Las Vegas June 17 to June 24, 2006

Visiting Barb's Folks...

Barb's father Cliff had surgery on June 14th to fix a blockage in his carotid artery.  Nine (out of eleven) of Barb's siblings were in Las Vegas for the surgery, but most had to go home a few days after.  Barb's mother Louise had also gotten sick during this stressful time, so Barb flew out to Vegas a few days after the surgery to help take care of both of them.  When she arrived she was pleased and surprised to discover her Uncle John had driven out from Minneapolis to see her father also. 

Both parents made steady progress towards improvement throughout the week.  Barb had a very enjoyable time with them and even got to experience a "happy hour" at their retirement center.  Wine and all sorts of goodies were served, accompanied by a very good musician/singer.  Her mother and friends even did some dancing, so Barb joined in.  (Barb's mother pointed out to her that Barb would be eligible to move into the retirement center on her next birthday.  Barb wonders how that is possible?  Where has time gone?)  Her father was not quite up to the event and was probably afraid one of the ladies would try to get him to dance, especially since the women greatly outnumber the men.

While in Las Vegas Barb was able to use her mother's sewing machine to begin making some of the Caribbean courtesy flags for their upcoming journey. She cursed the women at Blue Water Books in Ft. Lauderdale who suggested that she sew rather than buy the flgas and who also sold her a book with the needed details.  How hard can it be to sew them?  Well the actual sewing part is no problem but cutting out the hundreds of little pieces with a hot knife and dealing with all the special symbols is no fun.  Her advice to others planning to sail the Caribbean -- buy the flags!

On the last morning with her parents Barb had the pleasure of having breakfast with them and her father's good friend Frank.  Barb had heard so much about Frank through the years, but had never met  him.  Frank has a daughter in Rhode Island who is a boating enthusiastic, so Barb promised to give her a call when she and Chuck make it that far north (which will be a few years yet).

Barb's sister Audrey will be heading to Las Vegas a few days after Barb leaves to continue overseeing their parent's recover.  Audrey just learned (on June 24th) that she passed her nursing boards.  Congratulations Audrey!  She is two years older than Barb.  While Barb decided to retire a few years ago, Audrey decided to change careers and get another degree.  Her computer science degree did not lead her into work she enjoyed, so she decided to become an RN.  She will have no difficulty finding work as a nurse and is even considering the Peace Corp.

In the meantime Chuck's mother is recovering from pneumonia.  Chuck discussed flying to North Dakota to help his mother, but she and Chuck's sister Zona felt that he should wait to come out until the scheduled trip in September.  (Maybe they realized he is not the ideal nurse. :-)  His mother Evelyn has been making a slow recovery as she had gotten so weak, but is getting her strength back and on her way to a full recovery.. 

Uncle John visiting Mom and Dad

Dad almost recovered

Mom and Dad back from a doctor visit

Line dance ladies at Happy Hour

Mom with her mouth full at Happy Hour

Mom's friends Sally & Phyllis (sisters)

Virginia arriving late at Happy Hour and finishing up the wine

Dad and friend Frank

Barb making flags for Caribbean trip