Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Birthday on Crutches

I sure didn't expect to spend my 36th birthday on crutches.

Nevertheless, it happened. I was at a friend's house Wednesday evening, following another friend down some steps as we were heading to our cars. At the bottom step, my left ankle popped.

I spent the next 20 minutes -- 30 minutes? more? -- icing the ankle, feeling faint and counting my lucky stars that I could still wiggle my toes. I hobbled to one friend's car while the other drove my car home.

It was a painful night, and the next day was even worse. I barely made it down the stairs in the morning, and when I later tried to move from the couch I realized that I couldn't put any weight on it. I called Paul at work.

He called a friend who is a doctor, who confirmed that a visit to the doctor probably wasn't necessary. Instead, Paul picked up a compression bandage, air cast and crutches, and dropped them off at home before a meeting.

I was on crutches through my birthday on Saturday, only leaving the house to sit on the porch (where the mosquitoes promptly ate me up, so happy birthday to me). Now I don't need the crutches, but I keep the ankle wrapped when I go out. I limp when I walk and I can't stand for long periods of time, but I'm much more mobile than I was a few days ago.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Week in Milwaukee and Chicago

Milwaukee

I almost feel strange telling people that our vacation to Chicago and Milwaukee was relaxing. Two major cities? Relaxing? But it was -- mostly because we took our time, relaxed our kiddo rules (TV galore!) and slept in late.

Paul and I had been to Milwaukee for one night more than 10 years ago. I've been to Chicago multiple times, but again -- it's been more than a decade. Edith and Atticus had never been to either city. It was time for a road trip, and this was the one we decided on: three nights in each city.

Requirements: an indoor pool in each hotel and light itineraries. Accomplished. Yes, we visited museums, but we also squeezed in playgrounds for the kids and beer gardens for the parents. Everyone was happy. We also managed to see friends in each city that we hadn't seen in years.

I'll write a post about each city in the coming weeks. Today: Photos.

Milwaukee Brewers game

Milwaukee Brewers game

Milwaukee

Milwaukee

Chicago, at the Bean

Chicago, at the Bean

Chicago, Adler Planetarium

Chicago

Chicago

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

I'll Remember

Mostly I'll remember Grandpa's laugh. He had a sense of humor, but the ho-ho-ho often made an appearance when we were playing cards and he would inevitably catch some points the rest of us forgot to count up.

I'll remember driving through the tiny town of Harlan, and him telling us that the Harlan Globetrotters originated there. I may even have believed him when I was very young.

I'll remember searching the farmland between my grandparents' house and the one I grew up in, collecting the golf balls he would swing into the field.

I'll remember the Saturday nights we spent at their house, learning all the new card games that they brought back from their winters in Arizona. Nobody could play like Grandpa. He taught me cribbage, and I'm not sure I've met anyone outside of our family who knows the rules.

I'll remember riding in Grandma and Grandpa's car, and him letting me use the CB radio to speak to my own Dad elsewhere on the highway.
I'll remember a family trip -- to Michigan, I think -- when a seagull swooped down and grabbed the bologna sandwich right out of his hand. I would bet anything that the laugh made an appearance then.

I'll remember how I never heard him lose patience or say a harsh word, even though I probably deserved it.

We spent the day at the hospice center in my hometown of Defiance about a week before he died last Tuesday. We stayed six or seven hours in the room with him, and his eyes flickered open once or twice. But the whole time we were there, I didn't know what to say to him. I shared a few parting words at the end, but left wishing I would have said more. Like this.

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