Archive for May, 2019

Waiting some more

Friday, May 31st, 2019

It seems that we spend a lot of time waiting. People and things just won’t march to our drum! Bonnie’s surgery was moved from Thursday to Friday and then delayed Friday from 1 to 3. All we can do is thank God for good surgeons, and wait, and pray. I am here to be a familiar face when Bonnie wakes up. The CCU is also the recovery room so they will wheel her in here immediately after surgery. Bonnie’s granddaughter Allison has been here every day after work and has kept a beautiful hopeful attitude about my stricken friend. All we can do is be hopeful, prayerful, and whisper: “Breathe Bonnie”! The surgeon just came in. All went well. He says it’s not a cure; she will stay here until issues can be resolved. Our biggest concern is breathing on her own. That is the most important thing isn’t it? We take that big breath at birth and we squeal about it!!! “Where’s my nice warm water???” And then we breathe our last 90 or so years later. And we pray that breathing will be natural and unimpeded all those years of life. “The breath of life”. If you or a loved one smokes, Stop it!!!! God bless us.

Duckies all in a row

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

It’s hatching time. At the lake we have tiny duckies, teenaged Egyptian geese, and a mother Morehen sitting on 3 eggs in our pontoon boat engine well. About the selection of a place for your nest Mama… Not too smart. We took the boat out twice both times noticing the little Mama standing on the beach cooing a lot. “What’s up with the Morehen?” We wondered as we boarded the boat and toured the lake. We sat over on friend Glen’s dock for about an hour before coming home. There she was .. on the beach “coooo cooooo”. Next time was Memorial day when Chuck went out and put two flags in the boat, US flag and Submarine service flag. Again… “Cooooo coooooo”. Off we went for another hour. Then someone in our party got smart and suggested she has a nest in there. “No!!! Couldn’t be”. Yep. Three eggs. Yesterday Mike and I swam while the Mama Morehen watched us very carefully from the engine well of the boat… She finally settled down on the nest, and we left her alone. Meanwhile, we watched 2 duck Mamas with about 20 duckies, and the Egyptian geese shepherding the teenagers. All is well at the lake… So again Chuck and I have poultry children.

My friend Bonnie is still in CCU, still intubated. I learned yesterday that she has had several pneumonia and bronchitus attacks in the past along with a lot of second hand smoke and her lungs are just not working well. This means blood oxygen levels are very low. It was pneumonia and a serious infection that caused her to collapse in a doctor’s office. She was intubated that day 14 days ago and now doctors must remove that tube. Today a tracheostomy is planned. Pardon my spelling . Doctors say that is temporary until lungs can heal. I pray so. God bless us all and let us offer special prayer to our God today, Ascension Thursday, prayer in praise for his eternal presence in our lives (if we let him in). God bless us.

Living with… “Life”

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

I’m at Baptist hospital visiting friend Bonnie who got filled with infection possibly from a large skin wound on her arm. When I saw her on Palm Sunday she was healthy… Then her daughter called to say she is in ICU (CCU at Baptist). Sedated and loaded with antibiotics, intubated, and very anxious and restless. I visited today for the first time and … It is very very difficult to have a friend my own age writhing around in a hospital bed loaded up with tubes, eyes open… But non responsive… Very scary and sad. The breathing tube had been taken out, but put back because her lungs are infected too. Pray for my friend Bonnie… And for all our brothers and sister in Christ who are experiencing serious illness. I was leaving the CCU and a couple passed me and the woman said “this is all part of life”… I’m not sure what she’s referring to, but I have a firm belief that we are not walking alone (grab and kiss your angel)… And thank God.

As for myself, I visited general practice doctor who pulled aneurisms up on his computer and showed me mine… He read from medical journals which state not to repair until aneurism grows to a certain size. Because the risk of surgery at my size isn’t worth it. So as much as I want repair… I’ve now heard from our lawyer (who is handling purchase of house in Lake Placid) and from Chuck who worked medical malpractice for 32 years, and from doctor… Repair does not outweigh Risk at this point. So I’m going to have echo cardiogram to look at valves and other stuff and just continue… Monitoring and waiting is the advice of surgeon too. I feel very good. Swam in the lake with Mike 2 days in a row which is so calming!!! So my gentle readers, please continue to pray for my peace and healing.

Finally, we are moving forward on closing on the Lake Placid house. Owner will stay there and pay rent until September. So more swimming and pontooning all summer!!! God bless us! Bless our 💓 heart friends!

Headed home!

Saturday, May 18th, 2019

Since we have Submarine veterans meeting in Fort Lauderdale today (Saturday) we drove to Jenson Beach and spent the night with Peter and Karen enabling us to only have a 2 hour ride to Fort Lauderdale for the meeting. Home about 4pm in time for vigil Mass. Chuck is my chariot driver. I got word yesterday that my friend Bonnie is in the hospital ICU at Baptist with a serious infection. I’m in touch with her children and invited them not to sleep in a hotel but at my place. Pray for Bonnie my maid of honor! God bless you Bonnie.

My BIG doctors appointment to talk about plans for aneurism is changed to Thursday so more time for praying! Have faith, Susie is going to be OK! God bless us!

Savannah day 2

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Today we went the Webb military museum owned by one guy who has seriously collected war memoribilia since he was 11. His mother was a great influence as she lived in London during WWII and survived having her house bombed… She kept a lot of newspapers, her gas mask, and a lot of her parents stuff. He also has parents and grandparents stuff from his father’s side. That plus stuff that has been donated and purchased over the years like the fusilage of a fighter plane, are arranged in what was a barn a long time ago in Savannah. Webb himself was the guide narrating stories for us. Fascinating how a lifetime of saving can be given to people. I hope he has family to carry his dream on. We girls visited an antique shop and then the Cathedral and the city cemetery while the boys sipped coffee in the shade of Mirabelle’s cafe. I had an amazing feta cheese and mushroom quiche with a buttery crust there. Hope you do well forever Mirabelle’s!!! On to lunch at The Pirate House which is really about 6 small houses glued together so inside the restaurant you go up and down not realizing you are moving between houses! They can seat 540 guests. They serve great greens, fried chicken and Mac and cheese. If only arteries could shout, they would be letting us know about the richness I consumed today. I hope it helps that we walked back to the hotel. Had a beer at Kevin Barry’s and a nap before dinner at an Italian restaurant. After dinner, we will walk back to Kevin Barry’s for music before bed time. Having a wonderful time on this sailors’ reunion!!! God bless us all.

Savannah after lunch day 1

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

Kevin ’s pub’s upstairs “museum” is called the “Hall of “Heroes” and it is a room full of commemorative memorials to September 11 first responders, WWI and WWII, Afganistan and other middle East wars… so we spent some time up there and then hit the river walk going all the way to the end (west to east), then back up to Bay Street to visit the Viet Nam memorial and Irish memorial. Then to what Savannah calls the oldest pub where I met a retired Air Force veteran and talked with his wife who loves to travel! Then an Air Force guy walked in in the khaki uniform. As we got up to leave I engaged him in conversation. Pointing at his bars I said, “lieutenant, right?” ” If I were Navy, yes, but captain.” All field commissions. I pointed at another patch and asked… “Chaplain”, he said. I said, “it’s the 10 Commandments, are you a Rabbi?” I’m now falling in love, he’s not treating me like an idiot!!! Chuck and he talked about what it’s like being on submarines versus jumping out of airplanes as a Ranger “If I go down in a sub, we can come back up…” Chuck said! They laughed. What a day we had, such celebration of America. Go hug a military person or a first responder! God bless us.

Savannah day 1!

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

Ah! Savannah!!! Today we toured on the Old Town Trolley and went on the usual tour of Savannah past all the buildings built in 1700s and 1800s built to protect the colonies from the Spanish in Florida! Meanwhile, then came William Tecumpsa Sherman to burn the town down but it was the Mayor of Savannah made a deal with many barrels of cotton and money. Sherman sent a telegram to Lincoln asking if he could spare the city. Lincoln took the money and agreed. So, Savannah has original OLD houses. Our submarine ladies want to see the Cathedral of St James, market, Lady and Sons, Antique shops. We are traveling in a group of 6: 3 men who served together on the Quillback together, Chuck, Rick, and Glen… And 3 ladies, Penny, Betty and Sue. We got off the trolley, went to the market, walked to the River, and are currently sitting in Kevin Barry’s Pub with the “museum” upstairs… Chuck says it’s not a museum just a room full of military memorabilia. I love it!!! After beers and corned beef sandwiches upstairs we will finish walking the river bank and head back to the hotel!!! Beautiful day!!! God bless you.

Thanks to President Eisenhower!

Monday, May 13th, 2019

Chuck and I have taken lots of use from our interstate highway systems, traveling most recently from San Diego to Miami on interstates all the way using I40, I10 and I75 to get home so I could recover from pneumonia in my own bed (and thank God I’m OK!). Most recently we once again took advantage of President Eisenhower brain child. Called the interstate and defense highway system… Built to make it easier to move military personnel and and equipment around the country if needed. We traveled on I 95, the longest north-south interstate in the US.

Thanks to President General George Washington for creating the Badge of Military Merit and to General Douglas MacArthur for reviving the badge and renaming it the Purple Heart awarded to those killed or wounded in combat in defense of the United States. This research came from driving by a Purple Heart Trail marker on I95. What exactly is that I wondered. The trail was established in 1992 to place markers on US roads to pay tribute and honor to combat veterans killed or wounded. So thank God for those who fought and fight today for America and freedom. It’s so hard to go away from family, get into “fighting shape” and put life and limb on the line for people like me. Thank you.

Tonight we open the reunion of men who sailed on 3 submarines; USS Quillback, USS Picuda, USS Truta Most men served in 60s. Tall tales have started in the hospitality room and will continue as we enjoy escorted trolly tours all around Savannah, into museums, special Riverboat cruise, all fun. Thank you Jesus for this opportunity to honor men (and now very recently,women) of the US submarine service! Break into the Navy hymn here! God bless America!

On the road again!

Sunday, May 12th, 2019

Good Sunday dear readers! We are covered with lovebugs driving up Route 27 to measure rooms in our new house, to see if there’s a dishwasher, and shelving in the garage etc. I can’t remember size of bathrooms… I like room for a laundry basket. Ok so what else is happening? I had a CT Scan and pulmonologist appointment last week. Pulmonologist showed me the CT. The pneumonia is gone, leaving a little lesion that we have to check on in 6 months. Apparently when you get a lot of white blood cells in one place like I had with the pneumonia you get calcified white cells… It’s always something. The size of the aneurism is the same. I see that doctor next Monday.

I wrote the above about 3 hours ago! We stopped at Bo David’s a restaurant and bar in Lake Placid. I liked it very much. Then we bought some car washing fluid so I can wash the love bug bodies off my car when we get to Renee’s. Then we went to our new house (we will close in September). We measured rooms and talked about where we will put furniture and bar room etc. Driving now up route 441 to Turnpike on our way to sleep in Orlando. Tomorrow finish this drive to Savannah for three submarines reunion. All diesel subs so the men were on the boats in WWII through the 60s. It’s raining so the love bug bodies are somewhat washing off.

Happy Mother’s Day, or if like me you aren’t a mom… Then remember your mom! God bless you.

Going Home to Miami!

Sunday, May 5th, 2019

Good morning dear gentle readers! Last night was the final event, a tribute to 119 years of submarine service. 119 years ago in 1900 the Unites States Navy purchased the Holland built by John Holland in Elizabeth, New Jersey at the Holland Torpedo Boat Company, later named the Electric Boat Company. Our first modern submarine (there were submersibles in the Civil War, but this is the “modern Navy”!). We attended a birthday ball filled with Admirals, Chief petty officers, sailors, Army, the English, other military and our own USSVI (The veteran submariners). Two WWII submariners attended. One qualified in 1939! He won the prize for longest qualified! There were a few Mavericks (one was an Admiral which Chuck said was very unusual… Admirals usually have to come from the Naval college at Annapolis)… Mavaricks are Sailors who qualified as enlisted men and worked their way to warrent officer and qualified again as officers (they wear silver and gold dolphins). The English sailors were here for training and working with the US on “ordinance.” There is not a Navy base with boats per se, it is a Naval Ordinance Testing station… where missiles are designed and tested… It is the same base we went to for wings and beer the other night. it is hush hush, hard to find, well guarded, and well… it exists to test missiles. One of the Admirals who spoke talked about maintaining our strength is the only way to maintain our freedom. He said a lot of other things that I didn’t understand about the present and the future. Nuclear submarine talk is way above my training and my paygrade. What I hear from Chuck and his buddies is diesel fuel, torpedos, deck guns, and old train engines!!!! This nuclear world is a whole new bucket of mystery for me!!! It was a beautiful night, men in uniform, ladies in ball gowns, a big birthday cake for submarine service, cut by a saber that a gentleman at our table won in a raffle drawing. Funny thing! a lady at our table won a handful of money in the drawing, and I won $100. That goes into the new house cash jar. I did not wake up in time for church here, so we will be heading for Miami where I will pick up a late Sunday Mass. This herd of turtles will be home in Miami to pick up the litter… and start my search for cash for the new house!!! We used to say when Chuck’s dad needed money, he would dig up another coffee can in the back yard, well, I’ll be out there digging up coffee cans! Pray for me this coming Tuesday when I have CT scan to measure my aneurism…. I’d like to get it repaired; I am not afraid of surgery. I do not like carrying a time bomb around in my chest. Pray for me! God bless us!!! Susie

Waiting for Space X launch

Saturday, May 4th, 2019

224am: Renee and I are out in the parking lot at the Radisson Resort facing Astronaut Blvd in Cape Canaveral. Space X is supposed to launch at 248am. I tried to sleep, but I took about a 3 hour nap yesterday after a long lunch over 2 bottles of wine 🍷. So I’m wide eyed and looking north east towards Kennedy Space Center which is about 5 miles away. Sky is clear, wind is low, temp is mild. 240am: I had the count down notes but then it wanted me to sign in, but says I don’t have a proper something in my browser. But I had it! No problem… 6 minutes. I don’t need to hear the countdown, I think I will hear it roaring. This is the 17th delivery of supplies to the space station. It must go at 2:48am and 58 seconds in order to meet the space station in a few days. T minus 2… Listening to count…. Go for launch! T minus 15…. Lift off! Separation looked like a giant explosion. I of course was afraid! But NASA said it is wonderful. We waited for the booster to come back and the Sonic boom, and now it’s bedtime! God bless us!

War Birds and War Ships

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

On Thursday we had a rainy day as if getting ready for the big rain that is coming into Florida from the “tropical” moisture invading south Florida from the south. The weather channel said, “We are breaking out the ‘T’ word.” It’s tropical time. I remember one year tropical storms started in May and we went through the alphabet and half way through the Greek alphabet to name the storms. Texas and Oklahoma are suffering with storms and tornados. God bless America. Despite the rain yesterday we went up A1A and US1 to Titusville to “The War Bird Museum” and visited the restored airplanes flown during WWII, VietNam, and the Cold War. Beautifully restored aircraft stored in big warehouses and maintained by volunteers. Lots of memorabilia from soldiers and sailors of the various wars. While we were there the volunteer mechanics worked on one of the WWII aircraft, changing oil and making lots of noise, then they rolled her out and… took off on the regional airport runway for an airshow in Mississippi! Wow! Noisy and odd to think of this creaky vulnerable, propeller driven aircraft in war compared to our big jets! To Southern Charm for lunch! and…. you guessed it, a nap for Susie before the final meeting dinner. Our speakers were the Commander of the Kings Bay Submarine Base and 2 lieutenants, both submariner women! They studied at the Naval academy and received masters degrees in subjects like mechanical and chemical engineering. They described their first days on submarines. They had to qualify just like men like Chuck did, learning all the systems. But these are nuclear submarines, new big war ships. They are now lieutenant and lieutenant junior grade and are very passionate about career and future! Boats have to be refitted with separate quarters and heads for women… showers have a sign that is turned… men/women. So facilities are also shared, but privacy is respected. Interesting. Our old guys have been a little skeptical about the cost of refitting the new nuclear submarines, but the commander was quick to defend “integration.” He praised the intelligence and passion of the new women coming onboard. OK dears. Today is still sunny so I might go swimming! Have a great day. God bless us!

Ice cream, beer and wings with sailors

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

We have had a great time here at Cape Canaveral with the SE conference of Submariners. It’s a collection of about 7 SE states all gathered at a resort about 1 mile from the ocean. I walked over to the ocean today in about 50 minutes round trip. Most of the coast is condos that hog the beach and actually have locked gates! but my neighbor Mike sent me information on a park that I will take Chuck to tomorrow to see if we can walk and get sand in our shoes. Tomorrow we go to a war bird museum. Today Chuck went to Kennedy Space center and was given a special exercise of working tasks while weightless! He enjoyed that. I walked the 50 minutes then swam in the pool about 40 minutes and painted some more hibiscus. Good time. Today when Chuck got back we went over to the Navy Ordinance testing base and went on base to the club for wings and beer. It’s so cool to be able to go on actual working bases and see working military people. After that we stopped on Astronaut Blvd at a giant ice cream cone and ate great ice cream with some other submariners. Chuck is in a meeting and i’m lounging and watching a Hallmark movie. All is well here. We will be home Sunday! God bless you.