Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Braving the bigger world

Last Wednesday, Rick and I ventured farther afield than we had to date this year – we flew to Omaha, Nebraska! Our alma mater in Lincoln had asked The Down Home Boys, the college bluegrass band Rick played in, to come back to do some weekend music. Rick wanted me to go along, of course (he always wants me to go along), but even though my sister and some old school friends live there, I told him I didn't want to go. Between arranging care for all our animals, the risk of COVID-19 exposure, and my strong homebody bent, I just had no desire. Next thing I know, he said we had tickets. 😳

I proceeded to stitch together animal care; shouts out to our new neighbors, who offered to keep Poppy (playmates for days!!!), and other friends who shared onsite farm chores. My sister sent me a link to this article that made me feel much better about flying, and I kept my fingers busy with spinning and knitting and even got to watch a free movie that I loved. (Hitch. Yes, it's 15 years old. No, I don't watch many movies.) We got a rental car at the airport and then drove to campus, where we stayed in an on-campus guest room. Then Rick proceeded to practice a lot until their first program, Friday night vespers, while I visited with my sister and a couple of my old high school/college-and-beyond buddies.

This building is new since we last visited

The distant building houses the swimming pool where I taught kiddy swimming lessons my last summer

My sister and family are being UBER-careful during the pandemic, as they all have underlying conditions. We visited in her open garage, sitting on camp chairs with masks on. It had turned cold in Lincoln (as it did here), and believe you me, I was thankful to be wearing a mask for the bit of added warmth it gave! I was also thankful that my sister's French bulldog wanted to sit on my lap for the same reason....

On Friday we did go to my sister's and nephew's favorite craft store, Makit Takit. I had eyes only for the yarn side of the store, and even found two pretty skeins in the half-price bin – which my sister promptly snatched and paid for.

One of my friends took me around a small corner of the much-changed city of my college years. Scheels was a destination in and of itself, a combination of sculpture garden, Cabela's/athletic goods/gift/home decor store, and amusement park. Just inside the entrance there is a giant aquarium made up of three huge columns with connecting archways;  the Ferris wheel is beyond that (not operating in COVIDtimes). My friend thought I "would like the animals;" I just smiled and didn't say I prefer my wild creatures alive and free.

I loved this clever, customizable wall decor!

The 'Boys' provided a musical program for Friday evening vespers, followed by musical selections for both church services at the college church the next day. Masks were supposed to be worn for both; after a little kerfuffle over Friday evening's masklessness, there was compliance on Sabbath (they sounded just as good with masks). This is the church, minus the pipe organ, in which Rick and I were married over 36 years ago (installation started the week after our wedding).

Sunday we got out of Dodge just in time, as snow was forecast for that afternoon. In fact, our airplane picked up some ice on the way into Omaha, so had to be de-iced before we departed:

On the way home I spun and knitted some more, and we got to watch another free movie, one I've really wanted to see – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. I was not disappointed; what a wonderful film about the wonderful Fred Rogers.

We picked up Poppy from the neighbors on our way home Sunday night, and promptly built a fire to warm the chilly house. While waiting for that to happen, Poppy found a cozy place to wait:

The weekend was not all pickin' and grinnin', though. I got a text message from my parents Thursday morning letting me know that my 100-year-old aunt had died. She had just been admitted to the hospital the night before for the second time in a week; the first time she had been diagnosed with COVID-19. I'm so thankful she passed quickly; I'm so sad for my dad that he has not been able to see her or visit in person for many months. Then on Friday morning, Rick started experiencing symptoms consistent with past cardiac events. From then until now, he's been on edge, obsessing over every little sensation, but has not yet decided he needs to go to the doctor or hospital.

That's the travelogue from . . .


Fat Dormouse said...

It sounds like you had a good time, catching up with loved ones, despite the sad news you received. A peaceful passing is probably a good thing in these strange times, even if family can't be there. Good to revive memories too.

Mama Pea said...

Sounds like you had an enjoyable weekend despite the fact that you would rather have stayed at home. (Another big-time homebody here!) Always good to get out of our everyday, home environment if for no other reason than to have a new appreciation of it when we return. One huge sadness of this whole COVID thing is our inability to be by the side of loved ones when it's most needed. That makes my heart ache.

Retired Knitter said...

What a lovely trip! and what a handsome French bulldog. Big like my daughters dog - Milo. Actually I think Mike is smaller!! And don't you love how husbands listen to what we say - (not!). But I am glad you got to go even if you had your doubts. I know you were careful - and I believe it IS possible to live around this virus if you are alert in higher risk situations. Of course, you can't let your guard down for a minute and I am sure you didn't. Nice yarn. Can't remember WHEN I was around yarn I could purchase! How nice.

A :-) said...

I'm glad you had a good time - it gave me pause, however, to see the guys all playing and singing in a circle . . . with no masks. I hope Rick will check in with his cardiolist soon, and I'm sorry for the loss of your aunt to COVID. 100 is a long life, God love her, but that doesn't make it any easier to say goodbye.

Tim B. Inman said...

I hope you 'waved' at me from the sky as you might have flown over Oakdale Farm. I am in line with the Offut Air Force Base runways, and planes often make a U-turn over the farm to align for landing. Eppley is just to the north of Offut.

I don't miss traveling one bit. When I had a 'real' job, I traveled a lot teaching seminars and doing demonstrations for professional furniture folks. The anxiety of the 'getting ready' and the exhaustion and letdown after 'getting home' are not forgotten. Good health to you and Rick.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Tell that boy to get himself to his doctor NOW! It's a lot easier to prevent things than to hope to repair any damage. Glad you had a mostly good trip, though.

Michelle said...

Yes, it was a good trip, Alison. My sister wrote a wonderful biography for our aunt, and shared her photo album photos that she had scanned. Lots of good memories made in 100 years!

Homebodies unite, Mama Pea!

Yes, Elaine, Porsche is a big girl! Not as hyper as other Frenchies I've met, but she's also seven or eight years old now. They adopted her from some friends who could no longer keep her just a couple years ago. Yes, I was very careful.

Adrienne, a couple of the guys in the band are 'Trumpets' and therefore anti-mask even though the city of Lincoln has a mask mandate – including the one who lives in Lincoln and hosted practice. 😖 I wore mine, and didn't go over much, in part because I couldn't stand his ranting rhetoric. Why is it the Republicans who seem so unpleasant – and ANTI 'law and order'?

How much snow did you get after we left, Tim?

Sue, the last time Rick had these symptoms, the cardiologist couldn't find anything wrong, but gave him the option to go to the regional heart center. There he could an angiogram that showed he needed another stent. 😳 That's the problem with cardiovascular disease; you can't SEE the progression without invasive, expensive, and somewhat risky procedures. Rick has one 'widow-maker' constriction; obviously that didn't get plugged or he'd be dead....

Tim B. Inman said...

How much snow? We got about 2-inches. But of course this is Iowa! So we got about a quarter of an inch of glare ice on everything during/after the snow. Winter wonderland!

marlane said...

Well done for going along for the trip. That is how it is for me if I go away with my husband, the big question who will care for our animals.
My husband will not wear a mask, so that complicates our lives at the moment. He says this is all nothing worse than the flu and destroying our rights and a lot of businesses. I do hope that Rick can care for himself. Thankfully now a lot can be done for heart problems. We are on the Keto way of eating ourselves. Because supposedly carbs of any kind cause inflammation and heart disease. This is the opposite of what we have been told, as it is a very high fat diet.Both of us have lost many pounds and reduced our blood pressures which is most interesting.We have done this now for over a year, go figure.

Jeanne said...

Thanks for sharing your story! I'm glad you went with Rick, even though you thought you didn't want to go.

I'm very sorry about the death of your aunt. I'm glad she didn't hang on for a long time, which would have been difficult for everyone in the family.

I wish I could have heard the music Rick's group played. Did anyone get recordings?

My oldest granddaughter has done the Keto diet too. She's has lost a lot of weight and looks great.

I pray that Rick will do well.

Michelle said...

Oh man, I hate that ice/snow combination, Tim. Glad you can just stay home in that stuff!

Marlane, I hope your husband doesn't have to learn in a painful, personal way that this pandemic is REAL. As for diets, keto would be very bad for my husband's cardiovascular disease . . . and has a lot of other risks as well. I'll stick to whole foods and a plant-based diet. The carbs that cause inflammation are the refined ones; we should all stay away from those!

Jeanne, I shared a short clip from practice on Instagram/FB, but I did take some other videos from the performances themselves. I'll try to get some uploaded to YouTube so I can share them on the blog.

Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm said...

Prayers, Michelle, prayers.
Generally, I don't wear a mask, medical exemption, but I do practice 6' rule although I've noticed people with masks have no compunction about getting in a 2' space. I also take care to boost my immune system, stay out of crowds. If my 2021 trip requires me to wear a mask I'll wear a face shield. We all need to take care of ourselves first.

Michelle said...

Yep, we can't be around to do anyone any good if we die from preventable causes, Sandra! Fair warning; we flew American and a face shield alone would not have been enough. You had to wear a mask AS WELL, covering nose and mouth at all times unless actively eating or drinking, or you couldn't fly with them at that time and possibly for the future. I believe other airlines have adopted the same policy – and for good reason, if you read the article I linked in my post.