David and I made it safe and sound to Seattle on the 12th of February. My daughter, Sarah, picked us up and by the time we got to bed we were worn our from the long flight and all the time changes from one side of the country to the other.
It was so nice to see our granddaughters, Willow, Meadow and Brodie, when they got up for school the next morning. They are all in elementary school, 5th, 4th and 2nd. Of course they were having Valentine’s parties on the 14th.
We started off in Meadow’s 4th grade class. They had to make Valentine Boxes that had moving parts. Meadow made a giraffe with a moving tongue, neck and ears.
David and I are leaving February 12th to go to Seattle to take care of 3 of our elementary age granddaughters, so we had a early birthday celebration in York on Friday. Dan’s birthday is on the 13th, Bekka and Kate’s is on the 16th and mine is on the 26th. My daughter, Sarah, in Gig Harbor had a birthday on the 1st. I have plenty of birthdays that is for sure.
My father has been whittling all his life. When he retired the got into woodcarving and he is fantastic. Whenever I am visiting I get him to give me lessons. I will never be as good as him but I do enjoy it. It is so relaxing. Here are some ornaments I made.
I am so far behind in my blogging that I decided today is the day I need to catch up, so here we go starting with Christmas.
This is our granddaughter’s second Christmas they are 22 months old this year. They are so much more into it than last year. In fact, last year there was so much family gathered for their first Christmas they had to nap in between present opening.
Of course we have to start out with the decorating of the tree.
Today I am bringing myself to actually write about my best friend, Alice, who I lost on Sunday. Alice was my 102 lb. Lab/ Catahoula leopard dog who at 11 1/2 years old left this world.
Alice never wanted anything but to be by me. She loved me unconditionally. She was the best girl. She never left my side when we were hiking or the campsite while camping. When David and I would pick berries or spruce tips she would just lay and watch us, move as we moved and never left my side. We were walking with her through a park one time and this tiny dog came running out of the grass. Scared Alice to death and she went running for camp. Another time we were going to hike the trail to Five Fingers on the Yukon River in Canada. There were steep, long steps down to the trail. Alice got down about half way turned and said that is enough, ran back to the van. Trying to get her across a bridge over the Yukon River in Miles Canyon near Whitehose was really something. David pushed and I pulled. Once across she was fine and we went for a nice walk. Coming back we just thought this is going to be fun. She tricked us though and walked right across.
Alice was such a chicken. People would be afraid of her because she was big. They would hear her deep bark not knowing that she was hiding in the bedroom barking at them. She was a great protector if she could hide behind you. She was afraid of kitchens, bathrooms and floors without carpet. Oh yes, stairs can be scary too. In fact any change can be scary.
Alice helped me through my late husband’s, Baggy, 13 months of illness and his death. When the paramedics were on the way to our home I put her outside. As they worked on Baggy in the living room by the window she quietly watched. When it was time for them to take Baggy away, as they zipped the bag she started to bark and did so until they drove off. She was the one that helped me make it through this.
Alice moved with me from Texas to Washington to Alaska. Then our last move to York, Pennsylvania. She was a great traveler.
She was so good with the twin granddaughters. I used to laugh because every time Dan brought them over she would have to smell them and make sure they were the right ones, I guess. As they grew she would sit patiently until they finished eating so she could clean up their mess. If she did get tired of them she would just get up and go into the bedroom.
When we would get ready to go somewhere and Alice couldn’t go we could tell her, “No, Alice you have to stay.” Then she would mope off to her moping corner in our room. David said she reminded him of Eeyore.
Friday morning I was awakened by the sound of Alice falling against the wall next to my side of the bed. She then slipped down the wall and was laying down. I thought that was weird but she seemed to settle down. I went back to sleep for a while. I got up around 6 and went to start my morning routine, which the first thing was to let Alice out. She always follows me right to the door as soon as we are up. She didn’t follow. A little later she tried to get up and couldn’t. Her whole back end didn’t work.
We looked up vets online and found one that opened at 7:30. I called and they could get her in at 10. The next problem was how to get her in the back of our car. Luckily, we have a Subaru Outback so the backend opens up. But how would we get this 102 lb dog up the hill and into the car. Our son in law, Dan, and his Dad, Jim, came to help. I got her on a sheet and we brought in the girls’ wagon. We go her into the wagon, up the hill and into the car without stressing her out.
The vet couldn’t find anything really bad on the x-rays. Some arthritis but who of us don’t have that in our backs. I am thinking now it was a stroke. The vet says it could be. She says we could try a steroid shot and that if it helped we would be able to tell by Sunday. I agreed to let her have the shot, hoping it will help. We took her back home.
By now she has not been to the bathroom since Thursday night. David and I put a rolled towel under her to hold up her backend. We took her out but she didn’t do anything. She couldn’t pick up her tail and her legs just dragged behind her.
Saturday night wasn’t a good night for Alice. Sunday morning there was no change what so ever. I couldn’t let her suffer any more. I made the decision I had to make. The vet opened at 10. We were there with Alice when they opened. They got us in right away. They were so wonderful to us. Alice left this world knowing how loved she was. We were with her until the end.
I love you, Alice. I will never forget you and all you did for me. I hope you are sitting at Baggy’s side now watching over me.
It has been a crazy last couple weeks. Dan and David went back to Edmonton, Canada to retrieve the rest of our stuff. Jim flew into Edmonton to meet them and help load the trailer once again. They made it back in 9 days. They left in the snow and seemed to take it with them because we have not had any since then.
While the men were away the girls played. Bekka and Kate made their first Christmas cookies.
I know I have been slow about writing but things are moving along very well here. David and I have gotten our Pennsylvania drivers license. We are waiting on a new title from Alaska to register our car because ours must be in Edmonton, Canada. We both got a local number and registered to vote. I guess we are becoming real Pennsylvanians. I guess that is what you call someone from PA.
Thanksgiving wasn’t our norm. We ordered our dinner from Cracker Barrel. It was ok but not what we were used too.
Heather decided she wanted to do something fun before her first day of work, so they bought tickets to take us all to Hershey Park.
We headed to Hershey Park only to find out that they didn’t open until noon. This happened to be good for us because poor, little Kate got sick on the way there. We believe that she gets car sick now that the car seats are turned around like big girls. To say the least there were no extra clothes for her, so Heather had to get her something. The American Zoo which is part of Hershey Park was open, so she just went to the gift shop and grabbed her a t-shirt.
We still had almost 2 hours before the park opened. We had noticed a sign for Tanger Outlet Stores, so off we went. It was decided that you could go shopping or to the auto museum.
Tanger Outlets are cool if you are looking for something. I was not.
Sunday was our official move in. The muscle that Heather hired showed up at 1 to unload the trailer. I know Dan and David were glad they didn’t have to do it all. The first thing I did was get our bed set up. It sure was nice to sleep in our own bed. Of course, we didn’t bring the box spring because it is old. We have a new one coming on Thursday.
The best thing that happened was that Jim and Linda made it on Sunday afternoon. It was nice to have the gang back together. It was sooner than Heather, David and I thought. We thought the earliest was going to be Monday.
Heather and I went to Aldi’s to by a few groceries for the house. Heather made bean and cheese burrito’s for dinner. I still am not eating much because of the withdraws.
Monday we all went shopping in IKEA which is in Baltimore. The kids bought some of the furniture they needed there. We had all sold a lot of our stuff to save on weight in the trailer. I guess we didn’t leave enough behind since half of our stuff is still in Edmonton, Canada
Sorry I am a week late writing my blog. The hotel we stayed in last I couldn’t get online to post this blog and then we had no internet in the new house. So here is the post from Saturday to continue our last leg of our journey.
We left our hotel at 8:30 with 194 miles to go. Hoping to see our new home around noon.