Thursday, August 20, 2009


Hiking the northern California coast, wearing a SWEATSHIRT! After a short (4 days), pleasant “vacation” to coastal California (10 to 15 degrees cooler than Sacramento), we are back in the Sacramento metro area at Beals Point Campground near Folsom Lake.  We arrived yesterday in 95 degrees and full sunshine, and were happy to find that our site became shaded as the afternoon progressed.  We have 50 amps, water and sewer here, so we can stay comfortable in the heat.

When we made our reservation a week ago (you have to use Reserve America), we gagged a bit on $34/night – but these state park sites are spacious and the location very convenient for us, halfway between my parents’ home and the Sutter Rehabilitation Institute, where my Dad is getting excellent care in recovering from his stroke.  On Monday of this week, two days before we arrived, fees at all the California State Parks went up, substantially.  The new nightly rate here is $45!  Since we had paid in full at the time we made our reservation, we feel like we got a good deal. :)

Site 63 at Beals Point, Folsom Lake SRAMy Dad has made great progress.  His short term memory is non-existent, and he has significant vision loss, prognosis unknown.  No more driving for him, and he really can’t be left alone for awhile.  He CAN walk (though it is best if someone is very nearby, but that will improve when he is home and can hang on to furniture).  He looks normal, his speech is normal, his longer term memory is unaffected.  His sense of humor is undiminished and he works hard with his various therapists.  Go, Daddy!

He will be discharged from the rehabilitation center (boy, have I learned a lot there!) tomorrow and we finally get to bring him home.  In-home therapy will begin next week.  I’ll be staying with my mom and dad for a few days while we see what potential obstacles need to be worked out. 

If all goes as planned, Odel and I will be able to leave the heat of the Sacramento valley and move a couple of hours away to the Bay area – much cooler, but still close enough to be supportive.  We plan to stay in northern and central California until Thanksgiving – Napa, Petaluma, Calistoga, Santa Cruz, maybe as far south as Santa Barbara.  These are areas we visited many times when we were working folk living in Sacramento, and all are places we enjoy.  Blog posts to follow, once we are underway again.

Thanks for all the comments and personal emails we have received.  What a wonderful community of friends!


  1. I have been reading your blog for several months,enjoy it very much. I was sorry to hear about your dad,but glad to hear he is going home. Happy travels.

  2. Laurie, So glad your dad is doing better and sure hope he continues to make progress. You've all been in our prayers. See on down the road. Hgus, J&C

  3. Laura I am happy to hear that your dad is doing better and that he will be coming home soon... He sounds like a very strong man.

    Travel Safe

  4. Glad to hear your father is doing better. Do they expect his short-term memory to return?

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie and Gary

  5. Laurie,
    so glad to hear Uncle Bill is doing well. I'm glad his sense of humor is intact. I can hear his laugh and imagine his comments!Where, exactly, is the line between short term and long term memory?
    My love and hugs to all,

  6. About the short-term memory: I'm not sure where that line is between short and long term memory.

    Ask him his social security number and he'll tell you, and get it right. He remembers and recognizes all of us, TV shows, etc. - everything prior to his stroke.

    Give him three words to remember, with a discussion and repetition of each - and he will forget them as soon as you talk about something else. The prognosis for short term memory recovery is very uncertain.

    Two rays of hope: On Wednesday, I asked him what he wanted for dinner on Sunday - grilled lamb chops or grilled filet mignon? He thought long and hard about that (he complains about the food in rehab, and has lost 10 pounds), then decided on lamb chops. On Thursday, when Mommy and I visited, he suddenly said "When are we having lamb chops?" Our mouths dropped open and I asked him how he remembered that. He shrugged and said "It's FOOD." That's definitely Daddy!

    Also, he has been able to learn a few things during his two weeks in the rehab: to use the nurse call button (that took a week to remember) and how to get back to his room from the gym (he has done that three times in a row now) - so he CAN remember with enough repetition.

    Memory is a tricky thing, huh?

  7. When my FIL had his stroke both his sense of humor and his Scandanavian stubborness stayed intact. Both helped in his recovery. I wish you all well.

  8. So happy your dad continues to improve. We think of you both often and hope we meet on the road again. Bobbie and Jim

  9. Laurie;
    I'm happy your dad is doing better. Keep the faith for a full recovery. Your in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. I'm glad to hear about your father's progress -- it's always an uncertain thing, this stroke recovery business, but strong will and strong family support count for a lot and it sounds like he has a lot of both. It's so nice for you to be able to arrange to be close -- I know it means a lot to the whole family. Just take care of yourselves!

    Margaret Wright

  11. Glad to hear your Dad's doing better. Hope you can get back on the road soon.
    Stay cool,

  12. Glad to hear your Dad's on the mend. It sounds like he's strong and with his family around him it should just get better. Lucky you have that flexibility.

    Take care. Hugs all around.