Monday, May 9, 2011

Home Again

I got home last night after an incredible eleven nights away.  First we were at Merlefest, then I stayed in Boone for six days while my father was in the hospital.  Charlie came and got me Friday night and we went to our cabin in Ashe County.  Back to Boone to visit Dad and my brothers Saturday night, and then we left the mountains on Sunday.  Off to Cary for a delightful Mothers' Day dinner with Dave and Emily.  It is good to be home.

I don't know where to start, except the most important thing is that my father is getting better.  Thanks for all your prayers and good wishes.

When we left Wednesday for the mountains, there had been some thunderstorms.  They ended about sunset, providing some spectacular cloud shots from the highway.

This one looks like the aliens have landed.

Later that night, we watched again on TV as the line of severe storms and tornadoes advanced through Alabama and Tennessee.  The very edge of the storm system passed through Ashe County.  We had lots of wind, rain, and lightning.  These tall clouds were not part of it.

The next morning we found that the earthen dam on our pond had sustained some more erosion, but since Gary had built it back up last weekend, it was not in danger of breaching.

There was a lot of water cascading over the dam on Peak Creek.

The dogwoods are still blooming up there.  Everything is green and pretty.

Dogwoods are the North Carolina state flower.

On Thursday we got ready for our company to arrive.  Thursday night the six of us went to Merlefest in North Wilkesboro.  It was about a 45-minute commute.  The first night we saw Randy Travis and Zac Brown, among others.  There were huge crowds.

Merlefest is held on the beautiful grounds of Wilkes Community College in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The hillsides are landscaped with azaleas, rhododendrons, and other spring-flowering trees and shrubs.

There are lots of merchants selling crafts like pottery and tie-dyed clothing.

The sand sculptor was back again.

I loved the sun shining through this Japanese maple.

We also enjoyed concerts with Doc Watson, the Kruger brothers, Sam Bush, and the Snyder Family.  On Saturday night, Lyle Lovett was the main star.  His music was getting a little draggy, so we walked over to the dance tent where Donna the Buffalo was rocking the place.  While we were there, Zac Brown made a cameo appearance and performed a few songs.  That was a real crowd pleaser!

We skipped Merlefest on Sunday so Charlie could drive me to Boone, where my father had been in the hospital since Friday night.  I spent the most of the rest of the week in the hospital.  Those of you who are caregivers for chronically ill family members, I salute you.  It is very difficult to see your loved ones suffering.   One night when I was there, they had a big storm.  I was able to see some sunsets and mountains out the window in Dad's room.

My nephew Jeremy and his wife Rhiannon came to visit. I got to meet my newest great-nephew, Jake.  Here he is with his mama in Dad's room.

By Thursday evening, Dad had finished his course of IV antibiotics, and he was discharged.  It was a very difficult day when we had to admit him to a nursing home for rehab.  I always swore I would never do that.  But he needs the physical therapy and continued supervision of his medicine.  He is in Glenbridge in Boone.  On Friday, my brother Tim and his daughter Jess came up to Boone, as well as my brother Jeff and his wife Anna from Florida.  Charlie and Kasey came up to Boone to get me, and we spent the weekend at our cabin.  That was some great R&R.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.-Psalm 121:1

My sister Katy had been with me in Boone since Wednesday.  She and her husband came back up on Saturday to spend the next week on vacation.  Sunday was Mother's Day and her birthday.  Here is Katy and her dog Fred on top of the hill.

On Saturday night, Charlie and I went back to Glenbridge in Boone to see Dad and my family.  It was amazing to see my father dressed in regular clothes and sitting up on the couch in the living room.  God is good! Here he is with Jeff and Anna. If you had told me on Wednesday that Dad would be sitting up and looking this strong on Saturday, I would not have believed it.

They had learned all the "ropes" of the nursing home.  My brothers were able to help lift Dad on and off the bed and in and out of the wheelchair.  What a blessing that they were there.  Here are Jeff, my husband Charlie, and my brother Tim, waiting for the Kentucky Derby on television in one of the living rooms at Glenbridge.

I felt so much better after that visit!  We enjoyed a beautiful ride over the mountain on Sunday.

My nephew Jason and his wife Robin and baby Lacy were there to celebrate Katy's birthday.  It was so wonderful to hold a precious baby after the week of care-giving.

When we got back to the Raleigh area, we had a wonderful home-cooked meal with son Dave and daughter-in-law Emily.  I received a beautiful Mother's Day wreath that Emily made.  Perfect for spring!

My older son lives in South Carolina and had to work on the weekend.  I had a nice surprise when I got home and looked at Facebook.  Bryson had changed his profile picture to this one.  Who is that skinny young mother?

I think that catches me up to date.  I have a very tired doggie after her weekend of running through the mountains, but I bet she would take me up on a walk.  I need one!

Thank you again for your good wishes for my father's recovery.  I feel very blessed.


Vicki W said...

So glad to hear that your Dad is doing better and that you also got a little R&R for yourself!

Del said...

Great that your Dad is better. Good thing being any place other than a hospital.
Wish I could meet Kasey, a very special doggie it seems.
I'll continue sending good thoughts for a healthy family. Del