Monday, May 21, 2007

Update on Mike, Recital weekend and ready to paint

In my last entry I wrote about Mike, a friend who had been in a bike crash the previous week. He's doing well, all things considered. He's pretty certain he'll never ride again; at least not on the road. He may do some tandem riding with his wife on the trails but not much more than that. I know how much Mike liked to ride so this isn't going to be an easy thing for him to let go of. I try to imagine myself having to put an end to my riding and those are thoughts I'd rather not have.

Recital weekend is over for another year. Rachel has really found her stride with the Senior A company and is thriving in that group. Tammy went to all three shows while I opted out of the last one. There was no dads' dance for me to participate in this year...maybe next year. Video taping the performance is not allowed as there is a videographer present who sells a DVD of each show for $45. That's fine but if you want to actually get some close-ups of your child you need to do it yourself...and so I do. I'm discreet about it but still uncomfortable as I know the camera police are out there scanning the audience. Last year I was an usher for 3 of the performances and part of my job was to ask people to stop taping...I couldn't do it. I let them tape. The owners of the studio look at it as money out of their pockets when people don't buy the video but we actually do buy a copy each year. I can't speak for others. In years past the quality of the produced video left a lot to be desired. I understand that they need to sell enough videos to make it worth while but it's also important that people be allowed to capture their child's performance for themselves.

Here's a link to a collection of dance recital videos from her weekend.

Oh, and we got to meet Rachel's boyfriend, Grant, at the recital...nice looking kid.

It was a busy weekend for sure with not only Rachel's three recital performances but also her Confirmation Sunday morning. We're quite proud of the way she took the initiative to put herself out there and get involved with the youth group from Prince of Peace. Actually, it was something we'd prayed about for her. The youth group at Hosanna is going nowhere and nobody seems to be able to breathe any life into it. Had she not gotten involved with PoP she wouldn't have been confirmed...simple as that.

Tammy and I built a light box for her to use for glass painting as she's ready to do stained glass for real. I don't know that I'll ever learn that aspect of stained glass art. She's a much better artist than I am. Here's a link to some of the paintings she did for a class she took in college. I hope she's able to some day take another class but until then painting on glass is pretty cool.

Tammy's father is now living in a nursing home and not too happy about it. He fell twice in the span of a few days a while back and was ambulanced to the hospital after his last fall. His wife was unable to help him up nor was he able to help himself. It's been apparent to us that he's been losing some steps over the last few years but more noticeably in the last year. Our biggest concern is that he was still getting behind the wheel. He got a speeding ticket a couple years ago for going 85 in a 65. That's way too fast a speed for him and a good indication of how out of control he could sometimes be. Tammy was in the car on a trip with him last summer where he was going 90. He had to be stopped.

After his stay in the hospital he was sent to an assisted living center where they evaluated him and suggested that a nursing home was an appropriate place for him to be. In some ways it's an easy decision to come to but at the same time you realize the finality of a decision like that and the depression it's causing in him and it's very sad. One of Tammy's sisters is not in favor of the decisions which have been made and it's creating some tension. It's understandable and I think it's not at all unusual.

Tammy and I are taking a trip to see him in a few days. We went out tonight and purchased a recliner for him for his room and we're putting together some photo collages for his wall. We'll meet Tammy's mother and sister up there, have lunch together then head for home.

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