Friday, March 22, 2013

# 415 - Smiles Galore - Moving Countdown

28 Days

Changes can be hard. It's fun to think about making a change, but actually doing it is something else. Personally, I think it's good to be receptive to change because life can bog you down.

Sometimes, a change can breathe a bit of fresh air into your life. Making POSITIVE changes can put your life on a better track and can broaden your experiences.

However, a long time ago I moved far away from my family. At 18 years of age, in all my infinite wisdom, I followed my husband to his Air Base in Germany. For three long years we lived far, far, far away from our families, and this was during a time when there were NO Internet connections, no personal computers, no Windows, no cell phones and your most affordable, practical method of
communication was to put pen to paper, then wait in line at the post office.

Back then, the postal system was our most valued resource for being linked to those we cared about.

At least this time around, my move is within 1 1/2 hours from our current location and even if a week goes by without any of us being able to make the three-hour round-trip to see each other, I can keep on contacting them through other electronic means. With our IPhones, my Sissy and I have regular Face-Time talks that allow us to see each other on the screen while we talk. It's amazing.

Below, you will see my Sissy (Robin), myself, my dad and my brother (Bubba).

Photo take a couple of weeks ago, March 10, 2013
Right now, I have an added struggle with moving because on the day we signed the contract on our house, we discovered that my dad's recent day surgery to remove a "boil" out of his leg was biopsied and turned out to be an aggressive, ugly, rare cancer.
We lost our mother to cancer, so I am dreading the prospect of losing another parent to cancer, especially while my sister is still in her 30's.
It's especially difficult because my dad is so strong and full of energy. He has more physical ability than many men half his age. For example, every year he buys at least nine Houston Rodeo tickets - I suppose he's some kind of rodeo season ticket holder.
Last week, he went to the rodeo, daily, and even enjoyed seeing George Straight and Martina McBride --- dad didn't let the wound with staples in his leg stop him from having rodeo fun. However, I know he paid a price.
So, you can imagine I felt hugely conflicted that NOW of ALL TIMES we are in the process of moving farther from the area. Dad's oncologist needs to start aggressive chemotherapy as soon as my his leg heals from the second surgery he had this past Tuesday morning. They went back into his leg with the knowledge the tumor had been cancer; they needed to get a second look and try to remove more visible signs of cancer.
But, oncology cannot start chemo until his wound has completely healed. That means we are all holding our breath --- every day of healing is a day without the much needed chemo.
At the hospital this week, waiting for the staff
to find my dad!
After the 2nd surgery on his leg this past Tuesday, I went to his house to visit with him for a few hours and to just be with him. I like being with my dad - I'd like it better if he quit smoking and he's working on it, but I can't imagine a time when I might not have a direct connection with him. He just turned 67 years old, so he's still very young --- in my book --- and he just bought a Mustang last month, so I hope he still gets YEARS of use out of that fun car.
My dad last month on the day he brought his hot-rod
over for me to check out. I was SO EXCITED that he finally
bought himself this car. Now, I'm even more elated.
However, my dad gave me some wonderful advice this week, knowing I was in turmoil over selling our house and moving to the country during this time. He told me that he's seen people take off too far from their families and he feels sorry for them because the loss down the road for them will be deep and irreversible. Then, he sees people hang around the block to be with family and forgo their own life for too long. So, he is grateful that he is seeing us embrace a happy-medium change that will allow us to live a dream, yet still be close to our hometown and easily accessible to family and old friends. 
He told me he was glad to see it all taking place and that he thought our choice to live on the acreage shows that we are really following our hearts and he knows we will get more enjoyment out of life by living out there with all the freedoms that living in the country can bring. Then, he pulled up a photo of one of his good friends and showed his country house that was surrounded by boats, four-wheelers, and other fun country things. Dad said he wished he were out there too.
The beautiful swampy part of the lake at
the backside of our acreage.
I'm looking for alligators.
He might not know how precious his words have been to me because I was feeling a bit panicked over increased distance from my dad as he's about to be in a fierce battle against this cancer. No matter what, I'll do my best to be with him as much as possible. The next immediate task will be the surgery to insert the port into his chest for the chemo to be administered.
Even so, I have to stand back a little because he does have a girlfriend who is by his side and who wants to take him to his appointments and such, which has been difficult for me because I've been the child who has been able to be there for my dad for all appointments and for his last cancer battle that happened a year after my mom died. My dad lived at my house for one year during that battle. But, I guess the girlfriend has her place and her usefulness in his life is not to simply tag along with him to the rodeo.
My dad has done a great deal for his "friend," (he doesn't like the term girl-friend) so I suppose it is natural for her to want to show him that she can do something for him as well. She does care about him. I'm glad he has a companion through these hard times. 
However, us kids will be there for him --- we are family.
My oldest daughter, Heather, is expecting her
first child in September. She made the trip into
Houston a couple of weeks ago to be with her
Paw-Paw for his birthday celebration. We all
love this man.
So...the sell of the house is still scheduled, and I think we're kind of in "shock" phase of trying to reconcile the fact that it's really going to happen. I dread moving --- all the unpleasant details and organization that will be required to move efficiently. However, I have much to look forward to.
I'm okay, as long as I keep reminding myself of the tremendous adventure this move is going to be for us!
The hard fact of not having a house to move into is pushing us to make some difficult decisions regarding this move. We must have a place to live, but trying to decide which direction to put our money is tough.
We have decided to not get a POD for storage of our household items because Deputy Dave called to inquire about the process and was informed that it would cost $500. to have it hauled to our property, which they consider to be "rural."
So, during our last trip to the country, we went into town and found a newly constructed storage facility with climate-controlled units that we will probably select for our storage needs. Over the next couple of weeks, we will begin to taking some furnishings, garage items and boxes to the storage building so we can make a dent in the moving process.
One thing is for sure, these two furry babies of ours are ready to be in the country full-time. As we pack and load up to leave for the acreage, these two characters prove that dogs really do smile. They are so happy to race to the backseat, knowing exactly where we're going because the trailer is hooked to the truck...once that trailer comes out of the garage, the dogs become extremely goofy, they race around, bouncing about and are super happy about the upcoming road trip.
You can literally see their happiness in the photo below. It cracks me up every time I see it.
You guys ready to go to the country?
I am savoring the best that life has to offer. Savoring the beautiful moments and the smiles I am blessed to be given.



LindaG said...

Love the smiles and happy eyes. :-)
*hugs* and God bless.
Hoping and praying your dad kicks the cancer quickly. ♥ said...

Linda - I hope he does too. We are hoping for the best, even though the medical news says it will be tough. One things is for sure...doctors don't know everything. :-)


Karen said...

Lana, I'm so sorry to hear of your dad's challenge. The fact he's beat it once before is encouraging, though. I well remember his new car and showed it to my son who admired it from afar. I'll be praying for your father's recovery.

I so enjoyed your YouTube videos earlier this week and was on pins and needles over the rattlesnake. Oh, my! That's scary. About the only perk of living here in the Great White North is the fact that there aren't too many venomous things around, lol. Snow snakes aren't vicious. Just cold when they slither down your back.

Aw, look at the smiles on those dog's faces, they are so happy. I'm happy your house sold and will be following your adventures every step of the way. Sleeping in a tent is a HUGE thing, I don't know if I could handle it.

Bless you Lana, and full speed ahead!

patty hartman said...

what an absolutely wonderful post!! I too am going through moving and the sickness of a loved one, so your words helped me tremendously...thank you for sharing and please know that you have helped a perfect stranger!! and the pictures of your fur kids was absolutely a hoot....patty in california said...

Karen --- Thank you for the sweet words for my dad, I can't imagine not having him in my life. I still have the urge, frequently, to pick up the phone and call my mother, so I can't imagine not having either parent around. However, I am so very blessed to have been given such odd-ball parents for my life-time of memories. As for the snakes, I am never scared until I actually SEE one. haha har har. No, really, that's how I operate, so the fact that the rattle snake was old enough to contribute to 20 more live young ones per year has me a bit edgy. And I hope the buyers continue to follow through with the purchase of this house. I never feel at ease until the day of closing is past and funding has hit the bank. I know God will handle it all. And the tent, it has been so wonderful because we can pull back the top cover and look straight up at the stars while falling asleep. It is magical. I loved having the big RV's but I sure missed out on hearing the crickets and seeing those twinkling beauties. As for your corner of the world, my husband and I read your latest blog post together and we laughed so hard at seeing the picture of spring time as imagined then to seeing all that land covered in MAJOR snow. But, I know what is under all that beautiful snow...such beautiful landscaping! Ahhh! Makes me smile just thinking about seeing the posts as it comes back to Springy life again!!!

Patty --- I am so sorry that you are dealing with two of life's big stressors at once. Moving is supposed to rate up there in the top five stressors, so you have to keep it in perspective with a lot of FORCED humor. Dealing with sickness on top of it is not pleasant. But, I always look forward to brighter days and hope you have many to savor as well. Thank you for being so encouraging. This is the reason the blogging community is so linked together --- we treasure life as it really is and don't have producers to orchestrate anything but the ups and downs of every day living. We can all relate to each other. And, I will probably plagerize your wording of "fur kids" because I LOVE that description of my four-legged babies! Keep in touch and let me know how things are going for you as well!