Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Our Road Trip and a Little Care Giving

Dear friends,

If you read this Come, Weary Moms blog but not my others, you might wonder where I've been.  The answer?

Traveling north!

I've been on an extended road trip with my six younger kids, ages 7 to 18.  We left Florida in June 24, took three days to travel seeing sights along the way, and have been staying at my parents' home in Maryland ever since.  My 18 year old daughter is flying home today, but the rest of us are leaving in our mini-van Friday morning, stopping at the Manassas National Battlefield (Civil War) on our way out of the D.C. area.  By the time we get home this Sunday, we'll have been gone for three whole weeks.  

I'm really glad that my cousin Jean lent us her GPS when we stopped to see her in Chapel Hill on the way up.  It's been a huge help getting around town on our frequent forays.  We'll give it back to her on the way back down!  I always look forward to seeing her and her sister Marge.  They have been so kind to us.  This trip, they loaded us up with road trip snacks!

Anyway, even though I haven't written here on this blog, I have posted a photographic series on Traveling North.  Here are the links so far:

    My mom and her mom,
    who  hadn't seen each other in over a month.
    I had been wanting to drive to Maryland this year already, but then my mom called and said that since she was having two surgeries this year and couldn't make it to Florida, she and Dad would pitch in for gas and hotels so we could come up.  What we didn't know then is that three weeks after her back surgery, she wouldn't even be home yet.  She's been bouncing back and forth from hospital to rehab because of severe complications, including a MERSA infection on the steel rod in her spine. So part of our time has been spent visiting her!  I'm glad we could be here to help cheer her up and relieve my sister from non-stop care giving.  We have also visited my 98 year old grandmother in her nursing home and taken her to see my mom in rehab.  As of yesterday, Mom is back in the hospital again.  I took the flower picture at the top of this post near the hospital chapel yesterday.  More flower pictures from when I flew up to Maryland by myself last month: A Bouquet for My Mommy.

    One of the practical things I did is clean out the refrigerator and reorganize the kitchen.  I know Mom is going to be limited in bending over, lifting, twisting, etc.  So I tried to put things where she could easily reach them, or where my sister or a hired home helper could easily find them.  I even labeled cupboards and drawers.  I tossed out old food and put other opened food (like nuts and crackers and cereal) in Tupperware and Rubbermaid.  I put all the mugs in the same cupboard as the coffee and tea.  I moved less used appliances -- like the meat slicer that my late grandfather used until he died a few years ago -- from prime spaces to less accessible places.  I bought some fresh dish towels.  That sort of thing.  It took me several hours, but I had a blast!  Occasionally, I would look out the kitchen window and see a deer grazing in the yard.  Beautiful.

    We did have a few mishaps on our trip -- a parking ticket, smoke coming out of the van, stitches in the emergency room, a lost child in a big place, a really bad rash that required a doctor visit, a few broken dishes, and what else?   I'm trying to be the Chill Mom and take things in stride.  Handing out quarters (for good behavior) and chocolate (just because!) in the van sure helps keep kids happy, as does a lap top, a pile of DVDs, and a collection of iPods.  

    I also taped a decorative coaster to my dash board that says "Blessed are the gentle."  When I start stressing out while driving, I just reach up an pat it as a reminder.  I bought the same one for my mom for her hospital room as a "gentle" reminder for the nurses.  Most of them have been perfectly lovely.

    Much as I have enjoyed our travels, I'm looking forward to getting home and spending some time with my husband, four oldest daughters, and two adorable grandsons.  My fourth daughter is leaving for a semester in Australia and New Zealand later this month, and my second daughter and her husband just arrived home from a mission trip to Bolivia this past week.  We've got a lot of appointments coming up, too, including an interview for a part-time teaching job in a home/private hybrid school.

    While I've been gone, I have also added two new posts to my Strength in Hymn series at Watch the Shepherd.

    Older posts in that series:

    Until next time,

    Virginia Knowles

    Linking here next Wednesday:

  • Adorned from Above
  • Raising Homemakers
  • Whole-Hearted Home
  • Wise Woman Link Up
  • Walking Redeemed

  • 1 comment:

    1. Family road trips are always fun! What better way to get away with the ones you love and reconnect while you travel across the country.