Sunday, September 15, 2019

Last Fling with Waldo

I went!  I got to go!

I took off for Waldo Lake in the rain Friday morning.  Intent on a last fling with Waldo and summer.

The weather improved the farther I went into the day.

My younger brother and his wife were coming, along with his son and his wife.  Little to no communication did not stop me.

The night before, I called my older brother, to chat, and his wife answered.  I wondered why.

My brother was in the hospital, had an event, she said, and at that time, they weren't sure what was wrong.  It's going to be a stroke I said.  But the doctors had done a CAT scan, seen nothing, and were checking his ears and urine for infection.  He had symptoms similar to vertigo. He was vomiting wildly, projectile vomiting and my brother never vomits.

So it took them awhile to figure it was really a stroke he'd had, back in his cerebellum, affecting his ability to orient to the world, balance.  This didn't seem good at all.  They couldn't operate to remove it, they said, and it would have to dissolve.

I went to Waldo anyway although I slept very little Thursday night.  I realized this could be the end of my brother's life.  Nobody can live with permanent vertigo. 

My nephew didn't arrive until late in the afternoon, even though they left an hour and a half earlier than I did.  My brother and his wife didn't get there til late either.  Didn't matter to me.

I arrived, found a site, bought it for the lot of us, drove all the way back down to a certain magic pullout along the road where I could get one bar of cell service, and called my brother first, then my nephew to tell them the site number.  Then I drove back up and on to the boat ramp, pumped up my raft, which held air (thankfully), launched into the lake with the aid of a mountain biker, who helped me carry my raft to the water, and took off.  I can't back down a boat ramp.  My car's emergency brake doesn't work.  Don't want my car at the bottom of a lake.  I hope to get that fixed one day.

I rowed and played for hours.  Then I swam, towing the raft for another hour.  I beached the raft near the campground, and walked up to the site, to see if anyone had arrived and spotted my nephew.  Finally.  He said he'd come back down to the beach and let me know because they were thinking they'd change sites, get the refund of my money and move, because one had opened near the water.  But they never showed up again on the beach to let me know.  Be a short walk to that site, with my raft, easy too.  So finally not knowing, I rowed the half mile or so back to the boat ramp.  I figured I'd just let the air out again, load it in the car, and then try to find my nephew. But, someone started throwing rocks at me through the trees.  Ha!  It was my brother.

We loaded the raft into his pickup and I followed him back to the campground.

We had a good time.  We didn't do much, just ate, sat around either a camp fire or the beach.  I was out on my raft most of Saturday.  The weather was beautiful Saturday. My brother and his wife have two very light weight kayaks, weigh only 30 lbs each.   First my nephew and his wife went out with them, following me to the island on the far side of the lake, which takes over an hour to get to, rowing.  I love that little hidden away island with its west side beach.  However, it was populated by a group of kayakers having lunch. I'd brought my phone along, because there are a few spots on the lake I'll get sudden cell service and I hoped to text my sister in law to check on my other brother.  Sure enough, once we walked through the brushy trail  on the island to the picnic table at the top, my phone dinged.  I had only 1% battery but got a text through.  My nephew and his wife headed on back, being much faster in those kayaks than I am rowing.  They are also 30 years younger than I am, which makes a bit of a difference, lol.   Later my brother and his wife took their kayaks out.   Sunday morning the weather had changed and we knew it would be raining soon.  I left first and the rain was pounding down within ten minutes.

It was good camping there again.  Fourth time for me.   There was a large crowd camped in the next campsite but they seemed nice.  The only issue was they let two big dogs free roam and free roam they did, into our site.  The dogs seemed to have no personality, would not react to us if we spoke to them or tried to pet them.  One dog would scrounge for food, even vomited at our feet and the other pee marked our stuff and trees in our campsite.   The owner also sicced the dogs at chipmunks and squirrels.  Raunchy.

Saturday evening, my brother and I drove down to that one little magic spot about 15 miles from the campground, where I had found cell service and called my other brother to see how he was.  He's in the hospital after his stroke.  He was  in good spirits.  Today his wife tells me he can't walk because he falls over, due to the orientation problems, so he has to go to a "rehab" center, a.k.a. nursing home.  They hope he improves.  He's worried it will be a permanent move.  I am also.

I slept in my car up at the campsite.  I have that arrangement, of sleeping method in the back, down pat now, easy, simple and very very comfortable.  I got lots of sleep, no problem there.  It was cold nights, however.  Always is up there in September.

My nephew is a grown man, almost middle aged.  I look at him and try not to see him as a little boy.  He's bright and eager and full of the energy, mental and physical, of his age.  I watched he and my brother, for whom he works, talk work talk across the campfire, about this and that project, materials (contractors), methods and felt happy.  Earlier I'd watched my brother and his wife snooze on the warm beach and had felt happy then too, watching them rest, for a change.

Drove home through the pouring rain.   I gave someone else four of my reservations to fill for tomorrow, which she has filled, and tasked apartment complex folks with rounding up three.  The other woman picked them up too.  She'll deliver to the clinic, I'll pick up the cats, to save on gas for both of us.

I had a great time   I've camped at Shadow Bay several times before.  I LOVE it.  But it was a hundred times better to be there with family.



  1. Lovely photos and so pleased you had a good time even with the cloud of your brother hanging over your head.

    1. Thanks Andrew. I did have a good time. Yes, I am worried about my brother but there is nothing I can do to change what happened to him. Or make him better. I hope he improves.

  2. I am so very glad that you got an enjoyable time in that beautiful place. I do hope that your brother improves. Your response to Andrew is pragmatic and very true.

    1. Thanks EC. I LOVE Waldo Lake and did have a great time!

  3. It may take time, but I think your brother will improve. My grandmother had a severe stroke and they didn't think she would survive. But a year later, she was walking, talking, and had a clear mind. Things with nerves take a while to heal.

    In the meantime, it sounds like a great weekend with your other brother. And as Andrew said, great photos.

    1. Thank you L and L. I hope my brother gets better. he's had strokes before and survived, but never had damage linger after treatment. I did have a great weekend, so enjoyable, just sitting around a fire laughing so much with my family.

  4. I'm so happy you had a good time! You deserve fun breaks from your hardworking routine. I have to admit seething a moment after reading that someone threw rocks at you. Heh... Best wishes on your brother's health.

    And thank you for the love to me and our old kitty. ~hugs~ Tilly's doing quite well (!) today, the little stinker. In fact, I'm letting her sleep alone on the low-set heating pad to spend time around Jezebel. That geriatric girl acted a fool last night, a circus monkey begging for attention. Now Jezebel's acting all casual ~wink~ about my presence in the same room but I know it's appreciated.

    Be well!