Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Time makes change
Randy and I got away for the weekend, on a much-needed getaway. The kids went with Sissy and Derek to Kah-Nee-Tah and had a ton of fun. We got a late start and ended up not far from home the first night, mainly b/c our goal (and what we love to do) was to do some junking at all the little communities we went to along the way. Since it was evening, we didn't want to start out to far away. We love the Yamhill, Carlton, Gaston, type places. So, we ended up staying in Forest Grove, of all places, the first night.
And what a fiasco that night was! Since we really weren't far from home, and it was late and we weren't really going to spend much time there, I told him I didn't want to spend much on a motel. (I really wanted to save it all for junk lol) BUT, he first went to this motel (I happened to be looking down, fiddling on my phone, not paying any attention to where we were.) My first clue was when I looked up and saw a lady pull back the curtains to see who was there. I don't know why, but I had a weird feeling that instant that I was NOT going to like this. I was dying to go to the bathroom, so when Randy came with a key, I hurried in, ran to the bathroom, came out and....was instantly feeling like crying. It smelled bad. I didn't see him do it, but he pulled down the blanket to see the sheets (and later told me they were yellowed) I know, we all like junk, we don't care that there is rust on stuff, or that it's grubby when you buy it. So it should matter, but this place was awful. I kept thinking, ("what's HE thinking????") I forgot my nightgown, so we ran down to Fred Meyers, and on the way back, I was crying all the way. I decided in my head, that if we had to stay there, then I would definitely be sleeping in the truck. We pulled up, he says, "What do you want me to do, ask for the money back??" Uh....YES! So, he sheepishly when in, blamed it all on me. Said I told them it smelled like pee, the sheets were stained, the tv was clear around a corner and you couldn't have seen it from the bed except on one side if you were at the edge and craned your neck far enough. Of course, I didn't realize he blamed it on me at the time. He came out, said they gave him back all but $10. Then I was mad. I just thought, "It's the principal of the thing!" If it's a crummy place, they didn't need to even make ten dollars on us, right? I'm very passive most of the time. I hate returning things, taking care of details like this. But every once in awhile I become assertive, and I was going to go in and tell them I wanted the $10. back, and I wanted their card so I could turn them into the better business bureau. He wouldn't let me. We started to drive off, and the girl came out, glaring at me for killing her sale. He laughed and said they probably thought we just ran in there for a quickie! I told him I would have had to have drank a half case of beer to sleep in there!
We ended up going to another, nicer place. When we passed that first place the next morning, we noticed that there were only one or two cars there (they probably had passed the half case mark and wait till they woke up LOL)
After that, we had a great time, except for the cold and rain on occasion. We found a lot of fun stuff. Saw some beautiful Oregon country, down toward Corvalis, on the right side of the map, then came up the left side of the map to all the little towns. We came to Canby, and someone told us to eat at "Top of Hill" restaurant. Funny name, but the food was good. I made Randy order an apple dumpling there, and Oh, my gosh, if I'm back there any time soon, I'm forgetting the dinner, and going right to the apple dumpling!" I can't even describe how great that was, with the cinnamon sauce, the ice cream AND whipped cream! If you're ever there, try it!
Somehow, as, it was getting dark, we ended up down a road that ended with a ferry ride! That was fun, and we had a good time visiting with the ferry driver before going across. People are nice! I love nice people!
By the time evening got there, our truck was full of enough junk fixes for me for the weekend, and I told him, lets just go home. We were so close to home anyway, and I started thinking of all the things I could do when I was home. (Yesterday I was thinking of how I'm not real good at leaving home. I decided I do better if I'm farther away, so I promptly sat down and rented three nights in a cabin in the Wallowa's in June! The kids will love it, too.)
It turns out, it's good we came home, because, just Friday, as I was taking my shift to take care of my Mother-in-law, I found her very pale, gasping for air (lung disease) and I though she was having a heart attack. We had called the ambulance, and she was still in the hospital on Sunday. We finally had a family meeting, all the kids but one got together and discussed the situation and faced the fact that she is just not going to be making it much longer. It's weird, I've been staying overnight 2 nights a week for 2 months, spending most of 4 days with her, and seeing her every day, you get used to it and it's such a shock as it is to people who don't see her as often. It's a lot, but my SIL takes care of her the other five nights, so I'm just trying to relieve her as much as I can, and still maintain life her at my own home. It's made me think a lot about how short life is, how we need to enjoy each day. How we want to be able to be worth something to someone, to be able to add to other people's lives, have something to offer. It's killing me when it sunshines and I'm sitting inside of someone else's house, not able to do "My Stuff". Shows how selfish I am! It's just a season, and you know, I'm really glad I did it. I never thought I could brush someone elses false teeth! I never, ever would volunteer for that job, I can't even stand chewing gum! But now, Hospice is taking her case, and it is a relief, but it is still hard. After all the months of going down to check on her, we will soon be saying goodbye. It will still be hard; I've grown closer to her than I had been before. I've watched her have to be humiliated to have me doing things for her, have to be weak. I never thought a person could be 70 pounds and be 5'10", and still alive. She has been tough. I haven't really seen her break down, like I know I would. I'm glad I've been there, now.
Here's a picture of the view I do get to see when I'm taking care of her. It's beautiful, right on the Columbia River. When a ship goes by, it feels like it's in your lap! If you have to be a caregiver, I think this is a really restful setting to look out at. I've even seen seals flopping out there, much to the dislike of fishermen.
Life is what you make it, I guess, and each day is a gift. I appreciate my kids, who are literally taking over for me many days. My 14 yo daughter is getting to be quite a cook. It's a season and it will soon be over.