Does this quilt say it all or what? A house (home) surrounded by American flags (or a quilty representation of American flags). What does it mean to be at home and an American to you? I cannot even put into words what it means for me to be back here at home again, hopefully to stay a bit longer this time.
I finished this quilt the day before I left Iowa — again — on July 2nd. Determined to return home to be with hubby for the three day weekend, I was also determined to leave this project completed and on my sisters’ dining table. The photo is a bit wonky because Sister # 2 is holding the quilt. Trust me, she was smiling — she likes patriotic things. And so do I. Must run in the family.
Hubby and I attended the 4th of July fireworks here in Ridgefield. The photos are all on my bigger camera and haven’t been downloaded yet. I will update this post with some “oooh” and “aahhhh” photos later.
You always hear that about dogs but, in our yard, I think maybe it’s a frog’s life. There are three out on the rocks enjoying this beautiful day here in Connecticut.
I wonder if they have any worries? Where is my next bug coming from? Not around here — the pond draws bugs like crazy. They have all become so tame that perhaps they should worry about the stupid humans stepping on them as we walk around the pond with cameras in our hands.
I’m thinking today that I might like to be a frog with a few fewer worries. Sister # 2 was taken by ambulance to the hospital last night — she’s having what they think are TIAs (mini-strokes). Sister # 1 rode with her and I can tell by her voice over the phone that she is just sick with worry. I am mentally making a packing list and hubby is checking the cost of last-minute flights in preparation for my going back out to the Midwest. In the mean time, I’m starting on some things I wasn’t going to do right away with the thought in mind that they also couldn’t wait until I got back here again if I do leave. I’ve been back a week and two days, though parts of my mind and heart have not left there yet. When will this little family get a break? Just when I thought things were maybe settling into our “new normal”.
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home — — —
Back at the end of April, I set an arbitrary deadline to be home for Memorial Day weekend, and I made it.
I said good-bye to Des Moines, Iowa, but just for a short time — — —
Sunday, the first day I was here, was not great weather wise, but neither hubby nor I cared. We spent the day relaxing, watching the rain, and went out for dinner at Southwest Cafe, one of our favorite hangouts. I also picked some wildflowers from my garden — — —
And on Memorial Day, hubby and I went to the parade here in Ridgefield. Lots of armed service veterans at the front of the parade followed by the town firetrucks. Some wisdom from the back of the truck — — —
Lots of flags too — waving everywhere — every parade unit — half the people on the street — almost all of the kids — — —
And, the last thing packed into my bag before I left was a crocheted gift from my sister’s friend — some kitchen towel wisdom — and probably the only reason that I have been able to hold it together the past 9 1/2 weeks — faith.
“All things are possible for those who believe”. Without the faith and prayers of my hubby, friends, church friends, and the church prayer team, I don’t know how I would have come through the last few weeks. And the prayers continue . . . . . . .
That country song has been rattling around in my head quite a bit lately. As I hopped into the car to drive from Nebraska to Des Moines, Iowa I was definitely “on the road again” for the second time on that drive in as many days and for the 6th time in 1 1/2 weeks. I was tired but the drive was good as traffic was light for some reason. I stopped for a snack but was determined to speed along so I didn’t even photograph the windmills this time. The breeze was gentle so they were all just turning sort of lazily and gracefully. With the air completely clear, the wind farm was visible from 14 miles away and was a beautiful sight for “mind pictures”.
My fascination with the wind farm in Walnut Iowa has not abated one bit, even with all the times that I have driven by it this spring in my “Midwest adventures”.
The answer? Perhaps it truly is blowing in the wind. Sometimes I just don’t see the rhyme or reason for anything and my thoughts are just blown by the wind to rather random places. So much has happened since March 18th when I flew out here to Nebraska that I could write a book. But much of it, I don’t want to remember, let alone re-live by writing about it. And the book would be really boring and a bit depressing.
Life goes on — one step at a time. Hubby and I used to square dance, years ago, and there was a fun dance to a song with the words “one step forward and two steps back”. It was really a challenging dance, but I can say for sure that living your life to those words is not nearly so much fun. Apparently, here comes that latest new theme for blog posts — “song titles and their application to current life as we know it”.
As far as the blog theme, rippled effects, I cannot even being to analyze the ripple effects of this latest chapter in my Dad’s life. Ripples? Ha! More like big, giant waves!!!!!
This is a photo of the lake at Dad’s house. The wind’s were whipping all day at extreme velocity (averaging around 30 mph with gusts higher). At this point, the sustained winds were higher and the skies were darkening. About 5 minutes after I took this photo, the tornado sirens went off at the lake and we went to the basement. The tornado storms flew overhead and one tornado touched down across the river (tipped over a semi and some empty railroad cars) about 10 miles from where we were. This stormy day was one of the last that Dad was in his home. The day was very scary, but so was the realization of how anything out of the ordinary so very confused my father. The dawn of understanding had begun to occur on my part — as to just how non-functional my Dad was even in his own home. The ripple effect (the wave effect) was just beginning at the time this photo was taken.
Well — it was finally accomplished. After all the searching, all the angst, all the worry, all the . . . . . . . we moved Dad to an Alzheimer’s care center in West Des Moines yesterday. With my sister driving him and my other sister and I following (miles behind), we made the 3 hour trek from eastern Nebraska to West Des Moines Iowa with almost no trouble at all. We walked Dad from the car to his new home (he refused to ride in a wheel chair) and directly to his room. Walking into this unit again made me realize a few things, not the least of which was that we were VERY fortunate that there was an opening in this place. It looks so much like a home and the staff is so attentive and caring. The nursing assistant to patient ratio is 1 to 4.5 and there are other assistants around too, including the nurse that we talked to right away. Dad is SO lucky — he doesn’t know it or understand it, but we do. Despite the unfortunate situation he is in, this is the best thing for him — and he is so fortunate. Thank God for everything.
My sister and I loaded up the truck and drove to the Des Moines Iowa area for a weekend stay. The pickup truck looked like two people were coming for a couple of weeks rather than just a few days. On the road trip over, we stopped in Walnut, Iowa to photograph one of my favorite things — the large wind farm that was built there in the last half of 2008. I just learned that each one of these wind “mills” costs about $4 million to build. Woah! And there are 125 of them in this wind farm alone. Across the interstate there are a few more and down the road east a bit, there is another wind farm in Adair with just about as many. The wind farm in Walnut is built by an American company with American-made parts. The farm in Adair was built by a Danish company with parts of Danish origin but some manufacture and definitely assembly in the US. What a sight to see — all these towers facing the same direction and turning slowly in the strong breeze.
There are two new wind farms between my sister’s home in Des Moines, Iowa and my Dad’s in eastern Nebraska. During the drive today, I was totally amazed at how fast this one had gone up in Walnut, IA. It was not there during our early August trip. It is not in production yet, so all the windmill heads are pointing in whatever direction they were when assembled by the men with the large cranes.
When operational, wind farms are absolutely beautiful — with all the heads facing the same way and slowly turning in the wind — generating electricity and putting it out on the grid. Huge cross-country power lines are located near this field — a necessity for the wind farms to be feasible. There are 67 total windmills in this area with 35 more to be built before the end of December of this year.