Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Life in the Fast Lane . . .

My life is NEVER dull and usually moves at quite a fast pace. I have said for years that my mom was five days overdue when I was born and I have been trying to make up for lost time ever since. But there are times -- and last weekend was one of them.

It started last Thursday morning when my Aunt Janet called to tell me that the hospice nurse at our local nursing home had just called to tell her my grandma was failing rapidly. We have expected this for some time -- Frances (I have always called my grandma by her first name -- she was only 40 when I was born) has had Alzheimer's for several years. Thankfully, it had already set in when Leo (my grandpa) died five years ago, so ever since in her mind he was either on his way home from work or from the war. You would have enjoyed my grandpa (everybody did) -- just about everything I like about myself came from him.

So I headed for the nursing home and spent several hours with Janet and Nancy (my other aunt) and other members of the family who came in from time to time. My mom and dad had headed to Arizona for the winter the week before, and I knew she would feel guilty not being there. So my brother and I filled in for her as best we could. By afternoon, I could tell that Frances was tougher than the hospice nurse knew, and I headed back here to load the truck for the Fort Wayne show. I went back for several hours in the evening, and then checked in about 5:30 Friday morning before we left to make the three-hour drive to Fort Wayne.

Setup for the Fort Wayne show was a continuation of "Karen's Lovefest" -- only this time Karen was actually present! First time she had been to a show since her stroke.

Trish (at left) was one of the ladies who helped us with setup. And Polly Weed from Polly's Pals was only one of many vendors who stopped by during the day to see how Karen was doing -- and help me keep her from trying to do too much! Karen is doing great.

Robin Arnold has helped us at shows in Indiana and Michigan for years. Even on a chilly October day (with a chilly convention center floor), she prefers to go barefoot. But it does take its toll on the soles of her feet . . .

After setup, I headed home to work a high school football game. This time it was "Ryan's school", so I was running the scoreboard. It's always nice to be inside the press box when it's raining, but they lost 63-7 on Senior Night. Afterward, I stopped at the nursing home on the way home, and again at 6:00 a.m. Saturday before I headed back to Fort Wayne. It was obvious that her time was coming, and Janet called me at 7:30 while I was driving to tell me that she had just died.

I was at the front door when the show opened. The first ladies through the door headed straight for our booth to hug Karen and welcome her back. Happened all day long . . .

Robin and her daughter Keia were demoing for us -- and we quickly learned that Robin's fingers attract as much color as her feet!

Keia was attracting color of a different type. The little girl is Noelle -- her parents are Michelle and Steve from Toomuchfun Rubber Stamps. They live in Fort Wayne, and Noelle has been the "show baby" since she was born -- but we found out last weekend that she will have to share the attention with a new baby sibling come April. Noelle likes Keia -- so much so that she dumped a bottle of glitter all over her . . .

And the afternoon giveaway on Saturday had its usual excited group of winners-in-waiting . . .

I spent a good part of Saturday evening making arrangements to fly Mom home for the funeral. Sunday morning, Rich and Emma Lou from Heartfelt Creations (along with two of their friends), Nami from Denami Designs, and I joined Michelle, Steve, Noelle and Bobbi (Michelle's mom) at their church. Great music, great sermon, and great company.

Then we worked the show Sunday, tore down the booth, and headed home, where I learned that in the one day I was gone, the washer had died, my newspaper delivery had been cancelled for no reason, and Zoe had jumped the Invisible Fence. I spent most of yesterday dealing with that and helping Janet and Nancy pick photos and make arrangements. Around that, I picked up my brother from his mechanic when his car broke down and took him back after it was fixed. And Carla decided she needed to get out of the house so we went to an outlet mall so I could get some new walking shoes and then out to eat and the grocery. I hit the wall about 8:00 last night -- just fried. And now I'm back to work today (Tuesday) and the visitation is tonight and the funeral is tomorrow and I'm giving the eulogy and after that life goes on. Good thing I like being busy . . .

One last image from Fort Wayne -- this guy was walking around the show Sunday afternoon with his wife. There was a gun show going on in another part of the convention center. But I couldn't help wondering how many stamps his wife could have gotten in trade . . .


  1. Sorry to hear about your grandmother. I will keep her and your family in my prayers.

  2. Greg-by now the funeral would be over and I know you must have given a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. What a blessing she must have been in your life and you in hers.
    You certainly had a lot to deal with in just one weekend!It's great that you have such energy and can be such a help to your family.
    I enjoyed the convention Saturday! I get a kick out of your drawing for the prizes, but, I do wonder if you could possibly get a camera that would do automatic "touch-ups"!! The site of that "old gray mare" in the one picture is SO scary!!!!! (meaning myself, of course!!!!)
    Hope the rest of your week gets better!

  3. I'm so sorry you lost your grandma, but it sounds like you were goood to her, which is the important part. I have a feeling you gave a beautiful eulogy, too, and made your Mom proud. Good thing Carla let you get those new "WALKING" shoes, but it sounds like with Karen's recovery maybe you should have opted for "running" shoes to keep up with her and your life! Take care and keep the posts coming when you can squeeze them in.