Friday, June 26, 2009

Just when you think things can't get worse......

Then they get terrible.

My mother in law has dementia, to me one of the most cruel of malady's. Your loved one slips away a little at a time, until the shell that's left is an object of pity, that doesn't know you anymore. The love of my life has been adjusting to that reality for a year or so now, not easy but doable.

A week or so ago the motherinlaws vitals dropped almost out of sight, she was recovering in the ICU with some testing, when someone did a CT looking for a stroke, and found a tumor the size of a tennis ball in her frontal lobe.

With that news, we basically threw everything down and ran for home. I put TLOML on a plane in Portland, Oregon at 17:30 on the sixteenth and ran for home. 3200 miles, in four days.

The MIL is losing body functions at a rate slowed by steroids and cushioned by dilantin.

The Love of my life is now trying to prepare herself, no hope there, and is wound tighter than a spring. There is some doubt if the MIL will make into the new week.

Amazingly enough, she is awake all night and sleeps all day. She is hard to wake, but manages with some help. Today they woke her and dressed her and put her in a wheel chair, when I walked in the room she recognised me.

It absolutely broke my heart

It's the only time that I could hug her and kiss her face, previously she did not react well to affection from me. Sadly that was never a big problem.

We had all the youngest there for pictures, it wasn't planned, it just happened. The tiniest came all the way from Japan with her mother (of course).

The MIL looks better than a lot of the residents, but we know it's drugs and can't last.

TLOML has been to fun places like the Funeral home to make arrangements in advance of the event, probably a good idea. It seems to be a little unsettling though.

What do you do with this?

I guess we will muddle through, it's not like we have a choice.

If there is a plus side to this, it would be that it will be quicker than dementia and, in a sense, cleaner.

Sad, but that's the best you can make of it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I was talking about fishing....

I haven’t thought of this story in a long time. A friend of mine is from the Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky. He invited me and another friend to do some snag fishing below Kentucky Dam.

I’m always ready to go fishing.

The process is simple. Take a fishing rod seven feet or less long, a sixteen ounce sinker, 140 lb line, and a 14/0 treble hook, then go to the river and whale the thing as far as you can.

Hopefully it will hit the river. When you feel the sinker hit bottom, swing the rod to the side, and occasionally you will hook a fish. The day I went, we used two rods, for three men. The result was more fish than me and a big man could carry to the parking lot. I was worn completely out and I only fished for part of the day.

It’s a popular pass time. The fly in the ointment can be the commercial fishermen.

The commercial guys buy the biggest flat bottom john boat they can, and a six horse power Johnson out board motor. They have one wash tub for cut bait, and another for fish. Their sinkers are two or three pound balls of lead. Those are kept in a bucket with the pistol. They will motor to the top of the boil below the dam, drop a bait from a two inch long rod and wait for something whiskered to show an interest. They then hand over hand it to the top of the water, accesses the danger, apply sedation with a small pistol as appropriate, and throw them into the wash tub.

Pistol?????........yep, pistol!

If you’re wondering why a pistol in the boat, consider what would happen if you hauled an unsedated catfish of,, say,, 100 lbs into the boat? Nothing good, you can be sure. Some times a tourist will see the big fish, and see just enough to be foolish and drag a pissed off monster into the boat,,, sans sedation. Said tourist will immediately be balanced on the windshield like an ungainly cat, whilst the fish swats every thing not nailed down into the river. The oh, so helpful river rats, between gasping for breath and belly laughs, are yelling helpful advice, like, “shoot ‘im”. Like the dude has a gun or it wouldn’t blow a hole in the boat.

The bank fishermen have a gun also, in their sinker bucket, after all they don’t want to get a leg broken, or get finned by a catfish.

The problem starts when a boat fisherman decides to fish the boil nearest the bank. The bank fishermen are shut out until he leaves.

They take exception to that, seriously.

A new boat fisherman decides that the bank fishermen are having better luck a hundred feet away, and they can’t do anything to him, so he’s going to putt over and drop a bait. Profanity and verbal abuse ensue. Threats and such fly back and forth. Still the boat guy doesn’t move off.

A small group of bank fishermen gather and discuss tactics, then spread out and get ready to cast. The boat guy is lulled into a false sense of security. When the boat comes into range, all the bank conspirators cast at the same time.

It sounded like a hail storm on a tin roof.

Remember all those 140 lb lines and 14/0 hooks?

The boat guy is caught, and the six horse motor starts to lose ground. Someone is about to get his butt kicked.

Boat guy panics and grabs his pistol first, after a couple of shots, the bank guys, not to be out done, grab their pistols and return fire.

These are .22 or .25 hand guns with a two inch barrel, kept in a bucket full of lead balls. Probably not target pistols to start with and likely abused for years, a hit would have been an act of Providence, who was bent over laughing hard enough to puke at the moment, not deciding anyone’s fate.

The unarmed people freak and streak.

Good idea!

The TVA guard hears the commotion and takes cover with my friend behind a parapet wall.

Boat guy finally grabs a bait knife and starts cutting lines to make his escape.

So my bud asks the guard, who is holding his .38 revolver in his best TV dude, “point in a safe direction”, grip…”What are you going to do about that?”

He replied, “As soon as they run out of ammo, I’m going down there and run them off!”

Who says fishing is boring?