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.
I’ll be returning to Connecticut for a brief appearance this coming week in April. I’m playing in a handbell concert on Friday night and even directing one of the performance pieces. Should be fun, but there are two long rehearsals to get thru before Friday night.
It has been a really trying time here in Nebraska and Iowa but I think we’ve found an alzheimer’s care center for Dad. If the application process goes well, we may have him moved in within two weeks or so. I’m sure the relocation will be tough and I’m not looking forward to it. But I am looking forward to being on the far side of the event looking back and seeing him safely settled and working on getting adjusted to his new place to live.
I’ve been in the Des Moines Iowa area all weekend and it has been a really miserable one — almost constant rain and one thunderstorm after another. Every time you are tempted to observe that things have quieted down, lightning starts up again, thunder rumbles, and rain pours out of the sky. There were tornadoes in the state today and yesterday we had hail here. What an adventure this has all been — and it’s not all over yet either.
We were up before 6 am to get dressed and ready for the handbell rehearsal at 7 am. The music we played was beautiful and everyone played well, including all the last-minute substitutes that we had due to various emergencies amongst handbell choir members. The service even ended early enough for us to pack away our bells and hurry off to the 9 am church service at our church. The music there was beautiful too, the sermon was wonderfully inspiring, and the sun shining in the big windows on our pew, while quite warm, was wonderfully comforting at the same time.
The sweet potatoes are in the oven and it is time for the ham to join them as hubby and I will be eating our Easter dinner in a bit.
Well, for this weekend at least, I am not away. I’m back in Connecticut for Easter weekend — to play for the 8 am church service with the handbell choir hubby and I play in for the Congregational Church. Then, gratefully, to be able to attend a church service at the Methodist church that we belong to.
Dad is temporarily settled into a care center for physical rehab. They are working at making him stronger and a bit healthier. He became quite weak when he started refusing to eat solid food and then, refusing to get out of bed. Long story short — I took him to the emergency room to be admitted into the hospital. He didn’t know that was where we were going or he wouldn’t have agreed. After a 4-day stay, he’s in rehab. His short term memory is completely absent and some long term stuff gone, and an ability to follow even simple 3-step instructions gone too. Most of the time, when questioned, he gets pertinent facts correct. Yes, he has three daughters, but it is far beyond him to come up with all three names at the same time when asked.
So, I’ll be heading back to Nebraska on Monday and working on getting things arranged for his moving to a permanent care home and all the other things that go with taking over your parent’s affairs.
Photos here are from the last three weeks. Weather issues — spring is always an adventure in tornado alley and sister’s visit with her cute doggie.
Skies over eastern Nebraska — be afraid, be very afraid. About 5 minutes after this photo was taken, the tornado sirens went off. Skies were actually greener than they appear here and there were tornadoes in the skies that didn’t touch down until they got about 15 miles east of us. But they were definitely forming or formed as they clouds flew over at about 60 mph.
My sister’s dog, Spike, is always very entertaining. He has learned to do a “high five” for a treat.
And, one day, while she was away, I couldn’t find him. He is always off exploring, likes to grab stuff from the trash and chew it up, likes to find socks and drag them around, and generally can get into quite a bit of mischief if you don’t sort of keep an eye on him. Well, I looked and looked, and then more carefully looked into the pile of pillows in the corner of the sofa.
Like I said earlier, not exactly a photo taking occasion out in Nebraska right now — but the dog always manages to provide some reason to get the camera out.
Actually, I flew into Nebraska, but, it was in March. My father is not well. One sentence – five little words – and what an understatement. But, if I started typing all the words to describe the situation that truly belong here, I wouldn’t stop for a long time. Since I went out to Nebraska, we have at least been able to restore some of my father’s physical health and he is stronger now, eating well, and having his meds administered to him (which he had stopped taking). But, he will not be able to return to independent living, or even assisted living. So, I’ll be taking an Easter break in Connecticut and returning to Nebraska to continue supervising his care and, with my sister, begin the search for a care center for him to permanently move to. Expecting a great deal of argument and angst over this, but as the famous quote from Star Trek Next Generation — “Resistance is Futile”. Too bad my Dad wasn’t a science fiction watcher so he wouldn’t get this, or with his extreme memory problems, wouldn’t remember it anyway.
No photos for this blog post, but this is definitely NOT a photo taking time.