2010 Quartzsite trip
January 15 – Picked up grandpa at 12:45 and brought him back to my house so we would be ready to go as soon as Ed was ready to go – he got home about 1:2O and hooked up the trailer and we were on the road by 2 pm. Grandpa Merritt sat in the front with Ed until we stopped in Nephi and then he got in the back of the truck and took a nice hour long nap as we traveled South. We stopped in to see Grandma Bea when we got to Beaver and she looked and sounded great. We visited with her for about 30 minutes and then left her to enjoy her dinner meal. We headed on to her house and turned on the heat in her house and unhooked the trailer and then went up to Arshels for dinner. After dinner we headed back to her house and left grandpa with his pajamas and pills and toothbrush – he was tired and figured he would just go to bed. We then put on a movie for him and headed back to visit with Grandma again for a bit. We had a fun visit with her and then headed up to see Kevin but he wasn’t home yet so we drove out to his station and caught him there - Grandpa was still watching the movie - Ed finished watching it with him and I read for a while.
January 16 – Ed got up early and took the truck to Kevin’s and got four new tires put on the truck. By the time he got back Grandpa and I were up and had eaten and were ready to head out. I had told Grandma Bea that we would go back out to see her before we headed south again but Ed said NOPE – we need to get on our way. We did stop for a second at the cheese factory and bought some cheese and then we headed south. We stopped at Aunt Eleanor’s to put water in the tanks where it was warm enough to keep from freezing. It was a beautiful day in Mesquite and we enjoyed our visit with Eleanor.
We then headed on down the road, stopping for fuel at the Indian reservation about 45 minutes out of Las Vegas. Grandpa decided to take a nap so again he got the back seat – he woke up just in time to see the skyline of Vegas before we headed up to Railroad Pass. I had figured we would go as far as Needles and then get up the next morning and come the last ways into Quartzsite but Ed insisted we keep on going. Grandpa said fine – just get my pain pills out – so we did and he took a couple of pain pills and went to sleep. He woke up in Parker and I realized that he had taken too many pills – he should have just taken one – he staggered to the rest room and back to the truck. The pain pills were a generic Lortab I think – so two of them would be waaayyyy too much. I also realized then that he had been taking his Coumadin pill when he was in pain because it was a heart pain and he thought that it helped stop the pain. Scary – I have tried to explain to him that he MUST NOT take a Coumadin when he is hurting – only one Coumadin a day – I don’t think he took any extra Coumadin pills but it is a possibility!
We made it to Quartzsite by 9 pm and found our spot just waiting for us. We left grandpa in the warm truck while we unloaded our new Razor and all the stuff piled around it, got the rug laid out and the furnace turned on in the truck. The trailer warmed up quickly. Then we brought grandpa in while I blew up his air mattress and put the foam pad on top of it and got his bed made. He got into his pajamas and went to bed – we read for a while and then did likewise.
January 17 – Sunday was a beautiful day – it got up to 78 degrees. We sat outside in the sun and read for a while after we got dressed and ready for church at one. Church was good, although we only stayed for Sacrament meeting as grandpa can’t handle much more than that. When we got back from church we had some lunch and then grandpa took a nap and Ed and I went for our first ride together on the razor. It was so fun – by five pm though the air was cooling off but Ed got a jacket out for me and we kept going. By the time we got back to the trailer grandpa was back up. Ed and I read and I set a game the game of solitaire up on my computer for my grandpa – he can’t read and we don’t have TV so I was glad when I found something that would keep him entertained. It would have been a looonnnnggg four weeks if he just sat and stared at the walls all day.
January 18, 2010 – It rained all night last night – I guess yesterday was the only warm day we are going to have this week. We will see, but this storm is supposed to be a big one that goes on for days. I got grandpa out for a walk – maybe a 100 feet and back – I told him when we got back to the trailer we would go for a ride on the razor. He said “don’t I get a nap first?” …and he was serious. So we went into the trailer and pretty soon he decided to lay down for a nap. Ed and I hopped in the truck and ran into town to look for some stuff that Ed needed for the trailer. It is normally a 6 or 7 minute drive into town and it took us 25 minutes to get there due to all the traffic. I don’t think we have ever seen so many people here in Quartzsite!! Lots and lots of trailers all over the place. After he had checked out the one store he had planned on going to we walked over to the big tent – that’s the big show that is going on right now – the big RV tent sale – we wandered through it for two hours. Bought some fun stuff and wished we could buy more. Wandered through a couple of gorgeous fifth wheel Toy haulers - WOW!! Pure luxury. By the time we got back out to the trailer I figured grandpa would have been worried sick but he was just busy playing solitaire. I fixed us some dinner and we decided to watch a movie. Ed went to turn on the generator and it wouldn’t go – we think it is a bad solenoid in the generator. Dang!! Guess we will go to bed early tonight! Ed will have to run into town tomorrow early in the morning and figure out what needs to be done to fix it.
January 19 – woke up to rain and it rained off and on all day. It was in the high 50’s and low 60’s but wet and rainy – much warmer than Utah but when three people are living on top of each other it needs to be high 60’s and low 70’s so we can sit outside and enjoy the weather. We read and knitted and lay around all day. When we pulled into the campground on Saturday night we noticed that there was a sign saying no water available. Their pumps were broken. They got them up and running so Ed spent an hour filling up the blue 7 gallon totes and getting our trailer filled back up. He keeps busy.
January 20 – the sun is shining today so after breakfast we got dressed warmly and headed out to go riding. Grandpa Merritt didn’t want to go – it’s going to be a long four weeks with him just sitting – he can’t read, he’s too tired to go for a ride, he plays solitaire on my computer a little bit but mostly just sits. Ed got up early today and went into town and checked out generators. It’s handy having the big RV show and tent sale going on since he can compare Honda generators to several different ones and find the best deal all in one spot. I think he is going to go buy two 2000 watt generators tomorrow and hook them together and then when we get back home we will take the trailer back to Sierra RV and get the built in generator fixed. Ed has wanted to have a backup generator available so now I guess he will have them. It will be nice when we have TV again – I hate to see my grandpa just sitting and staring.
The ride was a cool one – it was 56 degrees outside when we left the trailer. I drove my ATV and Ed drove the RAZOR – We rode about 19 miles --its amazing how many side by sides are out in the hills now – we see almost more of them than regular ATV’s! The temp was up to 59 by the time we got back to the trailer. Grandpa had stayed behind and had a nice hot shower. By the time I got back I WAS ready for a nice hot shower but the water was just lukewarm…Grandpa said he didn’t use much water but he did use all the hot water and Ed’s full tanks were down a quarter of a tank!! I think he just forgot how long he was in the shower!
I spent the afternoon with a fun group of ladies who were quilting. They put me to work with them. Fun afternoon. It was part of a group that camp out here in La Posa South. Now we are back at the trailer – the North wind has been blowing all down and the sky is mostly covered with clouds – it is supposed to rain again tomorrow.
January 21, 2010 - it rained all night last night…when we got up this morning there were streams running down the gully behind our trailer. It is raining today too - It is too wet for Ed to buy the generators to get them set up so we will be another day without electricity as far as watching movies goes. Thank heavens for our solar panels – that keeps our cell phones and computers charged …and the batteries to run the lights at night. I had a shower and fed the guys and took the truck with our laundry and headed into the LDS chapel here at Quartzsite. Thursday morning the sisters meet to work on humanitarian projects. They had three quilts on, were setting up a fourth, two sisters were on sewing machines binding them and three more sisters were on sewing machines creating the tops for even more quilts! There were two people stuffing knitted balls and one table full of ladies gluing pictures onto paper creating books!! Busy place – had a good visit with several of the ladies. I only stayed for an hour and then headed to the Laundromat in town. When I got there I thought – gee I should have stayed at the church house – it looked like EVERYONE in Quartzsite decided to come in to do laundry!! I had to WAIT for a parking place!! Once I got inside I only had to wait about five minutes for some washers to open up – I took my $20 over to the change machine and it poured out quarters!! Someone hollered “we have a winner!!” I laughed and admitted the odds were lots better here than in Vegas. I got all four washers going and then read for a while. When it was getting close to having the washers finish their cycle I went in stood in line so as to be ready for a dryer when some opened up. I got my clothes out of the first three washer s and realized the fourth one wasn’t working. So I got my other clothes in the dryer and going and then found someone to help me with the #4 washer. He got it going for me but it was still going by the time the clothes were dry so I had to take a chance on getting another dryer when they were done – no such luck. By that time people were four deep waiting for the next available dryer so I folded all my clothes including the wet ones and headed back to the trailer. It was raining even harder when by the time I got back to the trailer – don’t know why I was in such a hurry to get back home. I fixed lunch and it has rained and blown and rained and blown all afternoon. The rain and wind is shaking the trailer as I type this. The temp did get up to 57 today – its back down to 53 at 5 pm….gonna be a long cold night. I know, I know – that is lots better than whatever it is in Utah but it’s getting downright scary!!! The trailer is just rocking back and forth !! WOW!!
The storm finally settled down about 5:30 – what a relief – all of us just sat in the trailer and stared at each other wondering if we were going to be washed away.
The generator in our trailer went out the first Monday we were here. Finally on Friday we went into town to the big RV show and Ed bought two 2000 watt generators that he can work them together in a parallel format – so he gets 4000 watts…but they are small enough that I can lift them and start them which was necessary with Ed leaving for a week and a half.
So we have power again to run the TV and the microwave. We have been recharging phones and computers with the inverter hooked up to the batteries recharging on solar power which has been nice!
Grandpa went with us Friday when we headed to the big tent. Ed had already picked out the generators he wanted to buy so grandpa and I wandered for a short while through the tent. Grandpa bought a little chair cane – it has an umbrella handle and then a small seat that folds up when not in use as a chair. It’s a handy thing and helped grandpa walk over the uneven ground – and then when we headed back to the truck he was able to stop = open up the chair and rest for a few minutes before going on. Friday was a cool day with lots and lots and lots of clouds but no rain thank heavens. The wind was from the north so it felt good to be inside the tent. We headed back to the trailer for lunch and a nap and reading. I pulled out the DVD that Dirk and Da gave grandpa for Christmas. We thoroughly enjoyed watching their cute video clips throughout the year of Ben and Simon. For some reason the sound would cut out at the middle of the clip but we still enjoyed it.
Saturday was a pretty day although still cool with the winds blowing. Grandpa and I drove into town in the truck and found the medical clinic and I went in and asked them about a protime test for dad on Tuesday. The nurse said we needed an order from his doctor – so after we got back to the trailer we called the doctor’s office and left a message asking that the order be faxed to the clinic. While in town we went to the library – grandpa found a book in large print to see if that would help his reading. We hit the grocery store for a few things and then headed back to the trailer.
Sunday we woke up to ice on the windshield but it got up to 61 degrees and the wind was very mild. Dad didn’t feel good so he stayed home from church – when we got back he seemed fine. Come to find out, he woke up with a pain in his back and it scared him because he didn’t know what it was. After we had left for church he rolled over and the pain moved to another part of his body. When he investigated he found that the big link in the floor that we tie our ATV’s down with that usually lay flat was sticking up and that was what was causing the pain. He is really frightened of anything different with his body right now and so he panicked. He was kind of shame faced about it when he told us what had happened, but I told him I understood his fear. He doesn’t know what to expect after this stroke and anything different is frightening. After church we sat out in the sun and soaked up some rays – it felt sooooo good finally. Then we headed into town to refill the propane tanks ( Ed wanted to make sure we were full up on water and propane and that the black and grey holding tanks were empty before he headed to Phoenix on Monday to catch his plane to Chicago) and had lunch at Carl’s Jr and then came back to the trailer when grandpa took a nap and Ed and I hopped on our razor to go for a cool but fun ride. For dinner we had the Omaha Steaks and twice baked potatoes and apple pie deserts that Ed’s boss gave us for Christmas – the steaks were so tender and delicious. Grandpa was even able to eat the steaks without any problem! So Yummy!
We watched “The return of Zorro” last night and that was fun. Ed got everything together so he could get up early to head out and then we all went to bed. Edward left this morning about 7 am – he called about 10:30 from the airport – he said he thought he was going to make it to the airport with plenty of time to spare but then got caught up in traffic – an accident had happened and it took him 45 minutes longer than he had planned to get there. Then as he went through the screening he set the beepers off. He emptied his pockets wondering what in the world would have set it off and low an behold he still had his clip from his pistol in his pocket. The gun was left back at the trailer but without thinking he had picked up the magazine and put it in his pocket. Needless to say, he got the royal pat down and luggage search. He said they were really nice about it though and he has left it there in their storage to pick up when he comes back through next week. – he still made it to the gate with 15 minutes to spare!
Grandpa and I are sitting in the trailer watching the temperature go up – as soon as I finish with this we are going to go on a walk – hopefully he will be able to go farther than the 100 feet he has done before – with his cane and little chair – I am hoping we can make it over to the dumpsters so I can dump our sack of garbage. We will see. After lunch he will have his nap and I will head back into town with the rest of our laundry and then I am going to find a spot that sells findings for my necklaces as I need just a couple of different things. Hopefully I can down load this onto my blog –though it will make a LONG blog but at least everyone will know what is going on.
Oh – the large print really helps – grandpa is now able to read for about an hour at a time – even longer when he puts the 4x4 gauze pad over his left eye so it doesn’t jump all over. I think he is enjoying the time – sometimes I feel like more of a babysitter but he is doing better every day. The stroke has done more damage than we thought – but there is improvement and that is all we can ask for.