Autumn in Alabama; It’s Still about Family

November 22, 2018 (by Angela)

One post per month has not been the intention, but it has been the reality of late. Life has stayed very busy for us since I returned from the New England Get Away. Immediately, I was back to doing things related to family. Of course, I went to visit Mom to see if she was still doing well after getting settled into the skilled nursing facility. I had some time with my brother to visit and to plan. Much of my time was spent at my Mom’s house. Technically, it is as much mine and my brother’s house and property, but both of us still think of it as and call it Mom’s place. Decades of items that have been pack-ratted away abound in the house. Huge amounts of things have deteriorated due to age and environmental factors. Mom would never allow us to help her clean out things, so it all got put off until she was no longer living in the home.

Mom not only had monstrous amounts of items that belonged to my grandparents and great-grandparents, but she herself did not throw anything away. I’m sure we’ve come across every card my brother or I or the grandchildren sent her. Yet, there was no rhyme or reason to her storage. For example, while going through shoes in her closet, so old that I’m surprised they didn’t fall apart in my hands, I discovered in the middle of the huge box of shoes a regular shoe box. One might expect that it would be filled with shoes. Nope! Inside were bank statements going back about 2 decades. My brother, while emptying the old freezer on the enclosed back porch, found items dating back to 1992 (we know Mom had not used anything from the freezer for about a decade). When moving canning jars from the cellar, he located some dated in the early 1970s.  I think you get the idea of the major undertaking he and I have before us. I spent 2 to 3 days per week working at the house trying to separate trash from donatable items to items we may wish to keep. This continued even after moving our RV to Decatur, Alabama.

Old house of family farm Giles Co TN Sept 2018

Mom’s House – where we work

Jim, of course, has been busy with work and his online university classes, but he and I shared one final weekend of fun-time with Tennessee family before moving farther south. We took a horse-drawn wagon ride tour of the Amish community in which we had lived for two months. It was a ton of fun. Not only did we learn more about the Middle Tennessee Amish, but we also enjoyed some of their fresh produce (like apples) and sweet, baked treats. The best part, of course, was being with some of our kids and grands.

The heart of Autumn 2018 has been spent near my Dad and step-Mom’s home in Decatur, Alabama, with us camping just off the Tennessee River in Point Mallard Campground. It has been nice to spend time with Dad several days each week, even though I went to work at Mom’s a couple of times each week for the first two weeks we were here; it’s only about an hour and a half each way.

Then, our fur baby, Chewie, got sick. For the last 12 days I’ve been the caregiver for our dear 12-year-old dog. Saturday morning, week before last, I got up to find him with a nose bleed. I’d never seen a dog have a nose bleed without there being some type of trauma, and he’d had none. Making a couple of calls, we were able to get him in to see a local Vet with a 5-star rating, and we were so lucky to do so. I’ll not go through all of the problems he had developed, and we’re still not sure how he developed them. Chewie is still being treated. Honest to goodness, by Sunday night/Monday morning last week, I thought we were going to lose him. The Vet actually told us on that Monday that if what we were doing for him didn’t help him get better, he probably wouldn’t get better. I didn’t go anywhere I didn’t have to go from Saturday through Thursday of last week. I was there to care for our fur baby. As busy as his week was, Jim made time to call and check on Chewie. Finally, Tuesday night, I began to see the upturn. He’s not back to where he was before, but he is so much better. Chewie lost 22 pounds in three months – most of that in the last 12 days. The biggest struggle now is getting him to eat enough, so he’s getting spoiled more than he was with us buying supermarket meat and cooking it for him. That’s all he will eat. He sees the Vet again tomorrow, so soon will have labs to compare to where he was two weeks prior.

This week, Jim is working remotely. He and I took this past weekend to go to Illinois to visit, play with the grands, and have an early Thanksgiving meal with our family there. We took the four grands to Vertical Jump to play and then out for pizza. Lunch with the whole crew on Saturday was at Cracker Barrel. The awesome sunset picture set as feature image was made crossing the Tennessee River bridge as we returned to Decatur that Saturday night.

Today, Thanksgiving Day, Jim and I had lunch with and enjoy time spent with my Dad and my step-mom Nancy. Other family who joined us today at the Turner home in Decatur, Alabama, were my brother David, Aunt Ann (Dad’s older sister), and Paula (Dad’s first cousin by marriage). It’s nice to have relaxed, fun time with family. It was an all-day visit for us, and Chewie even felt like hanging out in the fenced-in yard since it got up to around 60 today.  We’re full, happy, and ready to rest.

It’s been so wonderful to have Jim home, even if he is engaged in work and school. Jim working this long contract has been good for us financially and good for his career in the experiences he’s getting, but I miss being able to park near the job site and have him home each night. That said, I am thrilled that he’ll be working remotely the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s Day. In addition, he’ll have a month-long break from classes. I don’t know what we’ll do with so much time together, but I’m sure we’ll find plenty of fun things to do, especially if our old pup gets well, since we’ll be in Florida by then.

Happy Thanksgiving wishes to y’all from our home on the roam for now in Alabama!

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