Most of you were aware that we were "managing" a campground near Newaygo, MI and things were going pretty good until a week before the 4th of July weekend. Sally had a stroke and things changed in a heartbeat. She was completely paralyzed on the right side and could not talk or swallow. God was on our side as I had given her 2 aspirin as soon as I noticed her problem, probably within 3 minutes of the stroke. Needless to say she went to the hospital in Fremont, MI where our daughters and friends could all be there if needed. She now says that she remembers nothing of the first 2 days and doesn't remember anything until the 3rd afternoon. I was down in the office making arrangements for her to go to Grand Rapids to a rehab hospital. Of course I didn't know all of the answers and I went up stairs to see if the girls knew what I needed. I found out she had just been moved from ICU to a semi private room and there was jubilation in the room when I entered. The change in Sally was amazing and the girls were smiling from ear to ear. The Dr had just been in and told everybody that if she continued the improvement that day and night she could go home tomorrow. WOW I'd gone upstairs thinking the worse and then a miracle had taken place.
Needless to say she came home and she had in the home therapy for awhile. Today I'm happy to say that she has improved tremendously and other than being Lois Bradway's daughter (those of you that knew Lois will understand) she has no problem other than short term memory and speech. So if you talk to her on the phone you'll understand the moments between the words. The doctors and nurses all said it was the aspirin that helped and I say it was God the great physician. The night she went to the hospital I told God that she was in his hands and I'd do whatever it took.
Another miracle about the stroke is after 55 years of smoking Sally does not remember smoking and she has no desire to.
About 2 or 3 weeks before Labor Day we resigned from the campground and got away from that stressful environment.
The middle of October saw me getting itchy feet again and back on the road after a lot of prayer. We ended up in Arkansas at a hunting club where I'm the caretaker and Sally can help inside which she is doing quite nicely.
Aimee, our dog, can run around here and chase the squirrels and we can enjoy the wild turkey, deer and ducks. It is not warm country where we wanted to go but it is nice country and away from the stress.
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Two of the 5 owners were up here this weekend along with a son and grandson of another owner.
This lodge, I'm finding out is almost a hobby type duck hunting area for the for the owners. Dave (pharmacist) told me today, when I was asking a bunch of questions, that if they sold 2 more shares of the place they would no longer take in outside hunters. It would then become a private hunting resort.
Sally and I have found out they âre quite laid back and easy to get along with. The owners have their own rooms in the lodge unless they have one of the 2 houses on the property. All of the owners clean their own rooms, change bedding and all of that stuff. They use the common kitchen and living/lounge/bar area. So when they leave like they did this afternoon we went in and swept and damp mopped the beautiful dark green tile floor. It was not dirty but it was just dull from the traffic on it. I told Sally she could vacuum the custom made carpeting (with an inlaid duck in one spot) tomorrow.
Today we also took Aimee into Corning AR. to get beautified at the dog salon. While she was getting trimmed we went into the Ace Hardware and picked up supplies for the lodge and then we went into the Dollar Store and then the local grocery and spent all of our money so that I could get fatter.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Its been awhile since I wrote anything. We made another trip to town to get Aimee checked for and all caught up on her shots. Definitely we are in the middle of mosquito country so we need a little more potent heart worm medicine than what we got out in Idaho where mosquitos are almost an endangered species. Well she got her new meds and shots and we took out another mortgage on the old homestead, so to say. We tried to get her bill pd by Medicare but it didn't work.
Wednesday -- I picked up a new leaf blower at the Ace Hardware Store in Corning and a couple of other items needed for the lodge. I took it home and was quite shocked when I opened it up and saw how SMALL it was. We have oak trees here with millions of leaves and acorns. Most of them land on the sidewalk & etc so one of the jobs everyday is to blow the deck and sidewalks clear. Well the little bugger didn't do to bad on the deck but when I went on the ground where the leaves were 2 ft deep or so it did not have enough oomph. Well I went through 4 tanks of gas and finally put it up.
Thursday morning I went, by my self into Corning to the hardware. Told them my plight and they gave me full credit (they'll put it in their rental stuff) and I ordered a bigger one but, it won't be in until next Wednesday. SO I started raking leaves and then I used the mower to windrow a bunch more. We have a little Cub Cadet with a loader on it and I thought that I could load up the bucket and haul the leaves into the woods. That would be time consuming. I proceeded-to talk Sally into driving the tractor. Sally never in her life drove a tractor. First She had to get warmly dressed as it was in the fifty degree range and you don't move around much on a tractor when you âre driving it. Then we had to get her in the seat and she accomplished that with hardly a problem.
Now nothing against Sally but she is as mechanically inclined as a bucket of water. The tractor has a foot shuttle for forward and backward. Not a problem for her, it was just the clutch, brake and operating the bucket.
The biggest problem was the dump bucket. I would like you all to know I behaved exceptionally well during the procedure. I wasn't nervous but I sure moved quick a few times. She probably hauled upwards of 30 loads of leaves and it was a great help to me as I could rake while she meandered over to the woods and back. Not only that Aimee was out there and running back and forth so she was getting her exercise also.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Jon-Jon came in last night with his son and 3 buddies for muzzle loading season of deer hunting. Jon-Jon is one of the owners son probably 30 to 35 yrs of age with a 9 yr old terror called son. When they come in it is best not even go in the lodge. I guess it must be the way a mother feels when after she cleans house, a all day project, somebody comes home and she has to do it all over again.
They all went hunting this morning and were back by 9:30 AM with one 8 point and a doe. In AR bucks must have at least one 3 point antler. So basically that makes it a 6 point (Eastern Count). You are allowed 3 deer which 2 can be bucks (3 point) or 3 does, the way I understand it.
They're all back in this evening but I don't know what if anything they got. This AM we swept out the lodge and Sally dried some sheets & etc. I had to clean out the garage as Jon-Jon never closes the doors and the leaves all head for the open garage doors.
Also I got Sally to haul more leaves for me with the tractor and she did a lot better today.
Monday, November 21, 2005
As I write this it is a gorgeous fall day, frost this morning and not a cloud in the sky. Duck season is in full stride and the hunters are out there mostly missing ducks and having a good time. They are doing what is called green timber hunting, which Arkansas is famous for. Where the hunt club is located is flat land where a lot of rice is grown along with corn, soybeans & etc. As the rivers rise in the fall the woodlands flood, along with a little help from man. The hunters find a clearing and stand out there in their camouflage and try calling the ducks into land. Some of the setups are quite comfortable with seats and all of them have a place for the dog to sit where it is high & dry. These hunters are as serious hunters as any hunter is for whatever game they're going for. And they, for the most part, are having a good time.
This opening weekend the lodge was almost filled to capacity with friends and relatives of the owners. There were ATV's and Black & Chocolate Labradors running all over the place. All of them are very obedient and when they're not hunting they're in the kennels out back impatiently awaiting their owners to go hunting again. Actually the dogs do not hunt they're used as retrievers and Labrador Retrievers excel at that.
The second day of the hunt I asked some of the guys how the first day went and they were all pleasantly surprised how many ducks there were with the weather being so mild. I honestly thought they would have a lot of ducks but I just chuckled, with the hunters, when they had gotten 12 ducks. Now I know I heard at least 200 shots so there must have been a few misses.
At least with the cooler weather and the start of the hunting season we do not have to feed the ducks and fish anymore. For some reason the ducks don't trust us and the water is cool enough that the fish have slowed down in their eating habits.
Each morning at 6 AM (when the paying guests have left for the morning), Sally & I go up to the lodge and proceed to clean the kitchen, bathrooms, showers and lounge & dining room. Any rooms that the people are still around we do not go into. Any room where the person has left we strip the beds and remake them, clean the shower, toilet, counter, mirror and vacuum. All of the dirty towels, linens and dirty dishes are also washed, folded and return to the proper rooms so that it is ready for the next cleanup. The hallways are swept as well and the all of the carpeting is vacuumed. Every other day we move the furniture, vacuum and dust and make sure all of the stuffed animals are cleaned off. What I have just listed takes us about 2 to 3 hours each morning. By the time we get the inside done the hunters are coming back to eat breakfast and we go home, we do not cook for them.
Later on I go back and clean the garage area, blow off the sidewalks, wash windows, repair doors or whatever and just piddle around. One of things I do want to do is power wash the tractor and see if I can fix the hydraulic leak it has. The leak is bad enough that it leaks even when not running, I think.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Here it is a couple of days after Thanksgiving and we âre by ourselves again. Thanksgiving Day my nephew Ed Price with his wife Robin and son Michael showed up (planned) for dinner and to stay so that we could do some fishing & etc. We had a good dinner that Sally fixed and she even had some stress with it. Last week the oven on our stove quit working so we were without an oven before Thanksgiving. We cannot get the gas valve that it need unless we take it out so the numbers can be gotten off of it. She made a couple of pumpkin pies up at the lodge using their oven but, their was no way we could do a turkey as the lodge was going to be used by family and we both like turkey. She put some chickens in the crock pot so we did have poultry. Everything was very good and Robin brought a delicious pumpkin cake (RICH) soooooo gooood.
Friday morning was cold 19 degrees to cold for fishing so the women decided that we would go to a K-Mart because something was on sale there. Well 40 some miles up the road we were at a K-Mart in Poplar Bluff, MO and the only thing I could see there was people hundreds of people and they didn't have what was wanted so I pull into a Dollar Store and lo and behold they had the item.
We just continued on down the road and stopped at a sporting goods store but I couldn't get any money to buy what I wanted we ambled on towards home, stopped in Corning AR. for great lunch (Ed & Robin bought).
Where Ed works in Oklahoma City he is in charge of their computers &/or stuff and they were talking to him on the phone constantly all day while we were dilly dallying around. It seems that it is inventory time for their plants (they're international) and some do-hickey on a-thing-a-ma-jig that did not work. Most of you know how it goes when the boss is away everybody plays. Nobody would answer their pager so Ed & Robin had to leave and make the 8 hour trip back Oklahoma City a couple of days early. We sure hope we can get together again and maybe drown a worm or two.
Entry for November 30, 2005
The last 24 hours have been a pleasant reprieve by the fact that daughter Lisa & husband Joe Gerdes stopped on their way to Texas. They arrived here just before sundown last night and left this morning about 10AM. This is the first we've seen them since before Lisa's dad died a couple of weeks ago. I had an enjoyable time as I showed Joe the lodge and told him a little about the operation (I don't know much about it). Alas, the visit came to an end as they were anxious to get on down towards Texas and their home there.
Since then Bob & Doris Robbins also stopped one night in route to Texas.
We've had cold weather in the teens, about 3 inches of snow, thunder, lightning, tornados nearby all in the short time we've been here. Look up the lodge at www.brlodge.com
Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings