Friday, August 22, 2008

The Rest of Our Mini Vacation

On our little getaway we traveled south from Port Clinton to Dayton to one of our favorite places, The Airforce Museum at Wright Patterson Air Base. We've been there three times and I never tire of it. I'm always humbled by the sacrifices represented by each plane, especially the World War II fighters and bombers. They look so fragile I can't imagine going up in one of them , nevermind having someone shooting at me! We saw planes, too, from the Viet Nam era and helicopters, The Big Scary Guy's favorite aircraft. The memorabilia from the men who served on the planes is impressive as well. There were huge intercontinental ballistic missles on display and to tell the truth, they gave me the heebie jeebies. I was especially impressed, however, with the F-15 stealth bomber---COOL!

We attended two IMAX presentations while we were there, too. One was on helicopter flight and the other had alot of flying in it but I can't remember exactly what it was about. With the mammoth screen you feel like you are aboard the aircraft and it is awesome!

The first time we went there we travelled to another hangar on the base where the old Air Force Ones are stored. As a history buff, I was in hog heaven! At one point I was alone on the plane that brought JFKs body back from Dallas and where LBJ was sworn in as President. I get goose bumps just thinking about. I bought myself a mug that says "Air Force One."

I took a bazillion pictures of the planes. Here are just a few of them.

This museum is a "must see" for aviation and history buffs alike. I can't wait for our next visit.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Tom and I took a mini vacation a couple weeks ago and had a wonderful time. Did you know that a giraffe has a purple tongue that is very long? The reason I know this is because I had an up-close-and-personal encounter with one. We were driving through the African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, Ohio, when we met her. She was one of three giraffes behind a fence along the road. The fence was short enough for her to reach over. She was the picture of fluid grace as she leaned her head down to the window of the car twice to accept a carrot from me. As she wrapped her tongue around each carrot to take it from me I could feel its rough texture as well as the velvety softness of her lips and nose. It was an incredible experience.

As you drive drive through the park you are greeted by scores of friendly animals. It's fun to leave your windows down for they are as curious about us as we are about them. Plus they're hoping for a handout. It was great fun when they stuck their heads in our car windows in search of pellets and carrots. And the animals weren't shy about begging. I shrieked when a reindeer stuck his head in my window and snatched the cup of pellets I had setting in my lap. I'd been watching Tom feed a carrot to a deer and wasn't paying attention to what was going on on my side of the car. The reindeer calmly grabbed the cup and upended it, pouring the pellets down his throat, on the ground, and all over my lap.

The deer were the most common of the animals but we also made the acquaintance of llamas, alpacas, reindeer, bison, oxen, wildebeeste, elk, zebras including rare white zebras, giraffes and probably some I've forgotten or didn't know the name of.

The afternoon was delightful and exceded our expectations. We enjoyed being so close to so many beautiful wild animals. I hope we can return someday.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Friday, August 1, 2008

Douglas' Birth Story

I am doing a project for my granddaughters. I have a book entitled For My Grandchild, A Grandmother's Gift of Memory. Since they only give you a few lines to answer each question, I've decided to do it my way and write the longer, more complete version. Here is my first essay, the story of Douglas' birth. Although it's been thirty years, I remember this experience like it happened just last week!
On Monday, April 3, 1978 I woke earlier than usual. I was having contractions. This surprised me a bit since it was my due date and I'd heard first babies were almost always late. I decided to let Tom sleep while I made a pot of chili so he wouldn't starve while I was in the hospital. Busily chopping peppers and onions, I wondered how long labor would take. In our childbirth education class they'd shown a movie that portrayed labor dragging on for hours and hours. My mother had had long labors so I figured I was doomed to have a long one, too. By the time I plugged in the slow cooker the contracdtions were stronger and closer together. Suddenly not wanting to be alone, I woke Tom. Excitedly we started timing the contractions and discussing when to call the doctor.
Dr. Yoon's nurse suggested I go in to be checked so around 11:00 a.m. we headed for her office. After the exam she informed Tom, "You have baby today!" and told us to go to the hospital. (The OB nurse in me now wishes I'd asked her how far dilated I was but it'd be several years before I concerned myself with such things.)
Before leaving home Tom discovered our federal income tax had come in the mail and, fearing he'd be stuck in the hospital for endless hours with nothing to eat before the baby was born, he decided to swing by the bank and cash it. As we were pulling up to the drive-through a particularly viscious contraction hit. It was so painful! I couldn't understand why we had to stop there, why we couldn't just go to the hospital and I started to cry. Tom tried to explain but I wasn't hearing any of it. I just hauled off and slugged him. "It hurts so bad!" Fortunately, by then the teller was waiting on us and we were soon on our way.
Arriving at Brown Memorial Hospital, I was wheeled to a labor room by Miss Evelyn Neill, R.N., the Director of Nurses, who commented on what a pretty dress I was wearing. It was powder blue with a white lace yoke and she said, "You must be planning on a having a boy since you're dressed in blue. I assured her that, no, I was counting on having a girl. Since they didn't routinely do ultrasounds then we didn't know the baby's gender. I, however, was certain it was a beautiful little girl named Christy Marie. In fact, we hadn't chosen a boy's name until a week before. After much discussion we'd chosen "Douglas Charles" as our just-in-case boy's name. As the admitting nurse listened to the fetal heart rate I asked her if it sounded like a girl or boy, In childbirth class we'd learned that boys' FHRs were generally slower than girls'. I was absolutely floored to hear her say that the fetal heart rate sounded like those of a boy!
By now my contractions were much stronger and more painful. Tom was in Admitting filling out paperwork and the nursing staff was occupied with a delivery. I was alone. The contractions came harder and faster. All of a sudden I felt a gush of warmth and wetness. The pad under me was soaked with amniotic fluid.
With the rupture of the amniotic sac the pains were excruciating, coming in grinding waves that threatened to overwhelm me. "Oh, God," I begged, "help me now." Finally a nurse came down the hall and glanced in my room. Suddenly she stopped. "Are you pushing?" she demanded, alarm on her face.
"I feel like I have to have a bowel movement," I grunted. Quickly she checked me and hurried out.
In the meantime, Tom had finished admitting me. Needing to answer the call of nature, he headed into the restroom, only to be confused by the sight of a sanitary napkin dispenser on the wall. It wasn't until he saw two women chuckling outside the restroom that he realized in his excitement he'd wandered into the women's restroom!
Upstairs at last, Tom tiptoed into my room and smiled at me. "I'm so glad you're here," I exclaimed. "Please don't say anything, just be with me."
"Ok," he agreed and immediately launched into the story of his misadventure in the restroom. I smiled inside and let him chatter.
Two nurses hurried in and hastily wheeled me into the delivery room. I wasn't afraid, just desperate to have the pain end. Tom positioned himself at the head of the delivery table and place his hands on either side of my face. They felt wonderfully cool on my hot cheeks. Everything had happened so quickly he hadn't had a chance to do any of the coaching we'd learned about, but I was so grateful for his presence.
At last Dr. Yoon said I could push and push I did, with all my might. To my utter delight, and miracle of miracles, at precisely 1:11 p.m. a warm, wet baby exploded from my body and out into the world. He was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen., I adored him immediately and have been crazy in love with him ever since.
At visiting hours that evening Tom brought me a vase with two flowers in it. One was an open rose representing, he said, my life which was already in bloom and a tightly furled rosebud, symbollizing Douglas' life which was just beginning.
Each evening of the six fdays we were in the hospital I would ask Tom if he'd eaten any of the chili I'd prepared and each evening he'd say no, he'd eaten at his mother's or my mother's or somebody had brought him supper. The night before we were to be discharged he decided he'd better eat some of it. Much to his surprise, cooking in the slow cooker for six days had rendered the chili so hot even the dog wouldn't eat it. Needless to say, the next time I went into labor I did not make chili!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Baby Update

Our granddaughters will be a year and a half tomorrow and Douglas sent us some photos of them. Of course, Grandma thinks they are the sweetest little girls ever born!

Lakyn Cole Misch

Lani Carson Misch

Douglas took these photos with his iPhone. Ain't technology amazin'!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Have You Started Your Shopping Yet?

Exactly six months from today is Christmas!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Elementary, My Dear Readers!

I've always enjoyed Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. When we were first married Tom gave me a thick book with small print that contained all the stories and I read it cover to cover. I loved that book. Saturday I got to see the great detective work his magic in the flesh when Tom and I traveled to the Erie Playhouse for "Sherlock Holmes, the Final Chapter." And there he was, Sherlock Holmes in person, complete with deerstalker cap, mershaum pipe and violin. He cut a magnificent figure in period costume including a floor length cape. And of course we got to hear him utter those famous lines "elementary, my dear Watson," and "the game's afoot!"
The play was narrated by an elderly Dr. Watson just as in the book. The only woman who ever got the better of Holmes, Irene Adler, figured prominently in the play as did his nemesis Professor Moriarity. As in any good piece of fiction, the ending was delightfully twisted. We had a great time.
On Sunday afternoon we went to University Hospitals in Cleveland to visit Tom's dad who had undergone surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurism. Much to our pleasure he is doing quite well. Monday he transferred to a nursing home for a couple weeks of rehabilitation. We're planning to visit him today after Tom gets off work.
All in all, a nice weekend.