Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cruisin' back to REALITY!

I'm "back home in Indiana" after a great vacation in Florida/cruise in the Caribbean! Traveling is definitely a challenge for me physically now, but I am so blessed to have had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thanks Ken!

On August 7th, we flew to Orlando. We spent 4 nights in Titusville (directly across the river from the Space Center) with my our gracious hosts, Ken and Glenda. On the evening of August 8th we were witness to history as we watched the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor from the shores of the Indian River. Amazing.

On August 11th we set sail on the Carnival Glory. The Glory is the largest of Carnival's cruise ships weighing in at 110,000 TONS! The ship is just under 1000 feet long and carries more than 3000 passengers. Above the water there are 14 stories, not counting the height of the stacks, etc. It was truly a floating city.

After spending August 12th at sea, we pulled into Cozumel on August 13th. We spend the 14th in Belize and the 15th in Costa Maya (Majahual, Costa Maya, the port we visited took a direct hit from the category 5 Hurricane Dean less than 6 days later!). Another sea day (those were FUN!) and we arrived in Nassau, Bahamas on the 17th and returned to Port Canaveral on the 18th. What a time! I was a "cruise virgin" and I have to say, this is the way to vacation! I was so impressed! I used a manual wheelchair for most of the cruise, including trips ashore in port. It had advantages and disadvantages. The obvious advantage is that it is easily collapsed for storage so I could use "regular" transportation (buses, tender boats, water taxis, etc.). The obvious disadvantage is that I had to have someone to push me (and that proved to be a challenge and tiring on a good day!). My arms are too weak to self-propel in a manual wheelchair beyond a few feet, so I am totally dependent on someone else. Add that to the fact that I am difficult to understand when I talk and you have a recipe for some interesting encounters! That said, I didn't die at the hands of any Bahamian drivers while turned backwards in the middle of the crosswalk as the light turned green for THEM!

I am still trying to recover from the trip. I am continually amazed at how easily I fatigue and how difficult simple things are becoming. Soon, without a wheelchair van with a suitable lift, I will not be able to do many of the things I take for granted now. Simply shopping has become something that is beyond my ability without assistance.

Since returning from Florida, I have tried to get at least one box unpacked per day. It is slow going, and I have to stop and sit down and rest frequently. We still have several interior rooms to paint..... any volunteers??? Interior decorating aside, I love our new home and already feel so comfortable here. The house is just so adorable and "homey". I am eager to add my own decorating touches to make it truly "mine".

I was so blessed to have time alone with Catherine before she went off to grad school this week! I can't believe she is getting her masters! And she's too far away in Terre Haute. Please join me in praying that she can transfer to Ball State in the future so she can be nearer our home. I will miss her so much!

Phillip is doing fabulous. He started school on Monday (the 20th) and is taking several challenging classes. I am so blessed to have such an awesome team working with him at Highland. I am also so blessed to have his father and Kimberly watching out for him and taking such good care of him.

Christopher has become a young man over the summer. He is still affectionate and cuddly, but he is so tall and looks so much older! Where did my BABY go??

I hope you have taken time to look around my website recently. There are lots of new things....check it out!

Please keep in touch. Fall is right around the corner (although you wouldn't think it by the blazing heat) and time marches on!

"It is good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good too, to check up once in a while and make sure you haven't lost the things money can't buy." - George Lorimer

Love, Claudia