Solar Eclipse

We made our reservations in early May to stay at one of the campgrounds around Smithville Lake during the total solar eclipse. It is only about 21 miles north of our home, but deeper into the path of totality. And a long weekend in the RV was what we needed to get away from the basement clean out and patio projects. In May there were still a few spots left and we were able to get a shady one we could comfortably fit into.

When we arrived early Friday afternoon, the campground was slowly filling up. We expected it to be full. All of the approximately 777 spots at the 2 campgrounds had been reserved. What we weren’t expecting were all the people that would be traveling much farther than us to stay here at the lake for the eclipse. We have met people from Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas and have seen license plates from Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota.

It is exciting to see so many people coming out to the lake to experience this event. Campers and cars have been constantly pulling out and others pulling in. There are people in tents in many spots, which is a bit unusual for this loop. All spots are 50 AMP, with water. The neighbors in the spot next to us arrived Friday and have to move their travel trailer down 4 spots this morning before the eclipse because that spot was reserved by someone else for tonight only.

It has been a good relaxing weekend. We went on a long bicycle ride on Saturday morning.

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Andy captured this butterfly photo along the Cabin Fever Trail

When we got back, our 7 year old granddaughter called and asked if she and her sister could come up for the night. We couldn’t say no. We picked them up at a designated meeting spot and enjoyed the afternoon and evening with them.

girls in boat

We didn’t have a lakefront spot, so it was easier to bring the lake to them.

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Reading with a flashlight at the campfire. This girl loves to read!

After taking them back on Sunday morning, we enjoyed several hours kayaking on the upper arm of the lake, in the wildlife management area.wildlifemanagementarea

waterlily

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We are now preparing to watch the eclipse with hundreds of strangers in a few hours. We have our solar eclipse viewing glasses and a wide open area to sit in. The clouds are overhead now, but we are tracking the weather and they should be moving on before the eclipse starts at 11:41am.

Stay safe and wear your certified eclipse glasses for viewing.

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Getting Back to Basics

We subscribe to an internet and TV provider to get super-fast (sometimes) internet and more TV channels than we will ever watch. A couple months ago they sent out notice that the price was going up. They gave notice so we could be sure to have enough money to pay their rising costs. Our bill went up this month.

We talked about it, thought about it, found out what others were using for their TV watching and made our decision. We went from 220 plus channels to 15 plus channels. This is local TV with antenna channels and with some C-SPAN thrown in.

We saw it as a way to cut monthly costs and take away temptations to watch more TV than we really needed. However, being Amazon Prime members, we were able to download free apps for watching shows using our Fire Stick and it’s doubtful we will miss all those channels after all. But we are saving some money each month.

While searching for interesting shows, we can across a short German documentary filmed in 2014 titled “Less is More: How to be Happy with Nothing”. It documents the minimalist movement in Germany, featuring 3 people that are embracing it.

Ok, we are not minimalists, just downsizers trying to declutter our lives of stuff, looking for inspiration where we find it. And we needed inspiration. We had hit a declutter/clean out stuff/unpack boxes kind of wall.

The documentary’s narrator said that the average person has 10,000 items. One of the minimalists interviewed mentioned we should strive to have only 100. The family with two small children said they had more than that, because the kids needed more items. However, no one got anything new without disposing of the same number of items. The wife said when they want to buy something, they write it down on their list and come back to it a month later to see if they still need or want it. The majority of the time, they no longer want it.

One gentleman in Berlin had only 50 items. By choice. He was retired and wanted to get rid of stuff now instead of waiting for the end of life for others to handle. He went on and on about how free he felt. He showed all 50 of his items to the interviewer. All his clothes were white so that he could interchange them and clean them easily. His apartment had only a hammock. He was on the extreme side, but was also extremely happy with his choices and the freedom he said he now had.

The people interviewed all expressed that they were striving for 100 items and no more. That they were all happier than they were with more. That they had more free time to do what they wanted. A few were in swap groups that exchanged clothes and household items with each other. No money was involved.

Well, we are not anywhere near 100 items. We are probably not anywhere near 10,000 items either. While we realize we are not going to get rid of all but 100 items, we do need to get rid of hundreds. The best advice taken from the documentary was taking pictures of sentimental items, rather than keeping them packed away in boxes to look at occasionally. Not the first time we have heard that and will probably do it when we go through our stuff.

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that we thought we got rid of enough stuff before we moved. We have also taken several pieces of furniture, including a sectional sofa, out of the house after moving in. However, we still have more stuff than fits in this house. And more stuff than we really need.

We have been ignoring the basement for too long. Occasionally one of us will rearrange some boxes or go through a drawer, but frustration sets in and we abandon it. We did push back some furniture and boxes to clear a spot for the grandkids to play the Xbox when they visit, but it really is a mess.

30 Day Challenge

That’s right. We have challenged ourselves to clear out the clutter in the basement over the next 30 days. We will report back with our progress. Here are some pictures of Day 1, before doing anything.basementbefore1

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This is a bit scary because we have told you we are doing this. Hold us accountable! Encourage us and let us know your thoughts and experiences with clearing out your stuff. When we are done, we will have 100 plus items. Not sure yet how much plus.

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Frustrations Abound – daily life while remodeling

We knew it was going to take time to get our downsized home remodeled. After we walked through it the first time, we talked about changes we wanted to make. We talked about remodeling different rooms and replacing the back porch.

We made Pinterest boards filled with ideas for different rooms. We made a board for front porches, back porches, laundry rooms, bathrooms and more. We had LOTS of ideas and we knew it would take time to do everything we wanted.

We have been here almost 16 months and we are still working on the house. Some of our ideas have gone by the wayside. Some new projects have been added. And some days, it gets depressing to see what we still have to do. The days that frustrations about what we WANT to work on versus what we SHOULD work on surface. The days a multi-year project stares at us.

The days that I (Peggy) see the unfinished parts of the house and get mad. Mad at myself for not working on the stuff I can. And mad at Andy for not working on the parts I can’t. Parts I WANT done.

I could list off all the parts of the house that are not yet how we planned. Rooms that we finished just enough to use, but are not completely done. Or talk about the basement and the garage and how boxes are still piled up there. Or the whiteboard in our home office with the list of top priority projects that got bypassed for something else that we wanted to work on instead.

But I won’t.

Instead I will share how frustrating it is to live in a house full of unfinished projects. We have never been in a situation quite like this one. And it’s our fault. We realize it takes time to do this much remodeling in a house, especially when we are doing it ourselves. We are only hiring out what we absolutely must. Though the temptation to hire out more does happen. There are days we just don’t want to do it. Days we snap at each other.

We don’t have all day, every day to work on the house and the projects. Andy works full-time. I have a part-time job and also watch grandkids one day a week.

If we could work full-time on the remodeling, we probably wouldn’t. We would probably take more time off than we currently do. Now, when we don’t want to work on the house, we do yard therapy. That is when those nasty vines get yanked out of the trees and dead trees get dragged out of woods with the help of the truck. But it is still work.

The current project is a patio. Last fall, after the sun porch was built, we had a mess outside the backdoor and, instead of finishing off the inside of the porch, we decided to build a patio first. We just didn’t realize how long it was going to take and how much work it would be. Andy works on it almost every day after work and most weekends.

When we spend all our spare time working, we start to drift away from what we really want. We want to build a HOME, not a house. We want to build relationships with our neighbors. We want to be involved in the community. We want a place that is welcoming to family and friends. Which circles back to needing to finish the projects first. But we can do those things without finishing all our projects. We just need to convince ourselves.

The frustrating, snap at each other days are the days we need to get out of the house and the yard. The days we need to go for a long walk with our dogs. Or, better yet, take out the RV and get away to a campground for a long weekend. Take time to focus on what is really important. Thanking God for our health, each other and all the blessings he has provided.

So that is what we are doing this weekend. Getting away in the RV. Attending a birthday gathering to celebrate Dad’s 92rd birthday and just chilling out relaxing with family.

Stay tuned and check back for an update on the patio project. We won’t be sharing any pictures until it is done. Let’s just say, it will be awesome.

If you are living and breathing a remodeling project in your home, please share some of your frustrations and solutions in the comments. We can all use a little help from each other’s experiences.

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Battling Invasive Climbing Vines

One of the things that drew us to our house was the wooded section of the yard. It is only about a third of an acre, but it provides a nice break on that side of the lot from the neighbors and the street. We didn’t notice the vines until last spring when their leaves were out and they were actively making their way up the trunks and branches. The older vines, already settled into the tree tops, sprouted new leaves and pressed down on the smaller branches there.

hanging vines
Hanging vines that won’t budge

We don’t really have anything against vines. They can enhance the landscape and look nice covering a trellis or fence. But left unchecked certain vines become invasive. The vines that cover trees and bushes can eventually kill them. We started fighting the vines that sprawled across the tops of the trees last spring and continued into the fall. Andy used the chain saw to cut through the tree branch sized roots that wound across the ground. We watched as the green leaves of the vines at the top of a 30 foot tree turned brown. We spent hours pulling vines from tree trunks, branches and bushes. Many twisted through the branches so much that they wouldn’t budge. We felt we had made progress and thought we could finish them off this spring. We felt pretty good about our efforts.

We were wrong.

We walked through the woods this spring and cut several of the large roots. However, spring soon became summer and the vines continue to grow. We used a spray to attempt to kill the new ones that sprouted, but the progress was slow.

The chemical was supposed to kill MANY types based on the label. However, we really didn’t know what vines we had and assumed it would work on them. We also thought cutting through sections of the roots would kill them. It was time to determine exactly what type of vines we had.

After gathering samples of the vines, we determined there are 5 different varieties growing here. And not all respond the same to herbicides. Or the same technique.

Types of vines identified

Virginia Creeper – This was the first vine we were able to remove completely from a small cluster of trees. It was also the vine that got us started on our quest to rid our property of invasive vines.

Virginiacreeper
Clipped this one off a tree to get a good picture for the plant identification app

The creeper uses tendrils to attach to the bark of trees and can climb as high as 50 feet. Its leaves, comprised of five leaflets, change from summer green into a fall foliage color ranging from reddish-orange to burgundy. Yes, this is a pretty vine and is often seen attached to the fronts of brick homes, climbing up the chimney. It also blocks the sun from shining on the leaves of its host tree. So, it had to go. Last summer, we cut the vine at the base of the trees and any roots that we found on the ground in the cluster. Throughout the summer, every time a vine started to grow, it was cut off. We even dug out the deep roots. No chemicals were needed because we were able to keep new growth cut back. Largely because this was a small cluster of trees surrounded by lawn. But, it was enough to get us looking at the other trees that were in the thick, overgrown area of the yard.

The creeper has not returned to that cluster, however, we have pulled several small vines starting to grow up other trees in the yard. Even though, we consider this one under control.

grape-vine-leaves
The leaves for this type have ridges and are heart shaped
leaf with 3 loops

This one has leaves with 3 loops

Wild grapevine – There are hundreds of varieties of wild grapevine, so finding the exact variety growing on our property was futile. We have identified two different varieties, based on the leaves.

The vines grow up and around trees, attempting to get closer to the sun. This frequently results in the death of trees such as oak and cottonwood, as the vine saps nutrients and blocks sunlight. The grapevine we have does not produce fruit, so we are spared the insect that thrives on the wild grapes, the western grape leaf skeletonizer. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Luckily research indicated that it is found more in the southwestern part of the United States.

Wild grapevine can be controlled through cutting vines and roots and applying pesticides, such as Roundup. Roundup can be used to kill the young shoots if sprayed on the leaves early in the spring growing season. It will stunt the growth of leaves and shoots which will eventually kill the vine. It will work faster if applied to a fresh cut grapevine stump in the early spring, around March. If applied in late spring or midsummer when vines are actively growing the flowing sap won’t allow the chemical to penetrate the stump to kill it.

That is where we went wrong. The leaves were sprayed late last summer and we didn’t really check the growth until early this summer. We did, however, cut many vines in the spring. We knew to cut them in at least two places.

grapevine shoots from stump

This is a picture of a root stump that was cut. Since it was not treated, LOTS of runners grew. They appear to be racing for the nearest tree. Next time, we will be sure to apply the Roundup when cutting the roots. Another trick is to cover the stumps with black plastic or thick mulch after applying the Roundup. Turns out they are intolerant of shade and the sprouts will die if they don’t get adequate sun.

Honeysuckle – we have both honeysuckle vines and bushes. We are working to get the vines under control and will address the bushes later.

It appears we have the Japanese Honeysuckle vine. A very aggressive fast growing vine that will overpower other vegetation with above ground runners and underground rhizomes. This weedy twinning vine grows up to 30 feet in length, moving from branch to branch and tree to tree, choking out shrubs and small trees. It even covers the honeysuckle bushes that grow in that part of the lot. The flowers are fragrant and range in color from creamy white to yellow. So, when they are blooming, it’s pretty and smells great. Until we pull on a vine and see how much of a small tree it is covering.honeysucklevine

We have sprayed the honeysuckle, cut the honeysuckle and pulled it out of trees and bushes. It comes back. The Missouri Department of Conservation website indicates that burning is effective in reducing the Japanese honeysuckle coverage. However, we won’t go that route in our yard. Cutting the vines and treating with Roundup is the other recommended treatment. It should be applied in the fall, after surrounding vegetation has become dormant, but before a hard freeze. Again, spraying during the growing season is not the best method. Which is why we still have so much of this vine growing in the yard. Another one to add to the list for the fall or early spring.

Bristly Greenbrier or Smilax tamnoids – This vine grows straight up and sends out tendrils to attach to nearby bushes and trees. It also has some very mean thorns that can be up to ½ inch long on a mature plant.

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Bristly Greenbrier – can’t see the thorns in this picture, but they are there!

Greenbriers are numerous and are spread throughout the Midwest. They can grow about 12 feet tall, with a spread of 6 feet. This is a native plant and is not considered invasive. However, we consider it invasive because of the many thorny vines in the wooded part of our lot.

We found some interesting information about the greenbrier. Not only are they a cover for Bobwhites, which love to feed on their berries, they are also a treat for people that like to eat them. Apparently greenbrier can be used as a vegetable, eaten cooked, raw or pickled. You can put it in a soup, make flour from the stem or boil it up for a jelly. There are several recipes in a book of wild edible plants in Missouri. Here is the link if you are interested in doing trying some. Wild Edibles in Missouri

bristly greenbrier

This delicate greenbrier stem is could be cut and eaten.

We have no plan to eat it. We just want to control it because those thorns really hurt.

Greenbrier doesn’t respond well to the chemicals. One suggestion was to dig the root out, which would cause us to tear up a good portion of that area. Another was to wear it out. This option is listed as possibly the most effective way to keep it under control and out of shrubs and trees. It requires that we prune it back to the ground as often as possible. It works because the plant need a lot of light to survive. Keeping the vine cut back to the ground will cause the roots to drawn down the reserves in the root system. The smaller vines can be controlled more quickly this way. The suggestion is to cut it back in the fall or winter since it does not die completely and will be easier to find. Then cut back to the ground again in the spring when it begins to grow and again in July or August. We will be trying to cut it back to the ground every chance we get.

We will be attacking the vines again this September, using the methods described in this post. Hopefully, next spring, we will have less vines. However, we also realize that we will need to be vigilant to keep them under control.

One last vine

honey vine

This one goes by several names. The scientific name is Cynanchum laeve. Commonly known as Sand Vine, Climbing Milkweed (though it is not really a milkweed) and Honey Vine. We are calling it Honey Vine. The flowers smell so sweet they are a little like honeysuckle.

The Honey Vine, a native Missouri plant, is an aggressive perennial climber that covers fences, shrubs, and in our yard, yucca plants. The flowers are in round clusters on stalks from the leaf axils. The tiny white flowers bloom July to September.

The flowers attract butterflies, bees, wasps and other nectar drinkers. This may be what attracts the hummingbird we sometimes see zipping around. Clusters of yellow-orange aphids will also drink sap from the stems. They draw ladybugs, green lacewings and other aphid eaters. Many of these insects become food for birds, spiders and more.

The vine develops large seed pods in late summer. The seeds are attached to tufts of while, silky hairs and are released from the pods in late winter or early spring to spread and grow wherever they land. Which is what makes this native plant somewhat invasive, depending on where it lands and what control is used.

honey vineSince the honey vine is not growing in the wooded area and is twinning around the yucca plants, we are going to leave it alone for now. The yuccas in that area have become numerous and we are trying to thin them out. Eventually we will do some landscaping there and remove them completely. Until then, the honey vine can twine around them and attract nectar eaters. Except for ants. The ant are all over them.

A good app for determining plant identification is Pl@ntNET. It is free and you take a picture of the plant and upload it. It was very helpful in determining some of the vines.

If you see an incorrect identification on one of the vines, please let us know in the comments. A lot of searching was done to be sure they were identified correctly, however, mistakes can happen. If you have invasive vines on your property, we hope this post provided some helpful information. Please let us know if you try any of the tips.

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Fourth of July

We wish all a happy, fun-filled 4th of July celebration. Surround yourselves with family and friends. Whether you stay home or travel, hold tight to your loved ones, enjoy your holiday and stay safe. Let’s all put politics aside for the day!

No lectures about fireworks, just be careful if you use them.

Happy Independence Day!

Peggy & Andy

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Clotheslines and Rain Barrels

 

We believe that a part of our downsized lifestyle is being more environmentally aware. Having used a rain barrel at our previous home, we knew the benefits. We used it to water the garden and only needed to use city water when we had a long dry spell.

We brought our rain barrel and stand with us when we moved. After we set up our garden here, we once again installed our rain barrel. We wanted to install it sooner, however, we had to wait due to the construction and landscaping changes that were needed in the backyard. When we installed new gutters and downspouts earlier this spring, we had the downspout placed in the same position as the original. However, instead of letting the water from that downspout flow into a drain tile out to the driveway, and into the storm sewer, we would be capturing it in a rain barrel.

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Before rain barrel. Downspout goes into drain tile.

Andy leveled out the ground and placed the stand and rain barrel. Prior to that, he removed the bottom portion of the downspout. When the barrel was in place, he connected a flex hose to the opening in the top of the barrel and the upper portion of the downspout.
This is a 55 gallon barrel that we purchased about 4 years ago from the Habitat for Humanity Restore. It came with the spigot and the overflow pipe. We have replaced the spigot once.

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Rain barrel in place. We have a split on the spigot. Here we are filling a bucket to water the garden. There is a soaker hose on the other side of the split. 

Obviously, rainwater is better for our garden. It is highly oxygenated and free of the chlorine, salts and fluoride compounds found in most city water. If you don’t have a rain barrel, please consider one. By collecting this natural resource, you can redirect the water where you need it. You will also have your own water source for your garden or lawn in times of drought or watering restrictions. To increase the amount of water we are collecting, we are looking at adding a second barrel.

In addition to cutting down on our city water use and providing our garden and flowers with better water, the rain barrel is also helping to prevent erosion on that side of the house. The drain tile that was there carried rain water down into a part of the yard that is held in place by a retaining wall. The soil level in that area had been decreasing over the years and we needed to slow down the erosion. Eventually we will need to redo that area. Diverting the water to the rain barrel will allow us to put that project off for now.

Wanting to take energy conservation a bit further at this home, we decided to install a clothesline. One of the reasons we installed the clothesline is our dryer is old. Really old! We are not ready to purchase a new one and have struggled with it since our move. Large items take way too long to dry. A clothesline sounded like a good option to a new dryer. We did research into clotheslines to find the best type for our yard.

The research also confirmed our decision. Line drying saves money! Especially in the summer months when we want to cool our home with an air conditioner. Another benefit that I love is clothes hung out to dry smell fresher. No need for the chemicals and perfumes in dryer sheets or fabric softeners. It is also gentler on clothing. The tossing and tumbling in a dryer will cause wear and strain on the fabric.

The ultra-violet rays in sunlight help to bleach and disinfect laundry. This is good for white and light colored sheets and towels. However, not so good for the darker colored clothes. I am turning our jeans inside out when hanging them on the line. A portion of the clothesline is partially shaded, so I will put those darker colored clothes there.

We decided on an umbrella style clothesline. It is inserted into a socket that is cemented into the ground. The clothesline can be removed and put away when not in use. This eliminates the need to trim the grass around it. This style does not have as much room for large items, but it works for us.

We purchased an Everbilt Outdoor Clothes Dryer at The Home Depot. Andy dug the hole the required depth and width according to the instructions. The bottom portion was filled with 5 inches of gravel. He them added the concrete and let it set a bit.cementreadyforholder

When it was starting to set, he inserted the socket or base into the center of the concrete, being careful not let the cement touch the cap. We then placed the pole of the dryer into the socket and made sure it was level.liningupholder

He carefully removed the clothesline pole and closed the cap. We wanted it set up at least 24 hours before using it and we didn’t want dog prints in the cement. An upside-down bucket, topped with a half-bucket of water provided enough weight to keep them away.protectionforcement

Here is our backyard with the clothesline set up. On the left is our garden and compost barrel. It is a short trip from the rain barrel to the garden. The beautiful dog is our girl, Max.yard picture

Sheets on the line

Drying sheets. Just have to drape them over a bit. They smelled so fresh!

We believe that our rain barrel and clothesline are great investments that will have positive impacts on our home, our money and the environment. We are curious if our readers also have rain barrels or clotheslines. Leave a comment and let us know.

 

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Dad has Alzheimer’s

This has been a hard post to write. I thought about different ways to tell it. I even thought I would not mention it and write about our latest remodeling or landscaping project. But I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t let Father’s Day go by without writing about my dad.

Having a father with Alzheimer’s puts a different twist on Father’s Day. If you don’t get him a card or gift, he won’t know. If you call to wish him a happy day, he won’t remember as soon as you hang up. And during that call, he will ask you several times who you are and how old you are and tell you he is doing fine. Having a father with Alzheimer’s is hard.

Dad was diagnosed in 2009, at the age of 84. We had suspected something was going on for a few years before the official diagnosis. Every year, he slowly gets worse. He only recognizes my step-mother now, but lately, he has been forgetting who she is. He still lives at home and requires constant care. He cannot be left alone.

When I visited him earlier this year, he talked about being in the war. He talked about shooting, being shot at and doing what he was told so he wouldn’t die. He talked about landing in Okinawa and seeing heads blown. He mentioned Iwo Jima. This was not a conversation. He was sitting in his chair, repeating over and over the same several sentences about the war. Many times he would ask himself a question about the war, and then answer it. The same questions and answers over and over. I was sitting across the room from him and when I tried to ask different questions, he didn’t answer them. I took notes on what he was saying and I believe these events happened to him, even though his discharge papers indicate his principal duty was mechanic air 747.

Having Alzheimer’s has removed his filters. When I was a child, he would never talk about being in the war. My siblings and I knew he had been a Marine because we saw the pictures of him in his uniform. He would only say he worked on airplanes and wouldn’t answer questions.

He also never talked much about his life growing up. Dad was born in 1925. When he was only 7, his father died in an industrial accident. At the age of 14, his mother could no longer handle him. With no husband and 3 other children to care for, she placed him in a work camp for boys. He was living there, going to school and learning a trade, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States entered WWII. The home was closed and all the boys old enough enlisted. Dad was 16. He found work and a place to stay with a mechanic until he could enlist. He went into the Marines August 16, 1943 and served until July 1946.

Other than the part about his father’s passing, we didn’t know any of this. We were adults when our grandmother passed. That is when he told us about her dropping him off at the home and leaving him there. We also learned that he did not reconcile with her until he was discharged from the service.

He is not the same man I have known all my life. That man was intelligent. He went to college after the war and became a chemical engineer. He was mechanically inclined and could fix things around the house. He could use tools and finish basements and fix leaking sinks. That man was confident. That man was funny. That man was strict and we often feared him. That man was not perfect and he made mistakes.

I wasn’t really close to my dad before or after my parent’s divorce. He intimidated me and I knew not to make him angry. He would take my younger brothers on weekends, but I never went. I saw him maybe once a month. After I graduated high school, I saw him less and less. As an adult, there were years I saw him only on holidays. So you see, this won’t be about how close we were and how much I miss that or how inspiring he was.

I admit I was influenced by his work ethic and his drive. I know I got my analytical way of thinking and approaching life from him. I also got his dry sense of humor.

I wish I could talk to him now and he would know me. I wish I could ask him all the questions I have about his life and his decisions – good and bad. I wish I would have had the courage to do that before Alzheimer’s took him away and left this dad shell in his place.

The last time I saw him, I got angry. Just the two of us were in the house. My step-mom had gone out for lunch with a friend – a much needed break. We were sitting at the kitchen table eating lunch. He was repeatedly asking me my name and when he found out I was his daughter, he would say, “I remember you when you were a little girl. You were a tough little thing.” After several times of this same conversation, I raised my voice and said, “Dad, Look at me. Look at me. I am Peggy. Don’t remember me as a little girl. Remember now. Remember who I am NOW.” He looked at me confused. I said, “I love you, Dad.” He said, “Dad? Am I your father?” “Yes, Dad, you are. I’m Peggy”. I got up and cleared the dishes. “Let’s go watch TV, Dad. Lunch is done.”

I called Dad today. After catching up with my step-mom, I asked her to put him on the phone for a Father’s Day chat. It was the same as always. He asked me who I was. How old I was. How old he was. He said my step-mom was taking good care of him and he was fine. Then, we had the same conversation over again. After a few minutes I said, “I love you, Dad. I got to go.”

This is the best I can do. This is the best I can be for him. This disease has taken him away already.Dad

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you may be able to relate. If not, please don’t judge me.

Please support the Alzheimer’s Association.

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