Monday, July 22, 2013

Traveling both directions to Go Home

My husband as he drops me off in the small Arcata Airport
 I wrote last, three weeks ago, to say that I was going to Virginia/Washington DC to visit my brother's home, where he had recently moved my Mom, who is showing scary signs of dementia and my brother (with Down's syndrome) to live with him after spending their whole lives in Cody, Wyoming

Well the trip was anything but smooth, but there were good moments and stories can be written from the adventures.

I got up at 4:45 and drove 90 miles to a small airport to get on a small plane and fly to San Francisco. Then catch a connection to my brothers in DC by 6 pm and see my mom and both brothers. 

NOT Exactly what happened. 

I got up at 4:45 and drove through the fog. The plane could not take off until after I was to have been on the 10:50 connection so I was reticketed for a 1:00 connection and we landed in San Fran right next to that HUGE wreck. Suddenly looking way more real than it had ON TV

The planes were all being delayed because the one runway was still covered in debrise and firetrucks and the 1:00 connection became a 2 and a 2:39 and a 3:00 before we boarded. Then we taxied away from the gate. 

And Stopped

And we're told that thunderheads from lake eerie to Florida were keeping DC busy enough they couldn't give us a runway so we were to go back into the San Fran airport for another 2 1/2 hours

When we finally were in a 757 flying to DC I sent my brother a text updating my arrival. When I hit send the phone died. He never got the message. I was in Dulles airport at midnight without my phone I don't know his number. 

Finally I got my suitcase and went to lost baggage and told them I was not losing a bag. I'd lost my brother. I begged the ladies in the office to let me charge my phone enough to call my brother and he drove to get me and we went to his house at 2 AM

The blue plane is landing where I had landed hours earlier. I took this shot from my plane that was stuck parked on the runway for a couple hours before departure to DC

 This is an urban area across the Bay from San Francisco but I don't really know which one.


My Brother at his new job
 Here is my brother with his new job. After 18 years at Walmart in Wyoming he is now learning to take care of the animals on a farm in Virginia.


He likes how Tall the trees are


The new hometown in Middleburg, VA




Mom and Lance

Mom's new room
 What you have to understand here, is that after years of taking care of her aging Aunts, Uncles and Parents, after being the caretaker of her husband of 36 years as he succumbed to cancer over a painful year and a half - After raising three kids, one with Down's syndrome, Mom had finally been unable to care for herself and my youngest brother any longer.  Not in full blown dementia, she still forgot details like paying bills, or treating her diabetes with respect. She forgot to take out the trash or the names of the people who lived in her town.  She hoarded her way out of her room and into sleeping in the living room recliner.  So for my brother to take her home and create a space for her probably saved her life.

Customer appreciation day at Middleburg bank

Mom and my niece's dog

Lance made me a Raspberry pie from the berries growing wild around their new farm


Cocoa Joe came from Wyoming with Mom, although she told their new vet he had never been to a vet before, and when the vet said, "Well who removed his one eye?"
She insisted, " I had it done at Walmart"


 Lance is getting into shape between his farm work and his evening workouts






Not only was my brother welcoming, but his girlfriend also welcomed us into their home and took us around town and fed and entertained us.


Smelling the pink Lilacs at the Red Lobster on a Lazy Sunday afternoon. 


My brother's son

my niece

 Here is my Mom and I and frankly I have seen a picture that looks like me, and I thought it was my grandma but the label on the back said it was my grandma's older brother in the stroller being pushed by a great-Aunt margaret - which is when I realized there was a woman with this face squatting by the river watching her kids throw rocks in the water, in front of their home cave millenia ago.


 One day we went into Washington DC to the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian
 I had to laugh at the tobacco growing outside, with no smoking signs interspersed








 Lance, who is resistant to change, and introduces himself everywhere as, "I'm Lance from Cody, Wyoming," was thrilled to meet my old high school classmate who works as an associate curator there now. How amazing to see someone else from CODY, WYOMING in his exile in this strange world.





My brother and his girlfriend. My heroes


 This is what Lance, at 38 years old has learned how to drive around as he feeds the chickens, horses, cows and longhorn bulls on his new job as farm hand in Virginia. He does miss Wyoming and Walmart but for a move he was given no choice in, he is adjusting well. Mom on the other hand is confused and frightened in her new reality but she has a lot of love around her.
This!  It was always 40* hotter in Virginia than back home in the Redwood Coast.



When I was a child I loved the TV show Daktari. The chimpanzee named Judy and the cross eyed lion were the best. So my best friends were these stuffed toys. Judy and The Unicorn. I drew this in my college art class in 1983 and Mom just gave it back to me.
 Mom gave me back the Drawing I had made of my Childhood best friends which had hung in her dining room for thirty years.


 I was supposed to fly out of DC at 5:44 their time and cleared security early and got to the gate to find that the plane I was to take was late arriving. Then when we boarded we sat on the Tarmac for 2 1/2 hours at first for weather then because the crew that pushes the plane away from the gate had been sent to another gate. I had only had an hour layover in Sacramento so I missed the connecting flight. Then i was there at 11:30 PM with a 6:32 AM departure but no way was I going to a motel if I just had to get up at 3:30 to catch a shuttle back here. 
I ended up sleeping on the floor in the airport quit room from 1:30-4 AM and the only other in there was a girl from Cheyenne Wy now who had been in my sons first grade in crescent city

The little plane I flew the last leg on was too small for the connecting bridge and only had 3 passengers but was the bridge that got me home 

So anyway my husband met me at Arcata at 7:32 this morning and we drove 90 miles home. Then I SLEPT


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