Thursday, August 31, 2006

VACATION AT LONG'S RETREAT LATHAM, OHIO:
Sunday, August 27, the adventure begins:

We waited until after Grant's football game to head out on our trip. We left Cincinnati shortly after 3 PM and after a short delay at Toys R Us (I was looking for a toy for Will but couldn't find it) we were on our way. The drive out to Long's Retreat was fairly uneventful. 50 miles out Rt. 32, make a left onto 41, go another 11 miles, hang a right on 124.....4 miles later you pull into Long's Retreat on the left. The cabin we rented was cute and clean and the kids were eager to explore. Because storms had blown through, the power was off in the park, but the sun was shining so we took in the beach and the splash area and came back and grilled out hamburgers, hotdogs, brats and metts.

It is strange, but neither mine or Deanne's cell phones seem to work. No signal, we both have different services and can't believe neither of us get coverage....no big deal, right? Why would we need a phone?????

The bed was HORRIBLY hard and also tended to squeak when you moved on it. I think I only slept a couple of hours total....too bad, because I really would have handled Monday better with a few more hours of shut eye.......


Monday, August 28:

I came out into the kitchen shortly before 7 AM. Brett, Hannah and Sarah were sleeping in the living room. I heard Brett, he tends to get nauseated at times and makes this raspy, gagging noise. I yelled in to him to take a deep breath. About 5 minutes later I hear a loud thud (like something falling) and Hannah SCREAMING......by the time I take the 10 steps to the living room, Brett is convulsing on the floor. I scream for Deanne and Sarah and I try to flip Brett over (not easy when dealing with an almost 200 lb teenager) as he had landed head first on the floor. Hannah RUNS out the door and tries to see if anyone in the nearby cabin has a radio or phone that works....no such luck.....Deanne takes off for the front office (which is closed and not scheduled to open until 8 AM) but fortunately the owner is pulling up at the same time she gets there. The is no such thing as 911 in this neck of the woods....she it told it will take 35 to 45 minutes for the lifesquad to get to us. I have NEVER been so scared in all my life. Brett was retracting horrible the whole time and I wasn't sure he was getting oxygen...all I could think was that my baby was going to die and there was nothing I could do to make it better. The seizure lasted somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes...I thought to send Sarah into the kitchen once Brett had stopped convulsing because I remembered from the hospital knowing the time/length was critical. He spent another few minutes unresponsive to verbal commands, but would moan and push my hand off his face. About ten minutes later he was talking to me, annoyed with my questions, but answering them. By the time the paramedics finally arrived, he was actually in the bathroom putting on clean clothes and going to the bathroom. The paramedics assessed him and say he is stable but that they can transport him to Pike County Hospital, but that there is no neurologist on staff. Upon further questioning, I learn they will actually have to call and "wake up" the doctor so he can meet us there. Scary thought! I opt to contact Children's and see what they think. Over the next 90 minutes, I confer with a neurosurgical resident, a neurologist and 3 different nurses and they agree that calling in a seizure med to the closest pharmacy, which is 30 miles away. We are given the critical care direct number (for the paramedics to call if they have to come back) and are told that if he seizes again to get him stablized and to come directly to Children's hospital (about 75 miles away). And, yes, I did take a picture of the ambulance for the scrapbook.....16 plus years of parenting, and my first ambulance call!

So Brett and I head to the pharmacy in Hillsboro. The directions are simple, go the 4 miles back down 124 and hang a right onto 41, follow it 20 miles into the center of town, turn right and the pharmacy will be on your left about 3 blocks up the road. During the drive, Brett and I came up with our own set of directions........go the 4 miles back down 124, hang a right onto 41...you will pass a dead skunk in the road, hold your breath...then you will pass American Flyers Gymnastics, in an old run down barn on your left hand side....when you see the dead cow lying on its side in the pasture, slow down to go into the hairpin turn...you will now see a sign for slow farm machinery, which will impede your speed. The horse and buggy sign will make you laugh and thank God that the buggy doesn't pull off the dirt road in front of you. When you finally see a painted sign for KFC, you will know you are getting close!

Luckily there are 2 pharmacies in Hillsboro, because the first one didn't have both meds we needed.....thankfully Jay had just deposited money into the checking account, because the almost $700 the meds set me back wasn't something I had on hand!

Oh, I forgot to mention...when Deanne drove down to call for help, her van died...so while I was off dealing with Brett, her van had to be towed the 45 minutes to the Toyota dealership in Portsmouth! Stranded in the middle of NOWHERE!

It rained...the kids played in the lake despite the rain and had a blast! It cleared up later in the afternoon.

Brett rested and hung out.

We had homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner and made s'mores for dessert! One of the stray kittens that hung out around the cabin singed its tail in the fire. Stupid cat!

The boys played wiffle ball in the yard.

We took the kids up to do the go carts and they had a BLAST!

I passed out with exhaustion around 10 PM! Prayed Tuesday would be a better day!

Tuesday, August 29:

Tuesday started out smoothly! Thank God, I don't think I could have handled any more drama!

We decided to spend the day hanging out....playing on the playground, going to the beach, playing putt-putt, doing the slides. Only bad thing was that Grant got stung by a bee!

The kids played on the playground across from the cabin.

Deanne and I both did laundry...we hadn't counted on it raining and the clothes being soaked, so we both needed to wash clothes so the boys had clean and dry things to wear! The laundry was clean but it was so funny....there were 5 washers and 3 of them had things written/scratched onto them......ALL THIS MACHINE DOES IS SPIN, WATER RUNS OUT THE BOTTOM OF MACHINE, THIS MACHINE DOESN'T FILL UP....luckily we only needed 2 machines!

We had chicken lasagna, garlic bread and salad for dinner! We made s'mores again.....have to love marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers!

Wednesday, August 30:

We decided to take in Serpent Mound (the world's largest earthenworks) since it was mentioned in the "KIDS LOVE OHIO" book. We piled everyone into my passenger van and headed out. I had mapquested the directions before we went to Long's Retreat and tossed them in the car to follow......We decided that the directions should have come with disclaimers......

*Start out going SOUTHWEST on OH-124 (OK, this part is fine....)

*Turn LEFT onto OH-41 (again, this is OK)

*Turn RIGHT onto DUTCH THOMAS RD (now this is where it gets tricky...first it should mention that Dutch Thomas will sneak up on you and that the only other car of the road will be right on your bumper, forcing you to turn around in a small parking lot.....second it should mention that Dutch Thomas MIGHT be impassable for a large 15 passenger van and that you will need to pray that NOTHING comes the other way while you follow this road for 1/2 mile).

*Turn RIGHT onto PURCELL RD (#1 since when does mapquest take you on a GRAVEL ROAD...which, um, isn't even GRAVEL because all the gravel apparently washed out during the recent rains, leaving only a dirt rut to drive in and is barely wide enough for any vehicle and #2 BEWARE OF FLOCKS OF WILD TURKEY CROSSING THE ROAD and #3 for added thrill, reach hand out window and sharp bend in road, as the cattle are grazing so close to the road you can touch them)

*Turn RIGHT onto OH-73. End at 3850 State Route 73.

Once we got to Serpent Mound, we though we would be in store for a grand adventure, but there was a rinky dink museum, 2 extremely unfriendly employees and a paved trail around the earthenworks. The mound was cool in appearance, but not something I would ever bother to visit again!

We left Serpent Mound, retraced our path and headed back to Long's. We ate lunch and then headed to the beach. Sophie swam all the way out to the pier (with her life jacket on, of course) and actually JUMPED off the diving board into the 15 foot deep lake! She had an absolute ball!

Will got stung by a bee on his hand while at the beach...I wish I could figure out a way to keep the kids from getting stung!

At 3 PM, Deanne and I headed to Portsmouth to pick up her van. It took about 2 hours total, but it was WONDERFUL to see her van running again (we were worried about having to pack everyone into one van to get home and then having to drive over 2 hours to come and pick up her van). I was so tired driving back to Long's that I had to crack up the radio and jam to the static ridden songs on the radio...thankfully, I found a rock station after 2 Christian stations or I may have ended up in a ditch!

We had tacos for dinner and then took the kids down to the go-carts! After the go-carts, we explored the property off the side of the lake. The kids then picked out a treat from the camp store and we headed back to the cabin.

We hung out...the boys played baseball in the yard and the rest of us watched TV! We started packing up the van and settled in for our last night of our mini vacation!

Thursday, August 31:

Woke the kids at 7:10 AM and quickly finished packing up the van...by 7:30 AM we were on the road! Managed to get Emily to the dance studio by 9:15 AM for her ballet solo practice! Exhausted but full of fun, fond memories the boys, Sophie and I headed home....by 10 AM the van was unpacked and the first load of laundry tossed in the washer......by 11:30 AM I was off to pick up the girls from dance and to get my dad from dialysis and take him to chemo......no rest for the weary!

Poor Chris got stung on the back twice as we were packing up to leave. When I talked to Deanne it turns out the stinger was stuck in one of the stings all the way home. We have to figure out something to do about those bees! Hopefully they won't be as bad next time.

We plan to go again next year! Maybe even plan it as a "not back to school" retreat for our homeschool group. The prices were GREAT and the place was desserted, we had everything to ourselves...it would be such great fun to have more of our friends join us!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura and family! I bet you are glad to be home from your trip :) I hope Brett is doing better now. Poor guy! I know exactly where you were out there in the boonies. I'm glad we moved from Hillsboro LOL, our cell phones would never work in town! We went to Serpent Mound once and I agree, the museum is little, the mound is cool though. Maybe next time we will come too, just hope it won't be too crazy hahahaha.
Take care, and we will pray for Brett and your father.

Tisha
www.myspace.com/natisha1971

Laura said...

Great to hear from you! Hope all is well with your family. I plan to try to organize the trip as a "not back to school" outing for August 2007! Only problem is there is an unschooling conference coming to NC in early September, so I am really going to have to budget for both events...that or come up with something to talk about at the conference to help waive some of the fees!