Time at Home in Maine

Yes, it has been ages since I last posted something on my blog. David and I appear to live a very charmed life, and for the most part, it is. We refer to life as a “surfboard” and most normally, we are riding the “wave of life” in such a grand fashion that we are usually “hanging ten”!!! However, during the past few months, we “crashed and burned”. It has been a very, very difficult time and I have felt like I was just barely treading water to keep afloat.

I realize that it is part of life lessons and I embrace these difficult times. My faith that God will take care of us and my belief that good comes from bad help me keep treading water until we can get back on the surfboard again. Reflecting back, David and I can count the blessings that we have received from this challenging time. For example, we came through it stronger, we have better communication with each other and we were able to be home to support my dad when my step mom was in the hospital. However, this was probably one of the most challenging experiences we have faced in our 22 blissful years of marriage, that I strongly believe there is a much larger lesson to learn. I just haven’t quite figured out what it is.

We arrived back in Maine on Feb 21. Our days were spent with Dr and counseling appointments to help David sort through what had happened on the project in Canada. It was political, which he now realizes, but as I said earlier, it was a tough, tough situation to go through.

My stepmother was admitted to the hospital 2 days after we arrived back in Maine. She has been diagnosed with kidney failure and cannot go on dialysis. She was in the hospital for 2 weeks and at rehab for about a week. I know as you read this you are thinking “how tragic”. Yes, it is tragic and I am very sorry that this has to happen to her, my father and brother, Mike. However, my stepmother does not like me and has made it very clear for a very long time now. So, I guess that I am numb to her situation. My thoughts are for my dad and my brother. I am concerned that being the care-giver will wear my dad out. The doctors gave her 6 months to live, but who knows how long it will go on. For now, she is holding her own. They have visiting nurses and are signed up with hospice when the time comes. I would go back to help but my presences just aggravates her.

We were busy getting our camp ready to rent. It has been two years in the making. We have gone through from roof to basement with renovations. Thanks to our amazing contractor, Shawn Kennistion. The final improvement was going through and completely furnishing it. We spent one night there with our cousin/house-sitter, Jason. It was so relaxing and so nice waking up in the morning with the calm lake for our view. The camp has now been rented to two women for the year. We are very pleased and hope that they will enjoy their stay there.

Also, we did some home improvement projects at the house in Cape Elizabeth. We have about 4 very large silver maples and they needed to be trimmed. That was done, thankfully, before any limbs crashed on our fence or the neighbor’s car. We were nervous as we had some strong winds in March. Our driveway was finally paved…that is a long story, suffice it to say, we are glad that it is done! Plus, it looks great! Carpet has been picked out for the man cave and furniture has been picked out for the “princess room”. Those are on the docket for my trip home in July.

Easter was spent with my sister, Kathy, in Bangor at her new home. It was fun to spend some quality time with her and her husband, Kevin. She is such a good sport. Originally, she had planned to go to Pam’s, Kevin’s sister, home for Easter dinner. She was suppose to take a broccoli casserole and a dessert. I called her and asked her what her plans were and she invited us up, since David had not seen their new home. So, she ended up having about 15 people (Kevin’s sister and brother’s families) for Easter dinner!!! She is a great cook and it was no problem for her to put on an amazing Easter spread!

Another high light of our stay home, for me, was going to the UMO Symphonic Band performance on April 15, 2010 at Merrill Auditorium in Portland. My nephew’s, Patrick-the marine, girlfriend, Shannon Buccieri, plays in the orchestra. Shannon is very good as she is the principal flutist! The concert was performend with the Mt Ararat high School Wind Ensemble, conducted by Allen Graffam, who was a former student of the UMO conductor, Curvin “Chip” Farnham. This was Mr Farnhams last concert in his, I believe, 25 year career with the college, as he is retiring. Before the last song, they acknowledge that this was his last concert and presented him with an award for his years of dedication. I must say, it was a very emotional time. You could see it on all of the faces of the performers and of Mr. Farnhams. The last song, Mannin Veen by Haydn Wood (1882-1959), was so beautiful. The UMO band preformed it with the brass section of Mt Ararat High School who were seated in the top balcony of the auditorium. It was an amazing piece to end the program with. Mr Farnhams began conducting the UMO band and then turned to conduct the high school band. You could see the expression of sheer joy on his face as he flowed with the music. I am so grateful that I was able to attend this concert. I believe that the UMO Symphonic band does a tour every year about this time. So, next year, if you hear of it, try to go. It was great and it only cost a donation of what you felt you could afford!

On a sad note, my friend, Charles Brown’s father, Ben passed away while we were in Maine. I am grateful that I was able to attend the visiting hours to lend support to my long time friend, his family and mom, Gladys. Also, my dear friend, Jill Curtis, who fought a long, tough battle against colon cancer passed away. Jill was only about 45 and left behind a wonderful 7 year old son, Nathan and husband, Ryan. I am sorry to say that I was unable to attend her memorial in Denver, Colorado, which was yesterday, May 8th.

The rest of the “good from bad” is that David accepted a new job with a new company, Barrick Gold. We have been spending the last week enjoying our new “home” in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Cabarete is on the north shore, about 25 miles east of Puerto Plata and 6 miles east of Sosua. We have a gorgeous new condo right on the beach. I will be staying here during the week, David will be at the gold mine site about 2 1/2 hours from here. He will be home on Friday nights.

Thanks to God, the support of all of our family, friends, and Drs, we are back on the “surf board of life”.

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