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Today in My History

2000:  Sleepless in Seattle
2001:  Jeri Knows Better
2002:  Bloody Good Show
2003:  Chocolate and Pizza
2004Learning the Ropes

Grace, at All Costs
2006: Memorial
2007:  Camping with the Blackfords

2008: I should, but I can't
2009:  Fifteen Minutes of Fame
2010: Mom's Refrigerator Drawer
2011: Unaccustomed as I am...

2012: Best Laid Plans
Check Crisis

Bitter Hack
: 10/12
Grapes of Wrath

Books Read in 2014
"Fade Away"

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New Kiva Loan

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Coffee #4:  Jessica Cox

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The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers

The story of Delicate Pooh

mail to Walt


20 October 2014

Well, things have gotten "interesting" about our trip in the last two days.  Actually, not really interesting for us except that it has changed our trip significantly.

When we made plans for this trip, Char suggested that we do, first, a cruise on the Elbe in Germany and then the Southern France trip.  We really didn't want to do back to back trips, and in all honesty, I really have no interest in Germany.  I don't know why.  We've seen a bit of Germany on our Rhine/Danube cruise, and I just had no interest at all in going back again.  But I am fascinated by France and was eager to go there.  (Probably has a lot to do with speaking a bit of French and speaking NO German....or maybe that I've always been drawn to France and Italy and never to Germany.)

They went ahead and booked the Elbe trip for themselves and the plan was to meet up with us in Paris next week and we would continue on the France leg of the trip.

Char has been writing wonderful travelogues about all they're seeing and doing in Germany, but the rumble underneath all of the sights and experiences has been concern about Mike's health.  He seemed to be sleeping a lot, missing some excursions, and then complaining about some pain.

Three nights ago, they took him to a doctor somewhere in Germany, who couldn't find anything wrong with him and sent him back to the ship.

Two nights ago, they rushed him to a hospital in the town of Magdeburg, where he right now.  Viking has set Char up in a hotel walking distance from the hospital, and she has had to cancel their France plans.  I don't know yet how long he will be in the hospital, and there is no definitive diagnosis yet, so we wait and worry.  They have ruled out cardiac problems, though, which is a relief.

I have to say that I am so incredibly impressed with how their kids have leapt into the breach to do what they can at a distance to help.  One is checking something called Travel Guard to help with getting Mike home when he is cleared to travel, they are checking with their insurance to see how this is all going to be paid (is Germany a socialized medicine country?), there are plans for helping with travel home, and care for Mike when they return.  Reading the e-mails, which I have been copied on, is like reading a real mobilization of the troops.

You realize at times like this that this is why you have children and that somehow you have raised them right, and that when the chips are down, they will be there for you.  Char & Mike's kids have just earned lots of stars in the crowns in heaven.

As for us, Char hopes we can take care of the reservations Mike made for us at a hotel at the DeGaulle airport the night before our early morning fight back to San Francisco.  Unfortunately, apparently Mike took advantage of a special deal and made a "no refund" reservation so I'm not sure what we can do about it, but Walt is going to try.

I'm just sad that we will miss the experience of yet another cruise together.  Char and I did a lot of this trip when we had our Bataan March through France and Italy in 2009, but with our daughters and without Mike and Walt, so she has seen a lot of the sights that we will be revisiting, but of course there is a difference in doing it with the Energizer Bunny (our tour guide in 2009) and Viking.

One thing I'm very disappointed about is that I expected Char to be Coffee #5 and we were going to have our visit at a cafe in Paris.  Now I guess I'll have coffee with Walt at a cafe in Paris, but it won't be the same.

I took my mother's meds to her today, so she will be all set while we are gone.   She was amazed to discover we were going to France and why hadn't I told her before?  She was also shocked to learn about Peach's mastectomy and swears I never told her.  We discussed the trip to France many, many times. 

I stopped at the front desk to let them know the dates I'll be gone and to give them Ned's and Ed's phone numbers for contact in case there is need for someone to be contacted.

We're finding it difficult to get excited, now, about the trip.  I know that once we are on the plane and can do nothing about anybody or anything worries will start to fade, but it's disappointing that we won't be meeting Char and Mike in Paris.  Walt and I are both having a difficult time concentrating on making plans for the trip, but I really do need to start thinking about packing.

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