Saturday, May 15, 2021

 My son died yesterday.

Friday, May 7, 2021


 

 Last September my son (52) and I bought this manufactured home in a 55 and over park. I told you about that I think. Excuse me if I repeat myself. We thought it was going to be our forever home and we sat smiling and looking around thinking how we would make it "ours". Within two weeks things started going wrong. Well.....right away we found overwhelming evidence of rats and mice in the house. Call in the Orkin Man!!! Then the hot water heater died. Our home warranty was called and after $600 out of my pocket was shelled over we had a new hot water heater. 

I told you about my son being in ICU last February. He is now in a nursing home under hospice care. Alone I have had to empty 4 large storage units and bring everything home in order to save money and not lose this "mouse house". Every spare minute I have, and when visitors are allowed for hospice patients, I am at the nursing home with John. He is scared. According to the hospice doctor, John was not expected to live more than a few days when he was admitted. This is month three. He has an incredible will to live. He says he is not scared of dying, because Jesus lives in his heart and he knows where he is going, but he is a bit afraid of the journey, because he has to take it alone.

It's raining and cold outside today and I'm going to be busy trying to purge myself of most of what came home from storage. I may end up having an estate sale or something. Right now my rooms are wall to wall boxes, bins, totes, baskets, odds and ends of furniture, rolling tool boxes etc. Problems with the "mouse house" continue; non working light fixtures, garbage disposal backing up, antiquated appliances not performing. 

You know what? It will all work out. God's mercies are new every morning. God, just wrap your arms around John and his two children and give them peace and hope. Please meet them at their point of need, because you know what that is even if I don't. Praise you and thank you for your love. In Jesus name, Amen

Friday, February 12, 2021


 This is what I woke up to this morning. I have to admit that I had a serious talk with God about this. My son, John is in the ICU and it's really bad. I cannot drive up to the hospital in this snow that is covering a layer of ice and more freezing rain is falling on top of it. I am thankful that John is in good hands who are taking excellent care of him. He will be very disappointed that I can't get up there to see him.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

 



Good Thursday Morning!! Here in Milwaukie, Oregon it is chilly, but not cold and it is wet, but not soaking. As I sit and enjoy my square of dark chocolate and my morning coffee, I am thankful that I can view the sunrise from my comfy chair. Some mornings it is stunning and colorful, but this morning it is overcast and gray. Still it is a new day and God's mercies are new every morning.

Also here in Oregon, senior citizens, fearing infection or worse, have been anxiously awaiting their turn to get the Covid vaccine. As their time approached, the governor announced that she has bumped them down on the list so as to immunize inmates in the jails and prisons. Teachers also were on the list to get their vaccines, but will have to wait for inmates. Go figure. As for me, I choose not to get the vaccine. 

For anyone that read my last post, I would like to say that my son, John still has his foot. Praise the Lord! He is still not out of the woods, but things are looking up. He spent several weeks in a rehabilitation facility, where they gave him the first dose of the Covid vaccine. He will have to go back in a couple of weeks for the second dose. 

My pugs are softly snoring and snuggled together this morning, but a couple of days ago we had a short lived sliver of sunshine coming in the window and they took full advantage it.

Oh, how I love those little dogs. John has a little dog also. His dog won't leave his side. 

Normally I would be taking my short walk around the neighborhood this morning, but John has a doctor appointment for his foot and we are getting ready to head out.

I hope all of you have a blessed day.

Sandra


Saturday, January 2, 2021


 


New Normal

One day I went for a six mile walk with my son. A few months later he lost his ability to balance. A while after that he was in the hospital for the 14th time due to brittle type 1 diabetes. 

One day I had coffee with my good friend and we visited at the coffee shop for four hours. A year later and we have been isolated for many months, not able to hug or see each others smiling faces or join hands in prayer.

One day I went to the credit union where my daughter works and made a deposit and exchanged small talk and the next day I went to make a payment on my loan and she had to stay 6 feet from me. Automatically I was about to give her a small hug goodbye and she backed up saying she had to protect her members. Of course, I didn't think.

One day I had a couple of cheap masks to use when I sprayed Simple Green to clean the bathroom. Now I have masks in the car and in the kitchen and by the back door and the front door. When Home Health comes to take care of my son, I have to mask up. When I run to the property managers office to drop off my rent, I have to mask up and stay 6 feet from the door.

This is the new normal and I don't expect it to change any time soon. I attend my Sunday church services on You Tube or Facebook. I disinfect everything in the house regularly (door knobs, toilet flushers, banisters, faucet handles, counters, I wash my hands so much they are dry and cracked. I facetime my grandkids and they cry that they want to come and visit or spend the night.

I have a collection of masks. Washable masks, disposable masks, kids masks, homemade masks. I don't buy designer masks. I googled masks, (masks with sequins, masks with lace, masks with fringe, masks with pug faces on them). If you can think of it, it has already been designed. Cottage industries are popping up everywhere selling masks. This is the new normal.

Now I'm told there is a new strain for covid spreading that is more easily transmitted. Will there be another and another and another. The news tells me "We are all in this together". NOT!! I'm in this alone taking care of my son. I can't get my hair cut, I can't go for coffee with a friend, I've even been denied visitation rights when my son was in Intensive Care. He's in the hospital now assessing whether or not to amputate his foot. I'm on my way to see him and at this time I believe I will be allowed into his room.

I pray for health, safety, peace and prosperity for this new year. I will trust in Him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv-SXz_exKE

Saturday, November 7, 2020

 


October, 2020

God's mercies are new every morning. That is what I keep telling myself. Challenges follow everyone and they have followed us (my son and me) as well. After nearly 5 years living in a tiny apartment that we disliked immensely, we purchased a manufactured home in a 55 and over community. My son and I were so excited to move in and settle down in a friendly clean community in the center of the little "village" where we have always wanted to live.

So eager we were to move from the apartment that we made some major mistakes. Mistake number 1: When we went to view the prospective new home we were so conscious of the owners privacy and "covid" that we didn't really look. We didn't open closet doors or kitchen cupboards. We tried to stay in the home as short a time as possible, so we just glanced around. It "looked" great. It looked clean. It had the right amount of bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate us. We didn't measure, but they looked at least as big as we had at the apartment. There was an eyesore of a giant rock fireplace right in the tiny front yard, but we were assured it could be removed. There was a garden shed, but it had a lock on it and there was no available key. Still, it was so much nicer than where we were.

 We made an offer. It was countered and we accepted the counter offer. The financing took longer than anticipated, due to misinformation from the realtor to the financial people. The next step was an appraisal. Great, it appraised at $10,000 more than we agreed to pay. The realtor talked us into getting a home warranty instead of an inspection. That was mistake number 2. We contacted the home warranty company they suggested and bought the best plan offered and paid cash up front for it.  We turned over our down payment. Everything went fine at that point. We signed all the final papers, the owner was funded and the home was ours. 

At that point we were told the owner couldn't be completely out for two more weeks. That was irritating, but we needed the time to finish packing and cleaning. We were told the owner hired a professional home cleaner after she was out. NOT!! Finally, we got our keys. We finally were able to open all the doors and drawers and see what kind of cupboards and closets we were dealing with. So excited and happy were we to finally be in our own home again............WAIT..........mouse droppings in the kitchen drawers. Clean, bleach, set traps, bleach, put everything in freezer or air tight containers. 

Strange noises at night were waking me up. I started sleeping with a pile of shoes on my bed to throw at whatever was making the noise. More mouse droppings everywhere. I contacted the realtor and wanted to know why I wasn't informed there was a mouse problem. "We had no idea." says she, but this innocent realtor offered to pay for an exterminator to come and assess the problem. Hmmmmm. After paying $272 for an assessment we were told that we not only had a mouse problem, but a rat problem and a serious one that had to have been known to the previous owner due to the length of time they problem apparently existed. I signed up to have it taken care of and monitored every two months. Rats have been caught, but the scratching under my bedroom has continued.

Week two the hot water heater died and we no long had water for showers or dishes or laundry. We contacted the home warranty company and for $60 they would send someone out to assess the problem. That was OK; I agreed to the deductible when I bought the plan. After assessment I was informed the hot water heater was indeed dead and I needed a new one. The heater was covered and the labor was covered the the things that were not covered (drains, fittings, earthquake straps, removing the door and frame the heater was housed in) would cost me $677. Wait, what? I agreed to remove the door and door frame and that saved me over $300. After another week and a half and $299 later I had a new water heater and could finally shower without heating water on the stove. It took me 25 minutes to remove the door and door frame, another 30 minutes to reinstall it after the workmen left.

Yesterday I moved the two chairs that had been sitting in the living room since we moved in and what do you think I found? So many mouse and rat droppings that I immediately put on a mask to clean it up. Sweep, mop, bleach, shampoo the chairs, mop, bleach, move everything else in the living room, sweep, mop, bleach. Right now we are hoping that mouse droppings happened before the pest control company had plugged holes and set traps. None of the traps set inside the house have been tripped, so maybe the plugged holes did the trick.

One of the things I was  determined to do was be a good neighbor and enjoy my new neighborhood and my new neighbors.

We didn't have Internet, cable or a land line for three weeks, delays due to corona virus. When my Internet was finally restored I had an email from the neighborhood manager. (It's our home, but we rent the space it sits on and there is a neighborhood manager and there are neighborhood rules). The email said that someone complained that I have minors on the premises. Did I have children living with me? I did indeed have my two little grandsons spending two nights with me on two different occasions. They are the best two little boys ever. They never went outside to play, they were in my home at all times. They watch TV, play on their tablets, we sit at the table and have meals and visit and laugh. They did walk to the store with their uncle. Who in the world would complain about that?

My neighbor on one side has two medium sized dogs he lets out without leashes and lets them do their business in my yard. He claims he had an agreement with the previous owner and she said his dogs could use her yard to poop and he would clean it up. He hoped I would agree to the same arrangement. I did not answer. I have had to clean up after his dogs twice a day since then. My own little dogs are always on a leash and i walk with a pet waste bag on my hand at all times. I finally told him I going to eventually fence my area. He hoped I would put a gate. :-(

My neighbor on the other side told me that MY car sticks out too far and she can't get to her mailbox. She gets in her car, backs up to the mailbox, grabs her mail and pulls back into her driveway. On other days, when she leaves to shop or whatever she comes home and drives up the sidewalk on the wrong side of the road so she can pull up right next to her mailbox. Therefore she tells me it is against the rules for me to park on the street in front of my house. Bottom line is that she doesn't want me to park in my driveway and she says it violates park rules to park in the street in front of my house. So..........where am I supposed to park my car? She complained to the post office and they put a note in my box that I am blocking the mailbox. I spoke with the mail carrier and she apologized for having to put that note in my box and didn't know what to tell me. For now I am parking back in the street in front of my house. Now I'm being asked by the neighborhood manager to either get rid of one of my cars or downsize my outdoor deck by about 5 feet at my own expense, of course.

 November 7, 2020

Slowly we began to unpack and settle in. We tried to convince ourselves that our home was indeed a house (manufactured home) and not a trailer. We've modified that now. It's a glorified trailer, but when we have had time to make it a home it will again seem like a house. 

My son has been in the hospital twice in the two months since we moved in. Once he was found sitting on his mobility scooter on the sidewalk leading to his daughter's home, unresponsive. A good Samaritan called 911 and got him help. The other time he passed out and fell at home and I couldn't lift him. He is 53. 

Most of the people I have met in my new neighborhood have been very nice. Even though this is a senior community, I am absolutely allowed to have my grandchildren spend the night occasionally. I got a loan to buy a new washer and dryer, as the ones left in the house are on their last legs and totally inadequate for our needs. We won't get our new set until next year sometime due to Covid and back orders. We still haven't been able to put up a fence, so I walk the three little dogs, one at a time, on a leash three times a day. We stay in our own yard. We haven't decided what to do about our deck. We need the little pickup to bring things from storage until we can empty the units out. It will all work out in time. 

It sounds like I'm doing nothing but complaining, but I know in time we will be very comfortable and happy here. It's going to be a warm, cozy inviting cottage; just what I've always wanted.


 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Life as we know it will never be the same again. We will have to find a new way to relate to strangers and even a new way to love our loved ones. Masks are the word of the day. Politics is something people argue over. Sadness hangs over our country like a dark cloud.

I predict that things will change drastically after the November elections. Mark my word. Things will change.

As for me, I am moving along to a new chapter in my life. I am awaiting approval for financing on a manufactured home in a 55 and over community. I'm excited and even a mask can't keep me from smiling.