Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday.

Although for many it's become the gateway to Christmas, for us, it's very much a separate holiday.

We are very fortunate that our immediate family all still join us for Thanksgiving. Older Son and family are already here, and they'll be with us tomorrow for dinner along with DIL's parents, who have joined us for a number of years now.

Younger Son is here, having driven up from Birmingham last night. Daughter and family, which now includes our sweet one-month-old granddaughter, will be here tomorrow.

Wife is the chief orchestrator of it all, but I'm her able assistant. She's been busy for days, cooking ahead what she can. She's incredibly organized and I sure couldn't (and wouldn't) do all she does to make Thanksgiving special at our house.


There will be only one night when everyone will be sleeping here, which will be a total of ten human beings. Wife and I have gone through a number of scenarios as to where everyone will sleep, and I don't have it memorized, but there is a place for everyone.

Will everyone sleep in the places we have assigned? Who knows? We have learned to expect the unexpected, so if someone decides to rest his/her head somewhere other than what we have come up with, that will be fine.

We could for sure use another bathroom, and we always meant to add one over the 18 years we've lived in this house, but it never happened. There were other expenses, and adding another bathroom never rose to the top of the list. And it's a little late now. So everyone will have to flex with us on that.


I hope all of you, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, have a great day and find something to be thankful for.

Friday, November 8, 2019

New life and other stuff

These past couple of weeks have been crazy.

I'll start with the best news I know: my new granddaughter was born Monday, October 28th at 11:35 a.m., weighing in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces. She joins her older brother, two years and a few months old, and two proud parents (Daughter and SIL).

Daughter giving birth was much like the last time around, as if it were simply on her to-do list that day.

We saw this new little bundle of joy soon after she was born, and she's a beauty. Is it possible to get wrapped around a tiny little finger in a matter of seconds?


While we were awaiting the arrival of this little one, Wife and I received a text message from Older Son in Atlanta. They had gone to the ER earlier that morning with GS2 (our other grandson), as he was having breathing problems.

He had been admitted to the hospital with croup, which is a terrible cough that probably sounds worse than it is. But they were understandably concerned, as we all were.

My plan had been to drive to my office in Birmingham (about 1.5 hour south of Huntsville, where our granddaughter was born) Tuesday morning the 29th and work there until Thursday. Wife planned to stay in Huntsville and help until they were home from the hospital, and a day or two after.

As I was driving to Birmingham that morning, Wife called and said she had talked to Older Son and DIL. They had been put in ICU overnight, as GS2's condition was worsening.

"Someone needs to be there with them," she said.

"That someone will be me," I told her.

I arrived in Birmingham and worked a few hours. I got my team together and told them I would probably need to be in Atlanta for a couple of days. I loaded up my laptop and off I went, 2.5 hours east to Atlanta.


I stayed in Atlanta until Friday morning. Older Son and DIL insisted on staying in the hospital overnight each night, but were glad to have me there as a reinforcement, and so one of them could leave during the day from time to time. It was a crazy, scary, emotional time, and before it was all over, GS2 not only had croup, but also RSV and an ear infection. He was one sick little guy.

I'm leaving out plenty of details, but suffice it to say, by the time I left Friday morning, he was stabilizing, and he got to go home Saturday morning.


Backing up a little, Thursday night, the night before I left to come home, it had become clear I was getting something -- probably just a cold, but with everything I had been exposed to in that hospital, I decided to be overly cautious. I went straight to see the doctor when I got home.

He checked me out and said I obviously had some type of virus and that viruses are everywhere. You have to be careful, he said -- wash your hands often, disinfect, even wear a mask if you think you're going to be exposed to something.

I had already been advised by the docs in the hospital in Atlanta that I should not go around my new granddaughter for at least two weeks, with what I had been exposed to in that hospital. Now it was even more certain I would not be making a return visit anytime soon.

In the meantime, Wife had come home with plans to return in a few days when SIL would go back to work. I immediately started wearing a mask at home so hopefully she would stay well.

By the next day, however, she was also down. We had apparently picked up the same thing somewhere, maybe in the hospital in Huntsville as we awaited our granddaughter's birth. Who knows?


Wife was able to stay home and rest this past week; I wasn't. She got better; I didn't.

I made a return doctor's visit Wednesday after two nights of coughing and little sleep. I got a shot and some other meds. Today (Friday) I'm feeling better, but I'm not 100 percent. This weekend we will both focus on getting well.

My fervent hope is we've gotten this stuff out of the way early this year and will be healthy throughout the rest of the cold and flu season. I'm sure planning on it.