Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Road Trip Therapy

I recently went on a road trip.  I took a drive over the mountains.  The fall colors of the trees were amazing! (I hadn't been out of the county since last April when Les had his last appointment at UW.)  I had not listened to Les' music CD all the way through, so I did as I went over the mountain pass.  Tears were falling, I was singing loudly, and I was in awe of the majesty of God's creation.  It was healing.  Listening to this CD, I realized there is a progression in Les' choice of songs.  I was so sad to remember the horrible progression of the disease and how it affected him.  The last several songs were added just a month or so before he died - he had been listening mostly to music about heaven.  As I listened to those songs, I realized how he had been longing for heaven and for healing.  That made me happy (because he is now healed!) and grateful to Jesus.

I spent a couple days with my younger brother and his family.  I was hoping to watch my niece Gretta play in her soccer game, but she had pulled a hamstring and couldn't play.  We still went to the game - they play under the lights, and on artificial turf.  Fancy purple Panthers!  I had dinner with another niece Dani and her family.  It was good to spend time with these people.
My river walk early one morning

While on the east side, I drove over to my high school town to meet up with my friend Terri for lunch.  I only lived in this town from mid-8th grade through a year out of high school, so I can't really call it my "home" town.  I never put down many roots here, but I do have a life-long friendship with Terri.  She was one of the girls who came to Les' service, and we are going to make an effort to keep in better touch.  We had such a great time together!   Terri and I actually lived together for awhile after high school until the next year when I went to college.  We RENTED our furniture!  Ha!  We were so busy talking during lunch, I forgot to get a picture!!  I hadn't been back to this town for a long time - my parents have retired over here on the west side by us.  It was good to spend some time down memory lane.

The girls, little man and I went to the local pumpkin patch.  Gotta have that apple pie with the works!!
I spent this past Sunday afternoon biking with my dear friends.  It's weird to do stuff without Les, but I am so grateful that I get invited along.  They do not let me feel like a 5th wheel.  It was a long bike ride--that mushroom swiss burger after our ride made it all worthwhile! 
 I'm trying to get used to my new normal.  My days are busy but the evenings get long.  The mornings are also so, so quiet.  BUT, I have some projects that need to get done, and I still have quite a bit of paperwork to deal with.  So I will keep plugging along........still one day at a time.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Recent Stuff

The house is quiet.  My sister Sharon left last Saturday after being here for almost two weeks.  I was SO GLAD she was here in the house with me for that long - I didn't realize how much I needed her here.  But now everyone is gone and for the first time in several months, no one is coming and going on a daily basis.  The solitude is okay right now - I needed some quiet.  I have been on auto pilot for so long - it feels weird to have TIME where I don't have to be anywhere or doing something.  I can go for a walk and I don't have get home quick.....I can drive away if I want to.  I don't have to have my phone with me at all times - I left it at home when I went to church.  It felt strange going to the grocery store after not being there for so long.  So odd.
Love her
 I've done a little biking and hiking with my sister and some friends the past couple of weeks.  It feels SO GOOD to get out and enjoy God's beautiful creation.

Happy hour after a 7 mile hike!!
The week after Les passed away we also had beautiful weather.  That first week we spent alot of time on our back patio.  Leslie was here every day; Hannah was here often.  People came and went, and we were able to just rest, process, grieve.

My dear friends brought an ice-chest full of beverages.  They brought wine, cheese and crackers, chips and salsa, ham and cheese buns.  Our daughter Leslie's co-workers brought "morning bags" for all of our guests who were staying elsewhere - these "morning bags" had coffee, bagels, muffins, toast, jam, crackers, cheese, fruit, etc....  What a great idea!  Niece Emily's co-workers did a similar thing, but more snacky stuff - crackers, cheese, granola bars, fruit, drinks.  So, so thoughtful.

It  meant so much to me that many relatives traveled a long ways to be here for the memorial service.  All of our brothers and sisters were here, except for Les' brother Mike who is having some health issues.  Two Iowa nephews flew out here.  Oh how Uncle Les loved these boys!  Two nephews from Montana drove out here - with small children!!!  My nieces from eastern Washington and Seattle drove here.  Cousins from eastern Washington drove here.

The biggest surprise of all was three of my high school friends who traveled here for the service.  I was SHOCKED to see them.  What an unexpected, special surprise!!!  I promise you girls, we will get together soon!!!
Tami & I having some fun - she came to the service!
Terri and Julie from this pic came to the service!