dads house in Sutherlin. We left about 10 this morning so we will be driving most of the day. I don't mind. I'm sitting in the back seat playing on my phone. Mel is driving and my dad is acting as co-pilot. It's kind of nice that they get along so well. 
We just passed a little worn out farm house. It looks like it will soon be crumbling in on itself. When I see old houses like that I always wonder what stories go along with it. I guess I like to make up stories about the people who might have lived there. Perhaps I will write down a story one of these days. 
So our nomadic lifestyle should be a little less nomadic. Barb moved into a care facility a couple of weeks ago. So we have moved into my Dads house with him. We came back to Idaho for a week to soften the blow a little. It's hard on my dad. But it kind of backfired as my dad got really sick with a flu virus. So he mostly slept and rested. He also had a skin cancer removed from his arm. He is doing well again and anxious to get back to his home in Sutherlin and close to Barb. 
I have been busy with my kids and grandkids. That's the hardest part about living in Oregon. We're too far away from all of them. But I will try to get better at communicating. I'm hoping we will get internet there this week!  That will make a huge difference. I feel like I live in the dark ages!  We have been using our phones as hotspots. But it's not great and our bill is going to be high!  So I am hoping it isn't too much longer for Internet to get connected. 
Perhaps this is a good place to explain that Sutherlin is a very small town...and not too well off. I'm still not sure why. There's a big lumber mill but it's very automated. I think people really struggle in this part of Oregon. 
Well I took off writing to drive for a couple of hours. I'd better sign off before it is my turn again!  HAVVVGW!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Good merry morning!  Things continue to be interesting here.  For instance....the view.  I have a great view out my little RV window.  I must add that I am grateful for a warm place to sleep and all the conveniences of home.  And maybe we will be able to park where the view is a little more beautiful.  I think when the weather warms up a little here we could park at the beach for a few days.
Our ward here is very interesting.  I guess that Sutherlin is mostly a retired person's town.  I would not call it a retirement community though.  Our ward consists mostly of older people.  The primary is really small as are the youth groups.  Mel said there are three pages of high priests, though less than a dozen actually attend meetings.  I suppose many of them are like my dad, too old to come and sit that long.  We did take him to the movies yesterday though.  It was a coast guard movie about a tanker that split in two and the four men who braved the storm to rescue them.... " Finest Hours".  It was based on a true story.  It made me think how the Lord is mindful of all of us, whatever the situation.  I am so glad for that.
Today we will probably stick around the house and watch some more home movies.  My dad really likes to do that.  He also loves to eat at Red Robin which we have done too much of lately in my humble opinion.  But I keep reminding myself that if I were turning 93 on Sunday (which he is) I might like a dinner at Red Robin too.
Well, I mostly wanted to say, "Happy Groundhog Day".  It should be a good one here as it is always cloudy.  When the sun comes out Mel likes to say, "Not a cloud in the sky!" which really makes us all laugh.  I hope where ever life finds you that you have a very great day!  Melody