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What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us VACATION.
I was born and raised here in good old flat-land, corn raised Indiana all of my life. But while I was married to my last husband who was never satisfied where we lived, I had the opportunity to visit places other than here.
I went to see my real mother out in Yuma Arizona a few different times. I tried actually living and working there to be near her, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Not only was my Mother’s love for me less than a dog’s instincts for her pups, I was the minority. People carried guns too. It is still like the old west in reality.
Then when I was married to my first husband, I was given the chance to travel to Stuttgart, Germany, where I lived and had my baby girl. I still dream of this country after many years have gone by. I loved everything I saw there, so this must be why I still dream about this beautiful place.
I married my second husband in Florence Alabama. I loved the southern people, the laid back life style, but I have a lot of bad memories just with married life. Big mistake, big, big, big mistake.
When our Father died, Al hated the memories of the home he had lived in. I battled for years and still do about this house. It was a nice home, but it wasn’t home to me and Al didn’t like it. We sold it. That is the battle I have. Maybe I should have kept it no matter what our feelings towards it. It was paid for and it was family, but I can’t go back and change it now. I only wish I could leave it alone in my mind. We headed south. We had one aunt and my grandmother that lived there. Our aunt who I will call M just thought we would love it here.
The first mistake I made is going on the word of someone else. I hadn’t ever argued with M, but she had lived in Florida for many years so our personal level of family was not there. I took the money from Mom and Dad‘s home and bought another home in Sarasota, Florida.
The homes are more expensive there than here. I think this is one of the bigger areas in my mind that I learned material crap is nothing more than crap. We had a home that was maintained by other people. It was in a nicer area of town. Complete with pool and tons of places to see and all several Goodwill stores and Salvation Army Thrift stores. The people were different though. I can’t tell you how many time ladies at stores would look me quickly up and down to see what I was wearing before they would respond to my hello. It was too rich for me. Many rich homes and people lived there. I had come from a size of 35,000 people to an area with more than 150,000 people. Too big, too rich for a country girl.
Al hated the pool. I got him in it one time, but he froze in spot. I helped him out and he never came within 10 feet of the pool again except one time. He sat on one of the lounge chairs with me.
I was able to find a place that was for disabled adults. Al went there M-F up until we came back home. He absolutely loved it. Since Sarasota is so large, his group was given many different tickets. He got to go to Tampa to see several ballgames. He went to Imax Theatres. He saw plays. He got to see alligators and all types of wild life.
But one day he quit qualifying for the program. His Parkinson’s was getting in the way. Al just couldn’t understand why he was not going to be allowed to go back. His heart and mine were broken. He didn’t care for the terrible heat, so he stayed inside most of the year. He didn’t like the pool and he was getting more sick, and becoming a patient of the heart and general hospitals.
Florida is a great state for retirees, but if you are a disabled adult who is mentally challenged too, you are up shit creek without a paddle. In our area there was no help. I was becoming frustrated and Al was still very sad about his day program.
I kept hearing Mom and Dad in my head. They were so mad at me because I had sold their home and went to Florida. But worse, I was thinking of coming back home. I thought about my kids and how they were here and I was there. The doctors that Al needed were back home and not in Florida. It made sense to come home but I was ridden with guilt.
The expenses of the property in Florida, giving up my parents home, and only being in Florida less than five years, plus the expensive moving in itself was enough to eat me alive with guilt by now. When I look back on this part of my life, I have come to terms pretty much with the big waste of money. It was a trip or a long vacation for Al. He had been left alone for so many years, that this was his chance to get out and experience life and have fun. Now with his Parkinson’s so advanced, I am glad I was able to give him those few years of total fun.
I talked to Al so many times back then. He never got over being miserable and his pains were becoming more often. I had the sad memories of Mom and Dad being in heaven if I came back here. All of our family but the half-sister were deceased. There was one aunt here but our relationship was ruined when our Dad died.
So why come back to a lonely and sad place? Why come back to the ugly, cold, long winters? I just knew it was the right thing to do, but still I fought with it in my mind.
My daughter gave me an idea. She lives in Ky near Bowling Green. She suggested we move there instead of back in Indiana. It was a brilliant idea to me, and Al was excited too. He loves my daughter and her husband.
I didn’t want to purchase anymore property at this time. I didn’t know the areas, and quite frankly I wasn’t sure where this Parkinson’s of Al’s was going. We found a place to rent in Bowling Green. I went on the words of the landlord. I specified that I wanted and needed a very safe area to live in.
Well it wasn’t quite like she said, considering someone took my car out for a midnight stroll one night. They broke into the car and tore up the glove box. But in general we really liked the area.
Everywhere we went people treated us like we were family. They didn’t know the word stranger. We lived in a duplex and our bedrooms were upstairs. Things went along pretty well. Al got to visit the Corvette Museum and we went lots of places. We fit in nicely. Then one day Al started stumbling. He was seeming to have heart attack spells more and more.
After a few visits to the ER we discovered he had Angina. Now he had this along with his heart attack a few years back. What was causing the Angina was the stairs. Every time he climbed the stairs he would have another attack.
The doctor told me we had to definitely move out of a two-story place or Al would have another heart attack. I was disappointed and I think Al was too. At this point in my life I gave up the fight and we bought our mobile home back home in Indiana. I had to bring Al back. My conscience could not see it any other way.
Being back home in Indiana gives me very few comforts. Yes, I know my way around very well. Yes, my one son lives within walking distance of me. Another son lives about an hour a way. We don’t see him often and the son who lives close we seem to always be at odds.
Now Al has been dealing with Parkinson’s and the ugly parts of it. He lives in a nursing home but is coming home. I am lonely without my parents. Too many memories here. The winters are cold. My feet suffer so bad in the winter from my Diabetic Neuropathy. They burned and burned most of last winter even with socks and very warm slippers on.
I know that as long as I am taking care of Al, I will stay put. I don’t know what will happen if Al leaves this earth before me.
I know my two boys are here, but my daughter is in KY. I know that I loved that area so much.
I know my dream is to be back in Ky, but I don’t know if I will actually ever be able to do something about it.
I can hope and dream. I would be selling the home I live in, but to purchase another home with mobile home profits would be difficult. I guess if God wants me to go back to the blue grass state, he will find a way to help me make my dream come true.
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