I got up at 5:30am on Saturday, showered, dressed and was ready by five minutes to 6:00am to start the process of getting ready to go to Kansas City for the Parkinson’s Symposium.  We would have to be on the road by 7:30am to make it on time.  I had already complained to the Dr. about the early start time for the target audience who have mobility and sleep problems.  He said the issue was finishing before lunch.  Registration was at 8am and the program started at 9am.  Living an hour and a quarter away added to the time issue.

Since I thought maybe Mary Ann could get ready in an hour (normally including morning chores, the minimum prep time is two hours), I let her sleep another half hour.   At about 6:30am, as I helped her to the commode, she said, let’s stay home.   I knew it would not work to try to force her to go. 

I had initiated plans for a luncheon with friends in Kansas City to celebrate two birthdays members of the group were having.  I told her that at least we ought to go to KC in time for that meal.  After all, I had started the process of arranging the meal out.  She agreed.  We both went back to bed for a couple more hours. 

It was good to visit with friends of thirty-five years.  Even though we are only an hour or so from that crew, we end up getting together only four or five times a year, if that. 

For a variety of reasons, the weekend seemed to provide a number of reality checks that reinforced the level of limits on our lives and the concomitant sense of isolation. 

Sunday morning a Volunteer came.  Edie always brings whatever is needed to leave behind a full meal, very tasty, with lots of variety.  During the Volunteer time I headed up to the Lake for a while and then to the marsh below the dam.   It was a helpful time.  Feeling out of sorts and searching for some sense of renewal, the combination of devotional reading and sensory refreshment was especially meaningful. 

The book (about spiritual formation) is speaking to my need, providing the sort of intellectual framework that fertilizes my roots and generates hope for growth.

What flooded my senses provided the grounding in the natural world that helps me reframe my situation.  As I stood at the edge of the lake, the gulls spread over the water were screaming.  I have no idea why, but they were screaming.  I guess that is just the way gulls vocalize.  Nearby, one gull flew over another that was sitting on the water.  The flying gull made what sounded like some belligerent remarks, and the one on the water started screaming at the one flying.  In other places on the lake, occasionally one gull would crash land into another and a skirmish would ensue.  I don’t think this is mating season.  I will have to ask a birder what was going on. 

There were Cormorants diving for food.  A raucous Great Blue Heron flew by joining the conversation as he flew.   I watched a butterfly go by and come very close to becoming a snack for a Barn Swallow that just grazed it.   

The highlight was what I had seen last week and thought to be a juvenile American Bald Eagle.  My birding expert, whom I call Bob, after I reported the sighting, suggested that due to a flying pattern I descibed it might have been an Osprey.  This week the bird came close enough to confirm that is was an Osprey.  It had the telltale black mask on its face.  In fact it dove into the water right in front of me to get a fish — an unsuccesful fishing trip.  As I continued to watch, another bird appeared in the distance.  It also flew toward me, and I was able to determine that it was a second Osprey. 

I spent some time walking by the marsh, providing a little exercise, much needed.  The lifting and moving and turning of Mary Ann provides some strength training, but my life is pretty much void of any cardiovascular conditioning.  A combination of creativity and discipline seems to be the path toward better physical and spiritual health.  I am better at the creativity than the discipline.  I am way better at talking and thinking than I am at doing. 

We are in another restless night.  It has been no more than fifteen minutes between needs for the last two or three hours.  It is hard to muster the energy for moving from thinking to doing when very tired and tethered to another person whose needs are constant. 

Yesterday there was what felt like the start of the flu during the evening after church and into the night.  Chills came for a time.  Instead of writing a post on this blog, I went to bed in hopes of getting whatever it was to let go.  Since I simply can’t be sick due to Mary Ann’s circumstances, I got better today.  We will see what comes. 

This is a very thoughtful time for me, with lots of feelings converging.  My hope is that there will be enough time for processing, and that a healthier pattern of living will emerge.  At the moment, I am shutting down.  It is time to get to bed!

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