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when the doctor asked...

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
...why I was there at my appointment with the dermatologist yesterday, I did not have an answer. It was just routine, a 'check-up' I suppose. When I saw the Dr. a year ago, she was pretty insistent that I should present my person on an annual basis to be inspected.

In a most aggravating and unlikely scenario, the first time I went several weeks ago, I was on the wrong day of the wrong week at the wrong time. I continue to be baffled as to what would have caused me to write all that incorrect information on my calendar. To be so certain that I was supposed to be there over two weeks ago, when they claimed to have nothing about me on their schedule. Making me think: am I in a bad movie?

All I can figure is that the appointment book person actually did schedule a follow-up for me, and wrote it on a card for me to bring home and put on my calendar. It is possible I would have been looking at the wrong month when I wrote it down - but if that is the case, the days and dates would have been out of sync., not matching up to make me wonder: what's going on here? But what I had written -wrongly- on my calendar was absolute. A definite time, and date.

The Dr. has moved into a new office space, so I have to now wonder if they were the ones in all the chaos and jumble of relocating were the ones who got confused? At any rate, they did not tell me I was not on the book until I had done all the paperwork. So I accidentally got that out of the way two weeks ago. Resulting in being promptly moved through the process when I did make an appearance on the right day at the right time.

Told the NP about my tick bite from last week, when she looked at my back, as well as all other parts to inspect for anything suspicious. Explaining how the cousin had a tick bite but did not get a specific diagnosis, due to the lab loosing her blood. She still has some side effects that are likely related to this bite from years ago. I am moderately paranoid about ticks as a result of her story, so always keep ticks after I peel them off, and save in case needed. Telling my family if I should start acting stranger than usual, they should take the tick when they take me to the ER. I now have a total of three in my collection.

I am, currently, hopefully, not acting any stranger than usual. No cause for alarm. Funny, though, how the site of the bite will continue to be itchy in a sporadic, low-grade way for weeks after I doctor it with peroxide and antibiotic.

other than...

Sunday, June 25, 2017
... the always entertaining excellent company of the companion who was persuaded to accompany me on the one-day road trip to the east yesterday, the most best part of the day was meeting a cousin for lunch. Our trip to east GA included lunch with J., who lives just over the river into SC. She is such a dear sweet person, after I spend time with her, I find myself wondering why I do not make the effort more often. I had to think a bit to make the familial connection, but conclude she is a second cousin. Her mom and my mom would have been first cousins, as their mothers were sisters, so I think that means we are seconds.

She is such a delightful person, sensible, down to earth,with a wonderful sense of the absurdities of life, I would gladly take her for a sister. I do not remember meeting her as a child, but surely there was some point when we would have been together. Most likely when our grandmothers, the sisters separated by geography, would have made the effort to see each other. I do recall going with my grandma to visit in the small town in east GA where her sister had settled after marriage to a local man. Tiny little town, that is probably in danger of completely drying up, as people have died, moved away, relocated for work/schooling.

It fell to my cousin to empty and sell her grandmother's house, as she gradually realized her mother would not be able to part with the grandparents' home. Where there was so much family history in each corner and closet, stuffed with memories and old correspondence, furniture and knick-knacks with stories attached. It has taken years to sort through everything, but she was finally able to empty the old frame house of furniture and put it on the market. With the hope of finding someone who desired to be so far from fast food, big box stores and amenities found in the busyness of city living.

I know how hard that process of letting go can be. Even after years, the memories draw you back. And you find yourself going to the cemetery, wanting to renew that extinct connection. Reaching through time into the past, trying to keep those people alive in memory. We cannot resurrect the saints, those beloved forebears who have gone on ahead - but I am so thankful for the feeling of connection with family members who are present and dear to my heart .

it was really wet...

... over there in east GA, when we went to the family gathering. My dad's people, folks I did not know, had never met before I started going to these events about fifteen years ago. Sadly the crowd is getting smaller each year. Possibly due to a variety of causes: old age creeping up on the ones who really want to stay connected, willing to make the effort to travel and meet on an annual basis. Lots of other family plans during the summer months. Job necessities. Lack of interest with the younger generations.

The ones I saw yesterday are likely the 'hard core' group, people I have seen in attendance over the years who will continue participating as long as there is an announced time and place to show up. A few younger people and several grade school age kids, but mostly gray hairs. I know it is hard to get kids to go someplace where they do not know anyone, and will find nothing for amusement while adults chat for hours.

We meet on a Saturday in June, at a pretty overlook in a state park on the banks of the lake formed by the Savannah River. On Clarks' Hill Lake where the waters backed up into the woodlands making sloughs and a huge recreational lake when wooded lands were flooded. The state claimed some of the area near Washington, GA and built a park with camping, beach, boat ramps, picnicking for public use. We were in a big enclosed shelter where we have met a number of times over the years. Sadly this year the AC was on the fritz, so it was 'way much warm combined with miserably humid due to torrential rains. I'm certainly hoping the family fund will get a partial refund for the lack of cooling while we were in attendance.

One of the things dependably on the agenda is for people to bring items to donate to a raffle. Tickets are 25 cents each, or maybe 5 for $1. Most of what was there this time was plants, things people had growing in their yards to share. I took some Marguerite daisies I had pulled up and potted. And left before the raffle got underway, so my offering was most definitely a donation. I was much more popular the several years I took crafts, some papier mache frames I made and painted, wrote calligraphy verses on. All I had to offer this time was fourth generation daisy plants, so I hope they got a good home?They were abandoned when we took our leave earlier than planned.

It was my plan when I persuaded my cohort to ride along with me, to stay for the business meeting, and leave when they began to eat. Plans go awry. I expected the meeting to start about 5, and meal to commence around 6'ish. But they decided to eat when the bar-b-cue was ready: soon after 5, when no one had made the least effort to get the business part of the event underway.

That caused us to excuse ourselves before the 'meat'-y part. I did not want to eat smoked boston butt, and did not want to explain to everyone who asked why I was not participating. So we tried to sneak out, with only marginal success. Several people followed us out the door to say: "Are you leaving?" Whereupon I had to explain: yes, we were. Not planning to stay for the meal that started early, so we would be heading back to Decatur sooner rather than later.

another quote...

Saturday, June 24, 2017
... recently noted while driving. On my way to the north side of town to do the weekly run to Sam's Club for church needs. Something I do once a week (occasionally twice as needed), to get supplies for congregation and Administrative use. I went down a street I do not usually travel, being prone to short-cuts without traffic lights. Passed a small neighborhood church with a sign that said:

"Accept the bread of life or you will be toast."

food for thought...

...found on a sign I saw while driving around town yesterday. A quote that will require some time to consider and digest, to fully appreciate, understand and realize how well it applies to life. You have to store it away and ponder for a while before it really sinks in.

"Some you win, some you learn."  

Meaning, I think that we do not actually benefit from those times in life when we feel the most success. We do not gain any long lasting lessons from believing we have possibly gotten the upper hand, or the score in some game indicates that one team was superior in strength, ability, or strategy to the opponent. There may be instant euphoria when the final buzzer rings, or the opposing individual admits defeat. You leap into the air and fist pump: "Yeessss!" Sadly, the adrenaline rush is soon gone. Mundane daily-ness draws us back into our plodding routine.

Those times and events are not where character is formed, even as you give the appearance of gracious looser, smile and shake the proffered hand of the highest scorer, practicing good sportsmanship while gritting your teeth. The misery of character building lies in loss, failure and a muddy face. Falling down on your front, in the slime and gunky swamp water, soaked from head to foot, in the muck when it is dark and rainy, but getting up and plodding on.

I am often thankful for the people in my life, now gone, who made me who I am. Appreciating those family members who raised me and were the models of what it means to be conscientious.  Upstanding, honest, do-gooders in the very best sense of 'do-gooder'. Those who took the daily challenge to Do The Right Thing, even when no one is watching  my definition of character.)

Moral, with high standards and willing to stand up for those who had no voice. Hard working, scrupulously honest and expecting the same from everyone else: family, friends, co-workers, complete strangers. I still think of and miss them, remember with great admiration.

driving south...

Friday, June 23, 2017
... to Valdosta yesterday - one of those crazy trips when I drive down there and back home in one day. Actually completed in less time than usual, as I did not leave until around 6 am, when it was fully daylight, and returned before dark. Making me feel sort of 'jet-lagged' for a day or two after, and struggling to focus when I have to be at work, alert and coherent. Thankful I do not have to be on the job again until next Monday.

I had been asking and asking and asking, trying to find someone who would move furniture. Needed an outfit like I see around town all the time, the "Two Men and A Truck" guys who will go anywhere and move anything for a price. I don't know what the going rate is, or what they require, but it gives the appearance of being a lucrative business as long as your back holds up. I was reluctant to call the nationally advertised guys like Mayflower or United. And knew if I talked with enough people down there, someone would supply a number that would provide the guys to help me out.

Finally found the guy last week, but had a hard time getting him pinned down. He claimed to be having a frustrating problem with his cell phone, and had gotten it replaced several times. I never actually met the guy, so I unsure what was going on. If he was half as aggravated as I was with being unable to connect, I know he had steam coming out of his ears when he walked in the Verizon store.

He said he would meet me at the house at 10 am to load up and deliver bedroom furniture. Then called about 9:30 to say his guys were waiting. I met them and they made short work of wrapping up antiques and disassembling the bed, loading it up to transport. I had been by Publix to grab some boxes for trinkets, table top misc., and pictures, so grabbed that stuff. They were probably in and out in half an hour!

I wanted to run by Walgreens for Rx history so met them at the 'home'. They were nearly finished by the time I got there - although the auntie had totally freaked out. I guess I would too if three large black men came walking in unexpectedly, bearing pieces of furniture. Staffers had walked her outside to get her away from the chaos. When I went outside at the request of the staff, she saw me and said: "What are you doing here?" I never even got a chance to answer, as they hustled her in the door, down the hall to the dining room. I did not see her again. Probably for the best as I am sure she would have been really hostile. Gnashing her teeth and swearing. with evil thoughts aimed at the niece she blames for all her misfortune.

I had a conversation with the director who reports she believes that her short term memory is zero. Completely unable to retain anything anyone says. Which makes me wonder if she had been on some meds. (which she could not take/self-administer due to forgetfulness) that delay effects/symptoms she might not be this far along with the progression of dementia. We will never know.

At any rate, the bedroom furniture that she has lived with for many years was all moved into her room at the home, pretty much intact, completely furnished with everything she's been accustomed to over the years. Hopefully, having familiar items in her view every day, along with the framed family photos she had grouped, collage fashion, on her walls at home, will provide some degree of famili,y. Who knows?

not a math genius...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
... and actually never did get the multiplication tables firmly embedded in my brain. I tell anyone who will listen that I am hopelessly math impaired, and am years past feeling badly about my lack of skills. Console myself often with the fact that we are all differently abeled, and know there are  many things I do well. Math is just not one of them.

I've taken a very big bite here with providing support for the auntie, maybe a giga-bit.  With what the court will expect of me as the conservator. Who is the designated financial person that goes along with a guardian to provide care for someone who cannot maintain/manage independently. I'm having no problem with the guardian part, know I can manage the welfare/care of the auntie. But the financial stuff is seriously intimidating.

My BFF said she would help me figure it out. So, yes, please, thank-you-ver'-much.  We spent a couple of hours this afternoon looking at the paperwork the court requires. Even though my brain was not in any shape to even remotely consider numbers after being at work from 6a-12p. I am really anxious about getting the stuff to the court in a timely manner. The financial stuff is really in-depth, which is good since when probate appoints someone to manage anothers' resources it is a pretty weighty matter. As well as acknowledging that appointing a guardian effectively takes away a whole bunch of rights that we consider as a given here in America.

So, I'm struggling with it. I struggle with the reconciling of my check register with the bank statement every month. Pretty sure that minding someone else's business will be considerably more complicated that minding my own. Maybe times a gazillion with my chronic math disability plus the parameters set forth by the probate court of Georgia. Thankful for the help offered and accepted by my friend who seems to be unfazed by reading the legalese and deciphering the forms.