Saturday, July 17, 2010

2010-23 Whitehall Michigan, Family Visit

Whitehall Michigan
Montague.  A two week family visit.

I've arrived in Michigan and will be visiting my sister Dorothy for two weeks.  I had dreams of good cooking for months as her husband Dave is a wonderful cook, but at this point it’s not to be.  Like a number of my readers are experiencing, our Dave is not doing well health wise.  It’s one of those situations where we’re all trying to figure out what’s best when the patient does not want to go to a doctor or hospital to have things checked out.  What to do.  None of us are qualified to determine the “right time” to go in.  So we muddle through, worried that we are making the right decision or non decision and have sleepless nights worrying about our loved ones.

Dorothy is holding up as well as can be expected, going to work, running home at lunch time to check on her husband, doing the chores Dave would normally do.  Neighbors hover and stay the afternoon concerned about their buddy and trying to add comfort where they can. Calls back and forth between two daughters in St Louis and Florida add to the drama as they want to keep in close contact as to the current situation.

The next day, after a couple of Dr’s appt. Dave was feeling much better.  Amazing the changes that can be made within 24 hours.  All are relieved and breathing easier.

I’m staying at a city park called Trail Way in the town of Montague.  Only one mile from my sisters house.  A 25 mile bike path winds around the campground for easy access to exercise and views of a boat marina.  Nice to be this close in case I’m needed for any reason.

Ok, so I went to a local restaurant called The Favor Café.  They are known for a good breakfast, but since I was there for lunch, I decided to try a BLT salad.  Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato.  Pretty simple and almost impossible to mess up.  The lettuce was crisp, the bacon was perfect but instead of vine ripened Michigan tomatoes, it came with chunks of canned tomatoes.  Can you believe?  Skinned soggy tomato chunks. Oh and then the waitress proudly placed a basket of their famous “bread crust ends”.  Pieces of crust from their  home made bread that were then deep fried in grease.  Double Yuck!  She assured me I would love them….. I didn’t.  Sure wish I could have tried their home made fresh bread… wonder who gets served that?

Visiting with family.  Kim has arrived with her two daughters, Megan and Cammy.  Husband Aaron will arrive in a few days.  Kim has learned to be quite the professional cook and along with Dave they are making me a wonderful Cajun Pasta dinner for my Birthday.  Did I time this visit well or what.  After dinner the girls invite me up to their bedroom/artist retreat where they want to draw me.  Megan draws me while Cammy draws a picture of her mother.  The youngest gets tired and cranky.  Mom deftly brings her back around and teaches her how to communicate without raising her voice.  A smooth and seamless lesson that the Super Nanny would be proud of.

Conversation continues around the outdoor patio, around the kitchen butcher-block table and a hundred pictures are taken as it seems the whole family has a camera ready for that perfect shot.

COMPUTER TIP:  I had a perfluxed moment the other day when I hit the Shut down mode of my laptop.  It started to log off and as I closed the lid, I noticed it was attempting to load new software on the computer.  You know that’s a no no to turn off the computer before it’s finished loading software, but I’d already closed the lid.  Now I couldn’t get the computer to re-boot and start again.  What to do.  I ran into my sisters house and told Kim (my niece) my perfluxumed situation.  She’s a computer guru.   Kim said, “remove the battery”.  It closes all activity running in the background on the computer and when you re-insert the battery it can usually start up again normally.  It Worked!  Yippee, Kim is soooo smart.  And if I had not be in such a state, I might have remembered this tip from my many computer classes.

A trip to the beach, Duck Lake and Lake Michigan.  Building sand castles, hiking to the top of the dunes, swimming, splashing and laughing.  What better way to spend a sunny day in western Michigan.

An evening outdoor concert put on by a local band at the White Lake Band shell here in Montague.  My sister Dorothy, her daughter Kim and the two girls enjoyed the band as the sun finally faded behind a bank of trees.  The band leader could have picked up the temp on most of the selections, but when it’s free one doesn’t voice their opinion too loudly.  The fat lady sang two songs operatic style, well ok she wasn’t really fat but she did sing the last song and we left….

Drove around the farming communities in the area.  Many fruit tree orchards, asparagus farms and lush green countryside.  Small scattered towns and hidden cottages along the shores of Lake Michigan.

And the last couple of days before heading into Northern Michigan brought another bought of  Illness for Dave.  Ambulances came (no siren please).  Hospital emergency room, oxygen tubes in place, sedation to ease the recovery period.  Drives back and forth to the hospital.  Days later and Dave is back with us.   A bit grumpy… who wouldn’t be after the all he’s gone through.  Tension, relief and a learning curve of what to do, not to do and plans for the next time.  

Finally time to move north and into the U.P.

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