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Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Location: United States

Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Furnace Fixed, Packing & Moving

Thursday went quickly. I called Tom to ask if the furnace part came in yet. He said it didn’t, but his supplier was taking the part off a new furnace so he could bring it out and install it later in the day. He called about fifteen minutes before I was ready to leave to pick up Mom. I told Mom on the way home that Tom would be at the house fixing the furnace when we got home. Two Feather came down and talked with Tom while he worked and until I got back home with Mom. When Tom came upstairs to go outside to get a tool Mom wasn’t sure who he was. He said hello and went back downstairs to work. When he came back upstairs into the dining room to set the thermostat a few minutes later, Mom said I haven’t seen you in a long time, how are you and when did you grow that thing on your lip. He chuckled and said, I’ve had this mustache since I was in the military.

Two Feather left and went back home. While Tom worked on the furnace, I made Mom’s dinner and got her ready for bed. Tom left about 6:00 and the furnace was running. He said, I think it’s finally fixed. Nothing personal, but I hope I don’t hear from you until next year. We both laughed and I said, no offense taken, I hope not too.

The furnace ran its cycle, shut off after he left, and didn’t come back on. I felt bad that I had to call him again. He was in the middle of eating dinner when I called and said he’d come right over. When he came, he was prepared to tear the entire furnace apart all the way down to the fuel line. He knew the module he’d replaced was working so it had to be something else. He installed a new thermostat, took apart the fuel pump and cleaned the small fuel filter inside and put everything back together. The furnace ran a 40-minute cycle this time and the thermostat moved up to 70 degrees. He waited for the house to cool some and see if the furnace kicked back on by itself. Fifteen minutes later, it did. He was a bit paranoid because of all the problems, so he waited for it to run another cycle before he left. Once again the furnace came on by itself. Tom left about 8:00 satisfied that the problem was fixed. The furnace has been working ever since. YAY!!!

Angel came in and stayed with me for the night again because she had another appointment on Friday morning. She got in around 9:30 PM. She brought a birthday bag with presents in it. She drove in last Monday for another interview, and had the bag with her then thinking we might get together for lunch and give me my present early, but we weren’t able to get together because Two Feather and I had a business appointment. Anyway, she gave me a beautiful blue velour jogging suit and the newest Stephen King book. Of course, I loved both gifts. We sat upstairs and talked until 11:00.

Friday morning I woke up Mom and got her ready for the day and woke Angel up so she could get ready for her trip downtown. She was going to drive back to her house after her appointment and said she’d call when she got home.

Two Feather rode me down to Mom’s on the Mule and I packed up a lot of my books, writing files, and my summer clothes to take back to my house. I just don’t have enough room upstairs and I’m not making use of my writing files right now anyway. I figured I might as well start moving things back to my house.

I also packed up all his Indian art that I had in my room upstairs. We had been selling it online, but so much has changed with Mom, that I don’t have the time to devote to taking the pictures, writing the descriptions, packing everything, or running the items to the post office when they've sold. I feel bad about this, because Two Feather has given up everything to help me take care of Mom. He’s given up his way of life: going to powwows; setting up and selling his Indian art at powwows, craft shows, and flea markets; selling firewood. He’s given up absolutely everything to show respect to a woman whom he has no actual ties to. Why? Because he loves me and he loves my mom. And because he’s a respectful human being who lives by his Cherokee heritage. He’s a traditionalist and taking care of the elderly is part of their tradition.

He doesn’t whine or complain that our life has changed so much; he accepts it as part of the path we’re suppose to be on right now, and so do I. We’ll have no regrets about these years spent with Mom and we take pride in the fact that we’re here for her through every step of her journey with Alzheimer’s.

There was no doubt in my mind that I would take care of Mom if and when the time was needed. I’m proud to say I have a man who stands beside me and believes, as I do, in the same family values, honor, and respect due our elders. I think I’ll take my Mom’s advice from when she met him six years ago before Alzheimer’s, “Hang onto him. He’s a keeper. He’s a wonderful man.”

Yes he is, Mom, and he shows it every day!

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Blogger Lori1955 said...

What a wonderful relationship you two have. It is just so evident how much love and respect you have for each other.

As for the furnace, HOORAY!!!!

11/11/2007 1:11 AM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Thanks, Lori. I guess that love and respect is what keeps our own little world going around. ;)

Yes, hooray that the furnace is working and my migraine is gone.

11/11/2007 10:33 AM  
Blogger nancy said...

hooray for the furnace!

bob is part indian, he was adopted so we don't really fully know his heritage. onieda we think. he also has a very strong sense of family and tradition. those are wonderful qualities to have. i agree, two feather is definitely a keeper!

11/11/2007 12:04 PM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Yes, it's nice and toasty warm in the house now. Hooray, for sure!!!

It's difficult tracing heritage even when you have birth certificates and descendents names.
Is there any way for you to obtain the information about his heritage, Nancy?

11/11/2007 6:12 PM  
Blogger nancy said...

not really sure. we know his father was native indian but wasn't named by his birth mother so that's what makes it difficult. looking closely at bob you can definitely see it, the black straight hair, darker skin, high cheekbones. any ideas?

11/11/2007 11:43 PM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Gee, Nancy, I don't know. It's difficult tracing with names. Unless his father's Indian name was listed, that would almost be impossible to trace.

11/12/2007 8:31 PM  
Blogger ~Betsy said...

I have some catching up to do. You have been a busy blogger!

My mom used to call Dave a keeper. And she used those words to describe Tony, my future son-in-law. I think a keeper is one with strong family values.

By the way - seems to be a lot of adoptees in our little family, Nancy. Lori, Chris and I are all adopted.

11/13/2007 8:59 PM