September has whizzed by. It was a delightful month with travel and family and a few surprises along the way.
I have to say, the hubs and I have not experienced a relatively stress-free, smiley kind of month in a while. It took us some time to adjust to not being caregivers of my folks anymore. It took some time to feel our way through the gap created when our girl moved away for grad school.
September eased some of those sharp losses and opened some softly sunny doors.
1. It started with the hubs and I going to our family doctor’s office together for our annual check-ups (something we had delayed due to the lost Covid year.) A visit to the doctor is not normally something one would describe as ‘fun’, but it was sweetly entertaining.
The nurse practitioner called us in the room together, a first. What about HIPPA? I thought. Apparently, because we are on each other’s privacy paperwork, we get to share each other’s medical secrets. Because we are now Medicare people, we had to fill out an extra form, which we each did while the NP looked at my bp chart (I keep track at home due to elevated pressures.)
The form seemed clear enough until I got to a question that read, “Are you interested in quilting?” That’s an odd question, I thought, but started to formulate my answer in my head. Well, yes, I am, but I do already quilt and don’t need instruction on that. Is this question related to eyesight, or arthritis of the hands? There’s not enough room to write all this, and why does my doc need to know this?
I glanced at the hubs’ form, wondering how he answered this question. On his form, I spotted the question immediately above, which reads, “Are you a smoker?”
I inspected my form again and then read the quilting question correctly: “Are you interested in quitting?”
I chuckled, and the NP inquired if I was having trouble with my form. “A bit,” I said, and shared my misunderstanding. “Apparently I need my glasses.” She, her intern NP and the hubs all laughed. Howled, really.
Next, we went over general health issues, like female stuff & prostate concerns, and the new coughy throats we’ve both developed (allergies, we think.) The intern listened to hearts and lungs. The NP gave us a list of vaccines we need. Off we went. It was kind of like a very intimate, non-sexual date.
The next morning, we went to the lab together to give 10 vials of blood so the NP can call us the following week and tell us how bad our diet is. We were kind of pooped by the afternoon (a blood drain can do that to ya’) so we dozed off while watching reruns of the sitcom Mom.
Sure enough, a week later, through telehealth visits, we are told we need to cut back on carbs and sugar. Well, the hubs needs to limit both, I’m just high on sugar. As if that’s going to make it any easier. Carbs and sugar are from the devil.
We were scheduled to leave for NC on vacation in a few days. I decided I was cutting out sugar immediately; the hubs said he was starting after vacay. On vacation, I lasted three days. A cousin had a birthday, and there was cheesecake.
2. Moving on to these precious monkeys…
These boys light up my life.
They are 5 and 2 and full of energy and stories. We swung and played trains and took park walks. The 5 yr old and Dumpa and I completed a 150 piece puzzle of the world. This kid has a knack with puzzles. He has a 100-piecer of the US he does all by himself.
We visited the coolest museum I’ve ever been to: Life and Science Museum in Durham NC. It’s a zoo, a water park, and a science museum all in one. There are tree houses as high as the treetops. There are small waterfalls, misters, and sand creeks for the kids to play in. There’s a farmyard, and an aquarium, and a train ride through the woods.
My favorite trek was through the dinosaur trail. Massive dinos peek out from the trees at every turn, and there’s a dino dig area set up to help little ones find shark teeth, dino bones, and cool rocks.
Lots of “ooohhs” and “wows.” It was the coolest day ever.
3. The hubs and I stayed with my sister and her husband, and at the same time, a beloved cousin and her husband came to visit us all as well. This sweet cousin, Ronna Jean, was celebrating a September milestone birthday and wanted to have some time with her favorite cousins. (In private, she tells me I’m really her favorite.) We enjoyed spending time together as kids, and now that all of our parents are gone, we seem to have grown even closer.
We had a birthday parade through the house, and my sister fixed a great spread for all of us.
The grandkids came and stayed until we could see lightning bugs and Venus in the darkening sky.
It’s Ronna’s fault I blew my sugar fast. You know, the cheesecake and all.
4. The final September vacay sweet event was my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday celebration. We spent a day with her strolling through Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD. It was not too hot, and beautiful, and they gave her a birthday paper flower. She even met a friend along the way.
That evening we attended the surprise party her daughters had planned. So many friends and family showed up to show some love to this wonderful woman. There was singing and gifts and hugs and cake. The hubs even picked up one of my MIL’s kindergarten friends and brought her to the party.
How lovely to be 90 and still have a few friends from kindergarten around.
This dear woman has some dementia, but we had a perfect day with her. She might not always remember it, but we will.
5. After a week of visiting sisters and cousins and grandma and smoochy grandsons, we flew to Atlanta for our layover back to Florida. I was missing our family members already. While we waited to board the plane, it was announced that our flight home to Melbourne was overbooked, and would three people with “flexible travel plans” want to take a later (5 hours later) flight? For $500.00.
I looked at the hubs, and we briefly debated. Five hours was a long time to spend in an airport. So, we stayed in our seats.
Ten minutes later, the Delta representative spoke again. This flight is overbooked. Would three people with “flexible travel plans” want to take the next flight to Melbourne? For $800.00
Well, then the hubs stopped playing Angry Birds. We eyeballed each other and debated again. I said, “Let’s get the details.”
So….turns out, we got $1600 in Visa gift cards to hang around the Atlanta airport for 5 hours.
We also got food vouchers, so we scooted to Carrabba’s and had pizza and salads on the house.
We then took the tram to the last terminal (F), with the intent to walk back to terminal A. And see all the sights on the way. And we did.
The tram to terminal F goes underground and resembles something close to where the Phantom of the opera lives. Everyone is ordered off the train at that final stop because airport security does not want to be responsible for anyone getting kidnapped in that damp, creepy part of town.
Terminal E is an international flight wing and has an escalator and two cool exhibits: a children’s (from all over the world) art exhibit, and a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tribute. Both touching and worth viewing. Who knew? I guess people who are arriving from Paris.
Terminals D, C, and B are similar. Pretzel shops, burger shops, magazine stands. Also, several stores that are closed. These terminals are less busy and a bit neglected. We did see a few gates for Southwest and American airlines. Like they’re the red-headed step-sisters of airlines in this Atlanta Delta hub.
Terminal A is where it’s at. Two floors, restaurants galore, and restrooms every ten feet. We plopped for a bit and finished our drinks and the remaining snacks.
And realized we still had two hours to kill.
We backtracked to Terminal C, where we were leaving from, and planted ourselves for a bit. Then, we roamed around, looking for ice cream. We needed a pick-me-up at this point.
We had walked 18,000 steps.
However, the two Good Humor ice cream cases were empty. Terminal C is a dud.
Our flight left on time and we dozed for the hour flight. My friend who was scheduled to pick us up after our earlier flight was still willing to come get us at 11 pm. We offered her $100 for making the late trip. She declined the funds until we told her about our $1600 windfall. Then, she snatched the five 20s.
From start to finish, we were in the Atlanta airport for 12 hours. That sounds insufferable, but with a Carrabba’s dinner, some museum-like exhibits, an airport tour, and over-meeting my goal of 10,000 steps a day, I was a happy girl. It was another date-like adventure.
October is here, and spooky characters are already being erected in neighborhood yards. Too early.
Our tree-trimmer guy just gave us an estimate of cutting way back the massive gnarly tree in our backyard that keeps scraping off our roof shingles: $1500.
Sweet, sweet September. It was great while it lasted….