Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Be Here at 5AM

"Dear, I wonder if you would be willing to drive me for my cataract surgery August 31?" my mother asked when she called about three weeks ago.
"Of course, Mom."

Details on the exact timing were to be forthcoming as the date approached, but she would also need me to take her for her follow-up appointment the following day.  Since my mother lives about 3 1/2 hours north of me, I made arrangements to take the two days off work and prepared myself to spend two nights in a nearby hotel.  My mother's house would not be a reasonable choice for overnight stays for me, since she has, at present, three indoor cats (down from five of many years) and, though I have had amazing relief after taking allergy shots for 3 years, my mother's house tests my allergen tolerance (and my tolerance fails.) So, the plan was that I would travel up on Monday, check into my hotel, drive to her house Tuesday morning and carry on from there.

Meanwhile, back on the farm, "BUSY" was the name of the game and it only got BUSIER as we approached the surgery date.  While we had toyed with the idea of Joe traveling with me to participate in the whole surgery experience, the various irons in the fire at the farmhouse mandated otherwise.

Monday afternoon, two hours before I was prepared to head out, my mother called to tell me they had FINALLY told her when they wanted her to show up for the surgery...she was to be at the hospital at 6:30AM.  Hmmmm... "So, what time should I get to your place?" I asked.

"Be here at 5AM," Mom requested.

Well, so, a quick mental calculation and I was changing my plans.  Traveling 3 1/2 hours, or MORE since I would be hitting rush hour, to check into a hotel for MAYBE three hours of sleep seemed to make little sense.  Better I should simply do my traveling in the wee hours of the morning, arriving at her place on schedule and getting a little shut-eye before I left.  I'd save one night's hotel cost and have more time at home (my favorite place!)

As you MIGHT expect, though I tried to get a little sleep between 9:30 and midnight, I simply could not.  My mind was too busy and I finally chose to get up and write my "Watermelons" post and then head out on my journey.

The drive was uneventful...almost no traffic... and I pulled up in front of Mom's place with 20 minutes to spare.  Out of courtesy, I waited until 5 AM to ring the doorbell....I amused myself in the interim by taking some (very poor) photos of DC suburbia congestion....

Before Dawn on Mom's Street

The tiny little roads, along which are a zillion cute little houses, are lined on both sides with "on street" parked cars, rendering two-way traffic essentially impossible.

The day went very well with lots of laughing, joking, picture taking and Mom insinuating to all of the hospital staff that I, yes, yours truly, was her "problem child."  Of course, I assured them my mother is confused and I was actually her "golden child," to which my mother snorted!  Seriously!  She snorted!  Well, I suppose the truth is that she and I did NOT see eye to eye in my growing up years, but we all managed to survive and here we are now, all completely forgotten .... (uh,huh!)

Preparation for the surgery

The surgery was pretty quick and she did very well.  My step father and I were allowed to come in and visit with Mom in post-op as they monitored her blood pressure which was low.  While we were there, the Chaplain came by to spend a moment or two chatting with Mom.  And the moment or two turned into twenty minutes when they discovered they are connected through family in Sumter, SC!  Turns out both of their families hail from plantations down there, and one of his kin folk remained unmarried his entire life, continuing to carry a torch for the only woman he ever wanted to Grandmother Ruth....  such a curious tale and the two of them, Mom and the Chaplain, never knew each other before today.  They exchanged information and I have a sneaking suspicion, the Chaplain will be on Mom's Christmas card list, which already has nearly 600 names!

Chaplain and Mom discover their Sumpter, SC connection
 The hospital staff was kind enough to offer wheel chairs for both Mom and John when leaving the hospital.  We had already done an incredible amount of walking and John is 88 years old, with a replacement hip, and was really tiring.  Since he is the veteran, I thought it very nice they offered him this courtesy ride.

Fancy Red WheelChairs!
I then had the wonderful experience, the experience for which I forever gave up any interest in living in the beltway area, of driving in this horrible traffic to take Mom and John home.  On the way, we stopped and had lunch at their favorite diner and the staff, who are more like family after all these years, oohed and ahhed at the classy "lense taped to Mom's face!

Mom, one-Eying the Menu
And finally, I dropped them off at their house, got Mom's CPAP machine set up so she could take a much needed nap, did a little computer maintenance on her machine while John caught up on reading his newspapers, and then I headed to the hotel.  I checked in, checked email, and lay down on the bed.  At 4:30PM I closed my eyes for the first time since 6:15 AM Monday.... and I slept solidly for 3 1/2 hours!

Tomorrow is the follow-up visit and then I will bid them good-bye and head home.  I'll stop at my sister's for dinner and a visit and then return to the BUSY farmhouse....

In my absence (now remember, I have been gone now not YET a full day) Joe has supervised the progression of the deck construction, worked with the surveyors (we are having the property lines marked before we go gung-ho with our tractor work), has made a deal for a GIANT storage unit..AKA semi-trailer, already had it delivered and set up, made a deal to have the floor of the old farmhouse torn up (construction...or demolition...or, whatever, begins tomorrow).... and that's just the "BIG" stuff!

New Storage -- Semi Trailer

So, you see, I actually was up here in Maryland VACATIONING while Joe kept the farm creation going!


Feral Female said...

Well god bless your mom! Hope all goes well for her after surgery!

mixednut555 said...


Sharon said...

When they going to do the other eye? Gee... you wanna drive me for mine? No date set yet, other irons in the fire.

Well, bet that was fun....

Canyon Girl said...

I'm with you re. the city life. I live 100 miles from LA, my husband stays/works there and I haven't been there since April 2009! Yes, he comes up here, but still. I love all the things you are getting done at your farm. That must make you feel so great!--Inger

Chris said...

Geez, Judy, you make me tired just reading your posts!! Whenever you want come ride with me, I'll show you some times in this 75 foot long truck on those urban streets!! My hat off to you and Joe for all the fun(?) you have on the farm!! Someday I will pop in to see the results! (truly)

Judy's Corner said...

FF, LOL, yes all went well. Mom is fine and seeing better than ever, and I actually survived the trip!

Judy's Corner said...

Hey Kat,

Always nice to see your smiling face!

Judy's Corner said...


I don't think Mom's other eye is bad enough. She didn't indicate they would be doing the other one...guess I'll know when she calls me up and requests a chauffeur!

Judy's Corner said...

the city life is definitely NOT for me! Give me the country any day!

Judy's Corner said...

Cellllman... the gate is always locked... LOL I mean, the door is always open...come on over!