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Sickness, Grocery PkUP(!) and Fire



I will attempt to catch people up on what's been happening on our end. I had been having a really good roll on organizing last fall, until I got extremely sick on Sept 29, and stayed that way for 6 weeks. My progress stopped, and I was only able to do the minimum for Bob, and crash again.


I sat in front of my computer, wondering how I was going to be able to buy the groceries.. I could barely function! Then I saw this add on the side of the page about Walmart having grocery pickup now. ? I discovered that I could go online at my local site for Walmart and order groceries, drive over there to a side door, and they'd hall them out and sling them into my car, and I'd sign their phone thing and leave! Now I don't know if YOUR Walmart is doing it yet, but in some areas, different grocery stores are doing it, so call around. This saved me so much time and energy, it literaly made it possible for me to go on!


At 6 weeks I went to the doctor, with no symptoms, except I felt like I was dying, and we talked about the ins and outs of it, and decided to try anti-biotics. Within a few hours, I began to feel them working! They did get rid of whatever bug was hiding inside me, and around the beginning of Dec, I was able to get the living room ready for Christmas. I got the tree up and all the decorations & pictures changed. I was thinking that I could STILL accomplish a lot of the organizing of the mess going on here before son & wife came for Christmas visit. Then the call came that stopped all my progress again. Rather than give a blow by blow description of it all, I will share this facebook post I made that summed it up nicely, after it was over:


Let it be known, that as of 4pm, Tues, Dec 27, Sanderella washed the last cinders of fire smoke from her person, and threw in the towel on the burned lockers. I got the call about the locker fire (two 10 x 30 units, Dec 14, and worked Wed, Thurs Fri, Sat & Sun alone, pulling away burnt frozen boxes off the contents(wet from fire hose) and re-boxing into fresh boxes, what weren't burned to a crisp or melted. On Monday, son & wife arrived for Christmas(ha, ha) and worked like robots Mon, Tues, Wed, & Thurs, while I worked at old lady speed, sometimes reaching regular human speed. I can not believe the energy they had in moving and organizing things into the new locker. They went home early Friday and Bob's friend Fred (thanks again, Fred) helped me move more on Fri 23 and Mon 26, taking Sat & Sun off for the holidays, and collapse recovery(!) So, as I said, Fred & I were there yesterday, and today I went back alone for 2 more hours of sorting thru the things being left, and, after 13 days of being covered with suet from charred, wet boxes/things, it is finally a DONE DEAL - no more trips needed at the burnt out location - PRAISE GOD!!


~~~end of quote~~~~


It's funny that I had bought the locker on Dec 2, thinking to try to move the 2 10x30 unit contents into, so much closer to home, where I'd actuallly be able to pick up a box and work on it. I now realize that it was complete insanity to think that I could have EVER gotten it moved, and what seemed like the worst possible time to happen (Christmas) was actually the only time that I would have had their help. It was a wonderful blessing and a sad loss - not the lockers... but that we don't get to see them but usually once a year, and while us 3 were working so hard, Bob was totally discluded from seeing them and having shared memories to collect. :( It broke my heart to think of him being so discluded from their visit, home in his wheelchair alone, but he said, "no, this has to get done, and they are here to help you get it finished!" Since the new locker is close, everytime we brought another load, I was able to swing by and check on him.


My tree is still up. Another year, not the first, that I felt like I basically missed Christmas... so the tree is still up. We are usually in the tv room, but the tree is in the living room. Tonight I turned on the tree, and made a fire, and read to Bob. He has this complete set of the Civil War. He told me to go ahead and get rid of them a couple of years ago, and I thought about it. But one night I pulled one off the shelf "A Soldier's Story" and read a little. I thought that even though he can't read all these many words himself, he knows the history, so he won't have to hold on to every word by scratch, I can read the words for him and he will know most of the history already, just some new input from this soldiers point of view. As I read, I kept glancing at him, and when I'd say a battle or a military person, he'd say, 'yea, yea' - he confirmed he knew it. He keenly listened to the the man's story of joining when he was 18. I felt so blessed, that it was possible that I could sit here in such a cozy atmosphere, and give my husband back those stories he had never had time to read, and now couldn't.


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This is a lovely story Sandy.  I am however so sorry for the added on work that was dumped into your world.  I know it must have been an unusual or awkward Christmas yet it is those we always remember.  So, I will say here is to a memory making Christmas.  And just so you know...I am not taking my tree down for a while.  My husband has said to many times how much he likes it.  It is just a skinny tree with lights because I didn't have means to get the ornaments but it is still beautiful.  Somehow, I think reading of old stories is an intimate moment.  I am sure your husband loved listening to the sound of your voice.  Thank you for sharing.

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When I started putting the tree up in early Dec, I felt bewildered, like I had never done it before, I honestly wondered how I would do it, since I seemed to have lost the talent for it!    But I kept working on it, over a few days, and now everytime I look at it, I think how much I enjoy seeing it.    My tree is also a very skinny tree from Hobby Lobby, a few years back.   When you first stand it up, it is entirely pitiful.    I got some of that garland that looks like tree greenery to hide the poll more.     The space it has to go in is a skinny spot too, so a fuller one wouldn't even fit.    I still marvel that it came out really pretty, when I felt so hair-brained the night I was starting to do it.    Look at this pic of Bob, happy and basking by the fire, after reading.


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Sandy,glad you were able to have help over the Christmas period for the clean up after the fire, it is a blessing to have help when you need it most.  I think Bob understood what was happening too. I read to Ray a lot when he was in the nursing home, it was an activity he could participate in when he was confined to his   bed after a fall or because he had a chest infection.  I mostly read short stories on topics he was interested in.  He loved one of the books about Outback Pubs as a few of them he had visited in his trucker days when he was young so it recalled a few happy memories for him.  

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Sue, having that connection and "pre-knowledge" of a subject is really helpful to connect to the story.    Bob doesn't do so well to just try to read a book that is any book that he has no connection to.    The brain relates all the facts to join them together to make sense, and if there is no pre-knowledge, his doesn't bring those different facts together well.


Another thing he's always been highly interested in is maps.    He usually tried to get one of whatever area he was in while traveling for work.    While going thru a bunch of his work stuff from the locker (where it all went when we cleaned out his office) - I happened upon a city map of Paris.    He spent a lot of time in France, and once every year he was there for a month!    He was very happy to see the map and  spent a lot of time scrutinizing the streets and marked cafes and such, remembering having been there.

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Sandy, In that pic you posted of Bob, Icouldn't help but notice that he looks so happy-like a kid on Christmas morning. I think that you gave him a very special Christmas present. Becky

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Becky, yes, his world is small, because of his many handicaps, so whenever I find a way to move out the border and enlarge his world, it is a new freedom that he had lost, come back again :)

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A great gift. The words in a book it is a magic carpet ride to a world we want to visit. Keep reading and enjoying books for that keeps a special part of humanity alive to report on and interpret the world.


That is a great picture. Looks warm.

I had those Christmases.. the ones that are remembered are the ones that trouble brought family together.

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