The weather was predicted to be spectacular today.  I wanted fresh cider and cider doughnuts from the Louisburg Cider Mill.  The drive is a wonderful one, lots of country scenery.  I warned Mary Ann early today of my plan.  She said okay.  Understand the Cider Mill is an hour and a half from our house.  I had in my mind that it was only an hour.

The plan was realized and we spent three hours on the road for a couple of cider doughnuts and a cup of cider.  We did bring back a dozen apples, a jug of fresh cider and some licorice, one of Mary Ann’s favorites.

Along the way, we got to spend a little time at a family farm tended by Doug and Marikay.  What a beautiful spot, fields, woods, a pond, and a newly built little cottage.

Saturday we had gotten to spend some time with our Son Micah, Daughter-in-Law Rebecca and Granddaughter Chloe, who live about an hour away in the Kansas City area.  We went to church with them and the ate with Micah and Chloe while Becky enjoyed time with a friend.

That quality time was followed by my Sunday morning trip to the Lake for a long walk on a newly discovered pathway, providing sights and sounds, entertaining descriptions posted on periodic stands, along with great weather.  Mary Ann enjoyed time with a Volunteer/Friend, who washed her hair and treated her nails, providing some refreshing personal care.

After a little football, we were treated to some creative and engaging arrangements of choral music and piano music by a talented composter/arranger named John Leavitt.  I had had the joy of getting to know him through an informal interview when the congregation I served was looking for a full time musician.  It was a pleasure to attend the concert/hymn sing at a local parish.  John has a remarkable ability to take something that could sound trite and tiresome from so much use and make it new and fresh.

The scary moment came just before we were to head out the door and leave for the cider mill.  We were returning from the pre-trip bathroom visit.  She had shifted into one of her eyes-closed modes as I walked her into the living room.  She was not moving well, so I asked her to stand still for a moment while I went the six feet or so to get the transfer chair and pull it beside her.

I saw it happening, but I couldn’t reach her to stop it.  The scene moved almost in slow motion as she move out of balance toward the end table, shifted direction, guided by the front of the couch and her head slammed against the back of an old wooden mission rocker as she cumpled to the floor.

For a moment, I thought this was the dreaded fall that would take her to the hospital, maybe producing a more damaging stroke than the last one.  I was sure, at the very least there would be bleeding that could not be stopped due to the regimen of Plavix and Aspirin.

I held her head and felt the knot.  There was no bleeding.  As I held her, I asked if it hurt terribly.  I was most interested in hearing if she could respond coherently.  To give her the words with which to respond, I asked the usual, “on a scale of one to ten” question.  At that point she said it was a nine.

I was just glad to hear her respond.  I held her for a while, then asked if she wanted a pillow so that she could rest on the floor before getting up.  She said she did.  While the norm would be to try to have a person stay awake after a head trauma, she was talking very coherently.  She had already, before she fell, switched into tired mode — usually followed by a nap.  I had asked her then if she wanted to nap, but she still wanted to go.  Now, as she lay on the floor, I thought she would need to rest for a while.  Already before she started her nap, she said that her head did not hurt any more.

The usual pattern is for her to sleep two hours when need for a nap hits.  This time she rested for less than an hour.  When I got her up from the floor, she decided that she still wanted to go.  That is when we left for the cider mill.

I have said it before.  I will say it again.  This woman is made of iron!  Twenty-two years of Parkinson’s, multiple heart attacks with two of the three main arteries on her heart completely blocked, a life-threatening bout of pneumonia, a stroke, the onset of Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (a Dementia with Lewy Bodies), flirting with stage 4 (of 5) Chronic Kidney disease, leaking heart valves, Pulmonary Hypertension, too many falls to count, and off we go on a three hour trip to the Cider Mill for a cup of cider and some cider doughnuts.

She will probably outlast me and end up dancing on my grave.  Yes, she still dances.

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