Monday, April 11, 2016

A year later....

My last post was
Easter 2015.
 A lot happened during the past 12 months of course. 
My Grandsons grew like weeds, my parents moved up to Salt Lake, and  blogging got left behind while I met their needs.
(Calvin at 10 months)
 I cherish my blog as it holds my memories sometimes better than my own brain does.  
I do not want to completely leave these past 12 months undocumented.
So here goes some catch up posting!

 Last April included a trip to feed the birds at Tracy Avery.

Then there was Luke's 3rd birthday...April 12 2015

 His friend Piper has been his pal since church nursery days!
 A play fishing pole was a great gift.
Probably nothing to catch in the above ground back yard pool but it is a great place to practice casting.

Luke at 3...still has those piercing eyes!
 In May the tulips were blooming...

Bernie was itching to go fish so off we went. 
 Perfect place for a little outing and a little picnic.
 There was still some snow on the mountains but spring had definitely arrived.
 Last May Calvin was 11 months old...

 From late April until late May 2015 most of my life and my parent's life was centered around a life milestone:
It was time for my parents to move from the home they had built in 1957, three blocks from the beach where they had met as teen just before WWII.
Away from the town where they were both born in the 1920s, to join me in Salt Lake.

 Dad was mowing and watering and tending his garden until the very day of the move.
His memory was beginning to have blank spots and he had lymph node cancer as well.  
Other than those two issues he was fit as a fiddle.  Mom was doing well and managing to still drive and care for dad as she always had as a good wife of 68 years.  
Still...we had been told that the the time to move is while everyone is still in pretty good shape.
The house was rented to a family who had been renting a smaller house just across the street.
It felt better renting to a family the neighborhood already knew.
Getting ready to move wasn't easy...but with lots of prayer and determination Mom and I got all the needful details attended to.

 Last day of my childhood bedroom...with blue sticky notes with instructions to the movers.
The desk and book case are now gone as is the wall paper, per the renter's request.
Memory: I was sitting in that desk chair when Bernie proposed to  me after a Bible study that we had attended while I was home in San Diego during my spring break from college.
Just kind of happened...a formal proposal...not where he had planned to ask me but the time was right just then.

 The master bath with the cute beachy themed tile from the 1950s remain.

 The last night in La Jolla...

The neighbors threw a small going away party. There are some of the neighborhood kids that consider my folks to be their neighborhood grandparents.
(Dad still was bandaged from a cancer operation.)

 My  parents standing by the ocean wall where they met so long ago.

 It was a beautiful last night for them.

 The next day the movers (Spanish speakers...not easy to communicate!)
and lots and lots of other neighbors dropped by, dodging the movers.

Neighbors came bringing small gifts and saying good bye.
(Minor remodeling happened in the midst of the chaos as well! It was crazy!)

 Dad continued to tend his garden.
The Southern California drought meant that the front lawn had been allowed to die.
Dad used his weed eater to dig out encroaching weeds.
The neighborhood kids now use the dirt area for ball games.

 Mom fielded calls from friends wishing to say good bye, and also made calls to stop the paper, change billing addresses, switch gas and electric bills...the last minute list was daunting but Mom got it all done.

 I made sure the backyard berries were picked.

 Last lunch in the patio...
Then the refrigerator was cleared out and food given to the neighbors.
We hoped we would drive off by noon.
Actually it was closer to three.

 Mom and I made it without tears until the very end.
Good bye house!
Hugs and tears, and another hug then off we went.

 Dad took the back seat with his beloved cat Rufus.
Rufus was a champ and sat quietly in Dad's lap the entire drive to Salt Lake.

(Rufus has official "Emotional Support Pet" paperwork from Dad's doctor.
It is a true service Rufus preforms for Dad.  Plus with the paper work, we can have a cat with us in the hotel and apartment without paying $100s of dollars in pet fees.)

 Mom drove us out of  Southern California;
I had been away too long to know all the new roads and freeway connectors.
(Did I mention mom was two weeks away from turning 89?)

The drive went well. 
We spent one night in Las Vegas, making each day's drive about five hours.

The moving van was to arrive in Salt Lake about two weeks later after we arrived..
While I was driving my folks to Salt Lake, Bernie and Jeff set up my parent's new abode with temporary furnishings, air beds, kitchen supplies, towels, tables, chairs, lamps etc.
We arrived in Salt Lake June 3rd.

 When the moving van arrived two weeks later it was wonderful!
(Dad had been flabbergasted at the HUGE van that was half a block long that had arrived to pick up their household goods in La Jolla.  We kept explaining that the van held several other households goods but that fact just wouldn't stick.  When the van arrived in Salt Lake he was stunned all over again!)

 Their apartment with the bed leaning against their small patio area.
Mom wanted to be still in an independent living situation instead of an Assisted Living community.
This apartment was in a Seniors Apartment complex.
"Senior" meant people 55 and old.
That fact gave me a pause at 61!
I had met their neighbor the day I signed lease paper work for my parents a month earlier.
"Hank" was a guy my age.
He seemed like a nice guy until he told me he was into playing Death Metal.
I about died at the news!
I prayed about asking for my parents to get a different apartment (which wasn't possible) then I prayed God would just handle this situation.
Boy did He ever.
Hank turned out to be the best neighbor ever.
He kept his music down and treated my folks like they were his own parents....what an answer to prayer.

 The moving guys...with the enormous van in the back ground(When Bernie and I moved from Texas to Salt Lake our household goods FILLED up a similar sized van.  I sat on the curb and wept when it arrived in Salt Lake as I knew I personally would be unpacking the 300 plus boxes.  Mom and Dad just had 87 boxes.  I unpacked all their boxes in four days!)

 Their apartment had a duck pond.
Luke came by and checked it out.
Later flocks of ducks would learn to drop by my parent's patio for food three times a day.
And by a flock I mean 40-60 ducks at a time!

 New apartment sized household furnishing were needed so a trip to IKEA was in order.
Mom and Dad took a shopping break in one of the display areas.
They had a blast chatting with people who stopped to stare at the life like people in the patio display.

 Back at the apartment Bernie and I quickly assembled chairs, tables, book cases and desks.
In some cases the assembly went a little too quickly.
(take another look at the chair...see any problems?)

 Time to re-read the instructions!

Dad helped when he could. 
 Whew it is hot!
(Dad's memory issues can mean that he feels cold even when it is 103 outside. 
Mom coped with a wet towel.  Turning on the A/C was not an option.
I unpacked with the heater turned up for him...oh boy!)

 On June 13th we partied!
Mom's 89th birthday...the first birthday she has ever celebrated with her great grandchildren!
(Mauve oriental poppies were from my own garden.)

A few days later on June 25 it was Calvin's first birthday.

 They crack each other up...

 Mom got Cal a card that played a song...
We had a picnic dinner up at a local camp ground.
Mom and Dad got driven home and the rest of us spent the weekend.

How long will Jeff be able to carry both his sons?

 Cal loved his talking birthday card.
 It just NEVER got old!
 Luke thought it did...

To be continued....July 2015 still to come.