My immediate family has been VERY busy with my oldest going off to college, my middle son starting high school and my youngest being evaluated for preschool.  My youngest seems to little to even think about sending off to school, but I know it will be good for him.  He is still not speaking well – he still on the one word level as opposed to even tying three words together to make a sentence.  He’s really good at pointing though. 

Kris (middle) started high school and seems to be doing okay. He is writing his blog and doing a great job!  My only worry is that he didn’t get a foreign language class this year, but he’s pretty happy with his schedule – so no biggie.  Kris blog is… He even has it set up on Kindle so that you can get notification of new posts. 

Kevin took off for UK last Friday.  Getting him ready and our of the house was an ordeal.  Everything from a parking brake issue, broken dishes, and a key that was supposed to stay in Lexington that ended up in Bowling Green….  and the fact that guaranteed overnight delivery doesn’t apply when pertaining to a residence hall.  Ultimately we finally got the parking brake turned off (Thursday), bought Kevin new dishes after all his dishes broke on the pavement (Friday), and he finally got his key back on Monday.  I’m fairly certain there are a lot of things that are still here in town that he will need, but Kevin will have to find a way to get by until the next time he comes home….  I’m pretty sure laundry detergent is on the list…. so it won’t be too long.

Besides all that my father found out he needs the valve in his heart replaced as well as needing a pacemaker.  He doesn’t want the pacemaker because of welding issues… as I have been doing research (All this is a scary thing)…. I have found some sites that say only 40 percent of patients see no benefit to getting pacemakers.   Definitely a study I want to ask about…  Not being a doctor I have no idea what it all means, but it sounds like it depends on the amount of delay between heartbeats.  The pacemaker is recommended if the delay is greater than .12, but it’s only beneficial if greater than .15….  It also mentioned a recall of pacemakers that occurred in 2005 (recalled 69 pacemakers and resulted in one death)…. 

Another site had a list of devices to watch out for, so besides welding there are a few other places to be wary of.  One was the Anti Theft devices… – These are the things a lot of stores have in their doors.  Apparently you need to be careful not to stand near one for prolonged amounts of time….. Metal Detectors are also a problem and you also have to tell the person if you have to be wanded with a metal detector (I’m thinking that means no MRIs too after)….  Also cell phones as they come out with new models and MP3 player headphones…. (Not sure that’s too big a deal as I can’t see my dad using headphones, but he does have a cell phone.)  There are more listed… that include machines to dissolve kidney stones, MRI machines, arc welders, strong magnets, and so on…  The list is available at….  Another article in the Dallas News told why a certain type of pacemaker fails to help half the people receiving it, but it was set up so that you can’t read with out a subscription…..

This weekend is my cousin Don and Sue’s Richter Family Party.  Anyone who can heads to Oakwood to come to the party.   So it looks like I’ll drive 6 hours up on Saturday and 6 hours back on Sunday to visit for a few hours at the party.  While I’m there I’d like to hear more stories from my dad (and Don) about the past.  Every time I make it to these parties I get to hear good and bad stories about the past.  The good usually are about my dad, his siblings, cousins, and more – the bad, stories about me and K-12 years….Hearing about my father’s health reinforces the need to get the stories recorded before everyone forgets or isn’t available anymore.

For geneology though parties like this are a great chance to find out more family history.  The stories are really what makes it interesting… Just knowing names and dates without knowing who the person really was is not as exciting to me.  Before going to the party I just finished looking back through the 125 years of history of Oakwood book.  I’ve got a list of questions all ready.  As I get more experience I’ve learned to write everything down and take lots of notes.  A video camera is a great tool also for recording all the stories. 

The 12 hours of driving is a lot of time and with the cost of gas, not too cheap either, but if something were to happen to my dad before I make it up to visit again – I’d regret not making it up to visit.

Share This