A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Little Trip to Iowa

I'm back from our little trip to Iowa. As we left Illinois and crossed the bridge over the Mississippi, the color show was spectacular. The land near the river is so hilly making the colors even more beautiful. Little farms and cattle on hills, red barns against the fall color, little lakes and ponds with all kinds of water birds. We talked about all kinds of things on our way. I feel like we really caught up. When we entered her town, LuAnn was so surprised...she had pictured it all wrong. It's such a pretty river town with quaint shops and a beautiful waterfront. She expected it to be not qute as nice as it is. We got to my cousin's little cottage just before noon...we had stopped to pick up some subs for lunch and LuAnn had a bag full of snacks....something to pique her appetite. We greeted her with hugs and kisses and showed her everything that we had brought with us. I brought her a wig, because she is losing her hair and it bothered her so. She tried the wig on and loved it. LuAnn and I admired it and I kept fussing with it until it looked right. She checked in the mirror and she gave her approval. I think she really likes it :) I unpacked the turkey that I had fixed her and gave her the jolly rancher candies. She got a laugh out of that. She called me "Aunt Edy" after my Mom. She knew that my Mom would have done the same. We put things away and then sat down for a long visit. We talked about everything...family news, old family remembrances, stories about raising our kids, jokes about our family members and the funny things they did.I think that LuAnn heard stories that she had never heard before.  I talked till my jaws hurt. There was a knock at the door. It was the grocery lady delivering the groceries. She visited for a while and then left. We put the groceries away for her. Then we went on with our conversation.
Nancy and her new "do." LuAnn told her to pose a bit for the camera.

The cousins picture...we have matching hair. 

 There was another knock at the door. A good friend, Judy, came in...she and her husband have a trailer that they stay in, when they come to fish. Longtime friends of my cousin and her late husband. We talked about the old days and new things that were going on in town. Judy left and we told her we might come by her trailer later on in the day. She would be back to bring some pies that a lady in town had made for Judy's husband. Nancy was to put them in her fridge. More visiting continued. The newspaper came...it was mailed to her...no paper carrier. Then the pies, right out of the oven came in the door. I checked them out and they looked and smelled delicious...raisin pie.  We decided to get ready to leave for Chicken Charlie's, where we would eat dinner. We went by the trailer park first, because I wanted to do this....when I talk to her on the phone, I will be able to visualize where she is now ...after seeing it. She goes there to be with old hometown friends and sit around the campfire at night, play cards, and just visit. When we got to Chicken Charlie's, we were both surprised. This restaurant is right on the river and the table that we sat at was in the window. We could see the barges going by on the river. We all had the fish fry. Salad bar, fried Pike, and potatoes. It was more than we could eat. I noticed that Nancy's appetite has diminished. She only ate a little, but I think she enjoyed getting out and just being with us.We drove around the town a little and then headed back to her house. We were sitting and visiting again when someone came in the door. It was Judy and her husband. We spent the evening visiting with those two. More memories and laughter. He tried on her "cancer hat" that she got from the hospital. We roared at the sight of him in this hat. It was late and we had to leave for the hotel. Nancy said that we could have stayed with her, but since she is sick...we thought that we shouldn't put her out at all  After all the conversation and laughs...she needed some down time.and so did we. We stayed at the Hilton Gardens, which was a wonderful hotel. The beds were comfy and gave us a good night's sleep. We slept till 7, which is unusual for both of us.

Here's Bob in the "cancer hat."

Then, back to Nancy's to pick her up for breakfast. We ate at a little restaurant called Grandpa's and you should have seen my daughter's breakfast. It was a 1/2 order of biscuits and gravy. A huge amount...more laughs about that....my little daughter with that mountain of food. We wondered what a full order would have been. :LuAnn hadn't seen her cousins for years, and we heard that the oldest boy, Mike, was in town. We we went on a trip around town to see if we could  find him and then went home without finding him. Just as we sat to visit again, a truck pulled up and Mike came in the door. He hugged us and sat down to talk about the old days. Here we were, two moms and two kids talking about what we all remembered about the past. The "kids" are in their 50's now...we felt  so old. LuAnn loved seeing her cousin Mike and they made plans to get together to fish next summer.It was time to leave and we said our good byes. I gave her a hug and said that I would call her after the weekend.I had a huge lump in my throat, but didn't cry. I know what she's going to have to go through and if she can be strong...so can I.I found out how loving my daughter is with people who are elderly and sick. She was there to help with doors, getting in and out of the car and just the way she sat and listened to the stories. 

Here's LuAnn and her cousin Mike

I felt a whole lot better about her situation, since spending some time with her this weekend. She lives in a small community that is so warm and she has so many people stopping by to take care of her. He kids are wonderful. The four of them got the calendar out and worked out a plan, whereby she won't have to worry about trips every two weeks for chemo and some dr. appts in between They will all take turns taking her. Two of the boys live 2 1/2 hrs away, one boy lives near her and her daughter lives in Green Bay. Her little town is perfect for her in every way.
On the way home we pretty much sat reflecting on what had happened. We were out of family conversation. We stopped for apples and pears at a farm stand and turned on some music. The day wasn't sunny like on Friday...we just looked at the scenery and occasionally thought of something funny to share about our visit. When we got to Byron, LuAnn came in for a tuna melt and tomato soup....then she had to be on her way back to Wisconsin. I'm so grateful to her for going out of her way to pick me up for a weekend that I will never forget.


~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

I'm misty eyed reading about your awesome visit. So much love shared. Glad everyone made it by and you could all enjoy each others' company.

marlu said...

What a great trip for you and I'm sure Nancy appreciated it and loved having you guys there.

Balisha said...

We had such a good time. We could have spent the time talking about her condition, but we wanted to cheer her up a bit. There was some talk about her bout with cancer...that was understandable. She just led the conversation and we folllowed. I'm sure she misses us today, but this next week is busy... her chemo week, so Mike will be there again on Thurs. to take his Mom to the hospital.He's a great kid.

judemiller1 said...

What a wonderful time--you two look a lot alike! Such times as these--sad and glad and all sorts of emotions. Glad you could go.

Barbara said...

Sounds like you had a really good and productive visit even if tinged with sadness.

I do like the photo of you.