Southern Trip update #1
January 2, 2012
Happy New Year to all – I pray it was a safe one and everyone has a prosperous new year.
It looks like we have made it out of PA before the snow hit.
We took a side trip from PA to IL to visit with my mother, sister and family. Mom is the same-- stubborn and not wanting to do anything for herself. However, after the second day, I got tired of her laying in bed and told her that she would be wheeling herself down to the cafeteria. We would be with her, but she would be ‘wheeling’ herself down without any assistance and she had a half hour to get there. The aide looked at me like I was probably the cruelest person on earth, as did her roommate. Mom’s rehab has stopped so she gets no exercise. If this is her only exercise then so be it, but she was not going to lay in bed. She didn’t fight with me about it, just complained that she couldn’t do it…she was too tired. Explaining to her that the reason was no activity and she chose to be this way, she needed a little more exercise. It took her about 15 minutes and she was able to do it. She stopped a few times to rest, but she got there! What an accomplishment for her. So, my sister, Helen will time her visits near meal time and force mom to do the same thing, without the assistance of any aides. According to IL state law, if the patient does not want to do something, they don’t have to and this includes any type of rehab or exercise. So we are taking drastic measures now – we will make sure she gets some type of exercise even if it is only for 15 minutes a day.
We have a tradition when we visit my sister, that the parents-in-law, my sister and her family and Ken and I go out to Monical’s Pizza before we leave. This is still a ‘tradition’ and we have kept and had a great time.
|Ron & Nancy Smith|
|Blake, Helen & Julie|
Campgrounds were sporadic, limited winter facilities (which means only electric) and far and few between, so we had to make sure when we drove it was to where a campground was open. The further south we got, the better it was.
We wanted to go out for supper one night when we camped and saw a sign - here it is - but, it was closed.
|Big Bubba Bucks Belly Bustin BBQ Ribs|
We spent a marvelous warm week in Bradenton – relaxing, but busy with camp activities, Ken washing and waxing the RV. I had to make an unscheduled trip to a chiropractor here in Bradenton – my fingers were going numb and so was my right leg – a definite indication of a pinched nerve. It was my sister-in-laws chiropractor and although he was older than I, he was good. However, I have been sore from the deep massage he gave me, but my numbness is gone – hopefully until we get home.
My brother, George, mentioned that he had set up a tour for Ken & me to see George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, the Yankee's spring training camp. Needless to say, I was ecstatic! We got to see places where a person off the street could not get to. I have been a die-hard fan, through good times and bad times, and this was a life-long dream of mine. Stepping out onto the pitcher’s mound and catcher’s mound made me feel like I was a part of the Yankees. And to be able to walk down the “hall” where all the old timers have been was another thrill. If only the walls could talk. Our “tour guide” also gave me some mementos that I will cherish! I can cross this off my “bucket list”.
|Julie & Ken on the pitcher's mound at|
NY Yankees' spring training camp in
We went to church on the Sunday we were in Bradenton and what a surprise we had – the guest speaker was Rev. Lou Pomrenke! We couldn’t believe it – he says he has very fond memories of Asbury and said to tell all hello.
|Lou Pomrekne & Julie|
Previous pastor of Asbury UMC
Our last day in Bradenton, we had dinner with a childhood neighbor and classmate of Ken’s. We met Robin, after her day of golfing, and went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant in Lakewood Ranch. We laughed and reminisced and got to see a new home she is bidding on.
We spent a couple of days in Naples with Dixie & Rea to celebrate Dixie’s birthday. Another tradition we continue. Dixie is such a great cook – she spoiled us with her cooking. We played ‘hearts’ and relaxed in nice warm weather. Our first night, we went to their “family night” evening at church. Their dinner was catered by Cracker Barrel. Friday, the 13th was Dixie’s birthday – a big one that she wasn’t handling well – we took her and Rea to a restaurant and had pizza. That night we went to a very exciting hockey game. The Methodist Church they belong to had a mini bus and took 15 of us to the game. This is the way to go – no driving, no parking, leave the driving to someone else. Although it was a minor league of Minnesota, it was quite exciting! And they won! A fun time was had by all. We had to say goodbye to Dixie and Rea until they come home in May.
|Dixie & Rea Atwell|
We are currently in Cocoa Beach, FL at a condo we are sharing with our friends, Gregg & Betsy (from PA). We are renting it from a very near and dear friend of mine from my days at King's College. Thank you Janet! More on this part of our trip on the next update.
Stay warm - we are - it got up to 80 today!
Julie & Ken