Thoughts from the Treadmill: Transitions
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After a four-week hiatus, I’m back. Originally, I planned to take only a week off blogging while I made my annual trek to Florida for the winter. This is the fifth year for this relocation, you’d think I’d have some sort of process perfected to make it go smoother, but not this year. Our flight from Iowa was three hours late. We arrived at our place around one-thirty in the morning. As we suspected, the air conditioning was not working. The battery in the trickle-down charger on the car I’d left here over the summer months had died, so the car wouldn’t start either. Thanks to the heroic efforts of my spouse, we were cooling off by two-thirty. The car was recharged the next day.
In the next two weeks, a townwide power outage occurred one night. As a result, our landline stopped working. Fortunately, I still had my cell. Unfortunately, cell reception in our place is iffy at best. My router also went out. Again, thanks to my spouse, we were able to set up a patch so I could still access the Internet, just no wireless access. Since my printer is wireless-programmed, I could not longer printer either. Same for the doorbell. A week later, we had another power outage. That took the modem, so the patch no longer was functional until a service rep came out a few days later.
I’d been back less than two and a half weeks when I had to make an emergency return trip to Iowa. More about that in a bit. I returned a week later with the first head cold I’ve had in some time. Although I think the worst is over, it has been a real drag on my energy right when I’ve been teaching “What a Novel Idea!” for the Lifelong Learning program at Stetson University.
Then the ants showed up on my kitchen counters. Usually, they visit in December. And usually a few strategically-placed ant traps take them out in a couple days. This year’s battle has been a longer struggle with two sets of ant traps, a combination of Borax and sugar, a few swipes with Clorox, and most recently, spraying them directly with a Lysol cleaning spray. The numbers have decreased but not disappeared.
All of the above were nuisances, to say the least. Combined, they almost got me. They certainly cut into my productivity. But it was that hurried trip back north that has been the most difficult life challenge to deal with. My mother, Evelyn Theresa Wells, passed away early the morning of October 2. She was one month shy of reaching 91. She had heart problems, diabetes, and mobility problems. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/dementia. So we knew the day when she would leave this earth wasn’t far off, but nonetheless, when the actual news came to me in the middle of the night, it was like a slam to the stomach. My mother led a long, full life. She herself went through many transitions, divorcing my father, moving to a new town, losing the next two husbands to death, and finally, having to admit she needed assistance and moving north to live near my sister. With each new change in her life, she moved forward with optimism and dignity.
The last year and a half, she thought she was in a resort where the staff did everything in their power to make her comfortable. Not a bad way to view a nursing home. The staff there told my sister and me how she was always so cheerful. That gives me comfort.