Thursday, December 08, 2005

Big Week - Post 3

Two days of hard work of processing chickens was rewarded with a trip to Grapevine for the sale of the chickens. I had not planned to take everyone. I had planned to take a few of the hardest workers. I failed to take into account that such an arrangement would mean the hardest worker, Melissa, would not get a reward. From now on I think we will all make the trip to Grapevine. It is a reward. It is also the final hard day of the processing cycle.

I was up to get Isabella milked and then it was full bore hustle to get the coolers packed and into the van, kids fed and dressed, surviving chickens fed and the family on the road. Three hours later we were in town. We spent a couple of hours at Parr Park, but the kids were just not all that interested in the playground. I am not sure why other than it may be boring to play in grass with very little danger in the way of rattlesnakes, spiders or scorpions.

On our way to the park we bought some soda at Tom Thumb and had a picnic at the park. This was the kids’ first soda exposure for the day. Later we would soda up for dinner as we drove home. On Sunday morning the kids were all talking about how they could go a few weeks or so without another soda and be fine. While I have a hard time understanding such a healthy attitude (I would kill for a dip of snuff right now) I am able to admire it. I am utterly unable to make any claim of responsibility for this odd behavior other than it is my fingers that get them their milk each morning.

After the sales were all complete we went to see my parents in Dallas. Dad was fine and had a couple of his friends come up to see his grandkids. Our visit with Mom was a mixed bag. I have known all along that at some point I would go to visit her and she would draw a blank. The last year or so she has not known my name but at least known I was significant in her life. Saturday she was polite but she had no idea who I was or Melissa, Faith, Grace or Claire. It probably has something to do with the beard, but she is not going to do anything but go further downhill. It is the sad fact of dementia and I told the girls as we were leaving that they were not going to come with me on the visits any more. They have a poor enough set of memories of my mother and I do not want their mental snap shots to get worse.

We finally got home at 9:45 p.m. I struggled to stay awake the last hour of driving. Melissa could have driven it, but she would’ve had to wake up to do the driving. Anyway, our late arrival meant that I had to milk the cow in the dark. We have a lantern, but it is battery operated and the cold has sapped the batteries. When the milking was done it was agreed that a new lantern that did not rely on a nice temperature would be purchased. It was purchased Sunday and it does work. It took until Monday to get her back to normal with the morning and evening milkings.

Maybe next time I will stay at home and let Melissa go to town.


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