No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. Increasing and changing health issues, babysitting the most beautiful granddaughter in the world, volunteering at the hospital two days a week, and trying to catch up on lawn and garden work I can't do for very long because of the heat, have kept me running in circles.
I arrived in DeWitt, Iowa late Thursday evening. I was supposed to be on the road about 7 a.m., but my van is in the shop with no AC (or heat, or even ventilation), no power windows, no on-board computer, and the list goes on. It was supposed to be done in time for my early morning departure, but the part still hadn't arrived. So when the guy from the service department called at 9:30 to tell me they didn't know when my van would be done. I asked him what I was supposed to do. He suggested a rental car, which I immediately told him I couldn't afford. He then informed me of something I should have seen in my extended warranty contract (and one of the service writers should have told me). I can have a free rental car for up to 10 days while my van is in for warranty work. So I left about noon driving a 2009 Ford Focus: 6-CD changer, Bluetooth for my cell phone, and more neat stuff I'm still exploring. I've been getting as high as 35 MPG. Except for in-town driving, it hasn't gone below 31.6. If I didn't need a van for the electric wheelchair... and if I had the money to burn... I'd love to own this little dream of a car!!
Anyway, I'm up home in Iowa for my 40th high school reunion. Tonight is a meet and greet at the home of one classmate who owns one of the largest GM dealerships (and now Toyota) in the Iowa/Illinois area. Tomorrow night is the reunion dinner and dance at the Clinton Country Club. I just wish Susan could be here, so my classmates could meet my new bride. But if she took the time off from work, she wouldn't have enough time available for us to go visit her family next weekend. As much as I would love to be sharing this time with her, I sure agree with her decision.
So I'm driving north on I-55 and just a few miles before I reach Peoria, IL I realize that my suit is still hanging on the back of the bedroom door. I need to replace one or two of my suits anyway, so I went to a popular local men's store. The suits start at $350!! I went to the Goodwill store and got one that looks nearly new for $8.38... including a vest that I can actually button closed. It was too late to get it dry cleaned, so I'll go to the laundromat tomorrow and use one of those dry cleaning dryer sheets.
Oh, that cooler weather... it is running 5 to 10 degrees cooler than it was back in Missouri and the heat index is less than 100 instead of the 105+ it was back home.
Well, I'd better finish a few things up before I leave the motel to run a few more errands and head for the meet and greet. Hope everyone is enduring the heat better than I am. Woodworking is out of the question right now. The garage is so hot that just going out long enough to grab a tool nearly causes me to collapse. I just saw my neurologist on Monday. He is changing one of my medications to avoid possible heart problems, has ordered a series of blood tests, and has ordered a test to check on my increasing neuropathy.
I guess it is time for me to apply to one of those shows on HGTV or the DIY Network to see if I can get help with making my garage usable. If my years of being able to make sawdust are getting shorter because of the neuropathy, I want to enjoy as much time as possible creating heirlooms. Someday though, I may have to find a new hobby... but not until I absolutely have to!!!
Oh, the granddaughter isn't new. She's a 2006 model. :) With the kids taking a financial planning class that lasts about 12 weeks, I'm babysitting on Wednesday nights. I took her to our monthly computer users group and she was a perfect doll... and the center of attention. Some nights we just stay home and read books, play games (she whoops me at Candyland), or make jigsaw puzzles. Other nights we hit Mickey D's and each have a happy meal. Wednesday it's back to the users group for a picnic in the air-conditioned comfort of the clubhouse where we meet.
Our class's meet and greet was great fun... and man what a house!! It overlooks a lake and the view was absolutely gorgeous! It was interesting to see how people have changed... or not changed. Some I didn't recognize at first, while others looked pretty much the same as they did 40 years ago but with gray hair. One of my classmates looked so much like she did back in high school that you really had to look close to tell that she was older.
Tomorrow night at the country club should be a a blast.
Oh... and I found out that I was close in where I thought our class president is. He's no longer in Fort Leavenworth, but he's still got 10 years to serve in a federal gray bar motel in either North or South Carolina. He'll be nearly 70 before he gets out.
Indeed, the reunion was all it could have been and more. It was great to see so many classmates. It was evident that most of us had aged, but one of my best friends didn't look anywhere near our age, and one of the gals we thought was a fox back 40 years ago is still looking good.
Of course, there was one snag. I brought the first load of stuff into the country club with a storm approaching. Before I got a chance to go out for the second load, and close the sun roof on the 2009 I was driving, it hit without warning. The warning horn called the golfers in off the course and just as quickly the rain and wind were roaring. I couldn't see the gazebo just 10 feet out the window I was standing at. I got drenched running out to unlock and open the car, get in and turn the key on, and close the sun roof... all while it was raining in on me and everything in the front seats of the car. The heat in the car, and/or the sudden drop in the humidity, must have helped. When I went out with a handful of towels borrowed from the kitchen, things had dried so well that it took only one dish towel to dry everything except the only slightly damp carpeting.
And I stayed an extra day. I was going to attend worship at our congregation in DeWitt and there learned that my aunt is declining even faster than my mother. While visiting with her, I learned that the Goddard cousins' reunion was scheduled for Monday. Come to find out, my siblings got together for breakfast on Sunday. I didn't know because I lost my internet connection shortly after my last post here and didn't get my brother's e-mail about the reunion. It was great to see so many cousins and the 89 year old brother I hadn't seen in about 10 or 15 years. I'm glad I spent the extra day; even if I really couldn't afford it.
Just yesterday, we used clamps after glue simply to take the bow out of the wood we were using, and it straightened everything out for us. Usually though, any time you lay up a project the clamps are...