I had a nice weekend. Girls were here for Dinner yesterday. We had steaks, baked potatoes, salad, and squash from the garden. So good. Pumpkin pie of course. I still have pumpkin in the fridge that needs to be cooked, but I am going to buy those frozen pie shells to put it in, as I am not going to waste good home made crusts on a filling of which I am not fond. I will send them to Hubby's office. With whip cream it is just fine and they will eat anything.
B filled a couple of bags with groceries out off the storage. She had brought a friend with her and the friend was just amazed. So I asked B what she needed. She took ketchup, mayo, pickles, cold cereal, milk (I had an extra gallon for pies) butter, frozen chicken breasts, cube steaks, oil, cake mixes, pam spray, eggs from the chicken, peanut butter. I have all of this on shelves or in the freezer. When I see a good buy I stock up and keep extra. It really does save money. I think everyone should have a little stock pile of basics if they can. It will really get you through tough times. Or when you have a college student:)
There is a homecoming dance at the High school across the River. So I have several dresses to do, it should be a good week. I think we are going to get my Mom this Friday and bring her back to Lewiston for a while. Hubby and I will drive together and I will drive her car back here so she can get around town herself. Hubby is fiddling at a Chili feed fund raiser at the Methodist church here the first week in November and I hope to get Mom to go to that, as I want her to make friends here so she feels comfortable moving. But we will see. She is pretty stubborn.
There are plenty of leftovers for dinner tonight so I will not cook. But I will run through the house and get the rest of the laundry done. Hubby's bed still has the extra quilts on it and his bedding is ready to go back upstairs as it is dry. I have had several phone calls already this morning so I need to get into the shop. The house is looking a little seedy and needs a thorough wipe done and dusting, but I hope someone else does that. :) I want a House Elf.
It was three days before they were able to find Dad. I don't think I slept at all during the time he was missing. I remember sitting on the sofa in front of the TV and trying to turnoff the TV with the telephone. I was just so distraught, rummy and tired that I would get them two mixed up. I went every where with the phone. The strange thing was that my step mom did not call to tell us our dad was missing. I waited and waited for her phone call. Finally I called her and she was very defensive. As in , "Who told You?" She said she did not want to call us until they found him. But I did not buy that. It was just strange.
Dive crews came from all over ND and SD to look for dad's body. I could not figure out how they could not find him when they only had about 2 miles of canal to search. I asked Richard where he had last seen dad and he told me. In fact they had gotten into a heated argument on the side of the canal. Dad was not supposed to take the boat out, it was Richard's boat. Richard had the right to be angry. Dad could be a poop. Richard was on his way to give an electrical quote to a young couple. Dad had agreed to pull over at a certain bridge so Richard could have the boat. Richard delivered the quote went back to the bridge and that is where he saw that the boat was empty. It came around the corner of the canal empty. Richard went nuts He did not have a cell phone, but the young couple that he had just given the quote to drove by and Richard flagged them down.. They went into town to call the sheriff.
Waiting was Hell. Finally on the 3rd day they talked of draining the canal and I asked Richard why it was taking so long and he told me they were searching in the wrong place. I then call ed the Sheriff and told him to get Richard down there to mark where he had last seen Dad. Now I don't know why they didn't do this in the first place. Dad's body was just a few yards down resting peacefully. He was trying to tie a fishing hook on his pole when he went down. I know this because his teeth were out and his reading glasses were on, he also had a fishing hook hooked into one of his hands and that kept his hands together. He looked like he was praying when they brought him up.
I ordered a full autopsy and told them to put his teeth back into his mouth and leave the fish hook. There was very little water in his lungs indicating that he had not breathed much under water. He died of a massive stroke. But he had a full load of walleye and he was working on his last fish. I can see him now. When ever dad wanted to work on something tiny or that took good concentration he of course used his glasses. But he hated his dentures and always said he could not concentrate with them in. So his front shirt pocket always had glasses or teeth. I had been fishing enough with him to know just exactly what he had been doing. We had his funeral 11 days after he went down. He was handsome in his brown leather suit coat, glasses, and his fish hook on his finger. But let me tell you. Do not have an open casket funeral when a body has been under water for 3 days and then in a morgue for 6 more. He smelled so bad it was hard not to gag. At the graveside we sat down wind as the wind is always blowing in the Dakotas and even with the casket shut it was horrible. If anything smells particularly bad in our family we all say, "Ew, grandpa." We are sick and twisted people and have no respect for the dead.
The funeral was a hoot. Standing room only. I don't believe for a second dad was that popular, but in a small town of 435 people he was news. Plus he was such a character I am sure they wanted a peek at his family. So we descended on that small town like the pack of wild animals that we are, I don't think Turtle Lake was ever the same. They had lost their village idiot and would have plenty of stories about the little idiots to tell for a while. There are only 2 places to eat in town and a couple of bars. Just immediate family brought in over 75 people. Where do you put them? How do you feed them? One of my cousins races thorough bred horses. She was between races and pulled in with an 8 horse trailer. That small town opened it's arms to our family. Strangers housed us. The restaurants fed us. People stayed open late and opened up early to take care of us. Richard's was packed and the horses where tethered on lawns all up and down the street. My cousin was able to exercise the horses up and down main street. Amazing people. Food was sent to dad's to feed us which Dar immediately took and froze. We were hardly allowed in the house. The house was in my name so Dar could not keep me out. When people found out about the food more was sent to Richard's it was like a huge soup kitchen. Richard loved it. I don't think the people of Turtle Lake were expecting educated successful children. Dad had good genes just bad habits.
Richard was so upset that his last words to Dad were in anger. They both had nasty tempers and Richard's was worse as his Alzheimers became worse. We had a big family reunion and more laughs and fun that we should have, most of them at Dad's expense. The morning of the funeral I was walking down the steps of my cousins house. I had my arms full of pictures and crystal picture frames. We were going to make a display of pictures outside of dad's church Foyer. I don't know what happened, but I slipped and fell smashing all the frames and I broke my ankle. My sister heard it snap. I refused to go to the hospital and it swelled up like a balloon immediately. The weird thing is that is was numb. So I put on my black pantie hose and suit and luckily mules were in fashion then so I stuffed my foot into the black mule and went to the funeral. I spoke, Eldest sang, Hubby played dad's father's violin, it was a beautiful laughter filled service.
We spent the next day buying sweat shirts that said Turtle Lake on them and then wore them up and down main street with our heads pulled inside. Imagine 40 people lined up like this. Then we would count and all pop our heads out at the same time. Like Turtles. Such a clever bunch. Betty Boops bar was busy that night and we all reminisced and had fun. Well I was by that time in pretty severe pain, but I kept limping along. It was the 17 hour drive back to Lewiston with my foot up that killed me. I went in and had an Xray and it was cracked so into a boot for 6 weeks. It took me 2 years to get my speed back on that foot and it still aches when it is cold.
Richard was lonely, he spent more time with us and his family. It was very obvious now that he had serious dementia. I took him to the doctor here several times and as I was signed as his contact here I was able to find out so much about his Alzheimers. It affects everyone differently and there are several categories. Richard had always said he was terrified of alzheimers. He would put a bullet through his head if he ever thought he would go this way. This was a great concern of mine and I voiced that to the Doctor. He said don't worry he won't realize what is happening, and it will be too late for him to act. If anything he will die by accident do to poor judgment because of the Alzheimers that is why they have to be so carefully watched. Richard did not recognize people in town who knew him very well. It was sad.
It was just safer to have him in Turtle Lake, where every one knows everybody and he could not get lost. His brother called him every day. Neighbors checked on him. He would call us regularly but would forget who he was talking to. I remember we were discussing him as family and telling the girls that soon he would have to be put in a home. He would not recognize them. I remember B was about 13 at the time and she said, "Grandpa will never forget me." How sweet and naive.
I was sad when Dad passed but also relieved. I did not have to drive out there or buy a plane ticket every time there was a crisis. He was a financial drain. We estimated that we had spent over $18,000 in the 5 years dad had been in Turtle Lake. One bombshell we found out is that Dad and Dar had never married. They appeared as man and wife and I truly thought they were married. They had been together for over 20 years. He moved into Dar's the day Mom made him move out of the house. Because Hubs and I were on all the property notes and ND does not recognize common law marriage put Dar in a sticky position. We could not deed over the property to her as she had no legal right as dad's wife. What a mess. I gave her everything. She had cared for him and he was not good to her. He had women on the side all the time and I don't know why she stayed with him. But she had all of their possessions and land. She also had a huge funeral bill. Dar was very mercenary and was always looking for someone to take the bill. None of us did. My sister was going to pay the cost and I said no. She can sell out and pay and then she will have a small nest egg. She was terrified that I would come and kick her out of the house. Of course I did not do that, but she ordered the grand funeral and when I first spoke to her after dad disappeared, I asked her about funeral expenses. She said they were taken care of, well they were not and then she was looking for someone to pay for them.. I had, had enough of being taken advantage of, she had children that could help her and by deeding all the land over to her in the Montana court where they recognized common law marriage allowed her to sell all the property and get out. That chapter of my life was over Except for our attachment to Richard.
I was still trying to clean and teach dance and substitute teach. But a new opportunity came knocking and I took it.
(To be continued)
I have had so many dresses come in today I had better get to the machines.
Out My Window: It is such a beautiful day today.
Have a great and productive day!