Sunday, July 28, 2013

Jaron's Special Day

I promised Jaron, my 9-year-old grandson, that we would have a special day when he could choose to do whatever he wanted. At first he didn't believe it would happen, because he said usually his two sisters had to go wherever he went. I promised him the day, and last week we packed a bag and went to Crystal Lake. For this boy, fun revolves around food, so he requested eating the hot tenderloin plate at The Apple Basket and a medium chocolate milkshake at Sonic. When I told him I might even get him a large milkshake, his eyes and his smile widened. I am frugal enough that we waited until after 8 p.m. when the shakes were half priced. He could not even finish it in one setting, but we put it in the freezer, and he enjoyed it with the movies he had chosen earlier from the library. "At least I got what I always wanted....a large milkshake," he said.

He enjoyed fishing at Crystal Lake and caught two fish, a crappie and a bass, which he released. He wanted to catch a snapping turtle, but I asked, "What would we do with it if you caught it?" I also would not let him shoot a bullfrog. (Yes, it is frog season.) Later, he said pointedly, "I would really like it if Grandpa was here."

Fishing at Crystal Lake

The next morning when I asked what he wanted for breakfast, he replied, "Sausage McMuffins from McDonalds, and can I have two, please?" I am anti-fast food, but since it was his special day that is where we went. Later, we went to the Flywheel Reunion in Macon and donated my Uncle James' electric mousetrap to the museum there. I bought him a camouflage hat with a fish on the front as a keepsake. A friend of mine from high school gave him a pet rock she made to look like a spider, which he promptly named Jo-Jo.  I hope he will always remember his special day. Maybe next time we will invite Grandpa.

Jaron holding the electric mousetrap invented by Uncle James

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mayo Trip Two

On July 7th, Stanley, Vanita, Lance and I headed north again to Rochester, Minnesota. The time arrived for Vanita's second operation, in which the doctor would construct the j-pouch to act in place of her colon. She was feeling better already following the first surgery which removed the colon and got rid of the ulcerative colitis. The doctors told her this second surgery was the most difficult of the three she would have. However, we were better prepared for this one, and felt more relaxed about the process. We were familiar with the hospital and the town. We stayed at the same hotel and ate at our favorite restaurants. We went a day early so Vanita could enjoy some of the trip. Monday we headed to the Mall of America. I might be the only person who went there and did not spend a dime. I even shared Vanita's lunch, because she is not able to eat very much. The roller coaster in the middle of the mall was impressive, as well as the huge Lego creations. Stan and Lance played a round of miniature golf while Vanita and I shopped. Stan's favorite part of the mall was watching the airplanes land from the parking lot.
Photo by Vanita Weber
Lance bought a pair of cool new shoes. We ate at Victoria's that night. It has the most delicious Italian food. The next day, Vanita had several medical tests. Lance and I went to Barnes and Noble nearby and I bought him the Duck Dynasty book. Although he does not like to read, he finished it in two days!
Notice the shoes Lance bought at the Mall of America. This is the view from the Mayo Clinic.

On the 10th, Vanita had her surgery. It went well, and she actually did not have a much pain as she did after the first surgery. The next day, Stan's parents, Warren and Janie, came up for moral support. While they visited, I was able to explore the town more.
Every week during the summer, they have "Thursdays on First and Third". A section of those streets are closed and filled with food, live bands, and vendors. I bought a delicious Philly cheese-steak sandwich from the owners of Pannekoeken, which is actually a little Dutch restaurant. The weather was beautiful and to walk around seeing a plethora of people from all different cultures was interesting. The experience helped me feel a little bit like what it might feel like to live in a city.

Unfortunately, Vanita was nauseated from the pain meds and did not feel like eating much. The next day Warren and Janie went home, and Lance happily went with them. Sitting in a hospital room is not much fun for anyone, especially an active 17-year-old. The following day, Vanita was released from the hospital, and we came back home to Missouri. The medical staff assured us the next surgery would be a "piece of cake" compared to the first two.