A busy two weeks......

Please bear with me while I am traveling.....I'm not posting as frequently as I'd like since I'm staying at various places and may or may not have access to the internet. Plus, how would it sound if I say, "Listen, I'd REALLY like to talk to you, and catch up on the news since I've been gone, but I MUST write on my blog. I have FOLLOWERS, you know?" Yeah. Just what I thought. Uncool. Sooo... things should get back to normal when we return.

My head is spinning from all the moving around we are doing. We spent a week in Northwestern IL at my sister's house, with the mouse, 3 kids from age 6 and under, and 5 adults (on a good day). Lots of activity there.

Then we drove up to Champlin, MN, where we spent the night at Jim's brother's house. It was fun catching up with them and also seeing Jim's sister, her significat other, and my 2 nephews. It was c-c-c-old up der in dem parts. In fact, my parts were cold!

In the morning we drove another 2 hours to Melrose, MN to another brother's house and ate lunch. Then Jim, Jason, (our son) and I drove over to the nursing home to see Jim's Dad. It was quite depressing. He's really gone down hill in the last year or so. He will turn 99 in February. He is a walking miracle (or should I say a sitting miracle since he is in a wheel chair) - the doctors are amazed that he is still alive. His kidneys are hardly functioning, his hearing is going, as is his sight. He told us that his life "was shot". My heart just went out to him. Jim's dad always had a great sense of humor. He was a very hardworking man and had a 200 acre farm and grew grain for the cows.

I'll never forget the time I told him about "tipping cows". He never had heard about this college prank of actually tipping a cow over. He laughed so hard till tears ran down his face. He said, "It must be those dumb Illinoisian cows - you can't tip a Minnesotan cow!" Right then a neighbor came over and he said, "Patty! Patty! Tell him the story about the tipping cow!" He continued laughing.

Later that evening with all of us kids gathered around the dinner table (Jim comes from a family of 8 kids), we discussed the cow tipping technique. We thought we should sneak out and try it, but thought that somebody should be on their hands and knees next to the cow so that it would have something to TIP OVER. Well, needless to say, we couldn't come up with a volunteer to be the tip-over-person. So the plan was scratched.

So to see Jim's Dad in the sort of helpless condition that we did was very hard. He had been a strong man and now he has no want or will to live. No one should live this long. That's just my own personal opinion.

That evening we went back to Jim's brother's house and spent the night. Another fun night of catching up on news, drinking, laughing, etc. Then New Years Eve morning we were on the road back to Chicagoland by 7:30 am.

By 5:00 that evening we were back at my sister's house. We shared a delicious meal brought in from Maggiano's - a great Italian restaurant.

New Year's Day morning Jim and I got back into the truck (borrowed from my brother) and drove 1 1/2 hours down to central Illinois to visit with my daughter and her family. It's been fun spending time with our granddaughter Lily. I will be posting pictures soon.

We depart for AZ on Tuesday. I hope to catch up on all your blogs.

Happy New Year everyone!
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