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One Week October 9, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Last week, my father was hospitalized with unexplained internal bleeding. Because he had double pneumonia, the endoscopy that would identify the problem had to be put off five days while everyone waited.

My friend Judi, the nurse, said it was a good sign that they thought they could wait.

And he seemed to feel a little better every day, despite the deterioration that comes with being bedridden.

I live a good 8- or 9-hour drive away from my parents. Without getting into the intricacies of a visit home, which is complicated enough when everyone is healthy, I realize that this, no doubt, is the beginning of what will be many times of trying to judge whether I need to get in the car and drive south. I’m not ready to be at this stage of life. I’ll never be ready.

During the wait, my in-laws came to visit, and we entertained them as well as we could. The best part for me was a long walk with my husband and my stepfather-in-law, during which we managed to get up close and personal with a pair of pileated woodpeckers feeding on midautumn berries.

After the in-laws left, I made a trip—at last!—to Hicks Orchard with my husband and my sister. I visited with Dan and Susan, proprietors. I bought half a dozen cider donuts, a gallon of cider, some Honeycrisps, some Macouns. We visited the tasting room and picked up a couple of bottles of stunningly good ice cider for some special occasion. The sky was blue, the sun was hot, the bees buzzed all around us and our sweet purchases.

Our friends Dan and Deb made us a gourmet dinner featuring lamb and a bottle of Brancaia. We watched Young @ Heart together. I tried to not think about how the ages of those who died during the filming compared with my father’s.

I canceled the fiftieth-anniversary dinner party we’d planned for my parents this weekend. I canceled the house rental that would have made hosting seven out-of-towners more reasonable.

I blogged about the cold.

I delivered some DVDs (Little Britain, Walk Hard, all five seasons of Get Smart) to my friend Jim, who just finished a round of radiation and whose previous chemotherapy treatment has stopped working. I hung out, and we bemoaned the state of the political world. Wendy, his wife, was making dinner. “Jim’s teaching me to make Spanish tortillas,” she said, happily.

When I got home, I got word that Dad’s endoscopy had happened at last, and the source of the bleeding was an esophageal ulcer. Although this is not a good thing to happen to a person, at this moment, it’s a relief.

He was released from the hospital yesterday, will dutifully take his medication, and go back for a followup hospital look-see in a month.

Let the new week begin.


1. Craig (Maito Sewa Yoleme) - October 9, 2008

If laughter really can cure cancer, the Little Britain DVD will have Jim in remission in no time.

2. She She - October 9, 2008

IB: So sorry to hear about your dad’s suffering. Thankfully, it’s something treatable. My father’s 80th birthday is today and I often think about how much time we have left together. Here’s to looking forward.

BTW, we were a Hick’s family when I was growing up. Haven’t been there in years.

3. indigobunting - October 9, 2008

Craig: Good point.

She She: My father is 79, so we’re on the same page there! May we all have many years left.

And you were a Hicks family? Small world indeed. I live about a 10-minute drive from there. Dan’s family has owned the orchard since about the mid-70s, I think. Kept the name. It’s really quite something these days in the fall, with wagon rides, corn maze, even a bounce house for the hgh season. Absolutely mobbed on the weekends.

4. Bridgett - October 9, 2008

I hope this coming week isn’t like this one. Living on that stress and worry and busy is too much.

5. She She - October 9, 2008

I don’t think I’ve been to Hick’s since the early 80’s. My grandmother was from Granville & lived in Middletown Springs so we would combine the trip — to the orchard and then to Grammy’s. Now we go to Hackett’s in South Hero. No maze or bouncy house, but they do have good apples (and sour cherries).

6. indigobunting - October 9, 2008

Mmmmm….sour cherries. Hicks has them too, but I completely missed that season this year. I was in Granville this morning taking yoga, and Jim and Wendy, noted in this post, live in Middletown Springs! In other news, Sewa Yoleme, when he lived in Vermont, lived in Middletown…

7. She She - October 9, 2008

I think I’ve heard that Middletown Springs is quite the artist colony now. It was pretty sleepy when my grandmother lived there. I haven’t been back since she died (’93?).

They have yoga in Granville?

8. Adam Byrn Tritt - October 9, 2008

When I lived in Graham, NC, my mother became ill, more ill, and then more and more ill. My wife watched as I fretted about needing to travel to Ft. Lauderdale, whether we could afford it, if I had the time from my job, looked nervously when the phone rang.

Now we live much closer, only two hours away, and my mother has allowed her health to deteriorate, has followed nearly no advice, and I am older and more comfortable with the passing of those who no longer wish to stay. I visit less though she is ill more.

That is my story until the time comes that I am shown to be wrong. And that time surely will come.

On a different note, Little Britain? I could watch no more than a few minutes of that. He was hilarious on The Graham Norton Show, but otherwise.

Get him Black Books to watch. Or My Hero.

And as far as Hicks Orchard, I will sit on my hands as I look at the website. I will allow the salivation to drip, drip drip, but I will not make those reservations. Not this year. Not this year.

9. Cedar Waxwing - October 9, 2008

Oh no, IB, and here I was all depressed that you hadn’t posted anything on Route 153 — I didn’t know you’d been through all this…

My dad is 81 — So I know what you’re going through — but you’ve read about my dad — a little different story. But aging parents really sucks.

I’ve only seen one full Little Britain episode. I watched part of the new series on HBO last night — Little Britain and America or something like that. Hmm. Will need to watch another to weigh in.

Dang, I use a lot of mdashes.

10. indigo bunting - October 9, 2008

Bridgett: I’m hopeful about the next week!

She She: MS is almost too crunchy for me. It’s beautiful, though. And yes, yoga in Granville (incredible, right?). I keep meaning to write a blog entry that has something to do with this.

Adam: Wow on the mom part, and interesting, and food for thought. As for Little Britain, which of the two was on Graham Norton? I only saw a few eps of that. I have a particular love of a couple of characters in LB.

And CW, speaking of LB, I recommend Season 2 of Little Britain, which is what a friend gave me. I’ve watched all three seasons and the Christmas stuff, and I think my buddy is right that Season 2 is the best. As for the HBO stuff—haven’t seen it yet. I don’t have HBO anymore, but I’ll get to it eventually! And for the record, I love em dashes—really.

11. Joya - October 9, 2008

How frightening and stressful! I’m glad that your dad’s ailment is something treatable and I’m wishing for good health for him, your friend Jim, and all the rest of us.

12. Mali - October 9, 2008

Oh dear. This was all very depressing. I’m so very glad your dad’s ulcer is treatable, as this made me think of my dad who died of oesophageal cancer. He would have been 80 this year.

13. Cedar Waxwing - October 10, 2008

Re: Little Britain (USA)– I watched a second episode last night. Not for me. But I will try season 2 of the regular Little Britain.

Re: em dashes — glad to know the correct spelling. In html the code is — (which might actually render incorrectly in this comment)

14. Helen - October 10, 2008

That was quite the week. I don’t know anything about Little Britain, but I am glad for friends, cider doughnuts, spanish tortillas and musicals, which make all the scary/sad parts of life bearable.

15. indigobunting - October 10, 2008

M: It seems many of us have fathers who are/would have been the same age. Interesting. I remember now that you lost him, and I’m sorry.

CW: Someone allegedly taped the first two eps of LB America for me, so after I see them, I’ll let you know what I think. (And I didn’t even realize I was teaching the correct spelling of em dashes! There are en dashes, too, of course…all this old school publishing stuff!)

Helen: You said it. Thank god for all those things.

16. Adam Byrn Tritt - October 10, 2008

Which of the two? Neither.


17. indigobunting - October 10, 2008

Adam: OK, still confused on this: “On a different note, Little Britain? I could watch no more than a few minutes of that. He was hilarious on The Graham Norton Show, but otherwise.” Who is “he” in this case, if you don’t mean Matt Lucas or David Walliams? (Sadly, don’t have time to look at any clips right now, and there were no obvious clues on the homepage.)

18. indigobunting - October 10, 2008

Joya: Thank you for your good wishes, and may we all enjoy good health!

19. Adam Byrn Tritt - October 11, 2008

I don’t know their names. The rather hefty fellow on the show Little Britain. Whoever he is, he was funnier on Graham Norton than on his own show. We tried watching Little Britain but it fell flat for us.

Here is a clip from Graham Norton with the fellow in it. Matt Lucas, I think his name is. Also Andrew Lloyd Weber is a guest. He has them on at the same time. Quite a show.

20. indigobunting - October 11, 2008

Adam: Thanks! That was great fun. Whenever I see Lucas interviewed, I’m rather impressed by him. Also when he does Daffyd, the only gay in the village.

21. Deloney - October 11, 2008

There have been some health scares in this neck of the woods lately, too. Not me but a couple of friends of mine. It can rip you apart. Luckily things turned out well.

22. indigobunting - October 11, 2008

Deloney: Very glad to hear things are turning out well.

23. laurie - October 13, 2008

good luck to him! it’s so tough getting old, and having our parents grow old. my mother is 81, doug’s mom is 79. they’re never what you would call in good health, but they get by.

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