This is how much snow we had left this afternoon after several days of warm temps in the 30s and 40s.
This is how much snow we had left this afternoon after several days of warm temps in the 30s and 40s.

We ran out of milk, so this morning I walked to the little store a block and a half away to buy more. The temp was 37 degrees! The high temp was almost 50 degrees! With temps so warm, I left my mittens at home and unzipped my coat. We have to enjoy the warm weather while we can because we are expecting cooler temps and more snow in a couple of days. It looks like we could have 5-8 inches of new snow.

As I walked to the little store, I heard strange bird calls. I couldn’t remember what kind of bird it made such a sound. I looked around but couldn’t spot the bird. Then I saw three sandhill cranes flying overhead. It was their cry I heard. I paused and watched them. When I left the store with my milk, I spotted a dozen more. Sandhill cranes are an indication that Spring is coming. I am always excited whenever I see the cranes in a field or flying overhead.

Sandhill Cranes Picture from:
Sandhill Cranes
Picture from:

When I got home, I researched sandhill cranes on the internet to learn more about them. I read this morning that “Cranes from southern Michigan migrate to Florida.” People from Michigan also often go to Florida for the winter. “Depending on the weather, most leave in   November, but some have stayed through December. They usually return to Michigan in late February or early March. Sandhills prefer to migrate when the sun causes warming thermals to rise and there is a tail wind. By taking advantage of tail winds, flying in formation and by soaring, they are able to reduce energy expenditure by up to 30%. Flying at speeds up to 50 miles per hour, they can cover nearly 500 miles a day. Often they reach altitudes of over a mile.” I also learned that their bugling can be heard 2.5 miles away and that “Adult breeders maintain long-term pair bonds, but they will ‘divorce’ especially if the first attempt at reproduction is unsuccessful.” You can learn more about them and hear their cries at the AllAboutBirds.Com.

Thousands of tiny bird "footprints" in the snow."
Thousands of tiny bird “footprints” in the snow.”

I am continuing to enjoy the birds at our feeder. I think it’s interesting that they walk all over the yard, leaving thousands of tiny prints in the snow.

We had expected JJ to feel much better by now, but he continues to struggle with some health issues. He’s been having a low temp as well and he says he is feeling “unwell” and tired. He often tells me that he is so tired of not feeling healthy.

Tomorrow JJ has an appointment with his oncologist. When we began this cancer journey, every doctor told us news that was worse than we were expecting, so while I approach the appointment with expectation that the report will be good, I also feel slight trepidation as well. I expect we will learn how the Chemo has affected JJ cancer. The woman who did the PFT test last week said that JJ’s hemoglobin was very low, so I want to discuss that with the doctor and I also  want to know what his white blood cell count is. JJ has told me very strongly that he doesn’t want me to tell the doctor about his health issues, but we both know that I will tattle if JJ doesn’t tell the doctor what he is struggling with–because any problem left untreated could become major and I don’t know how the issues will affect his surgery. JJ will just have to be “less than happy” with me for a bit. My friend, who has become an honorary aunt to JJ, has said that if I don’t tattle on JJ, she will call the doctor and tattle. We love him so much we are willing to do what we believe is best for him even if he’s not happy about it. Poor JJ.

A couple of weeks ago, EJ’s Mom became very sick and had to be taken to the hospital. She was in there for a week or so and then a couple of days ago was put into a rehabilitation center. Family reports that she is not doing very well. She has been saying that she wants to see all her children “one last time.” I do not know if she is saying this because she feels so ill or becomes she senses that her death is approaching. EJ really wants to see his Mom (and so do I), especially if this might be the last time, but we are all very concerned about bringing home any sort of virus or infection to JJ when his immune system is very weak and he can’t fight off sickness. We can’t forget that EJ’s Dad was very sick just before he died, and EJ caught his virus and was the sickest he had ever been in his life. Our first concern has to be for our son. But it causes anguish to not visit EJ’s Mom.

JJ’s Honorary Aunt recommended a product that might help him so EJ and I went to a pharmacy to buy some. Since we were in town, we also stopped at the grocery store. While we were there, I ran into a dear, sweet friend. She and her husband always cut our hair for us, but they also always pray for us. I told her about EJ’s Mom and she told us that no Grandmother would not want to put her grandson at risk, and she would totally understand if we can’t go see her. “So let your mind be at ease,” she said. Then she put her arms around both of us and prayed for us. That was, as my “Honorable Aunt” friend often says, “a hug from heaven.”


We are trying to mentally, emotionally, spiritually prepare ourselves for JJ’s surgery. It is such a major surgery that it is a bit scary. I expect the surgery to go well because we will have of the best surgeons in the world for this type of surgery, but still…this is a very serious surgery, and bad things sometimes happen, and there are no guarantees. And this is our one and only child. This feels like another huge hurdle that we have to overcome. We are getting a little tired of hurdles. 

3 Comments on “Hurdles

  1. Dear Teri, it is becoming more and more heavy all the burdens there are to be carried. JJ and his still not feeling okay and the appointment with his oncologist , EJ’s mom and that decision you had to make and the coming surgery. It is so much to bare for you as a mom and together with EJ as a parents. The only thing I can do is daily pray for you and think about you all. But it is so very little. I’m sending you a hug from heaven too ❤


  2. A friend just left who shared his concern for his wife who just found out she has breast cancer, it seems to have a clutch on all of us. Your love for one another in union with all who are keeping you close to our Lord will sustain and keep you. Feel the prayers, love you,Linda


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