My last day of work was the day before Veterans Day, a national holiday in the US, which fell on a Friday this year. We had big plans for the three day weekend. We went to central Nevada to my happy place – Miles End Lodge Bed and Breakfast in Kingston, Nevada in Big Smokey Valley. Our friends Ann and John Miles are the owners and we have visited many times. This time we invited enough friends to rent out the whole place.
The group made pizza the first night.
And enjoyed each other’s company.
On Saturday we took a driving tour with 3 vehicles. We saw some beautiful country
as we drove over to the Monitor Valley (the next valley east) to see Diana’s Punch bowl.
On the way back we went to Toquima Cave where there are pictographs painted on the walls by native Americans. It was a beautiful hike to the cave.
All in all a great day touring our beautiful state. Of our three vehicles, one got a speeding ticket, one got a flat tire, and the third had the kids,
who were happy we saw wild donkeys so they could say “wild ass” over and over again.
Now that I am not working I joined a gym and have been going to aqua fitness classes. I had to get a new swimsuit and as I ran into Scheels, I tripped on a curb. People helped me pick up the things I dropped and a store employee asked if I wanted a wheelchair. I waved them off, but then even though swimsuits are on the first floor I went up the escalator to be alone and I cried, thinking about my friends with ALS who’s first symptoms were falling. Stan said, “even people without ALS trip and fall.” But things like that can take on more meaning and bring up more emotions when you have a progressive disease like ALS.
The aqua fitness classes have been fun. It is nice to be working out again.
On Wednesday, a friend that I have had for over 16 years online, came to Reno and we met for the first time. Barb Farrell lives in Ottawa, Canada. We met in an online support group for Subsequent Pregnancy After Loss. Barb’s 19 year old son Aidan was a preemie born at 25 weeks, so she comforted me when Andy was born. A few weeks later, her son Kieran was born, also at 25 weeks. When Kieran died, I was able to comfort Barb. We kept in touch through email and Christmas cards and eventually Facebook. We found more and more things we had in common. She had a conference in Colorado Springs this week, and decided to visit Reno after. I am so glad she did! We visited the Meg Saunders Macdonald Community Garden at Caughlin Ranch Elementary School .
and saw some cool things in the library with Mrs. Benesch.
That evening we had dinner with my dad and step mom and then went to Andy’s school district Festival Orchestra concert.
On Thursday we went to Tahoe and the weather was perfect.
We had a nice dinner with friends Thursday night and then Barb left Friday morning. It was so good to finally meet her!
I caught a cold and paid a visit to my nurse practitioner right away to treat it, hopefully before it gets too bad. I got antibiotics and nasal spray and a decogestant. I have been using my cough assist machine and napping a lot. We will have a house full of all my siblings and niece and nephews starting on Tuesday for Thanksgiving and I hope to be healthy.
My first week of medical leave was full of love and connections and hope for more love and connections soon.
Photo credits Erika Peters, Paul Peters, Debra Stortz, Catherine Clark, Tiffany Deming, Stan Macdonald