Tuesday, October 31, 2006

California Dreamin' Part V -- Memories

People speak of "a flood of memories." It wasn't like that for me last week. Memories came drop by drop.

I could almost feel them like rain sliding off a leaf...slowly dropping into a pool of reflection. They came as smells, sounds, and feelings as well as conscious thoughts. I recalled the confused girl I was when I was growing up in the San Fernando Valley. I loved God, and I wanted abundant life. Longing to be useful, I was also afraid and shy and believed I had no real future. I felt that longing once again, and I felt freedom as well. The following poem is about the dropping of memories into a pool that is my life. I could see the girl that was me as I sat on the rail fence in front of my home, dreaming about love and life and wondering what would happen to me. Uncertainty loomed in my family, never far away. Confusion and lonliness and anger were constant companions...right along with faith. Thank God that freedom and light CAN come! Where would I be without God's amazing grace? I do not really want to know.

Memory Drops

s l o w s l i d i n g
In my mind,
memories crystal bright cloudy.

sisters singing
In my memory
sweet comfort warm joy.

sweet dreams born
In my memory
questions wonder seldom answers.

hot cold nights
In my memory
fog fear drifting always.

confusion vine
In my memory,
dread lonely family dies.

Freedom calls,
In my memory,
Birth-God answers nearing.

finding ways
In my memory,
prayers light gleaming learn.

stretching high
In my memory,
girl woman finding Home.

pictures forming
In my spirit
waiting fully to be known.

California Dreamin' Part IV - My Sister

My sweet sister looked cute on the beach in her big hat. Her husband is beside her.

She looks the same, just older. Her laugh is the same, and the tone of her voice. It is disconcerting, because I half expected her to snap out of it and be her old self at any moment. As she and I walked, she stopped to show me these sprawling flowers and began to do something we have always done as a joke with each other. She started speaking with an accent--this time it was Chinese. I was surprised she could still do that so well, and she looked at me with a grin. The fact that nothing she was saying made any sense brought tears to my eyes. At one point she gazed at me and asked clearly, "Am I irritating?" Ken came up at that point and she kept talking to him in the same accent, only what she said was nonsense. "Come on, Hop Sing," he said, grinning as he guided her towards the stairway. She laughed and said, "Not everyone understands my accent." Then suddenly she looked at both of us blankly, with total lack of recognition. So strange and sad. Later I tried to explain that I was about to be a grandmother since Kris was expecting a little girl. She did not understand at all, and somehow kept thinking we were talking about puppies.

I hate Alzheimers.

I forgot to post this with the flowers. It is a Passion Flower. Isn't it amazing? I think it looks alien. ( Ever seen "Little Shop of Horrors?") The wall was covered with buds, but this is the only one that was open. It was about the size of my hand.

California Dreamin' Part III -- Getting Aclimated

We arrived at night, but the next morning we headed for the ocean, even though it was cloudy. I waded in the waves. Ken bodysurfed. I had forgotten the aroma (some people say smell) of the Pacific. It is a mix of seaweed and salt, and I love that smell...it makes me think of long sunny days, meatball sandwiches, music on the transistor radio (ha) and my sister in a better time. I lived with her most summers of my teen years, and we often packed up food and books and headed down Malibu Canyon Road to the ocean.

As I mentioned, the air was what I noticed first. I cannot describe California air. Here is what makes it unique. At the top you see the waves coming in, and on the slope are a few prickly cactus plants growing in the sand. California has a coastal climate and a desert climate in one. It makes for wonderful air, when it is not smoggy.

Back at the condo, I rinsed off the remaining sand in the hot tub. Aaaaaahhhhhh.

Only in California! Even the McDonalds have red tile roofs and Mexican architecture! It was so cute I had to take a picture. Ken said, "Look! That McDonalds looks like a little mission." We didn't eat there though.

My sister did know who I was when we first arrived, and she gave me a big hug and a smile. I don't think she always knew me though. Most of what she said did not make sense, but she tried. And sometimes she would say something with complete clarity. It didn't last long. She is much worse than she was in March. We went for a walk, and she was okay as long as I continually directed her. She stopped many times to look at flowers, the ocean, a spider web. She was still enjoying the world around her, though her husband said she had not been outside all week, till I arrived. Posted by Picasa

California Dreamin' Part II - Flowers

It is fall here in Wisconsin, but to arrive on the coast to sunshine, green trees and flowers was a delight to our senses.

Flowers were everywhere! Here my sister, Darlaine, is showing me the Bird of Paradise flowers that grew just outside our window.

These Bouganvilla vines, with their riot of color, can cover fences, posts, and rooftops.

One of the things I noted right away was the air. It was different than the air in Wisconsin, or anywhere else. It was dry...and it was cool...yet the sun shone warmly. I can't describe it, but it was California air and I closed my eyes and remembered. More about California air (and memories) later. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 28, 2006

California Dreamin' Part I

I just watched the sun, looking like a large red ball, set over the Pacific. I don't have my camera so I couldn't take a picture. Unfortunately, the sun looks so beautiful and red because of the smoke in the air from the fires burning in Southern California. We are not near them, but the smoke is evident for a long way.

We will be heading back home tomorrow morning but won't arrive until the evening. It has been mostly a good trip, mostly peaceful, mostly relaxing. (I just experiences a half hour of theraputic massage and the massuese commented, "You don't need a half hour of massage. You need at least two since it seemed to take you the whole half hour just to relax.") There have been some wrenching moments as well and some questions for which we have no answers. I think I learned some things too.

We're off to find a Mexican restaurant, and then to bed so we can get up early. I hear it is cold in Wisconsin. We have been wearing shorts and t shirts all week.

I'd like to stay another week. Life, however, goes on!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

California, Here I Come

...right back where I started from...open up your Golden Gates....
I can hear our high voices clearly in memory. After a road trip to Texas, my sisters and I would loudly belt out that song as we rattled over the suspension bridge that crossed the Colorado River, or as we approached a border check point that signaled we were almost back home. The check points were designed to keeep products that might harbor pests from entering California from Mexico or other states. If one was unfortunate, suitcases came out of the trunk and were opened and inspected. If it was a busy day we might simply be asked, "Are you bringing any produce from out-of-state?" We once had to turn over a bag of delicious cherries. I could just picture the border staff smacking their lips over our lovely fruit after we drove on.

Almost fifty years later, I guess it is safe to admit that I once sneaked a cotton boll from Texas across by covering it with maps in the glove compartment. I brought it to show-and-tell when school started in fall.

The picture of the poppies was taken by someone in springtime. We won't see this, but I like the picture. I was about seven years old when my family took an all-too-rare trip and ended up driving to the poppy fields. I was enchanted by the acres of poppies and blue lupines. I lay down in them and gazed at the bright blue sky, feeling as if I had gone to Heaven.

We will spend a day in Carlsbad, on the Pacific coast near San Diego, and then we will make a long car trip to Bakersfield. Bakersfield is famous for country music because of all the "greats" who were either born there or spent lots of time there. I hear that Buck Owens' restaurant is not to be missed. I just remember Bakersfield as a rather dirty desert town with little to recommend it. No offense to any Bakersfield folk who may stumble across this blog. I will be happy to be wrong and to discover that Bakersfield has morphed into the jewel of California.

This is what I really want to see most--some of the giant trees to be found in the mountains of Sequoia National Forest. It is not too far from Bakersfield, so hopefully we can make it. Some of the happiest days of my life were spent there. I can smell the pine needles, see the enormous pine cones, recall standing at the base of one of these amazing trees and looking up, up, up, till I grew dizzy. Many were growing before Jesus' birth! Our family once played an impromptu game of "softball" using a foot-long pine cone as the ball and a branch from a fir tree as the bat. The game ceased when my sister got whacked by the "ball" and ended up with a bleeding leg. Those pine cones had sharp edges.

I'll be back in a week. This is not going to be an easy trip, but I hope it will be an enjoyable one nonetheless. There is something for my spirit in this return to the state of my birth.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Crocheting a Baby Blanket

Added Saturday comment: I have not decided to post in rainbow colors all the time. The colors are in honor of the multicolored baby blanket in the making.

No, not me. I do not crochet.

I am happy to say that I am improving significantly. I will go to the chiropractor again on Friday morning, and I have a Rx from my MD, so I should be okay for now. Whew.

On Monday morning we will be flying out to California for a short visit. California is my (and my husband's) home state, but we have not lived there for about 30 years. The last time I was there was when my father was dying. That was 15 years ago. Even though California has not been "home" for a long time, I still love it. I do not miss Hollywood, the traffic, the smog or the stucco houses, but I miss Sequoia National Park, the ocean, the mountains, the desert, the sun, and the food.

We have to
take care of some business, and we need to check on Ken's brother-- the only relative still there.

I may share more about that later.

My sister with Alzheimers and her husband and daughter-in-law are in California too, at a time share. So we will intersect with them for a few days before we tackle what may be some difficult things. Then....whizz...back to Wisconsin. It seems I am always zipping about and never able to savor much. I wish I had time to make a trip to Yosemite, to visit Disneyland again, to look up old friends, to visit old haunts, to meet a RevGal. Those things won't happen, but I am taking my swim suit. Californians will think we are crazy, but we will be jumping into the Pacific.

You are wondering when I'm going to get around to the baby blanket?

My mother has not improved. Some days she knows that a baby is coming in January, that she only has one sibling living, that she resides in Wisconsin. Other days she does not remember any of these things. Today was one of those days. She does not remember where to find the cat food or the cereal, or her lipstick. She does not remember where she goes to church.

However, things are going well with Laurie, the woman who is staying with her. When my mother does recall that a great-grandchild is on the way, she mentions making a baby blanket. Frankly, I thought there was no way Mom would be able to crochet anything.

I was mistaken.

Last week she was reintroduced to Wally.

Wally is recovering from a stroke, was in the nursing home when my mother was, and goes to therapy at the same place. He is, says Mary the therapist, "the crochet king." How about that?

Yesterday Mom and Laurie went to Wal-Mart for multicolored "baby" yarn. Today they had a crochet lesson with Wally. Above you see she is dillegently working on a blanket. Laurie reports she is leaving her "in the dust." She is crocheting like she does it every day.

I have no memory of my mother crocheting anything, ever.

Except there are two tiny baby dresses tucked away somewhere that I know she crocheted for each of my two sisters when they were newborns. By the time I was born, the crochet hooks were put in a box in the closet, along with much of the other tools and trappings of normal life.

This crocheting is a wonderful thing. It will give her something to help her remember that a baby is coming. It will give her somthing to do. It will help her injured hand be regularly exercised. And it will give her a friend. Wally too. She is happy. She crocheted all afternoon and into the evening. That is, until the cat decided to chew the string of yarn in two.

Silly cat!

Thank you, God, for crochet hooks, and for yarn and for Wally the Crochet King, and for an intact memory from long ago. May each stich be a blessing, and a memory, and a prayer.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Five -- "Creature Comforts"

Rev Gals and Pals "Reverendmother" says...

Maybe it's the arrival of crisp October, my favorite month. Or maybe it's the fact that the divine little miss m has been sick all week (and if the baby ain't happy, ain't nobody happy). Whatever the reason, my thoughts have been turning to cozy creature comforts--those activities and spaces that just make a person feel good. And so...

So here are my answers

1. Comfort beverage

It depends. Something hot...spiced cider, hot chocolate, coffee with cream...

2. Comfort chair

I wish I had one! I hate our present furniture. I tend to curl up when needing comfort...feet beside me, or at least up on a footstool. I'd love a big cushy chair to do this in.

3. Comfort read

For just relaxing and "escaping" I can't do better than a good historical novel.

4. Comfort television/DVD/music

No such thing as comfort televesion. Maybe an old Disney classic, if I'm curled up with a cup of somthing hot and a blanket. Comfort music--oh yeah! That too depends on the situation. It could be one of the beautiful "Our Daily Bread" instrumental C.D.s. I love them. Or something from "Deep Forest" or "Clannad." Or a worship C.D. Or something old like Nat King Cole or Peter Paul and Mary. New things and new music are good, but not usually comforting. Sometimes something really "up" can be comforting too, in an odd way. I feel better, sometimes, when I put something on the CD player that I can crank up. But my husband doesn't like it, and my mom hates it...so I don't get to do that often.

5. Comfort companion(s)

My sister, if she lived here, and was not an Alzheimer's victim. My sister, as she used to be, was the most comforting, safe person in my world. My husband, depending on the day and the situation. My daughter (same as previous). My friend Pat.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Winter's Approach

This picture is of my sad little petunias on the back deck. Just a day ago they still looked perky and pink. I've dragged pots inside for a few nights, but in "snow belt country" as Cheesehead calls it, the day comes when we just sigh and let things be, knowing we can't stop winter's approach.

We awoke to a chilly 22 degrees Farenheit with a brisk wind blowing. A few flakes of --is it hail or is it snow?--danced on the wind. Time to find some heavier socks.

As I dashed across an empty parking lot this morning--pulling my jacket closed as I went-- I was thinking of "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day," but Christopher Robin and Pooh would not have strolled outside today. They would have hurried indoors to a warm fire and a cup of hot chocolate
. Since it was my turn to host the clergy association, I had just made a hurried trip to the local grocery store. It smelled of...mmm...spiced cider... and the pumpkin bars looked wonderful. (I only like pumpkin bars when the weather is chilly.) I bought several and hurried back to church to put the coffee on, shivering as I went and vowing to get my winter clothes out today.

Inside in a sunny kitchen window at home I am keeping summer a bit longer. Thank God for chrysanthemums! And my little African Violet just blooms and blooms for some reason. Outside, the petunias and the impatiens are black and curling up, but the marigolds are still braving the cold and blooming on.

Thank you God, for seasons, both on the earth in in my life. It seems such a short time ago that I was longing for spring--and posting about it here. And now summer is past and fall has turned the trees golden and the air sharp. I'm putting away cropped pants and light shirts and pulling out sweaters, shaking out mothballs and finding those heavier socks. As winter approaches I am thinking of how the physical seasons so often seem to correspond to spiritual seasons in my life. I want to be like those marigolds outside...staunchy pushing their faces up in the wind and the cold and blooming brightly in defiance. It's a difficult time for me, God, but I'm going to bloom on, by Your grace.

I know it's corny. But it is how I feel today. And on the lighter side, here is a poem by the famous African-American poet Robert Laurence Dunbar. (What an interesting man he must have been. Click the link to read about him .) Anyway, Wisconsin and Minnesota are full of men who like to hunt--or at least pretend to like to hunt. Some men from church did go rabbit hunting just last week, so when I saw this I had to smile.

Winter's Approach

De sun hit shine an’ de win’ hit blow,
Ol’ Brer Rabbit be a-layin’ low,
He know dat de wintah time a-comin’,
De huntah man he walk an’ wait,
He walk right by Brer Rabbit’s gate—He know—
De dog he lick his sliverin’ chop,
An’ he tongue ‘gin’ his mouf go flop, flop—
He—He rub his nose fu’ to clah his scent
So’s to tell w’ich way dat cotton-tail went,
He—De huntah’s wife she set an’ spin
A good wahm coat fu’ to wrop him in
She—She look at de skillet an’ she smile, oh my!
An’ ol’ Brer Rabbit got to sholy fly!
Dey know.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pastor Appreciation Month is Here

The Pastor's Retreat Network asked me to post this. I am only too happy to oblige! They are providing a wonderful service for pastors by allowing us to get away for a week of rest, rejuvination--and great food too. All for free. I'm anticipating my second visit sometime early next year. Check them out.

12 Ways to Appreciate Your Pastor

When we look at our pastor or minister what do we see? A spiritual giant? Someone who can go it alone? Someone who works a day and a half a week? A servant of the congregation? Someone who does it all?

The truth is that clergy are real people with real families, dreams, needs, desires and gifts. And like all of us, they shine best in situations where they are appreciated and supported. Here are a dozen ways you can bring out the best in your pastor:

1 Write a note of appreciation.

2 Pray for your pastor regularly.

3 Stop the rumor mill.

4 Invite him or her out to lunch, golfing, or some other shared interest, without an agenda.

5 Offer to babysit the kids so pastor and spouse can have an evening together; even better, offer them a gift certificate to a restaurant they enjoy.

6 Honor his or her day off – allow time for rest, personal renewal and family time.

7 In times of loss, offer sympathy, care and practical help.

8 Consider holidays and other family days – if the pastor is far from their family of origin, invite them to your celebration – no strings attached.

9 Ask him or her how you can help and then follow through.

10 Tell him or her what you’ve learned from their sermon.

11 Go to http://parsonage.org/cam/index.cfm for ideas on how to celebrate your minister during Pastor Appreciation Month.

12 Consider a sabbatical time for your pastor and find a way to provide one as needed.

Pastors Retreat Network provides pastors and their spouses with a five-day, self-directed retreat experience that is free of charge. It is a time to rest, spiritually renew, and reconnect with God and spouse. Consider how an experience like this might benefit your minister. For more information, please visit our Web site -- http://www.pastorsretreatnetwork.com/

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Walk in the Woods

Saturday my husband and I did some chores and then headed to a nearby town to pick up some items we need for home repair. My mom came along for the drive--and we got totally distracted by the fall colors. They are not at "peak" in our area yet, but they are beautiful anyway.

This road leads through the woods to a ski hill. In other seasons it becomes a lovely place to sit and pray, to ponder, to picnic or just to look over the nearby town.

That is what Ken and Mom are doing as they sit on a small bench. I went for a walk and snapped this picture on the way back to them.

This is what they saw.

And this.

Then I c
oaxed my mother to join us for a walk through the trees. We found a fairly level little path, and she trekked through the woods with her walker. The leaves were a mix of green and golden. In a week or so there will be no green left, but the mix of colors stiil was lovely and the weather was great. "It sure has been a long time since I've been this deep in the woods!" said my mother.

Sadly, she now has no memory of any of this.

But I do.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Domestic Violence Part II: A Prayer

Prayer for All Who Are Abused

by Vienna Cobb Anderson

You chose, O loving God,
to enter this world quietly, humbly,
and as an outcast.
Hear our prayers
on behalf of all who are abused.
For children,
who suffer at the hands
of parents whom they trust and love;
For spouses,
beaten and destroyedby the very one
who promised to love
and to cherish them forever.
For all people
ignored, hated and cheated
by the very neighbor who could be the closest one to offer Your love.
Hear the cry of the oppressed.
Let the fire of your Spirit fill their hearts
with the power of vision and hope.
Grant to them empowerment to act,
that they may not be passive victims of violence and hatred.
Fulfill for them the promises you have made,
that their lives may be transformedand their oppression ended.
Turn the hearts of the oppressor unto you
that their living may be changed
by your forgiving love;
and their abusive actions
and oppressive ways
brought to an end.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Domestic Violence: the Story of a Dancer

Psalm 140 - Rescue me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from those who are violent.

I'm taking some time today to remember an engaging young woman I met some years ago in a suburb of Washington, D.C. I'll call her Eva. Before her marriage, Eva had been a sought-after professional ballerina. Now she was wife to an alcoholic and drug-addicted husband and mother to two little boys.

Eva came to our church at a friend's invitation. She heard the Good News of new life in Christ with an open heart. She prayed for God to forgive her of sin, give her strength and hope, and bless her new friends and sisters in the Lord. She asked us to please pray for her husband who was, she said, "difficult." He had come to church once or twice, and I vaguely remembered him as handsome but frowning.

Tall and willowy with long arms and legs, Eva moved with remarkable grace. She had a beautiful face with large dark eyes, and her brown hair was thick and shiny. More importantly, her spirit seemed beautiful too. She was quiet, loving--and hungry to learn more about God. She began to attend church faithfully, bringing her two shy little boys with her. She attended Bible Study and began to grow in her faith. She was baptized. We rejoiced.

But after a time we began to sense that something was very wrong. Eva often appeared tense. She grew even thinner, and dark circles rimmed her eyes. I remember one sunny Saturday morning as I was sorting Sunday School materials, Eva entered the church wearing dirty blue jeans and a man's long-sleeved shirt in spite of the summer heat and humidity. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and her face was devoid of makeup even though there was a bruise on her cheek. I greeted her, concerned, but she passed me quickly and went down the hall to the associate pastor's office.

A few days later we heard the horrible news. Eva had been shot--killed in her own home-- and her husband was in police custody. No one seemed to know where the children were, and we prayed for them for several days. Later we learned that they were with their grandparents.

The associate pastor eventually told me some of the details. I never knew why he chose to tell me. Eva was routinely beaten by her husband who often came home in a rage. The pastor had hoped that the husband, when he saw the transformation in his wife, would become interested in spiritual things. Such was not the case. A counseling session ended badly, and he never came back. Eva did however. She confided in the pastor that she often escaped in terror with her children--running to the woods behind their house and sometimes spending the night there on blankets she stashed in a tree.

What was the pastor's counsel? (He told me this with tears in his eyes.) He had told her to be more submissive. He told her to obey her husband and to strive to please him in every way. He told her that if she did what the Bible said, God would take care of her and her children.

Now she was dead.

What haunts me most about this story is not that Eva suffered abuse and was brutally murdered. It is not that her two children now had a daddy in prison and a mommy in Heaven. It is what my pastor said. He was a young man, good hearted, kind and earnest. He said to me, in distress, "Perhaps I should not have told her those things. Perhaps I should have helped her get away from him."


I am thankful that many mainline churches "get" this, and that many evangelical churches are at least somewhat more aware of these issues today. I would like to think that no pastor would ever give such misguided and potentially deadly advice. I would like to think so--but I do not.

In most states in the USA, October is "Domestic Violence Awareness Month." I spent some time looking at statistics from Wisconsin, a relatively rural state. There were nearly 30,000 reports of domestic violence--and the majority of incidents are unreported! Almost 30 people died in domestic violence situations last year in Wisconsin alone.

I read some descriptions of domestic violence that had turned deadly. I noted that many times the victim was a Sunday School teacher, a choir member, or performed some other service to a church body. One was a long-time Lutheran, another an organist at First Baptist, another attended a large Methodist church. I couldn't help but wonder, "Did anyone in the church family know? Did the pastor know? If so, what message did she receive?" And I remembered Eva.

I know from my own ministry experience that not everyone listens to a pastor who seeks to help them recognize and deal with abuse. Sometimes our best and most sincere attempts to help are unsuccessful. I do not wish to say that all pastors or all churches are failing women who are abused.

But many are.

If you are being abused and believe you must submit to such behavior, if you are a Christian who wants to know what scripture says about this issue, if you are a pastor or a concerned person, may I suggest that you please read
Keeping the Faith by Marie Fortune.

I keep copies of this wonderful little volume to give away. Written in a question-and-answer format with a combination of sympathy, psychological and theological insight, and solid grounding in Scripture, Fortune provides straightforward answers to battered Christian women. She shares simply and powerfully about how our faith addresses family violence. The author is a recognized authority on the subject of abuse, and she is a minister in the United Church of Christ.

The link above will take you to Amazon.com. You might want to read the reviews posted there if you still think that pastors and other well-meaning but mistaken Christians do not contribute to the problem.

Pray with me for those who hide the pain and the bruises, and the scars--not just the ones on the body but the sometimes deeper ones on the spirit. And pray for the Church, the representation of Christ in this world, to understand that the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of value, freedom and joy.

Mom and Me

Are fine. So far, so good. She came home yesterday and after a difficult time putting things away, did fine with the woman who will be her caregiver. Today is my day off, so I'm home. My mother cannot remember what she ate five minutes ago, but she spent the morning cleaning. She scrubbed the kitchen, muttering that it was probably the cleanest it had been in a month. (Hee hee hee.) She polished the counters. She swept the floor, and she mopped it, and then she proceeded to the deck to sweep off the leaves. Now we've had lunch and she will undoubtedly be taking a nap!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

An Update

This is another personal post. It is hard to think about much else these days.

Sunday morning someone picked my mom up and brought her to church. She came over to me and hugged me and whispered in my ear, "I am very confused and disoriented. I don't really know where to go, and I can't remember anyone's name." With a little direction, she sat with someone she knows well and struggled until she got her Bible open to the passage. Then she seemed to be more peaceful. I tried not to pay too much attention to her--I was concerned I'd lose my train of thought.

She had another small stroke a couple of days ago. Last night she only held a thought for less than a minute. She said, "It feels strange, but I am just living in the present moment. I know I won't remember it long."

This morning two nice therapists from the nursing home came to the house with my mother for an assesment of any safety issues. I'm meeting this afternoon with the friend from church who is going to be her caregiver.

Mom was excited and happy to be here and see her cat, and she went right out to the deck and sat in the swing. I hope we have some nice days remaining so she can do that for a while when she gets home. She did remember where things were and seemed to get oriented pretty quickly. She seems tired and weak, but she says she will be fine once she can sleep in her own bed. I know that feeling! As for mental clarity or awareness, she has what she has, and I want her to be at home as long as she can. That could change at any moment, and I am all too aware of that. But we are going to try this and see how it goes.

So she will be coming home Thursday morning. I'm a little scared.