It’s been awhile since I gave you all an update on life. I have gotten two new jobs! One is a clerk in the guidance office at Chestatee Academy in Gainesville. It is a morning job which fits perfectly with my tutoring schedule. I answer phones, handle files and generally do whatever they need me to do. I love the people I am working with! Even though it is part time, my time there will count towards my retirement in TRS, and since it is a 50% job, it comes with benefits. Hurray!!
My other new job is with Mountain Ed. They are creating their own LMS (learning management system) which means they are writing curriculum and lessons for every high school course they offer. That is a lot of courses! They hired some people to help with the formatting and design of the program. I can work when I want from wherever I am! Yippee!!
I have gone from tutoring a few hours a day to a crazy new schedule that sometimes has me working 12 hours straight. Please pray for my stamina to return. This pandemic has zapped it. I am trying to get into the new groove and I am excited about all of it because each job is fun. Mixing it up like this keeps things interesting and never boring.
In addition to all of this, we have decided to rent out our basement with Air bnb. We are in the process of getting the permit now. Hopefully by January we will be ready to host folks, so if you are in our area you can stay with us! In this crazy time, it seems like having multiple streams of income is actually more secure than one job. I know it is certainly more interesting, especially schedule-wise.
The really big announcement is I have a new book coming out December 1st!! I am excited about it and working diligently on editing in any spare time I have. Stay tuned for more details!
In other news, Mom is doing well in the memory care unit. Dad has been able to go see her on and off, between shut downs for covid. It is much harder on him when they have to keep folks out for weeks at a time. Then just as he gets back in the routine of going to see her, they shut it down again.
We are still not allowed inside, but we did get to visit with her outside in the courtyard a few weeks ago. She seemed to know us, or at least we seemed familiar to her. She seemed excited at first, but she fades pretty quickly. She didn’t really talk much, but she enjoyed listening to us talk. She feels like a part of the conversation when she is sitting with us. She nods and smiles and tries to chime in. Sometimes she makes sense and others it is more gibberish. However, she is trying to connect, so that is good.
After a bit, she kind of just stared off and kind of shut down. She got cold and wanted to go inside. When we told her goodbye she said, “come in.” I so which we could have. She had this confused look in her eyes. She doesn’t understand why we can’t come in. On one of Dad’s most recent visits she told him she wants to go home, which killed him when he couldn’t take her and she didn’t understand why. He told me, “She will forget she even said it, but I won’t.”
On the weeks he has to stay out, he has been getting back into his photography. He said he has got to figure out who he is without Mom. It has been Mike and Martha for so long, he doesn’t know how to be just Mike. Hard, hard, hard to see him wrestle with this. The loneliness is real.
Some of the grandkids are around and they have gone galivanting, as we call it in our family. Driving all over the mountains and taking pictures everywhere. Overall, he is not as physically exhausted as he was when Mom was with him and is in a better mental place now that he isn’t the primary caregiver. He is at peace with that and he has seen that she has excellent care where she is. He can now just go be her husband and visit without having to manage all the meds, eating, and schedule.
The journey is always hard, but this new place has taken so much of the day to day stress away, it is a good thing. The emotional stress is still high for us all. How could it not be? We are losing her. Our tears are still very close to the surface at all times, but this change in her care has relieved us all of much of the pressure we were under before.
Thank you all for your continued prayers for our family! Keep an eye out for my book announcement in the coming week.