Thursday, August 13, 2015

A new start?

Hello All,
March has passed by and April is speeding along, too and still I can't find time to post on here. I was much more organized when I was working. Last month was good for me, I've recovered nicely from the surgery on my knee and am pain free! Right knee replacement in the late summer. I'll be like a 40 year old by fall! 
Courtney came home for her 40th Bday and joined Mackenzie, my friend Connie and me for a week in Gulf Shores over Spring Break. We are off again next Friday for 10 days in Cape San Blas with my sister and aunt. The ocean has always been a tonic for me, but I didn't get the usual peace this time. I've not found a good course for my life yet, I think. I'm hoping if I keep looking it will come. As crazy as it sounds coming from a pragmatic soul such as I, I keep waiting to feel Stephen King around me again. 

I wrote the above in April and didn't post it for some reason.

I'm posting today because until this week, I have still been waiting for Steve. I thought I'd accepted his death and was dealing with my loss as good as I could. But this week I have realized that isn't true. Deep inside I've never accepted it and I've been waiting for him. I have moved past denial and am grieving in a different way now...acceptance. It's rather like ripping the bandage off all over again, raw wounds, tears, memories of fifty shared years. But it is good. 
I finally cleared out his closets and donated his clothing to St. Vincents. I kept a few favorites to use in a quilt, if I can ever cut them up. Nina took of of his shirts to make a pillow for Shayla, of all the grandchildren, she needs something physical to hold on to that was Papaw's. The granddaughters went along to deliver the carful of boxes and I don't think I could have done it without them. Actually handing over clothing I'd seen him wear forever was painful. But Stephen King had always been one to shop and give back to recycling stores and I knew he would approve. 
I've cleaned and rearranged the two double closets that were his to hold some special clothes the boys wanted to keep ( his reenactment costumes and such), the winter clothing that Courtney keeps here for her winter visits and my seasonal clothing. The closet I use in the master is a single closet and holds only a season's worth of clothes. I'm reprinting and rearranging this room soon. It has always been more of a catch all for us than a bedroom and I'd like to see it as a room Courtney and the grandkids and other guests can use. That is my winter project this year. 
Our bed and the case goods that match it have been around for a long time, my grandmother gave it to my parents when they purchased their first two bedroom house. I slept on it with my sister growing up, then my mom gave it to my other grandmother. When grandma went to an apartment for seniors, I got the whole set back and have used it for 15 years as our bed. I think I'm tired of it. I've decided to store it and get myself a new bed, I need a new mattress anyway. I don't care for matching sets and can piece together storage for my things. As with the back bedroom, this one 
will get new paint. In fact, I'm ready to paint the rest of the rooms white. The taupe has served its time and I think a nice soft white will lighten my mood. A fall project, I think. 
As much as I'm content to sit and read and think for most of my day, I know that isn't what is good for me. I need a schedule, a routine that forces me to move, get out and shake up my live. I'm attempting it more and more. These projects will help. With my lupus I can't have strict demands on my body and need to rest more than most, but a routine will allow for those days, too. Just so all my days aren't resting (hiding) days. 
Tomorrow marks two years since he left us, we have more before we see him again. I need to live those years however many they may be. I plan too.  Talk to me! Love

Sunday, March 1, 2015

What a month! Feb. 2015

What a month Feb has been for me. I had a complete knee replacement on the 5th, spent four days in Bloomington Hospital, then transferred to IU Paoli for therapy for five days. My sister and her husband brought me to their home on Friday the 13th. They should have known better!
They got up to a cogged toilet which had to be replaced. Predictions were for a snowfall measuring above a foot were made. They were bringing me and my bum leg into their busy life. They should have known better!
Deb picked me up in my Jeep since we weren't sure I could stoop to getting into a sedan with the leg. We drove to the top of Paoli to The Inn on the Hill. There was a bit of snow clinging to the frozen ground, so she drove right thru the yard to the front porch. Curb service. All was well. Then came Sunday...
So much snow, everything canceled for Monday and Tuesday. Post-op check with surgeon, PT appointment, Buck's colonoscopy. We hunkered down, laughing at the weather. Another big blow on Wednesday stopped us again, but I was exercising and doing therapy just fine. Deb cooked and we ate every hour or so. It was good. By Thursday she says I threatened her with my cane, I continue to deny that, but whatever... I've been home alone for two months and find it challenging to listen to TV nonstop, maybe.
So Friday Sis decides we are going to go buy a car. Of course, they own the dealership so it was simple. My first time outside since knee surgery, 10 inch incision down my leg, coldest day of the winter, 8 inches of snow, I'm going to buy a car! Yeah, that sounds right. Actually, they had ordered my car weeks ago and it was ready to be picked up so off we went. It is a nice car, I like it. Chevy Equinox, white with brown/black leather, sun roof, all the bells n whistles. I'm ready for a road trip, except I cannot drive yet. Still no post-op check.
Then Saturday we wake to ice covering our Inn, the hill, the roads, the world. Followed by inches and inches of big heavy snow. It is a lovely scene laid out below us, Norman Rockwell could paint it,
Robert Frost could put in on paper in rhyme. Edgar Allan Poe could make it into a horror story.  I'm
thinking I'll never see my home again, never get away from the TV, never drive my new car ( insert big wet teardrops here).
By Monday the ice was melted except for the long winding drive from The Inn to the highway! But we daring drove down anyway. Our daddy didn't raise no cowardly wimps! The appointment with the surgeon went very well, he was impressed with my progress and Deb's nursing abilities. I was going home...alone! After stopping at the grocery to restock my fridge, Deb took me home. Amazingly, the little house was fine, the drive was plowed down to the gravel (thanks to my lovely neighbors) and the ramp was shoveled free of ice (thanks to my sweet son).
Tuesday I drove my new car to my first therapy session in 11 days, I was expecting pain and disappointment, but the therapist was impressed with my progress and gain in movement! Only one exercise hurt and hurt bad! Not even my knee, but my hip. Ouch, I hope that's not going out too. We added eight more exercises to my program, each designed to strengthen my legs and core muscles. I cannot believe I'm finally on my way to fit at 65. 💪
My days have settled into a quiet routine, trying to stay warm, limber and on target. I've sewn a bit, cleaned a bit and read way too much. This week begins twice a week workouts at therapy, putting final touches on Mom's house and showing it to the friends who want to buy it and pushing myself to get out and about more. I tend to morph into a recluse when I don't have things on my agenda, not a problem for me, but my family doesn't agree. Debbie doesn't like my spooky-eyed look! I'm fine, really, I just wish the weather would turn off to Spring or even late Winter. This deep freeze is killing me.
I have Spreak Break planned with my good friend in Gulf Shores for late March, a week in Cape San Blas with sisters and aunts in April and am heading back to OZ in June. I just need the patience to wait. Keeping my head up and my eyes clear. Talk to me, Ladies. Love, Hedy

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello my friends, it is 2015! Imagine that! The first year I can really remember is 1954, I suppose I must have been in kindergarten and had to write the date. Seems like the day before yesterday, I can feel the scratchiness of my wool coat, the cold biting my nose and fingers and the scariness of riding in a taxicab alone to school. Funny where our minds take us when we turn them loose to chase down memories. We lived in town then about 5 blocks from school and on bad days Mom would call Dot to take me to school in the cab so she didn't have to get my little sister out in the cold. Debbie had asthma and winters were rough on her as a small child. Not much better now, poor thing.
I could sit all day and let my mind run back through my sixty five years (some days I do), but I don't have time for that today. A few years ago, we began a new tradition of spending New Years Day in Evansville as a family, seeing movies, eating in favorite places and a bit of shopping. Each year has varied as to who is along, always me and my grand girls, usually the Momma's and little boys, sometimes the guys. This year everyone is going! The boys have worked so much this fall, even the day after Christmas! But they both have this weekend off. We want to see Wild and it isn't playing in Valley so we will see it there. I missed MockingJay and want to see it, too. The little boys won't be watching Wild so we will switch off and some of us will take them to a kids film. I am not a movie person, but I do love this day out with family and the big screen. Tonight we will all eat at Biaggis, a great Italian restaurant even Stephen King loved. Beautiful table settings, linen napkins, soft lights and the best pasta and bread around. Tomorrow we will gather for breakfast then leave for home as we wish, some staying to shop at Target, others driving straight back, eager to get on with a weekend at home. You can make your own guess as to which bunch does what! For me it is a chance to visit with my kids, eat, see good films and talk about the past year and the future.
 I'm so happy we started this while Steve was with us, it seems more of a real tradition this way. Not trying to create a new normal. My new normal doesn't feel normal yet, I feel out of place still. I realize I had no time to acclimate to widowhood before jumping back into caring for Mom, but I
wonder if there will ever be a normal again. We spent nearly fifty years creating this life and then it is over in a heartbeat.
We have started emptying Mom's house this past week. My goodness what an undertaking! That woman saved everything, but not in a typical hoarding way. No, everything is clean, ironed or dusted, folded neatly or wrapped in tissue paper, ready for the next person to wear or use or sit up on a shelf. I have to remember Not to do this to my kids! Reminiscing is wonderful, but as Deb says, "the first saved hankie is sweet, the 14th is ridiculous!" Or lamp or basket or chicken or picture frame or afghan or sheet set or shoe or red sweater! Dishes, China, plates/plate hangers, glass baskets, and three double closets of clothes! The little woman had it all and kept it! Debbie and I have decided
Mom is rolling on Heaven's floor, laughing at us trying to decide what to do with it all. We are attempting to give away most of it, we do not want a sale or auction of our parents' possessions. Ours is a very large extended family, with several starting housekeeping or downsizing so we have managed to share lots of furniture and housekeeping items. We all have sentimental favorites, such as; Mom's iron chicken fryer, a cricket rocker, a piece of jewelry, etc, which ensures everyone some piece of them.
The New Years weekend is almost over, it's Sunday afternoon as I pick up my iPad and finish this post. Time to really begin anew. I look forward to this year 2015 in hope that it will be easier than the last few years for my family. But we have faith that whatever challenges we face will be met with grace. No big goals or resolutions for me this year, I intend to eat the elephant one bite at a time. (For all my transformed counselor buddies!) God bless you all. Love

Monday, December 15, 2014


      We lost our mom Nov. 30 after a five year journey with Alzheimer's Disease. My girls, I pray your families are never exposed to this horrific disease. It steals lives slowly, gradually taking away loved ones and leaving empty bodies in their place. And the most terrifying thing is they know they are being taken and cannot stop going. Blessedly, for us, Mom rallied after suffering strokes on that last Tuesday. Her speech was effected for a few hours, but during the night she called out to someone...someone who wasn't there. When she did open her eyes, she appeared to know us and know what was happening to her. She thanked us for staying at home with her and taking care of her. "I have good kids", she repeated often. It had been decided much earlier that no extreme measures would be taken should she have such a stroke, she never wanted to just take up space on this earth. She was ready to go Home. We all agreed and thought we were ready to let her go, but as it was happening we realized it was not so easy to let go forever. For five days and nights, we sat at her bedside, lay beside her on the big bed she had shared with our Dad. Attending to her basic care, keeping her clean, dry and comfortable. Holding her hand, listening to her speak with that someone only she could see. We all agreed it was Dad or her guardian angel, come to take her home.
Now most of you didn't know my mom, I know, but she was a beautiful, classy lady, sweet and humble, heart as pure as gold. She lived for her family.
All she ever asked of us was to be kept at home, she had a dreadful fear of nursing homes. We did that for her for five years, never leaving her alone. I believe she saw we were coming to the end of our strength to keep it up and chose to go. The one other thing she asked was to be buried in her gown and robe and no eye glasses! She would see others dressed up and lying in their caskets and say, " do they think they are going out after this?" She wanted to meet her maker, warm and cozy, ready to enjoy eternity. Mom looked so peaceful and pretty in her aqua bedclothes. She was always the prettiest girl in the room, Dad said, and she was still the day we laid her to rest.
It has been two weeks and we are slowly marking off items from our To Do list. The big challenge will be the personal items she had acquired in her eighty five years. Add to that, the collections Dad brought into their home and, People, we have a boatload of stuff! We know our parents are looking down and laughing at the trick they've played on us. They are together in Heaven and we four are dealing with STUFF. Just like they always told us it would be. We cannot be sad, knowing that they are together again, they were soul mates for 53 years. And now forever.
We all have kids and grandkids and life continues, not the same but as it should, as it always has been.
I've ordered all my Christmas gifts online, now to wrap them. I miss having babies to buy for, our 10 and 11 year old boys aren't nearly as fun to buy for since they ask for Teepees and Nerf guns. Oh, and a goat! Our girls are all grown up, too, clothing, handbags, electronics, not a BabyDoll on any list. I've made peanut butter cookies, peanut butter fudge, have my sugar cookie dough in the fridge, thinking about some spiced nuts, maybe. And hard cinnamon candy is next week.
I have a baby quilt for my niece cut and ready to sew. Courtney embroidered farm animal block and I cut some baby-like fabrics for the other blocks. I have a sweet alphabet print for the backing. He will be my baby brothers first grand child and we are all thrilled he is almost here. Rob's kids call my sister and I grandma instead of aunt because we are some much older than their dad. I was 18 and Deb 16 when he was born, he is less than a year older than our Stephen. He was with us most of the time growing up. He has always been a blessing to our family, kept Dad and Mom young keeping up with him.
Talk to me, Ladies, I miss you all. God Bless your families this year and keep you safe. Love, Hedy

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Where does time go? It flies thru life like it has something special going on, never slowing down for us to catch up on life. Days can pass without notice, weeks slide by and the month is gone...where? Try as I may, I haven't been able to slow down time. And I have tried so many ways, prayer and mediation help during the time spent in them, but when I return to my daily life it is either time to get up or go to bed. Where does time go?
Being a widow isn't what I expected, at all. Mom was widowed fifteen years ago and now I wish I had asked her what life was like for her without my dad. She forgets now that he is gone and wonders why he isn't home for supper. I wish I had asked her how it felt to make decisions alone after years of having a partner to help decide what to do. I wish I had asked her how she dealt with knowing he would not be taking the TV remote and watching mind numbing reruns again and again. I wish I had asked her how she continued to have a life without him. How she kept celebrating birthdays and holidays and the simple things when he wasn't there by her side. It is too late to ask her for advice now, she is the one asking..." Is Bob gone?"  " Did Steve die?" " Where do I live?" " Who are you?". I did not know it would be all the little things in life that stopped my heart because Stephen King was gone, I thought those big moments would be the difficult things. I was wrong.
These things have been on my mind recently, I don't dwell on them, really, just find myself wondering sometimes. Usually I am fine, coping with this new life. I keep calm and carry on, as Churchill advised the British during WWII. I don't seem to have time to think much or worry, life needs tending to. I take each day as it comes, dealing with challenges as they pop up, just like before. I stay with Mom a few days each week, we talk about the past because that is where she lives now. I help keep her cared for and her home clean, just as if it were still a home. I sleep with her and she holds my hand, I cook her meals and sometimes need to feed her. She tells me she has it made and I smile at that, happy she feels that way. At home I waste time sitting and thinking, about what I don't know. I sit down and two hours later the time is gone. I haven't sewn or read much lately, the creative urge isn't there. I have projects stacked, lists made, but few thinks get accomplished. Limbo is what it may be called, I am in Limbo, waiting for sometime. What? I cannot imagine.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Summer finally arrives

August has been hazy, hot, and humid as it always is in the Ohio Valley, but this year, even more so because the summer has been so mild till now. We were fooled into thinking we would get by August without those HHH days. Fools. Football has started at school, poor boys and a few brave girls, sweating like horses, dropping in the field like flies. Overcome with the heat. Our Caleb is playing on the county fifth grade team, a big surprise, he likes it! Ours has never been a family for organized group sports. Stephen King played his senior year on Paoli High School's first football team, son Stephen played high school basketball and tennis, Courtney and Joe were in marching band for years and years. Gavin is playing soccer this year and Caleb will play 5th grade basketball this winter. But, overall we've never been school athletics groupies. I'm anxious to watch a few games with my boys playing. 
Life back in OC has fallen into its old path, caring for Mom on weekends and Wednesday, staying home the rest of the week. I make excuses not to get out a lot, preferring to be at home. I did go back to the gym for a couple of weeks, but over worked my sick muscles and have to regroup till the inflammation dies down. Lupus is fickle, demanding movement and rest simultaneously. Once a body part is injured, they all join in and swell and scream in pain. I'm better this week, but moving slowly and cautiously, not daring to insult any muscle or joint. The gym will have to wait a bit longer.
Mom continues to decline with not many good days any more. We take her for drives around the county a time or two each week, but getting in and out of the house is challenging. The one step in her house is into the kitchen from the garage and she barely makes it. Each time feels as if we are climbing Everest, she battles to make it up. Stephen is going to fix an iron rail for her to use this week. I know that will give her more security for getting out. Mom still knows everyone when she sees us, but gets confused about who is who in conversation frequently mixing the Grandkids with the wrong parents. Some compare caring for an Alzheimer's patient with childcare, but I don't agree childcare is life giving, learning, teaching, living, Alzheimer's is a deathwatch. Watching as your beloved mother slips away, unable to stop it or make it better, just being there, holding a hand, 
washing a frail body, brushing thin hair, listening to long forgotten stories told over and over. An 
honor to serve, but so painful to experience. I'm so thankful we have a strong, loving family to share this.
I've actually finished a quilt this week and am binding another! I made them for my nephew's kids, Collier is two and her big brother Whitt is four. I don't get to spend much time with them, as they live in Louisville, but they are two special little people. I hand quilted Collier's, something I had second thoughts about as soon as I started. But I really loved the process and even made my own binding. Whitt's has seam tape and is hand tied, not quilted. It is a cowboy print patchwork, so fittingly simple. I'm more of a fabric collector than a quilter, but I think I will finish a crazy quilt I started for Courtney in OZ and quilt one I pieced for Shayla years ago. There's also a beautiful stack of London voile prints that demand a special project. Truthfully, I probably have enough fabric to provide all my kids, Grandkids, nieces and nephews with a quilt or two. But that's a pie in the sky thought, I know myself better than that. 
It has been a year since we lost Steve and life has moved on in many ways, yet I continue to be surprised that he isn't here when I come home. I still listen when I wake for the sound of him making coffee in the kitchen, greeting the cats as he opens the back door to feed them. I drove his little blue truck last week and it felt like a big hug to climb into that little cab, full of his stuff. Straw hat, gloves, sunglasses, notepads, tools and all his plunder, just waiting for him. I often feel as if I, too, am waiting. Waiting for my life to restart, maybe, I don't know. I've never done this before. But I miss him with every breath I take. 
Oh, I almost forgot, I bought myself a bike! Crazy old lady can't even pedal the exercise bike at the gym because the knee won't bend, thinks she is going to bike to town! Well, I know I won't if I don't have a bike!
Talk to me, Ladies. Take care. Hedy

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Busy week.

I know...another post so soon? But I'm just feeling like sharing. Mom and I had a quiet weekend, not much activity, but she did at least sleep all night. I cooked a meal from Trent's garden for us and Mom ate really well. She seldom eats much. I cleaned the garage and porches early Sunday before the awful heat built up. Jeez, Indiana could be the tropics in July! 
Stephen, Shawn and the Yahoos came for Pizza and ice cream Sunday evening. It was good to go home to company. I love the still quiet of my house, but these guys are always a welcome treat. Nothing special just reading the Sunday paper, playing on their electronics and watching some TV, but I loved every minute. Sunday evenings have always been our family time since the kids married and moved out of the house, alway home on Sunday. 
On Tuesday, I had a date with my little boys, lunch and go karts! Gavin and I put out a load of bedding on the clothes line before the others got here. I strung a couple of new lines last week. But I didn't allow for stretching and the sheets were dragging the grass by the time everything was hung. We thought on this problem for a bit, then decide to stick the ladder under the line to prop it up! "Great idea, Grandma", Gavin was so proud of us! I was ticked that I'd gotten cotton line instead of coated wire.  It turned out Madeleine was included, she loves to kart, too. Gavin turned into an Indy driver! What a surprise, he is usually the cautious one. Caleb was quite taken back to be overtaken by his little cousin. A lesson learned there! Size doesn't matter, it is skill. We even went to WalMart, I felt like a traitor, but nowhere else to shop locally. Gav picked out a Nascar game for his xBox, Caleb couldn't find anything he wanted after Gma refused to buy Call of Duty. What are they thinking letting him play those games? Maddie didn't ask for a thing, she knew it was a boys' day. The three girls had theirs last week. And we have school clothes shopping coming soon. 
I've cleaned house and washed a load of laundry today. Heading back to Mom's this afternoon. She has failed so much this year, weak and confused so much of the time. I'm taking a walker that Steve used to her today. Some mornings she can barely walk. I think this may give her just enough support to help get from the bed to the kitchen table and couch. She seldom moves beyond there. I'm planning to get her outside today, the weather is perfect this week. We can watch the traffic on her street and talk about past neighbors! Her neighborhood is a place of family homes with the families aging away; widows or widowers and empty houses. It was so full of life thirty years ago. 
I have to run, Gavin left some important items here yesterday and must have them! He is expanding his Lego city and needs the characters he left. Plus his library book on chicken care. And his DS game and UA my little genius. 
Talk to me, I enjoy the company. Love.