Thursday, September 13, 2018

Catching Up to Y'all

I've gotten so bad at posting things here. I considered letting it go but once in a while, something belongs here and not on the other two blogs.

For the last several weeks, I've been doing pretty good. I started taking Benedryl at night when I go to bed for allergy problems that affect my using the BiPap machine. I found it helped my sleep, too. I also started taking Spirulina and Chlorella. You can look it up but it has some health benefits that I felt I needed. It helps remove heavy metals from the body and other toxins and also helps stabilize gut bacteria.

Here's a strange thing. I'm better. I mean, overall, I have very little pain. Low back pain at night but I have something for that. Shoulder pain and pain in my hand from the nerve damage are still an issue but there is virtually no joint pain. My hands get stiff and sometimes I find it hard to open my hand in the mornings but that's pretty much it. I don't know if it is the weather or one of the things I've been taking. Whatever, I'm thankful. And making good use of it. I suspect a change in weather will confirm or negate my belief.

The laundry is done and put away. The house has been swept and I even mopped one day. Drove my back crazy but it got done. I've cut the grass twice in the last month and worked in the yard a bit. I've moved a few things around, not all at once. This week I'm working on getting some picture frames painted and photos hung. I am planning, if the feel-good lasts, to patch some places in the walls and sand them off. Eventually, I'll get the money to buy more paint.

Alas, I've not done a lot of writing. I did some and there is a word count calendar here: Novels & Progress where you can check out the word counts of each one and see the days I wrote and how much. This is really more for me to keep a check without having to open a bunch of files and since it is easy to access, I thought why not share it.

So, there you have it. This is September and the last time I posted here was in July, when my brother died. I had a rough time for several weeks but now, as long as I don't think about it, I can manage. I miss him so much. In the last few years, he hardly ever called and so I didn't hear from him or know how he was or even where he was. Death has a way of shifting priorities. I have a huge family back home and this reminded me how very much I miss them all and wish I was more a part of their lives.

I'm headed off to get Sarah soon, so I'll end this here. I probably should post more often. I have these so someday, when I'm gone, Sarah can come back and at least feel that I'm not very far away and that she has a glimpse of who her Mawmaw was. Maybe she won't care but the option will be hers.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Traveling Woes

We're sitting in the library in Mena, Arkansas so we can use our computers. This is a nice little library even if small. I've been here several times on previous visits. The only drawback I've found is that the employees are quite chatty and haven't stopped talking for nearly an hour. The tables we use are near the front door and front desk and so it isn't as if we can avoid it. I don't have a major problem with it but it is distracting when trying to read or write. It is a library, after all, and they shushed me and Sarah on one of those previous visits, so it must matter.

Our trip down was fairly uneventful if you don't count losing my debit card. Never fear, we immediately blocked it but it is annoying. Thank goodness I have my credit card.

We left at 6 a.m. and arrived by 5:30 p.m.  A long day but traffic wasn't bad at all. Sunday might just be the best day to travel. We'll see because tomorrow is Wednesday and we're headed back to Evansville, Indiana. I hope we can leave by 6 a.m. again.

I have a lot to do when I get back but I suspect I'll have to recover from the trip. Seems the longer the drive the harder it is for me to bounce back. I didn't drive at all but I was exhausted and am still tired.

This is old news and it gets annoying. I'm tired of being tired and hurting all the time is a pain. I'm going to stop here and find something to do besides cruise the web. I should probably check my library books I borrowed before I've read several in the last week on my Kindle and need to return them.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

First Memories

Billy Lavon Patch
Born: Oct. 8, 1959
Died:  July 10, 2018
My brother died this past week. They said it was a pulmonary embolism. That's a blood clot in the lungs. He was only 58 and so full of life. That smile you see? That was always there.  You would rarely see him frowning and if he saw you, he'd throw up his hand and give you a smile and say "Hey, how ya doing!" And now he's gone. The world has lost another bright light.

No, he wasn't famous or wealthy. He was just real.

Let me take a minute and tell you about the little brother I grew up with and what his life was like back then.

Billy was a cute, curly-haired kid and my younger brother. I'm the oldest of 7 and he was #2. We were raised by our grandparents, Mama and Daddy, a long story to be shared another time. As children, we were close but drifted apart as teenagers for a bit. When I married, he felt betrayed because our Mama had died and I left home. We became closer after that but Daddy remarried and the new wife didn't want a teenager in her life and Daddy sent him away to live with our mother. Another betrayal but he coped and grew close to our other siblings who lived with her. Eventually, Daddy was sent away too when the new wife got all she could from him. He brought Billy home and said he'd made a huge mistake and would never do that again. I think they both suffered during that period.

My first clear memory of Billy was not when he was a baby. It was when they sent for Mama to come and get him. You see, he originally lived with our mother and when she remarried a GI, she took him with her. Doctors said I should not be removed from my grandparents. You see, I became sick because of the pending separation. So, I stayed and he left.

He was 2 when they told Mama he needed to come home. He was having bowel issues. He's stopped pottying because he was whipped every time he didn't use the potty. I can tell this now because everyone is dead. Even Billy. He knew the truth anyway. We were told my stepfather whipped him but after I grew up, I believe it was our mother that caused the problem. But I digress.

I remember Mama and I boarded a train in Mobile, Alabama headed to Columbus, Georgia to pick Billy up. It was my first train trip and it was exciting. I remember sitting in seats that faced one another and I liked sitting across from an adult in my own seat. Mama faced front and I sat opposite, facing her. I was only 5. I remember the train stopping on a trestle and I looked out the window. Far below was a rocky creek flowing under us. It was so exciting and as clear in my memory as a snapshot.

When we arrived in Columbus, I still remember the apartment house. It was a two-story shaped like an L and inside, we climbed these huge dark wood stairs. On the second floor was my mother's apartment. The next few moments are like a movie in my mind. The door opened and I went in first. Billy was lying on a bed in the room, bedclothes all mussed and piled up. I can't remember that room. All I see is this tiny curly-haired boy pushing up on the bed and sitting, and a beautiful smile stretching across his face when he saw us. Today, that memory is bittersweet. He was such a lovely little boy. The redish brown curls made him look like a cherub. I remember his arms going around my neck. And the memory ends.

We brought him home.