Monday, November 17, 2014

A Trip to Reno and News of Another Death in Extended Family

Gerry and I took a little trip to Reno last Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Our 34th anniversary was November 1st...going to Reno was a belated anniversary trip.  We actually did do something on our anniversary. 

A few weeks ago he sent me a link regarding a craft fair that was being held in Reno.  Since he knows how much I enjoy going to craft fairs, we decided we would go up for it.  The fair was not as large as I thought it would be, it was still enjoyable.

After we left the fair, we decided to drive up to Virginia City.  Gerry thought we hadn't been there, however we had been, it had been several years ago.  The drive up the mountain was gorgeous.  I took pictures with my iphone, however I'm not sure how to save them to my computer so I can share.  The weather was beautiful.  We had lunch at a little BBQ place...pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw on top of the pork.  It was YUM...the buns are made by the restaurant and were awesome too...and huge!

It started to get cold so we stopped at the car to get our jackets and walked a little further.  There were more shops to see...I was getting tired so Gerry went and got the car.  We drove around the town a little before leaving...taking the highway that goes to Carson City.  Virginia City sits on the side of the mountain so it was another gorgeous drive down to Carson City.  From there we got back on Hwy 395 and headed back to Reno.  The mountains look so different in Nevada than they do in California.  The trees are sparse and are mostly covered with sagebrush. 

When we got back into Reno Gerry asked if I wanted to go to Scheels which is a huge outdoors store.  He walked around looking at stuff that interested him and I looked at ladies clothing.  Saw several things I really liked, however, too expensive for my pocketbook.  Gerry did buy me a fleece vest, something I've been wanting.  It was getting close to dinner time so we decided to get a sandwich from the cafĂ© there and go back to the hotel to eat.  It had gotten quite cold by then.

We stayed at Harrah's, our room was on the 14th floor.  After we ate, we walked over to Starbucks which is in the West Tower, our room was in the East Tower.  Harrah's charges $11 per day, per device for internet.  I wanted to check my emails.

Harrah's is an old hotel...the rooms are comfortable, however kind of outdated.  We didn't eat at any of the restaurants in the hotel since we prefer the kind of places where the locals might go.  We went to a BBQ place Thursday night and breakfast Friday and Saturday were at a couple of neat was excellent at both places.

After going to two quilt shops and stopping again at Cabela's, we headed home Saturday morning.  We had stopped at Cabela's on the way up.  It is another outdoors store.

I didn't check my phone before we left Reno.  When we got home, I discovered that I had a Facebook message from Jim Alfaro telling me his father, Julius had passed away that morning.  Julius and my mother were 1st cousins...their mothers being sisters (Aunty Jane, Julius's mother and my grandmother).  I was so sad to read his message.

When I first came to California, January 1962, I stayed with Julius and Mary (his wife).  I, was of course, married to John Bledsoe then.  I first stayed with his uncle.  I had met Julius and Mary when they stopped in Honolulu, years earlier, on their way to Kaua'i.  I contacted them after I arrived and Mary would come and get me during the day and take me to their house.  John was at Oakland Naval Hospital during the day and would get leave to come to Castro Valley.  Julius and Mary lived in Hayward with their kids.  Mary decided she didn't like me being there by myself with John's uncle so we gathered up our belongings and I went to stay with them.  Their daughter, Yvonne was just a few years younger than I and the boys were quite a bit younger...Jerry and Bill. Jim is their younger son. John would come when he could get leave.  Mary taught me quite a few things to cook which was so helpful.  She even gave me some things for when we were able to get settled.  John was released from Oakknoll and stationed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside.  We left in March of 1962 to go south. 

Julius was also very helpful to John.  We would drive north whenever we could to visit.  We've lost touch over the years...pretty sad since Gerry and I don't live that far from them. 

Julius had cancer and died peacefully in his sleep.  There will be a small service so we will drive over to be with the family.  Jim and I connected on Facebook...for which I am so thankful.  I probably would not have found out about Julius.

This is the 3rd family passing since sister Marie in June, her son Michael Alan last month (both on the Chung-Hoon family side) and now Julius (on the Camara family side, my grandmother's family).   

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Denise Noelani

Today is Denise's 45th birthday.  She was born on November 11, 1969 at Tri-City Hospital in Oceanside, CA.

I have been thinking a lot of that weekend leading up to her birth.  There was a lot going on leading up to hearing the words "you are pregnant", fertility tests and finally fertility drugs.  I was the first patient in North San Diego County to take the fertility drug "Clomid".  It was thought to cause multiple births.  I took 5 days worth of the pills and went to see my doctor for a urine test.  It came back negative.  I was going to do another 5 days only taking 2 pills at a time.  Before I started that, my doctor wanted another urine test done.  That one came back positive.  I had gone through so much, I didn't believe the news, at first.  It slowly became a reality and I was so excited.

As an extra precaution, my doctor wanted to administer hormone shots to insure I would not have a miscarriage.  So once a month I went in for my doctor visits were every 2 weeks.  Towards the end of the pregnancy, I had the shots more often...sometimes having 2 at the same time because my backside had been pricked so many times, the serum would run out.

At about 6 months I was put on complete bed rest.  I was at a friend's house and passed out.  She called my doctor who told her what to do to bring me back.  She drove me home and the next day I went in to see my doctor.  Due to my short stature, as the baby grew, she would get her feet up underneath my breastbone cutting off my oxygen. 

My due date was November 6th.  Denise's dad wanted a Marine Corp birthday baby, November 10th.  I, on the hand, was determined to have my baby on Tuesday which was November 11th.  I was born on a Tuesday.  He was convinced I was having a boy...I had been praying for a girl with light skin, red hair and blue eyes...and I got a girl with light skin, red hair and blue eyes.  Actually her hair was a dark brown with blond streaks through it.  Her daddy is a blond with blue eyes.  When the nurses brought her to me for the first time, I asked the nurses what happened to her hair.  They told me that is how her hair was when she was born.  It looked like someone had taken a tiny paint brush and painted the streaks in her was beautiful and she had a lot of hair.

I started having low back pains on Sunday, the 9th.  About 10pm or so, we went down to emergency to be checked.  My contractions were about 5 minutes apart.  They were going to send me home, however decided to admit.  I heard the nurses talking among themselves after being taken to a room, saying "she looks like she is frightened so let's just keep her...there's no one up here anyway".  One of the nurses sat with me off and on through the night.  TriCity, at the time, was a very small hospital.  Monday morning, the contractions completely stopped.  After my doctor came in to see me, it was decided that they would induce labor that afternoon if my contractions didn't start up again.  So after lunch, the fun would be a long rest of the day.  My doctor came in that night and decided to do a C-section.  He had told me if the baby was more than 7 lbs, a C-section would probably have to be done.

Finally at 2:47am, Tuesday morning, November 11th, my sweet girl made her entrance.  When my doctor said "Betty, it's a girl" I started crying...I was awake during the whole procedure...everyone got nervous...they were happy tears and God had answered my prayers.  When I had been praying I told God I would give her back to Him if my prayers were answered.  And that is what I did...she belonged to God...I've gotten to have her for a little while.  Denise weighed 7 lbs, 6 ozs and was 19 inches long.

And so her 45th birthday has occurred on a Tuesday...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

More Family Sadness

My last post on June 6, 2014, I shared that my oldest sister, Marie, passed away.  Last week I received news that her youngest son passed away.

Nephew, Michael Alan had celebrated his 60th birthday early October.  He lived alone, had never married.  His co-workers discovered his body.  During his growing up years he was affectionately known as "Tubby". 

I spoke with Ernie, my younger sister, today.  His service was yesterday in Honolulu.  All of his siblings were there except for a brother and sister.  Ernie shared some things about him that I found interesting...the last time I saw him was in the mid '60's when they lived in El Paso, TX.  I remembered him as a very happy, lots of fun little boy.  He always had a smile on his face.

He was very active in the Rotary there in Honolulu and worked with computers.  He had for many years taught cooking classes to the homeless.  He taught them at the Episcopal church where his service was held.

After the burial service, family was invited to the home of some of their dad's relatives for dinner.  Ernie, her husband and son were the only ones there from our side of the family.  She related how nice it was to meet some of our brother-in-law's family.

You don't expect to hear of the passing of a niece, nephew, or other family member younger than hearing the news of Tubby's passing was disturbing...especially so soon after his mother's passing.