Monday, July 15, 2013

Jacksonville Living

Since moving to Jacksonville in April, my mother has been hospitalized four times - heart, heart, pneumonia/heart, and C-Dif (a horrible and potentially deadly hospital borne intestinal infection).  Her 5'6" frame has gone from a slender 127 to 113.  Hugging my mother is like hugging a chicken bone.  She needs meat, but doesn't care for the taste or texture.  Her appetite is minimal at best, and her energy comes in tiny spurts followed by exhaustion.

My two sisters and I met at Village Inn, calendars and opinions and ideas ready to share, to work out a care plan.  I don't work and Kathie and Patty do.  While Patty is on school vacation (she is a teacher), she will go daily to momma and daddy's house to do four or five hours of cooking, laundry, and doctor appointments.  Kathie is the Sunday girl, and once school starts, Patty will take over on Saturdays.  Momma loves the new calendar, knowing who will do what when and the comfort of knowing there will always be someone there to help keep their daily routine constant.

Mark and I have a two-week vacation planned for later this month, a celebration of leaving the job he has done since he was 28 years old, Snap-On Tools, which he closes out his inventory later this week.  It has been a year since we last visited our mountain home together and he feels this break is needed before he begins the daunting task of finding another job.  At almost 57, he is concerned about finding anything.  Once home, I go back to my Monday through Friday daily visits to my parents' home.  It's very pleasant to see Momma and Daddy regularly and I am so very thankful to share the same city now after being away for 26 years.

Parenting the Fearful Pooch

Storms have always been a welcome daily summer occurrence in Florida, leaving behind steaming asphalt, perkier flowers, happy little birds bathing in puddles, and cooler nights.  My mother used to say, "Sunshine and shower, won't last half an hour!"  And it's true.  Try telling that to my dog!

Juliet became fearful after four brave puppy years of Florida weather, which includes tropical storms, tons of thunder, enough lightening to power the whole city for a year, buckets of rain, and all of this always results in mosquitoes galore.  What happened?  Who knows?  Our once brave Juliet became five pounds of fear about a year ago. She starts pacing with she first whiff of a storm cloud. A rumble sends her wide eyed, shivering and panting to the closest human for safety.  She shakes like a vibrating toy at my side.  I never had much use for a miniature shivering dog and thought them to be wimps, and so for an entire year I have ignored her begs for protection, hoping it was just a passing thing.  No.  Hers is a deep seated problem.  

My new mode of dog parenting now includes a kind lap to burrow into when thunder claps and rain pounds on the skylights.  I don't say anything, don't pamper or encourage, but if she needs a safe haven, I will allow my dog the comfort of my lap.  I'm not to the point of purchasing a thunder coat or doggie zanex...YET.