Tuesday, November 11, 2008

keeping it up

Honey, I'm home....
On Sunday, I left my parents' house at 7 am Eastern Time and I drove. I drove a route with lots of rest stops. It was a clear day,I snacked on food I'd brought, got gas when necessary, and kept driving. I'd said I would stop at Knoxville, TN, but when I got to the Knoxville area at 2:30 in the afternoon, I decided I didn't want to spend another day on the road. After about 715 miles and a little before 6 pm Central Time, I was home. Harry and Sally, the dogs, were darn glad to see me, and the professor kindly carried in everything, fed me, and scooped me off the floor and into bed just in time. I've definitely never driven that far in one day before, but with autumn colors, a good audiobook, NPR and some grit and determination? It can be done.

Yesterday I got my belongings situated, cooked, and nested. I'd forgotten how nice my own house was! (One can forget this while sleeping in your parents' basement...even when the guestroom is comfortable!)

My nephew has complications from his surgery and is likely to be in the hospital for at least 2 weeks more-maybe longer.

Geek Knitter (look, I'm quoting you again!) said she wished there was more that she could do. A lot of wonderful people have asked that. Here are a few helpful things to consider if someone is having a family crisis:
1) Reach out. Most people in the midst of a terrible situation are unable to see beyond the next few hours or days. Don't call once and be done with it. Write notes, ask if they need things, and keep contacting them every few days just so they know you care. Your comments on my blog and emails have done this for me, thank you so much!
2) Maintain support. Bad illness, etc. doesn't end after the first week. See if there is a way you can offer food/friendship/a break long after the first wave of people have gone home. Sometimes this means babysitting, walking a dog, washing dishes or sitting at the hospital waiting room. You may not be doing something glamorous. So what? ...it still helps.
3) Reach further. See if you can help other people affected by the crisis. In my case, I was gone for 2 weeks--and one kind friend took the professor out to dinner and helped pick up some groceries from a local farm for him. It would have been great if others had reached out to him a bit. Two weeks is a long time for absentminded professors on their own. :)
4) Do research. Sometimes your expertise is necessary. My best friend couldn't help out physically but she could offer medical information. Bear in mind that the people in need might not be ready to hear what you've found out--be patient but available, and keep the information on a back burner.
5) Unfounded optimism is not always useful. Serious complications require somber responses. In this case, we know some have been well-intentioned and sent baby gifts but that's hard right now...(a placemat with the baby's name on it seems sweet but is tough to cope with when the kid is going to be eating via feeding tube for the foreseeable future.)

OK, I've been depressing enough. Now, one positive thing to do right now... Build community. Reach out to others, offer them meals,coffee, favors and friendship when times are good. Without those communities, we are lost when things get bad.

Deb very kindly reached out and gave me this award. It couldn't have come at a better time.

The Uber (synonym to Super) Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who:
~inspire you
~make you smile and laugh
~maybe gives you amazing information
~is a great read
~has an amazing design
~and any other reasons you can think of that makes them Uber amazing!
The rules of this award are:
*put the logo on your blog or post.
*Nominate at least 5 blogs or more that for you are Uber Amazing!
*Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
*Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.

Here are some people who I want to honor with this award.

River Rim (Cyndy's photos and posts are inspiring, informational, and downright calming.)

Weebug Knits (Marti, your creativity is stunning. Thanks for sharing your daily life with me!)

Independent Stitch (Deb's informational posts, detail, and patience often give me the extra bit of background I need. Plus, she expresses the difficulties of a freelance work life with true grace under pressure.)

Spin Dye Knit (Alison's daily dose of love, care, and faith in humanity is wrapped up in stories that I've come to rely on. Thank you for your friendship and for that dose of idealism!)

Sheep to Shawl (Donna's posts are informative and provocative. Sometimes she pushes my buttons about things that I need to think about further--whether it's fiber, politics or religion. I appreciate her candor and intellect.)

There are many other blogs I get something fabulous from reading, but I'm going to try to get back to a normal routine. It's probably time for me to get some work done!

Have more suggestions for helping others in a time of need? Know some uberamazing blogs? Ever driven 715 miles in a day? Talk about it here, please!


Blogger Geek Knitter said...

And again you've made me blush! There is no way in the known universe I could get through a drive that long without audiobooks. Truly one of the best things since sliced bread and circular needles.

Welcome home!

My friend Anna blogs here http://annascorneroftheworld.blogspot.com/ about pretty much everything in her life. Crafting, cats, cooking, you name it. Check it out and tell her I sent you!

November 11, 2008 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Being home to nest is calming to all your household. You are more appreciated than ever right now. Perhaps it is bread baking time.

November 11, 2008 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

So glad you made it home safe!

Your insights on how to help during a crisis are honest and true...you make points worth remembering!

Deb was right to select your blog as an Uber one! Thanks for passing the award my way ;-)

November 11, 2008 at 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Janet said...

Those are excellent suggestions you have, even when life is merely cruddy. I'm sure your brother and sister-in-law will be forever grateful for your help and your company.

November 11, 2008 at 3:32 PM  
Anonymous AlisonH said...

I'm so glad they got to have you there when they all so much needed you; thank you for making the trip.
Thank you for the kind words, too. And I just finally got to read about your car Moaning Myrtling--too funny!

November 11, 2008 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger weebug said...

aww, can you see me blushing over there on the eastern part of the country? thank you for the award!

November 11, 2008 at 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Deborah Robson said...

Hi, Joanne: I'm glad you're home, and I'll continue to hold your extended family in the Light.

Thanks for the award! Surprising timing; I have not felt very award-worthy at all lately. I look forward to posting again more regularly. And catching up on my reading. Or at least chasing it.


November 11, 2008 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Glad to see you made it home safely. That's a long road trip for sure. There is definately no place like home!

Will continue to send good thoughts and prayers to your nephew and family - hope you can rest up and relax a little before you dig into something. You've earned it :)

November 12, 2008 at 3:09 PM  
Anonymous LauraRN said...

Thoughts, prayers and hugs to you and all your family. I know this is very very difficult.

November 13, 2008 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger knitalot3 said...

I'm happy that you got home safely. I appreciated your helping list. I'm the worst at knowing what to say or do. I also tend to build a wall around myself and my loved ones when in crisis. It takes courage to allow others to help.

Still praying for you and your family. LisaK

November 14, 2008 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger annmarie said...

what a lot of very thoughtful and helpful informaton for anyone experiencing a crisis like the one your family is going through!
as for the driving, a few years ago I drove out alone to Wisconsin for Meg Swansen's knitting camp. The first day I drove from New York City to Portage, Indiana - just under 760 miles. All I can say is, "NEVER AGAIN"...I was almost delirious with relief by the time I saw the motel sign! :/

November 16, 2008 at 8:08 AM  

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