Tag Archives: England

A Stroke of Luck/Love!

Today is Monday, June 5.  I am in England waiting to be cleared to fly home. On May 13th Mike (my lovely hubby) and I flew to London. Our son-in-love James picked us up at Heathrow and whisked us quickly to Bristol where  James, Emi and our baby granddaughter Ida live. We’d been trying to schedule the journey for months, but now seemed like the perfect time. We would be with the kids for Ida’s first birthday. We were so excited and happy to spend some time with the Carmichael’s.

When we left Illinois, my allergies were kicking in. I brought along some Walitin (Walgreen’s version of Claritin), hopped on the plane and 7 1/2 hours later we landed in London. By the time we landed my cough was more marked, and I had a proper cold.

We were all coughing soon. Mike and all kept moving and functioning. I sat and tried to rest. I was ill for our entire 10 days with the kids. I wasn’t sleeping as I continued to cough through the night…through the days…through sweet Ida’s birthday party.

The morning came for us to leave for home. We were being picked up by a taxi at 3:00 am to catch our 6:30 am flight home. I was absolutely miserable: exhausted, so sick.

The alarm went off at 2:30 am. I woke Mike and started to get dressed. I was hot and sticky from the humidity. I managed to get my clothes on, but couldn’t get my socks on over my swollen feet. Mike was trying to put my socks on for me when suddenly my vision and speech started to slur. I found myself absolutely fascinated by the patterns of the living room wallpaper. Chevrons running up, up, up the wall at various speeds. Squares and blocks of shadowed patterns continually moving. It was so interesting to watch and yet so bizarre. (BTW: the living room walls are painted light gray. There is no wallpaper; there are no patterns on the wall.)

Mike had woken Emi. They would talk to me, but my answers were slurred. I was so distracted by the patterns on the wall. And I was so tired, I tried to answer their questions, but it was such hard work. I would begin to answer then stop because I was so distracted by what I was seeing.

The cab came to pick us up and Mike sent it away. Next there was a lovely paramedic in front of me. Asking me questions that I could answer, but it was such hard work.  Kinda like trying to talk and be understood underwater. Soon the ambulance arrived. Two more lovely paramedics, one man and one woman, (equal pay for women! Woo hoo) helped me to walk to the gurney in the hall because they couldn’t get the gurney into the small living room. One on each side, they were literally holding me up as with my strange visions I couldn’t tell up from down. Soon I was strapped to the gurney, in the ambulance and on my way to Southmead hospital. (The same hospital where Emi gave birth to Ida.) Mike came in the ambulance with me, but I couldn’t see him as I only saw black in the upper right quadrant of my vision, and that’s where he was sitting.

Initial diagnosis: pneumonia and a possible stroke.

I’ll continue this narrative soon. I’m tired now.

Just know, dear readers, God was with me every inch of the way. Ever present and allaying any fear. He is so good and so faithful and so completely loving. Thank you all who have been praying for me. I am lifted to heaven’s gate by your support. God bless your day! Meet you at the Kingdom…Magic Kingdom or otherwise.

Donna

Countdown to Ida

In less than two weeks, Mike and I will be in England with Emi and James and, oh be still my heart, little Ida. We have not been in the same room with them for seven months, half of Ida’s lifetime.

I know it’s not unusual to only see one’s grown children once or twice a year when they live a distance away. I have friends here in Chicagoland, who only get to visit with their son and his family living in California once a year. We only saw Jake once or twice a year when he lived in California. I understand that. I don’t feel sorry for myself that the distance is so great; I am just determined to enjoy every minute that we have together when we are together.

When our children were born, Mike and I dedicated them to God and asked that he would lead them and guide their steps. That he would use them to further his kingdom in whatever way he saw fit. It’s been interesting to watch that happen. It was quite amazing to see how independent they became. At one point Jake lived in West Hollywood, CA, and Emi lived in York, England. Both were pursuing dreams and taking on life with both fists. Both have benefited greatly from their experiences. God most certainly was with them each step of the way. When you live out there on the raggedy edge, your faith grows. You learn to rely on God, because sometimes he is literally your only option. Both to this day exhibit great faith.

Anyway…all of this to say, I am looking forward to some quality time with Emi, James and Ida. I pray that God will guide us and bless this journey and visit. There’s so much I want to remember to share with the baby:

  1. Mike’s family’s knee bouncy tune: “Ta tee, ta toolun tilloon, ta toolun tilloon, ta la la lay…”
  2. The song that my Finnish grandfather taught me when I was just a young girl: “I know three little sisters. I think you know them, too, for one is red, one is white and the other one is blue…”
  3. The magic trick my English mother taught me, “Two little dickey birds sitting on a hill, one named Jack and one named Jill…”
  4. One of my favorite children’s books, “There’s a Nightmare in My Cupboard.”

So much fun, so little time. 🙂 So, Dear Lord, please bless this journey, and help us to live each day to its fullest. Let us all cherish our time together, and when it comes time to return, let us all look forward to the next time we can visit. Thank you, Lord, because we know you go before us. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Peace out, Dear Readers, God bless your day.

Donna

Sunday Shenanigans

Day 296 in my keeping busier than I used to so I am healthier when I meet up with Mickey in October

My plan today is to eat well, shop for groceries, get our guest room ready for my daughter’s visit, and visit with my son and daughter-in-love tonight.

  1. After sleeping in and showering up at the sauna, Mike (my squeeze) and I went to brunch at Maevery Public House in beautiful downtown Lake Bluff.  I ate there yesterday and was so taken with it that I had to get Mike there today.  He ordered the BELT (bacon, egg, lettuce and tomato sandwich) with potatoes fried in butter.  I ordered Croque Jasper (brioche with a lean sausage patty and a bit of cheese sauce).  We both had black coffee which was Douwe Egbert.  For those not familiar with Douwe Egbert: it is a Danish coffee, very full bodied and yet mellow.  It comes in somewhere between Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donut coffee.  Maevery Public House is not inexpensive, but pamperingly delicious!)  Yes, I know I just made up a word, but it seems so apropo.  Now usually I make a habit of cutting my entree in half and bring half home for another day.  Today I ate the WHOLE thing.  I used the excuse that it won’t reheat well.  🙂  So I will not eat a full meal until dinner tonight.  If I get hungry, I have a piece of fruit or something else light.
  2. Our daughter Emi, who lives in Bristol, England, comes tomorrow!  She’ll be here for a week.  Woo hoo!!!  When she’s here, we end up eating out quite a bit so, we picked up just enough groceries so she (a vegetarian) will have some choices for lunches.  And also we got the groceries to have some friends (Yay, Ken and Chris Hall!) over for dinner on Tuesday evening.  On the menu for the evening: Cranberry-Pine Nut Quinoa, White Bean, Herb and Tomato Salad, fresh veggies and hummus, and fresh berries and whipped cream for dessert.
  3. Gotta change the bedding and straighten our guest room for Emi.  I’m so-o-o excited to see her and hug her and kiss her face!  She’ll sing with Damascus Road (the contemporary band at our church) next Sunday, and she’ll sing with Ken Hall and a friend at Cafe Pyrenees in Libertyville on Friday evening.  Mike may play some guitar there, too.
  4. Tonight Jake and Eliza come to dinner and to hang out.  We are having Apricot-Almond Chicken with last night’s leftover Chicken Rigatoni with Broccoli and Peppers as a side and a nice large spinach and Romaine salad.

That’s it for today, dear readers.  Meet you at the Kingdom!

BTW: All recipes mentioned are from Betty Crocker’s 30 Minute Meals for Diabetes.  Seriously, if you’re watching your sugar intake, then this is a GREAT cookbook to have.