Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Life in WI

I am in WI to visit my 89 year old mother and to attend my 45th high school reunion. I am posting the info below to let you know how things are going on this visit. The state is incredibly beautiful as rain has been abundant and things everywhere are lush, green, fruitful and healthy. These trees, fields, flowers and family are so nourishing to my soul. It is lovely!!!

Hi Folks,
Weather has been super here so far.
Today was cooler than usual as it reached 69 for a high.

Just to recap some highlights which I don't think I've written about previously.Sat. Aug. 30 - High School class reunion. It was modestly attended but several people were present whom I hadn't seen since graduation including one of my favorite teachers so it was good to connect with them. Several people didn't recognize me (nor I them) but others didn't think I'd changed much. I learned that LuAnn Veraguth has recently had a double masectomy and was too weak and ill to attend. Another gal who attended has been told she has 6 months to live because of lung cancer.

Sun. Aug. 31 - I picked Mom up at 8:30am for church and we attended the 9am service and then a Sunday school class. Many people were delighted to see her. She seemed to be engaged throughout the time there. She sang along with some of the songs and filled in the blanks when the SS teacher quoted some verses and waited for some words to be added. I returned after her nap and we took a ride out to Sunshine Dr. near Stoddard and then down Hwy 35 a ways. It was very beautiful along the Mississippi. We ate supper together at Culver's and she ate everything she ordered. She seemed to enjoy watching people there - families with children of all ages mostly. We got back to her room about 7pm and shortly afterward, Ruth and Mark Dregne arrived for a visit with her. He is my second cousin - son of Ruben and Beulah Matson Dregne. It was good to chat with them. They have 4 children and live in LaX. They stayed about an hour and Mom was very expressive to them of appreciation for their visit and asked them to be sure to come back sometime again.

Mon. Sept. 1 - I picked Mom up mid morning and we headed to a Goodwill store to look for new pj's for her. We found 4 perfect pair and got those and a few other items. Then to McD's for lunch before heading to Sparta to stop at Aunt Marie's. She was home and so happy to see us. We were there till 5pm and got caught up on all her family. Marilyn and her husband and Roger came over while I was there. Marlene is now spending nights with her 90 year old mother but she wasn't there before I left. We returned to LaX by driving up the valley near Leon where their first farm was in Link Coulee. Mom could point out the land and the area without any hesitation. We continued our drive from there up Fish Creek and wandered around the back roads until we got to Hwy 33 and back to LaX. She had been very engaged and sharp all day but twice on our way home, she told me I was heading the wrong way as I was heading toward LaX and not toward Viroqua. I asked her where she lived and she said, "I live in Viroqua, don't I?" She seemed disappointed in herself that she was getting confused but it's not too surprising to me. She hasn't been in and out too often at Hearten House so may not actually know that she's relocated to LaX. We stopped at Berndt's where Marge had a delicious Ribs supper ready for us.

Tues. Sept. 2 - I knew Mom would be exhausted because of her busy days on Sun. and Mon. She had mentioned some burning when urinating so a specimen was tested and we have learned that she does have a UTI and has started on an antibiotic - cypro. I visited Mom at HH but didn't take her out. I received a phone call from Audrey Justin. I had done a web search for her address and phone # and had sent her a note before coming here. She was my 8th grade teacher at Cross Ridge School where she was starting her 37 year teaching career - CR closed after that year but she went on to teach in MI and MN. All of us CR kids loved her. She said she was available to meet for lunch in Winona on Wed. or Fri. I told her I would talk to Marge and decide which day was best. Jonathan Berndt returned from VA and repacked to head to Stout as his classes started today.

Wed. Sept. 3 - Mom got her hair done this morning at HH. Marge is off today through the weekend. Since it was beautiful today and we didn't know what Fri. would hold, we decided to meet Mrs. Justin for lunch today. We decided that Mom probably needed to rest with her UTI so we went without her. We spent at least 2 hours catching up with Ms. Justin (having a hard time calling her Audrey). She was so pleased that we called and connected. She lives in St. Charles - half way to Rochester from Winona. Her husband, Jerry, of 49 1/2 years, died last Dec. of a malignant brain tumor. They have 4 children - many grandchildren and she's still missing her husband a lot but has many great memories. She can name almost all the kids that were at CR and remembers the # of kids in each grade. She has VERY fond memories of her year there. To return to LaX, we crossed the bridge, drove past the farm and stopped at Eckers and another roadside stand to purchase apples, sweet corn, cantaloupe and raspberries - very yummy. I learned at my reunion that Gary and Kathy Sutter have separated and probably have divorced so things have stopped on our home place in terms of fix up. She has moved out and lives in Ft. City. The place looks terrible. I doubt the lawn has been mowed this summer and huge weeds have overtaken the place. Doesn't look like anyone is there. It is very sad. I visited Mom after we got back to LaX while Marge fixed supper. I asked Mom how she was as she was sitting alone in her room in her rocking chair. She said, "I'm lonely. I miss Dad and the more I think about him the more I miss him." She also added that he can't come to her but she will go to him before too long. I helped her get into her "new" black pin striped pj's and she said, "Well, I guess these are my prison garb pj's!" She's still pretty clever with her comments.

I must have been thinking about all of the children headed back to school this week as I had a very vivid dream before waking up this morning that it was Sarah's first day of kindergarten and John and I had overslept. I was looking in the refrig for something to make for her lunch and there wasn't a thing!!! Finally I woke up and felt exhausted from the frenzy!!"
And that brings you up to date for now.

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