It seems like yesterday, but it was the week of the 4th that I visited my family in Wisconsin. My thanks to you who expressed concern about my dad. He seems to be doing alright. I think he wanted some way to take matters out of his own hands, and the structure of jail was suiting him for the moment. I went for a short visit, my days off from July 1st to the 5th.
I took my mom and grandma out to lunch several times, and they took me out.
My grandma is much more confused and forgetful, but still able to take care of herself. To recap: she's 89, has slow-growing lung cancer that she's elected not to treat, visits her doctor every two months, and my mom and her sister call her every day. I went to visit because my grandma kept asking me, "When are you coming to visit again?" She's full of stories of old, and I recorded some so they may end up here.
There was a small bit of drama on the plane as I traveled there. I had one stop in Phoenix, and the daily temperatures at the time were 115 degrees. We were all seated, ready to disembark when there was a small delay. The plane was hot, and we were told the air conditioning piped in from the airport lost its efficiency at around 105 degrees. Delay over, the captain announced our imminent departure. As if on cue a woman across the aisle from me threw up on her feet. The woman next to me worried the smell would get to her too.
Of course that caused another delay. They brought in a maintenance man, who cleaned it up, sprayed, threw some coffee grounds on it, and came back a second time to sweep them up. The flight attendant and others around me chatted about the smell-reducing merits of coffee grounds. The woman had been ushered to the front where they gave her a bag of ice for her neck. The man sitting next to me stirred fitfully.
Floor cleaned, woman given her seat back, we were ready to go again. Not quite. Now the jet engine wouldn't start. It stopped working as efficiently at temperatures higher than 105 degrees. They were sending a jump start machine, it would take about 5 minutes to get there. The woman held her head in her hand, ice still on her neck, occasionally exclaiming, "I was just so hot!" The man next to me stirred again. "Are you alright?" I asked him.
"Do you need to get out?"
He responded by reaching for his bag, and I and our other seatmate stood up to let him out. At the front of the plane he spoke a few moments to the attendants, then dropped like a stone to the floor. They sat him there, got another bag with ice, and soon he was let out of the plane. I hoped he would be well. Me, I've learned the less I fuss, the less extremes will bother me, and then I enjoyed the empty seat next to me.
Back to my visit. My first order of business on the 2nd was to find out if I could visit my dad. I called the Sheboygan County Detention Center. The woman answering the phone was less than cordial. She confirmed my dad was housed at the detention center, and informed me the only exceptions to Saturday visitation would have to be approved by the Captain. She patched me through. I was cut off. I called again, and she patched me through to his voicemail.
I was allotted a 20 minute visit at 11 am on July 4th, no physical contact. My dad was the only one there, we were alone in the row of booths. There was no phone, just an automatic intercom built into the separating wall.