Nearly every week for the past few months, frozen material falls from the sky in the form of snow, sleet, hail, or icy rain. Sunday evening, I woke in the middle of the night and thought the light reflecting from the window looked strange. Sure enough there was a blanket of snow on everything. It continued to snow and when we got up around 6 a.m. there was several inches on everything.
Not having my computer, I had no choice but to get dressed and trek to work. To determine the feasibility of my plan, Rich decided to test drive my Honda FIT in the snow. He carefully backed out of the garage and turned the wheel to head out of the driveway when the car start to slide sideways. Miraculous, he was able to stop the car from cascading down the hill,
After easing it partially onto the driveway, he placed a plywood board under the front wheels then shoved a pathway in front of the car so he could slowly drive it back into the safety of the garage.
Because I needed my computer in order to work, Rich had no choice but to drive me to Microsoft in his truck, which has 4-wheel drive. The scenary was spectacular and fortunately, traffic was light. Within an hour, I had my computer and was back home to spend the rest of the day working and enjoying a winter wonderland. Throughout the day, it snowed on-and-off. As evening approached, however, it started to warm up and by Tuesday morning, most of the snow was gone.
Rich and I are slowly moving boxes and furniture from our Mount Vernon house to our Kirkland house. Yesterday, Rich found his suede coat in a wardrobe box along with his summer clothes.
Before hanging up the coat, I reached in the pockets. Along with finding the obligatory toothpick and pen, I found a handful of receipts. They were all dated Friday, February 16, 2007. One was for Ross Dress for Less. The other two were for Lowe’s and U-Haul.
Seeing the receipts took my breath away.
On that day, I was getting ready to go home from HealthSouth after a week of rehabilitation for a fracture pelvis and broken ribs following a horrific car accident a week earlier. I had mixed feeling about leaving. On one hand, I was happy that Rich didn’t have to worry about taking care of me. I had gotten into a routine of getting up at 7 a.m., struggling into my wheelchair, finding a nurse to give me my pain medications, waiting until they kicked in before I changed into fresh pajamas (I refused to wear clothes) then wheeling myself into the common room for breakfast and the start of my physical therapy.
In the evenings, I enjoyed lying in bed, reading and seeing the lights of downtown Austin from my second story window, especially the stunning Frost Bank Tower.
On the other hand, I’d spent four days at the Brackenridge Trauma Center and five days at HealthSouth. I was anxious to go home and resume a more normal life with Rich and the cats. Getting poked and prodded by nurses and doctors wasn’t much fun. And I’d grown weary of having no privacy.
On that Friday, while I was blissfully doped up on Hydrocodone (codeine), Rich was anxiously driving around town, gathering what he needed to care for me. Because I’d have to stay downstairs, Rich scrambled to buy a bed. He found a queen-size set at Costco. However, it wouldn’t fit in his truck, so he rented a trailer from U-Haul.
Once he got it home, he realized that we had no queen-sized sheets so he zipped to Ross Dress for Less for a mattress cover, sheets, comforter, pillows, and blankets. He also bought a very cute Easter-themed decorative pillow with perky yellow chicks and pink tulips.
Having met with my social worker, he went to Lowe’s to get a shower chair, hand-held shower nozzle, and other necessities.
Seeing those receipts, reminded me how much Rich cares about my well-being. The next morning, Saturday, he nervously picked me up at HealthSouth. I clung to the seat the entire trip and winced every time he went over a bump. When we got home, I screamed as he awkwardly lifted and pulled the wheelchair, with me in it, over the ledge leading into the house.
Exhausted from the trip and in lots of pain from the car ride, I wanted to immediately go to bed so Rich wheeled me into the family where he’d set up the new bed. I cried seeing how much work he’d gone through. When I stood up and turned around to plunk my bottom on the bed, however, we realized that the bed was at least 6-8 inches too high. There was no way that I could get into it using only one leg and one arm. My other arm was okay, but using it aggravated my cracked ribs. Poor Rich had to remove the bed frame and place the mattress on the floor.
For the next 10 weeks, Rich not only worked from home, but ran up-and-down the stairs throughout the day and sometime at night to get me in-and-out of bed, remind me to take my pills, prepare my food, drive me to therapy and doctor appointments, and much more.
It’s amazing how many memories a few receipts can generate!
In spite of having owned our Kirkland house for over three months, we’ve moved very little furniture into the house and still have several hundred boxes to unpack. While that sounds like an outrageous number of boxes, it’s no exaggeration. Take a look at the picture below, which show the family room and garage of our Mount Vernon house.
In early December, torrential rains hit Washington, resulting in flooding in southern Washington, overflowing creeks and other waterways, and turning our Mount Vernon house into lakefront property. About half a mile from our house is the Skagit River. When it rained, the banks overflowed.
The picture below shows the house across the street from ours. While the land in front of the land is part of a wet land, it usually doesn’t turn into a lake. According to Rich, it took several days for the water to recede.
The other picture shows the pastures, which is about an eighth of a mile from our house. In the distance is a dairy farm.