So much to write about.
Last week was insane. My aunt died and the funeral was planned for Thursday with viewings Tuesday and Wednesday. I knew I couldn't make the entire trip work, but I could make the Wednesday evening viewing. I managed to squeeze in an entire week worth of patients in a day and a half (I had already blocked off all Monay afternoon for Gem's recheck) and hit the road early Wednesday morning.
The typical way to get to southwestern PA from SC is a pretty straight shot up north through NC --->VA --->WV ---> PA. Having not actually ever driven back home since moving here, I just plugged it into my van and hit the road.
I have no clue why but my van decided to take me a different route. I ended up heading west once I hit NC. My route looked like this: SC ---> NC ---> TN ---> VA ---> KY ---> WV ---> PA. I' glad I made it at all.
Anyway. It was odd being back home. I moved away 9 years ago and haven't been back since the last funeral I attended 2 1/2 years ago. A lot has changed. There is a mall where I did my junior year ecology forest study. There are townhomes and apartments where I used to hike with my dog. There are different businesses where my old haunts used to be. There is a Dover instead of the BBQ joint Dusty and I ate at during his 2 hour dinner breaks when we first got married. Wait...a Dover? Ok...I can live with that one.
Just as I was beginning to believe the old saying that you can't go home again, the memories began to flood in. I took a couple of hours after the wake and before meeting for dinner with some great old friends to just drive around my favorite places. And you know what? I could picture the good times so vividly it was like nothing had ever changed. I saw myself walking Hero as a pup on my favorite trail as he chased the squirrels. I saw Christy and I shooting basketball late at night during a warm summer. I saw my kayaking friends meeting up at the now vacant Wendy's waiting for Caroline to get off work so we could get on the water. I smiled and probably looked insane to anyone who looked as I slowly drove on by. It was great.
Dinner with my friends was fantastic. I don't have many friends still in town. Most have scattered like I have, but there are still a few and it was great to laugh with them once again.
Saying goodbye to my aunt was not fantastic or fun, but is a part of life that you unfortunately can't avoid. Rest easy Aunt Jozia.
Before coming home, I made two stops. One was to get homemade pierogis. I grew up with a heavy polish culture. My mom's side is polish and came over through Ellis Island only two generations prior to her. Her grandparents only spoke Polish and my grandmother was fluent in both polish and english. I grew up eating pierogis, haluski, stuffed cabbage and the like. You can't find any of that down here, so when I had the chance I got 5 dozen homemade pierogis from a wonderful little polish store. The second stop was Dover. Gem will be living in bell boots once the shoes are on. I have a set for her, but they are non spin ones with a lump of material on the inside that sits between the heel bulbs to prevent the boot from spinning. This would be very bad for her since it would put pressure exactly where we don't want it. I needed simple boots for her. Fortunately for my bank account, Dover didn't have a single piece of red tack or clothing in the entire store. It isn't a little store either. They remodeled the entire pre existing two story restaurant. They had to have at least a million dollars in inventory. And not anything in red. I left with black fleece lined bell boots, a mineral salt block for her stall and some more No Thrush powder since I was running low anyway and it would avoid paying shipping.
While I was away Dusty changed Gemmie's cast for me. It needed removed Friday, the wound cleaned and put back on. He went over on his lunch break, grabbed Gemmie from solitary confinement and put her in the cross ties on the cement to have the cleanest possible area. It all came off fine and he was impressed with how good it looked. There was one area in the center that didn't look so great, but he poked around and found the culprit. A penrose drain acting as a stent had been left in and the body was pushing it out. He removed it and was much happier. He snapped some pictures for me which I am leaving out because I will hopefully have some newer ones to post very soon anyway and they don't look much different than the last set. As he was wrapping her back up, she bit his butt. Several times. Sorry honey. Gem has a long long standing hatred of Dusty which is comical and while she behaved as best she could for the most part, apparently she had had enough.
She continues to be an amazing horse. No stocking up. No bute. No sedatives. She is calm and happy in her stall even when all the other horses go out for the night and she is alone. Her weight has been maintained although she has lost a good bit of her condition. In general she is being content to be lazy and have her own personal fan blowing the flies away and keeping her cool during these hot summer days. I am impressed with her attitude and so thankful that she has healed to date as well as she has.