Monday, March 26, 2012

Catching up….again…

When I “named” this blog way back in March of 2009, I had no idea how apt the phrase “a sometimes blog…” was going to be!  Apparently time has been flying by for us because it’s been just a little over a year since I did a blog entry.  So – once again! – you won’t hear the details (maybe you prefer thatSmileSmile), but here’s a summary of the last 12 months:
On April 7, 2011, after finishing up our workamping commitment in Weslaco, Texas, we loaded John’s dad and all of his necessities into our motorhome and aimed it north.  The trip to Iowa was uneventful, except for a lovely visit from our niece, Kelly and her three kids the evening we were camped in Oklahoma.
We sure enjoyed watching the kids try to play hide and seek in the motorhome!!
We then spent almost six months in Iowa helping care for John’s dad.  John did lots of gardening, canning, freezing and baking; I took Zumba classes with friend, Cindy, and did some bike riding; we snuck away a few times to crash relatives’ family reunions; and enjoyed the many friends who came often to visit with Dad.
We did take a break in May and went to Alaska to visit my parents, see Eric, Kari & Jacob who had just moved up there, and also visit with Vance, Jody & Sebastian who were there visiting her family.
Here’s Jacob on a hike to Eklutna Lake,
Jody reading to Sebastian, Jacob (and Kari!),
and Sebastian playing outside.
Jacob at Eklutna Lake
Toward the end of September, we hopped in the car and drove up to Wisconsin to help Winter Texan friends, Bill & Sandy, celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  The next day, John dropped me off at the Minneapolis airport so I could fly up to Alaska for grandson Jonah’s birth.  Fortunately, he’s a cooperative little guy and managed to make his appearance on the 22nd – just before Grandma Newby had to go home!
On September 28th, we headed the rig toward Coffeyville, Kansas to work at during their Christmas rush.  To summarize: hard work, long hours, fun new friends and probably won’t do it again!  Steve & Mary visited one weekend from Springfield, MO and we drove over to Jon (Lora’s brother) & Deb’s lovely log home near Haviland, KS one weekend.
We were released from work at 8:15 a.m. on December 22nd and were on the road for Texas by 10:00 a.m.  By noon the next day, we were surprising John’s dad with our early arrival!  Sister Jane & brother Sam had driven John’s dad to Texas in late November and Dad was now settled into the “new” mini-mobile home that we had all coerced him into buying a couple months before.  It sure made caring for him SO much easier than in his little Airstream trailer and its location between Jane & Tony’s and our place was an added plus.
Dad spent four days in the hospital the second week of January to resolve some potassium level problems and on February 14th, he died – very peacefully and at “home”.  He never wanted to go to the nursing home and one of the most important benefits of our decision to retire and be full-timers was that it easily allowed us to spend lots of time with him and assist in his caretaking.  We miss him a lot but are glad that he no longer has to struggle just to breathe.
On February 15th, John & I started for Iowa with Dad’s car.  Both of our sons and their families arrived for the funeral and they were the best part of a sad time for us.  John finally got to meet 5-month old Jonah and we all enjoyed watching the two 3-year olds, Sebastian and Jacob, get reacquainted!
Little guy’s good, isn’t he?
John & I flew back to Texas on the 21st, quickly repacked and the next day drove up to New Braunfels for a long-planned vacation with friends Curt & Diane from Walla Walla, Washington and Steve & Mary from Springfield, Missouri.  Diane, Mary & I all worked at the Alaska Court System in Anchorage for many years and have remained good friends. 
This time provided much needed therapy for John & me and we all had a wonderful time!
March was fairly quiet.  We spent some time with friends & family, worked on getting things taken care of at dad’s trailer, finally sold his Airstream and finished up our medical appointments.  Jane, Tony & Tony’s parents left for Iowa on the 24th.
Enough summary.  We’re now back to exactly a year from my last entry!

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