Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 30, 2015

Today was a busy day for us, and began with us in the state of being happy, that we're out of the Durham Ridge property now, and the day ended with us concerned that Jason has developed something that we don't like on his right wound. First Linda and I (Jason stayed home and simply stayed in bed) went to church this morning, back at the Pt. Loma Presbyterian Church. It was nice seeing the people there and many of them expressed sadness that we would be now going to a different church. There was a visiting Pakistani Presbyterian Pastor, visiting from Pakistan, and he gave a wonderful sermon. After church we headed right over to the old house, so we could finish up with everything there.      

So now I'll go over the Durham Ridge completion - Linda and I spent most of the day at that address, taking care of the final clean up and making sure it is ready for inspection on Monday - There is a scheduled walk through for Monday. Because there were still a couple pieces of furniture there, that we are not going to be keeping, we had to be sure they were out of the house. We had already arranged for Joselyn and her family to come by and pick up the biggest item, a bed. The other item is a couch that is pretty much done, and by that I mean it has been attacked by both cats and dogs and unfortunately no one is going to be wanting to put it in their home. Too bad, as it was a nice leather couch and when it was all together, was really comfortable.

Now for the update on Jason- I did my regular dressing change with Jason and I told him that I didn't like what I was seeing, on his right side. We discussed it and he is going to be headed into Wound Care, Balboa, on Monday, and he hopes to be able to see his doctor, while there. I apologize, that I am not going to share what I saw, as I am hoping that it really isn't anything to worry about, and I don't want to get everyone wound up, needlessly - any more than I already have. Tomorrow is set to be a very busy day, for all of us, and now we have something else to add to the list of things. If I can coordinate my time to go with Jason, I will, and Linda will take care of the Durham Ridge walk through (we hope it can be taken care of via a phone call). That way we can all focus on getting the best things for Jason, and we can simply continue on with our lives. Please keep Jason and all of us in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

August 29, 2015

Last night the three of us slept at the new house up in Fallbrook, and it was quite nice. Only thing better would have been to have had the girls here with us. Linda finished up at the house down in Pt. Loma, and according to the folks who did the hauling of the items from Pt. Loma, they should be here on Monday, and we hope they are accurate.

I was up, around 07:00, maybe a little later, so I kind of felt like we slept in, at least a little. Linda was actually up before me, but then only by a few minutes (maybe 10). When I was up and moving she asked me to make some oatmeal for breakfast, and since all three of us like oatmeal, it was a no-brainer. It was the first time for me cooking on the new stove, and it was kind of fun. The only thing is that when ever you cook on a new stove (or oven, for that matter), you don't know how the equipment is going to act. I was also not really paying attention, as I should have and ended up cooking more oatmeal than I needed to. Not to let those kinds of things bother me, I cooked too much. That was okay, though, it still tasted pretty good.

Linda and I decided that we start to work through some of the boxes and we targeted at emptying five boxes each, today. I am happy to say that I succeeded, and Linda missed that mark. Linda emptied six boxes - what can I say, she has a better idea of where things should go, and I'm kind of the brute force kind of guy - if you need a box or piece of furniture moved, I can do that for you. Don't ask me where I need to put a stack of towels or office supplies. I go for the closest empty shelf, and then I'm happy. I think Linda would have gotten more done, if she hadn't been coming behind me fixing all my goofs.

Afterward we took a little break and then we got ready for an end of summer event, with the folks at the local club house. We were invited to attend, as we are in an area, right next to them, and they wanted to make us feel welcome, to the neighborhood. It didn't start until 16:00 (4pm), so we weren't rushed, and it was only about half a mile a way (at most). Bruce Jenkin, one of the longer term residents there, was the one who made it a point of coming over to invite us, and his wife Kelli were wonderful hosts, and everyone there made us feel welcome. There were so many people there I won't be able to name them all, so I apologize for having a poor memory on that... I only met about 60 new people. I think the event was good, and fun, for Jason, as he was able to interact with so many new people and it gives him a chance to get out and be himself, without Dad or Mom, always hovering around.

Jason let me know that he was ready to come back to the house, and so we said our good byes, and we were back to the house in less than 10 minutes. Jason needed his shower and dressing change, and then I took the dogs out for a bio-break. We all had a busy day and we're all just winding down for a nice relaxed evening. Thank you for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, August 28, 2015

August 28, 2015

Linda spent the night down in Pt. Loma, again - only this was the last time she would have to do that. She worked with the movers and everything is effectively out of that house. I say effectively because there are still a couple of items that are going to be picked up today, that are NOT going to be coming to this house, up in Fallbrook. It feels pretty good to be able to say that we're out of that place, and now we're going to have to deal with figuring out where everything is going to go in this new house. I, for one, am looking forward to the challenge.

Jason had an appointment with the VA today, and that kept him out for a couple of hours. I don't think they made much progress, towards finding a solution for his challenges, but at least there is a dialog going on. He got back to the house at close to 14:00 (2pm) and he was kind of tired. In fact a short while after he was back in his bed, he was asleep. Then, just a little while later, Linda and Joselyn arrived, from Pt. Loma. Yeah, she was helping out down in Pt. Loma and drove Linda back up to Fallbrook. Saved me the trouble of having to drive back down there, to pick up Linda.

We are settling in, and tomorrow we get a chance to meet some of the other folks around here. There are two different events going on, and we've been invited to both. The moving van won't be here until Monday (we found that out this evening), so that means we actually have a little free time. Both of the events are designed to allow the local folks to get together, and to do a little socializing... it should be fun. Otherwise, we're not working too hard, and taking the weekend to get a little recharged. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August 27, 2015

We've run into an interesting conundrum, in that our wi-fi doesn't seem to function as it is supposed to. Jason's laptop and my desk side computer don't seem to connect to the network for more than a few seconds, at a time. Whereas my work laptop (which I am using right now) connects just fine. All three systems are running the same version of Windows, and they all seem to be about the same age. I am very glad that my work system, works, as that would be bad if it didn't. I am just puzzled as to why the other two do not. We even had the tech guy back out to check it out, and he couldn't find anything wrong, and he worked on it for a couple of hours. He will be coming back out again, so I am hopeful that he'll figure it out. In the mean time, Jason has loaded 10 on to his laptop... I told him I am waiting and will be watching to see how well he does.

Linda is back down in Pt. Loma, and the household items are just about all packed up and ready to be shipped up here, so that we'll be 100% out of the house down there. Linda is down there because they are coming early and she doesn't want to have to deal with the drive down, in the morning. We were both down there today, as I was helping to get stuff ready and working with the movers and packers. I had to be on my laptop also, as that's where I work, so my involvement was limited, but at least I was there and helped some. When we were all done I came back up here, so that I could focus more on my job, rather than on the move.

Jason and I had dinner tonight, and went to a Chinese restaurant, and actually kept the ordering down to a minimum. Other than that, there isn't much to tell about, today. Tomorrow Jason will be headed over to Wound Care, and so he'll be leaving in the morning, to head to the VA, and then I'll be here, all by myself, for a little while. Thank you, for the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24, 2015

An interesting day, to say the least, as it started out with me getting up early, so that I could join in on a conference call, with my new job. It lasted for almost 30 minutes and then my focus turned to documents and other information I need to become familiar with. Linda was up, almost as early as me, and she began getting the girls ready for school. Since today is Jackie's birthday, the girls will be headed over to their mother's place, as it is an odd year (Next year they spend their birthdays with Jason). Linda was able to get the girls up; make sure they were dressed and had their hair done; feed them a good breakfast; and, make their lunches. All this before taking them to school, and she managed to get that done with time to spare. The girls really enjoy their new school and were very excited about going this morning, as it is the start of their second week.

Linda was back at the house and cleaning things up and putting things away, while I was "at work" and getting some things done, that had very little to do with the house. Actually, all the activity by Linda was not only to start putting some of the items away, it was also a means to use up some of the day, until I was off work, and we could both go down to Pt. Loma, and do a few things around that house. We still have to get all the rest of our belonging out and then cleaned, and we want to do this by the end of this week. There is quite a bit to still do, so we have to make that drive a couple more times, and then we'll finally be settled in Fallbrook.

While in Pt Loma, we packed up a few more things, and cleaned up a few more things, and then loaded some of those items in to the car. Since we were in the car we couldn't carry as much as when we're in the van, but then the car uses a lot less fuel. I think the biggest challenge is going to be getting the house in Pt. Loma cleaned up and ready for sign-off. By the end of the day we were ready to get back to Fallbrook and time to relax. I did still have to help Jason with his shower, and dressing change, but that seemed relatively easy compared to much of what else I was doing. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 23, 2015

First, just a quick thank you, to all of you who read the posts on a regular basis. It really does make me happy to know that some folks enjoy reading the things that I write, and that it makes others happy knowing that Jason and his family are doing okay.

We all got up this morning and decided to relax a little, before the next steps were taken towards getting us all settled in to the new house and home. I made a pancake breakfast for George, Jason, Stacy and Jackie, as well as for Linda and I, pretty much like I would normally make the breakfast. The difference today was that we had some extra guests, with Steve and Yolanda, and Rob and Karen, joining us. That just meant that I had to cook a bunch more pancakes and attempt to get all the eggs and bacon cooked as well. In truth, I think I could have cooked a few more pancakes and we would have been just fine, and probably still no left overs. Everything turned out better than I could have hoped for, and all of this while using brand new griddles.

After breakfast I took the rental truck back to the location where I originally rented it from, and while on the way there it dawned on me that I wasn't supposed to be taking it there, and that I had arranged to drop it off in Fallbrook. Rob was following me, so that he could give me a ride back home, so he was probably wondering what was going on, when made a U-Turn, only a couple of miles down the road. It all worked out well, and despite all the extra driving we had done, yesterday, there wasn't as much of a charge for mileage, and we were able to get on our way much faster than anticipated. As a result of all this we got back to the house much sooner than originally planned, and I think some of them were kind of surprised to see us, though no one said anything.

We all talked for a little while, then Rob and Karen had to get going. Almost immediately after they left Steve and Yolanda said they needed to get going and then Mike and Karen (they had come over right after we had finished breakfast) and George. Once all of them were gone we walked back into the house and it felt kind of strange. We were the only ones here now (That's Jason, Stacy, Jackie, Linda and me - and the dogs Gracie and Kojak) and it felt kind of like we should just sit down and soak up being in a brand new house and home ... and we did for a little while.

Linda fixed a simple lunch for the girls, and wanted to get them down for their "brain rest" (nap). While doing this she was also creating a list of things she wanted me to pick up from the house in Pt. Loma. I drove back down to the house while she put the girls down and then she was to attempt to lay down for a little while, too. She wasn't able to sleep any, though with too many things still going through her head. When I got to the Durham Ridge house I started to gather things to bring back up and then decided I needed to get a little more rest, if I was to drive back up. I sat down on the couch and was able to just relax for about 30 minutes  - it felt pretty good.

I loaded up the van and then went to fill the gas tank. From that point I just drove back up to the house in Fallbrook and by now it was getting a little later in the day. Linda was getting dinner ready for the girls, who had just taken a bath, and while all that was going on I started to unload the van. It took me a little while to unload, mostly because I was also attempting to put things away as I pulled them out of the van. One big thing (for me) was that I brought my bike up, and know it is sitting in the garage, waiting for me to start riding it again.

The rest of the evening was us taking care of some little things and doing some general clean up. We were both kind of tired and ready to go to bed. The last thing I wanted to do (besides brush my teeth) was to get this blog in. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

August 22, 2015

Well, we've had a full day in the new house and we think it is wonderful. We have all the room we have always wanted, and we can move around with all the ease in the world. On top of that we have friends who have been visiting, and we can relax and just have some conversation, just like we were back in Livermore. However, despite all those positive aspects, today was challenging.

We have to get things moved from the former residence, to the new one, and that means moving a bunch of stuff from storage to the new house, as well as moving stuff from the former residence to the new house. All this is well and good, and was coordinated with the Marines, and their TMO folks (the people who take care of military moves). If Jason is able to move some of the household items then he saves the government money, and they in-turn give him some of that money back. It can happen if he moves all his possessions and it can happen if he moves a portion. Jason wants to move a portion, and that means getting the weight of the truck before loading and then again after it has been filled. That way they know how much was moved, by weight. The challenge is finding a place to weigh the truck, before and after. Rob and Steve,, a couple of friends of ours, said they would help me with the picking up of the truck and then loading. I also had help from a number of folks from the Point Loma Presbyterian church, all coordinated through our friend Cynthia, and of course Cynthia was there to help, along with two of the best kids, and a few  other adults.

Well, it began right after breakfast, that Jason's Godmother, Yolanda prepared, and we all got to eat all we wanted. Then I had to go down and pick up the truck, that was going to be used to "empty" the storage unit. Sounds simple enough, except that we headed out to the wrong address, and then once we recognized that we were going the wrong way the GPS decided it was going to make our trip even more exciting. It took us to the wrong city, wrong address, and in a couple of attempts, it was simply wrong altogether. We should have been able to get the truck in about 30 minutes - - it took us about 90. Then we had to find a scale to weigh the truck, and though that wasn't difficult, the scale was to close at noon, so our time was short. We headed on down to the storage unit, and traffic was getting heavy, so the trip ended up being much longer than I thought it would be.

We finally got to the storage and we were able to connect up with all the helpers that had committed to lending a hand... we were only about 3 hours late at this point. The way the move works with the military is that the truck has to be weighed when it is empty and then again after it is full. Simple enough, except that public weigh stations are sometimes difficult to find, and knowing where one is listed, doesn't mean there is going to be one there, once you arrive. I drove to a couple empty fields and also to building that had no scales. We needed to get it done, if Jason was to get credit from the military for moving his own things. We finally found a place that would weigh the full truck, only it was almost an hour away, and they closed in 30 minutes. Thanks, to the efforts of Cynthia the place stayed open and we managed to get the job done. As you might guess, our stress level was shooting up and we were ready to just "eat" the costs.

We then drove back to the house where Jason had arranged to have 12 Marines there, to help unload. When I laid out the basic instructions and they got started, it only took them 15 minutes to get everything unloaded and sitting in the garage. Now we have to do our best to integrate all the stuff in to the house. One of the Marines also has connections with a company that provides those bounce houses, that kids like, and set one up on Jason's grass, so the kids would have something to do, while the Marines worked. A  couple of the Marines also brought the own children.

We all got to relax and Yolanda, and the other ladies (Karen, Karen and Linda) all worked together to get dinner ready. We all had dinner around the dinning table and we, all 11 of us, sat together. Jason wanted to remain in his bed, to get some extra rest. We got a chance to just sit and talk and relax, then the evening was over. Everyone chipped in and the clean up was quick. A short while later everyone was heading home, and promising to come back tomorrow, where I will cook a nice breakfast. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.