Monday, October 20, 2014

Chuck on night shift

Well Chuck officially started a three week stretch of night shift. What is interesting is that he prefers this shift. He doesn't like to get up at 4am to leave at 5 to get to work at 6. He would rather work at night. He has always been a night owl.

I wake naturally at around 7am.

I used to tell people the perfect shift for me was 10am to 2pm Tuesday through Thursday but making the same money I was working an 8 hour day. I am most efficient from about 9am to around 2pm. After that my brain doesn't want to focus.

After this stretch I will get to see him. He had to put brakes on the truck and is carpooling with his co-worker which is great on gas. It is so weird that up in the oil fields gas is more expensive that here in Tucson.

I had a wonderful night last night at my friend Kristen's house. Had a great meal and lots of catching up. Her kids are getting so big and it was a comfort to spend time with my dear friend.

I enjoy making my own schedule of appointments now that I have more time to myself. I'm not working and I am enjoying the fact that I don't have to do anything. When I worked full time I coveted my time off and didn't want to give it up. It frustrated Chuck because he wanted to go places like hiking or camping and all I could think was I have to clean the house and do laundry. In my mind if we went off the time would go really fast and before I knew it Monday was there.

I know selfish, right?

Now that pressure isn't there and I can relax and go when and where I want. I really like it. I worked pretty much most of my adult life and all I really wanted was to be a housewife. I am enjoying my house and my hobbies. I can take my time with those things with no worry that the hours are flying by.

I'm doing okay.

-N

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Birthday what??

Oh Jeez, when did my baby get to be 33!!!! I am 33 so this is not possible. He is four, I am sure of it. In my dreams he is four or maybe six, but 33?? Uh nope.

This will take some processing.

Aaron was that dream baby who was hungry, snuggly and affectionate. He was fun and thoughtful and he still is. When I look at him now, how tall and mature with warm dark eyes and an infectious laugh it makes me so happy. He is still snuggly.

Aaron was his dad's birthday gift in 1981, along with a basketball. There is symmetry to that since one of Aaron's first words was basketball. No kidding.

October birthdays: Chuck is the 13th, Aaron is the 15th, my grandfather Papaw was the 18th and my dad's was the 28th. Aaron also chose this month for his wedding so throw that one in on the 17th and it is colossal.

One of the most heart warming things about both of my children is how close they are to their dad. When they were asked about their hero they both said it was their dad.

How cool is that?

So many children don't even know who dad is, or if they do dad is not remotely like a hero. A child needs to know their father would die for them, that their welfare is utmost and they will be unconditionally loved and honored as gifts from God.

My kids know this.

I knew this.  My dad was the best. I know that no one is perfect and he wasn't perfect but I knew he loved me and my sisters and would have moved heaven and earth to take care of us, keep us safe and make us happy.

I wish this for all the children in the world.

-N

Friday, October 10, 2014

My kids

There are times like today when my thoughts have been about my two amazing children. They are wonderful humans who have carved out their own paths in life and are taking care of themselves. I am proud of them beyond measure and would never change anything about them.

Except their proximity to me.

Melissa is in Southern California and has been since the late 90's. She is independent, self sufficient and knows her own mind. She has been like this since she was small. This is a person who at 7 1/2 months old was walking! As a child she never wanted to be cuddled much or was one to stay still for long. No task was too much of a challenge for her, she pushed herself to accomplish. I admired her and used to tell people she raised herself.

Recently we have spent time together, just she and I, and my admiration just increases. She is smart and wise, caring and determined and a loyal friend to her circle of companions. Many of her former students stay in contact after they move on which shows the profound impact she has on them. Her creativity is boundless.

She is a treasure to her parents.

Aaron was another story. He was a mellow easy going little guy. He liked to snuggle and was always affectionate. He immersed himself in family life. He also had an amazing memory for lines in movies. He could watch a movie a couple of times and would wander around quoting half the lines of the show. He was also like that with song lyrics. I remember hearing him sing a song from the Disney movie Aladdin and I realized how well he sang. His voice was great. I remember my grandmother saying how well he held the tune when he was little. I should have known music was in his heart. I love singing with him but with him in Oklahoma that doesn't happen too often.

My immense loss.

Then came Chelsea. I believe the best thing I can say about her is she loves my son as much as I do. She is the best daughter-in-law that God ever made and she compliments Aaron perfectly. I hoped and prayed for the wife my son would choose. That she would build him up and support him, that she would help him in his faith walk and provide love and acceptance.

My prayers were answered.

I just wish they were closer to me so I could hug them and give them my time, love and attention more easily. Then again maybe that makes our time together more special.

-N

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Where is home?

I sit here watching television and thinking about making dinner. I am back in Catalina, in the place we've lived since 1991. It is the same yet there is a difference. The filled bookcases and the cabinet holding a collection of shot glasses (Chuck's) and a precious assortment of vinyl albums. I talk as though I was away for more than a few months yet the transition from Tioga back Catalina is a one step at a time thing. When I left for Tioga I disconnected my mind from Catalina. I separated myself from this place and divided my loyalty to the home I made in Arizona and gave some of it to Tioga.

When I got back my sister came over to get Cooper and to bring him back into her home and heart. He never left her heart but was relocated due to difficult circumstances for her, but now he is where he should be. He and Lisa are best friends who need to be together.  It was heart warming to see them together. Lisa's face was so joyful and I could tell they were stepping right back into their places in each other's lives.

After getting everything we brought back unloaded and put away, I had Chuck take out my "Harvest" decorations. I don't do Halloween, and Harvest themes last from Labor Day through Thanksgiving. It was fun to put everything out, and not too cluttered but with enough to display my theme colors. Each item made me smile as I unwrapped the tissue paper and decided where it was to be placed. It is strange to think fall is here and the high temperature forecast for today is 93. At least after today the 90's should be nearly over.  I really don't do hot very well. I like the feeling of cool air on my skin.

I have started looking for a church to attend. Distance is a real consideration for me and there are a variety of churches within a few miles of my house. The one I had been attending before I went to North Dakota has relocated several miles away, south of Ina road and with so many much closer I have decided to look at those for a place to be.

My sleeping had been terrible since I left Tioga. I have had approximately two good nights of sleep since I returned and am trying to find out what is holding back the therapeutic slumber I need. 

I will continue to find my way back home.

-N

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lots to do

The countdown is on and the packing has started. At least for me it has. Chuck is leaving most of his stuff in the company apartment in Dickinson. There are things I am leaving in the RV, especially duplicates of what I have at the Catalina house and the extreme cold weather items.

We are towing the Escape back and using it as a storage trailer. Most of the boxes and tubs will be put in it and it can hold quite a lot. The Explorer will carry only the items we will need during our journey to Catalina. It is also roomy enough with the seats folded to actually sleep comfortably in the back. Sort of car camping although it will be primarily to save on hotel charges. Also Cooper can hang out in back.

Speaking of Cooper he was groomed Friday and his schnauzer cut has begun.  We kept him pretty much shaved while he's been in Tioga, just no time or a nearby groomer to keep it up. All we did was bathe him. Oro Valley Marketplace Petco has a great grooming service so we will use them as the cut grows out.  He did great at the Minot groomer and they love him. It was wonderful to find them.

I learned that there is a hurricane in Baja which will hit Tucson during our trip down. I hope it is nearly over by the time we reach there. Our property is prone to what is called sheet flooding. It means that due to the clay soil and the flatness of the area water run across the property in sheets. I have seen these be as much as 3-5 inches deep. The one time I remember it being a great thing was when we first moved out and Chuck had seeded the yard with grass seed. About two or three days later a heavy rain happened and the sheet flooding washed the manure from the neighbors horses across our grass seed.

It grew in a matter of days.

I am waiting for Chuck to arrive, and I am ready for a big hug. I hope my insomnia will go away. It has been terribly hard to get only an hour or two of sleep, or wake every hour all night. I have taken to drinking chamomile tea every night and this has helped.

Nature knew what she was doing with that one.

I am the type who remembers my dreams and this is how I know how well I sleep. I thrive on my dreams and the trips I take with them, especially when I dream of my father. I pray for dreams of dad. They are comforting since they usually involve hugging and kissing him, hearing him laugh and explaining things to me.

Oh Sarge.

I sincerely feel dreams are my mind's way of telling me what I am struggling with and the revelation of my stresses. I mull them over throughout the day as they slowly fade from my conscious mind. I have recurring dreams that happen when a certain anxiety is upon me. These are my getting away and going nowhere dreams. However since the location changes of the last several months I haven't had those. 

I guess I am a bit of a wanderer.

-N

Monday, September 8, 2014

FICM and Polar Vortex

I ordered the part for the Truck yesterday. It is the FICM, a type of truck computer and that puppy is not cheap. I was told they would ship it today by next day mail, and that is good since I have to get it and drive it down to Dickinson so Chuck can install it.  Then the old one will be returned for a refund of the core charge.  This is all rather a nuisance but it is necessary.  If we can keep the truck going for a while longer that will be very helpful financially. Of our three vehicles we are only making car payments on one of them. 

Besides the fact that I will have to transport the part to Dickinson once it arrives is that it is expected to arrive while a very cold spell is to be here.  Not exactly a polar vortex type of storm, snow is not expected, but it will be below freezing over night Wednesday and Thursday. I would rather not be driving back with the iffy roads even though the Explorer is a great vehicle with 4wd.

It looks like folks in and around Phoenix should start watching for an ark. My sister living there has posted photos of flooding. The hard desert ground can only handle so much rain at a time and many roads are closed. Tucson has seen flooding like this in the past. 1983 and 1993 both had what were called "100 year" floods.  Both were also related to low pressure weather activity from the Pacific.

Time to do some laundry.

-N

Saturday, September 6, 2014

So far its tough

Last night was not a good one. Insomnia struck with a vengeance and I got up this morning feeling really rough. I know I slept some because I remember two dreams. These were spaced between awake times and I know that it took me at least two hours to finally doze off. The last time I looked at the clock it was 1am and I must have slept for an hour because when I awoke it was 3am, then at least another hour passed before I slept again and woke at 4:30 with a painful shoulder and a headache. Got up to take advil and lay back down. I woke the last time at 6am and laid there waiting for Cooper to shake his collar, a sign that he needs to go outside. At 7:30 I let him out and got back in bed. Then Chuck called with news that the truck is causing trouble.

Now we have to spend money.

He knows what is wrong. It is a part that needs to be ordered and programmed by the vendor before it can be replaced. We have a week until we need that vehicle to tow the RV to storage. Once it is running the truck works. But the problem causes a drain on the batteries when it is parked. He has to keep the engine block heater plugged in and a charger on the batteries so it will start. Currently the truck is at his work site because it wouldn't start yesterday morning. He is getting rides. I really hope we can get it repaired so we can eventually get a new one.

All of this while he is working the night shift. It may delay our departure.

Once the RV is stored it can stay there as long as necessary. I told him that it might be a good idea for him to keep the Escape for his use rather than taking it back to Tucson. If the truck is going to keep giving us trouble I don't want him to be stranded in the freezing winter of North Dakota. He has to have a reliable vehicle. It is a bad sign when a vehicle starts to require repairs. It can nickel and dime us to death. If we have an RV we have to have a good, strong truck.

We will keep to the plan and pray that all goes well. Chuck is a pretty resourceful man and I know he understands what is required to make the repairs.

We will see.

-N