It’s like 95 degrees out today, so we’re not doing any typical 3-day weekend outdoorsy kinds of things. No picnic. No bike ride (well, my husband might be willing to go…but it’s too hot for me). No hiking. No fishing/boating… it’s mostly a catch-up day since it’s the only day this weekend we’re actually home.

We went up to visit my parents in southern Minnesota/northern Iowa (my mom’s in southern Minnesota, my dad’s in a nursing home in northern Iowa) and my husband’s grandparents in southern Minnesota this weekend. It’s something we need to make time to do more often than we do, but it’s always hard. I hate seeing my dad in a nursing home. I hate seeing him like this (this man is NOT the father I remember)…it’s been almost seven years since his stroke, and he never regained use of his right side. He’s very weak and suffers from a lot of angina. Really, it’s amazing he’s lived this long. I just wish his quality of life could have been better these last 7 years — all he does is watch TV. He takes no enjoyment from anything (because the things he most loved to do…golf, drive, work on the computer…are things he hasn’t been able to do since the stroke). For the last couple years he’s alternated between living at home and living in a nursing home. But I don’t think he’ll ever be able to live at home again (and unless my mother is willing to make some changes, he’s better off where he’s at). And he’s only 69. My husband’s grandparents are 84, and they’re in much better shape than my dad. They talk about dying a lot, too, but it’s different with them than it is when my dad does it. I fully expect them to outlive my dad (they also outlived their son, my husband’s father). I really need to get up there more often to see him…I feel guilty that I can’t get there more often, but it’s hard when I’m 4 1/2 hours away.

So now today I’ve been busy grocery shopping, responding to fan mail (I LOVE fan mail!), finishing my critique of my friend Darcy’s manuscript (Darcy and I have only met in person twice, but we’ve been e-mail/writing buddies for somewhere around 16 years), and making cookies! It’s only 4:00…maybe I’ll look at my Truth About T.M.S. manuscript for an hour or so before dinner…

Happy Memorial Day!

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