For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Jun 20, 2014

The Empty Chair is Gone

Rich and I ran our business from our basement. It was unfinished on one side and crudely finished on the side where our office was. He used to laugh about our "low overhead". Certainly no fancy digs! I think Rich kept every piece of paper we ever had. I cleaned out his desk immediately after he died and put his personal belongings in bins and put them upstairs. I rarely went down there after that.

When working, he'd sit at his desk and Lizzie would lay at my feet all day except for lunch time. Then, at the same time each day, she would go up the stairs and flip the toilet seat and let it down with a bang. That was usually her sign that her water bowl was empty, but at lunch time it meant, "Come upstairs, and let's go to lunch!" Whenever she did it, Rich would always smile and say to me, "Let's blow this place for a while." Then we'd laugh.

My desk was over near the stairs. When Jack came along, he would come running like a fool, down the stairs, stick his head between the railings, steal a pencil out of my pencil holder and run back upstairs. We laughed every time he did it. He had so much extra skin on him that as he leaned down it would cascade forward into wrinkles - he looked more like a blood hound than a Lab. Such a character. We had shelving filled with books and other office supplies. Sometimes, he would come down with a bone and remove books from a box, put the bone in, and cover it back up with books. Then he'd look around, suspiciously, to see if we had been watching. We were always guilty, in his eyes, so he'd take the books out, again, retrieve his bone, and go through the same ritual in another spot. This went on daily.

The basement being empty for over 9 years left me with a job I couldn't finish on my own. I've prepared the past several months by filling one garbage bag at a time. My back just couldn't handle more than that. I put a few things aside that my kids want. My granddaughter's boyfriend just bought a house so I saved the shovels, spades, pitch fork, pole digger, etc., for him. There are a few other things that my kids wanted, too.  I think I probably had 50 contractor bags of stuff. Some I could get to the street, others I couldn't. Then, of course, there were the tools, the file cabinets, the desk, etc. The kids, a couple of times a number of years ago, had straightened it up for me, but as time passed it became like a dungeon--spider webs and all. 

Just before the men left around noon, one of them asked me, "Does this go?" I hesitated and felt a catch in my throat as I touched his chair one last time, and then watched it go. There was no reason to keep it, but...I'm feeling like I want to see it, again. This will pass, too. Another milestone behind me.

Jack First Day Home

Jack One Year Old

Lizzie 1st Day Home-So Tiny and Precious

Lizzie--Her First Trip West

Jack Slowing Down
Jack's Time to Do as Little or as Much as He Wants

Rich/Lizzie on Mt. Hebo Where He Was Stationed

No More Running Up and Down the Stairs

Lizzie Vogel State Park

Jun 7, 2014

More About Back Pain

I've been putting off posting this, but since I've written as I've gone through surgery, etc., I feel obligated to let those few, who are interested because of their own back problems, know that the ablation did not work (for me). I was completely pain free for a week (the lidocaine). I tried to ignore the twinges, at first, because I didn't want to admit to myself that it didn't work. However, as in the past, the twinges became pain within two weeks. It's back with a vengeance. I so hoped it would work. The brace does not help. The doctor said she didn't hold out much hope for it but it was worth trying.

I'm out of options with the exception of pain medication and surgery. I don't need the medication unless the barometer starts moving up and down. That's when it will not quiet down when I sit or lie down which is usually a pain free time for me. I guess I'm fortunate that it's not the other way around.

The surgery does not have a good success rate. I don't fear the surgery itself, but that it will make things worse and cause the pain to continue while sitting or lying down so I will have NO periods of  relief. Not much else to say about it except that I just have to learn to live with it and not complain.

Jack is still such a comfort. He's slowing down little by little, but is still happy and pain free. He is the light in my life. He sure knows how to relax--still looks like a puppy at times, to me--he'll always be a puppy in my heart.

Sleeps Like a Baby