I may chat about my books, what I'm writing or reading, or just general thoughts. You may read posts about my cats or just my crazy life in general. Comments are welcome, if anyone wants to interact with me. Maybe we can share war stories, whether it's writing related or just about life in general.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Whirlwind Trip down South

My family minus my youngest sister and brother

When I say whirlwind that’s exactly what it is with my family – running non-stop.  But there’s nothing like family and I realized just how much I missed them all.  Usually years go by between visits so it’s always such a treat.  I come back home totally worn out, but it’s all worth it and I’d do it again in a minute.

Most of my trip was unexpected visits to the hospital and doctors offices.  This is what happens when you have a large family and many friends.  Things happen out of the blue.  One of my sister’s best friends collapsed a few days before I arrived and they had to life flight her to the ICU in Austin where they induced a coma for three days so they could keep her alive and run tests to see what happened.  My sister, her husband and this friend had gone up to the hill country for a few days and the girl was fine before her collapse.  Everyone thought she may come out with brain damage because the paramedics that arrived were rookies and had to call in a back-up unit.

It took a full day in Austin as we sat in the waiting room before we could see her.  Her procedure had to wait because two heart attack victims came in that took priority first and she was stable at that time.  They installed a defibrillator and put her on seizure meds, although they had not confirmed she had a seizure causing her heart to stop.  This gal is only fifty-years-old.  Her elderly parents were both there (both in their upper eighties).  Her father was bouncing off the walls from all the coffee he had been drinking while waiting.  He knew of all the coffee machines on the floor and they were all dry except one, he told us.  It turns out she’ll be okay, but can’t drive for six months due to Texas law concerning seizure medication.

A few days later, we ended up in the hospital again to see my brother-in-laws father who has COPD.  We had been eating barbecue at their house the night before and he seemed fine, but they had to drain a liter and a half of fluid off his lungs.  They told me this is a regular occurrence.  The man is in his 90’s.

My mother at La Casona Mexican Restaurant 
My mom has dementia and had doctor appointments for evaluations to see how far this has advanced.  They are hoping to put her on meds to slow down the disease.  We won’t know the results until mid-November because she has more tests to do.  On top of all this, she took a nasty spill in the bathtub back in July.  Her leg and back are still bothering her from that incident.

That was one reason I was trying to rush this family book along, as well as taking my trip, before I actually intended to.  I’d like my mom to be able to read it while she still can.  When I gave it to her, she said it was the best gift I could have ever given her, so that made me feel good about finishing this ten-year project.  She told me a few days later that I was a good writer and it was hard for her to put the book down.  Okay, I know this is my mother, but that was still a nice compliment.

When we all get together, it is non-stop talking and laughing.  I really missed my sisters so much and had so much fun catching up.  We were never in bed before two or three in the morning and back on the go usually by seven the following morning.  All of us figured we could sleep after I went home.  We had to make every minute count, never knowing for sure when we’ll see each other again.

I lived out of my suitcase and shuffled between houses.  That was okay with me.  My ordinary life is so dull compared to the non-stop action that goes on down there all the time.

 My great-nephew Travis
It was lucky for me that my great nephew was visiting from the base in CA at the same time so it was good seeing him, his wife and little boy.  He’s in the Marines and will be getting out of the service early next year.  He’s been to Afghanistan twice and we’re all happy nothing happened to him over there.  He’s a sweet kid.

 This is my brother-in-law Mark with his barbeque pit
One night my sister and I were up and out at the barbecue pit helping my brother-in-law put meat on the grill at two AM.  He takes his barbequing seriously.  Many times, he’ll stay up all night smoking stuff.  It sure is good.  Sometimes they sell extra meat to friends and co-workers.  The only problem I had was my feet swelling up from all the salt.  I use very little at home.  That has never been a problem for me before, but it sure was this time.  My sister said, “Why didn’t you tell me you were on a low-sodium diet?”  Well, I’m not really, just don’t use much salt usually and generally try to eat very healthy.

I went to the county faire and parade, which I haven’t done since I was a teenager.  That in itself is a long story so maybe I’ll save that for another post.

 This is one my neices Jodi in her apt.
I was shocked to see my nieces all grown up with their own households and some of them have little ones now.  It was hard to wrap my head around that.  But the children are so well-behaved so that’s a blessing.

 My neice Reesa with Rylie and Ray

Of course, I ate enough Mexican food and barbeque to last me quite a while.  They eat lots of that in Texas.
Luckily, I made my return fight when I found out ten minutes before take-off that I was waiting leisurely at the wrong gate.  And you guessed it, the correct gate was at the other end of the airport.  Isn’t that always how it is?  I was breathless and my head swimming by the time I made it down there.  Even then, I got a seat in row eight, which was pretty good considering they don’t have assigned seats on Southwest Airlines.

It was a wonderful trip and I took tons of pictures.  I hated to see it end.  I was really wishing I had stayed longer when I got off the airport shuttle here and it was 65 with a stiff north wind blowing.  I had left a balmy 85 down south.
To be continued.


  1. Wow, what an eventful trip. Despite some of the more negative aspects it sounds like you had a good time. Looking forward to hearing about the county fair. I've been thinking about county fairs the past few months and would love to go to one again. I guess I can experience it vicariously through your fair visit.

    Tossing It Out

  2. Hi Lee,

    Thanks for your comment and visiting. It was indeed a noteworthy trip, but I had a great time. Trying to catch up on sleep right now.


  3. Think of all the stuff you can use in stories and novels! Glad you are okay. This would make a great story. All the tension from hospitals etc. happy ending going home and collapsing

    1. LinnAnn,

      Thanks for visiting. Yes,I was ready to collapse when I got home.


  4. Wow! Sunni, you weren't kidding when you said it was a whirlwind trip! Your mom is so cute and so is your nephew Travis ;) Ha,ha! It seems you had a great time. You have a lovely family. Maybe I missed a post, but I would love to know how your mom reacted to the beautiful book you made for her. :)

    1. Vashti,

      Thanks for visiting. My mom loved the book and said it was the best gift I could ever give her. That felt good.



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