Honorary Lumberjock Down Ms. D. #2: They both were pretty much in my way..... and that was just fine!

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Blog entry by Dusty posted 04-29-2007 01:12 PM 1630 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Honorary LumberJock Down....Ms. D Part 2 of Honorary Lumberjock Down Ms. D. series Part 3: On the brink of loseing everything she has... »

Two weeks ago today Ms. D my elderly neighbor lady and day care for my basset hounds and one of the biggest influences for me getting into woodworking and taking on the restoring “This Old Crack House”, fell in her home and broke here leg in three places.

She had surgery. She had rods, pins, and screws placed from the knee down to the toes.

We moved her to a rehab nursing home two days after surgery.

Other than an older brother who lives 1000 miles away and is suffering from cancer there is no other living immediate family.

Over the last ten years we have become her family. Our block, her church and a few others are all she has left.

She has taken on the role of the, cheer leader, lunch lady and advice giver over the years since our moving here to the neighborhood, that she has lived in for 67 years.

At her insistence every Saturday and Sunday mornings along with several other days in between she has taken it upon herself to bake rolls, cup cakes, other assorted goodies along with lunch, to serve all of us who have been involved in not only the rehab of “This Old Crack House’, but what ever wood working projects that were going on in the shop.

This has been going on for years.

She insists.

Any effort to discourage this is met with stern looks, sharp tongue and cold shoulder.

I have tried to explain 500 times she doesn’t have to do this.

Every time she sternly lectures me with the” I know I don’t have to do this, I want to lecture”.

This is followed by the snide comments only a stubborn German lady would make. One of her favorites is “have you been inhaling too many fumes and finally gone plum nuts?

Followed by that look.

I never answer her question.

This exchange is Immediately followed by her suggested menu for lunch she wants to cook for all of us that day.

This is a weekly argument.

She always wins.

Being in the nursing home is hard on her.

She calls several times a day to see how her “kids,” my basset hounds are doing and other trivial things like, are you eating right?

Because she lives alone and at this point is unable to care for here self yet, she has to remain in the nursing home.

This is killing her.

Besides she had no way to get into her home being in a wheel chair, even if we could have got home care nursing for her.

That was until yesterday.

One of her biggest fears is to end up in a nursing home, for the rest of her life.


To die.

She won’t come out and say this.

I can tell it weighs heavy on her mind.

She says she tells the nursing home staff that her life is at home not here. She tells them she’s not I’m not ready to go yet.

They nod and say they understand. But they point out that her home isn’t set up for handicap access.

It will be.

Several of us who have benefited from Ms.D’s company and good food have gone to work to be sure that her home will accommodate her. We also don’t want the nursing home to have a excuse to keep her for any length of time beyond what is necessary.

So far we have poured several yards of concrete to widen all her side walks so she can get here wheel chair up and down them with ease. Today we were going to build her a handicap ramp, so she could get into her home.

The next project will be to build her a handicap bath room access.

Yesterday,my brother in law and 80 something year old father came to help me build a handicap access ramp into her house.

My father who suffers from Parkinson disease and has had recent back surgery insisted he come to help us and in his own words “would assure we would get the job done right” came to help build this ramp for Ms. D.

I tried to convince dad that he didn’t have to help, and he could just sit and watch us.

I got the look and the lecture.

He said, “Just because I don’t buy green bananas anymore doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to offer”.

“I’m old, not helpless.” he said.

“Besides I know if I needed a ramp, Ms. D would make the lunch for you guys so you could do the job”.

I lost another argument.

For the day he was in charge.

He was in his glory.

We let him be there.

I asked why at the end of the day why he didn’t come down more to my shop, not to work but just hang out.

He said, “You never invited me”.


One thing for sure, his body maybe slowly going, but his mind and tongue work just fine.

-- Dusty

17 comments so far

View Diane's profile


546 posts in 4150 days

#1 posted 04-29-2007 02:01 PM

You’re an angel here on earth, what a nice thing to do and what a nice job.

When do you start the bathroom and when is she coming home?


View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4115 days

#2 posted 04-29-2007 02:07 PM

Good ol’ Dusty.

He’s got himself on a ramp page, now.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4338 days

#3 posted 04-29-2007 02:17 PM

May God pour endless blessings on you and your family. That is a very loving thing you have done for Ms. D. I’ve been in your shoes when it comes to loosing arguments with the wise and knowledgeable people in my life. I think that they are a resource that is often times unused and a lot of knowledge is lost because of it. None of us want to feel useless and alone. I, like I’m sure you, feel that my father knows that he is always welcome, but maybe, as your father pointed out, we need to extend that invitation every now and then to make sure that they know that.

The ramp looks great!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4183 days

#4 posted 04-29-2007 02:17 PM

Diane ,

If my hallo gets any lower my dad tells me it will choke me.

We met with the Dr’s and social worker’s on Friday. Until she can put weight on her foot and be able to at least take care of her self for the most part they won’t release her from the nursing home.

This couldn’t come fast enough for her.

At this point it looks like another month.

I will have plenty of time to prepare her bathroom and what ever else needs to be done.

One reason I wanted to get the ramp in is she can come home for a couple hours at a time to spend time on her deck outside and get some personal things , giving her a break from the nursing home.

She is very excited about this.

Even though she loves when we bring the basset hounds up to the nursing home and she parades them around to show off her “kids” to all the other residents its not the same as being in her own home.

Several of the other nursing home residents have already bought treats for the hounds and
insist when we come up we bring them to their rooms so they can give them the treats.

Visiting times have sure been extended now.

-- Dusty

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4428 days

#5 posted 04-29-2007 02:18 PM

Very good Dusty. My the Lord Bless you as you bless others unselfishly.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4183 days

#6 posted 04-29-2007 02:24 PM


Thank you.

I am still taken back as to how stupid I have been and how assuming that my dad should of known he was welcome anytime he wanted to come visit me.

I assumed both my parents always knew this.

That is what I get for assuming.

I have to remember that they come from a different time period.

They feel as thought they are intruding and need a invite.

Every time.

I will never understand this.

I don’t really need to I guess. All I have to do is to invite them.

Ever time.

I shall , do this in the future.


-- Dusty

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4338 days

#7 posted 04-29-2007 03:07 PM

Sounds good, Dusty. I’ll have to do the same. Tell Ms. D hello for me and let her know that I’m praying for her speedy recovery.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4113 days

#8 posted 04-29-2007 03:44 PM

Dusty, you have made the same assumption that I had in the past. You think people know you that you love and care for them without having to say it. But like everyother human being on the planet, they want to hear it from us. Tell them while they are here with us how much they mean to you. I have, it doesn’t hurt nor does it take away any part of our being a man. (I am writing this more for others reading than for you or I.)

As I have read your past posts through several times now, it occurs to me that you may not express your faith as openly as some others but it is there. I am a firm beilever that you express your faith through your works. not work for your faith. You my friend have expressed great faith. You have reached out to others in many ways; reaching out to an elderly neighbor who was lonely and in need of help; reaching out to the neighborhood and providing leadership; ensuring a friend has the means to support his family in a time of need; reaching out to someone who has suffered injury and helping them find worth in themselves. Dusty you are a walking example of what many pastors across the county try to express in sermons every sunday. Well done and God bless. Carry on.

By the way, tell Mrs. D that there are hundreds of people across the country praying for her speedy recovery so she can come home.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4188 days

#9 posted 04-30-2007 12:56 AM

If I remember correctly, Ms D was a kind of outcast in the neighbourhood when the story began, wasn’t she?? And now, after the kindness that you have shown her, she is an active member as well as having taken on the “Grandma” role. Pretty impressive!

Isn’t it also interesting that the most giving man that we have ever met has difficulty “receiving” gifts (food, help etc).. hmmm ;)

Parents: the one thing that I have really tried hard not to do is impose on my children’s lives. I know how busy it is when you are in your twenties/thirties. (My son has a 4 year old daughter – and that means as much family time as possible when he is not at work. And my daughter only sees her husband on weekends and they have so much to do in those short hours.) Anyway… for me, I try to stay out of their way as much as possible and it sure does feel good when family get-togethers happen.

And now for Dusty, our Angel, what can I say that has not been said already. You are amazing.

oh, and Dusty, add my best wishes to your list for Ms. D.

Flowers for Ms D

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4183 days

#10 posted 04-30-2007 03:52 AM


I went to visit Ms. D at the nursing home today, and to pass on all the support and prayers she
has been received from the lumberjocks.

She was touched and great full. This made her day.

She insisted I past her gratitude along to all of you.

thank you, on behalf of Ms.D.

-- Dusty

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4342 days

#11 posted 04-30-2007 05:36 AM

Good to see the hounds being taken care of. I have a step son in a chair so I’ve got to do a lot of revamping places for wheelchairs. The best paying jobs around if you ask me.

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4115 days

#12 posted 04-30-2007 02:03 PM

You probably need to hook those hounds up to a yoke if they are going to pull her around.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Jeffrey's profile


15 posts in 4071 days

#13 posted 05-01-2007 07:15 AM

I want you to know that you are one heck of a person. Is there any chance you were a Boy Scout?

-- Jeff - Bellevue,Ne.

View Drew1House's profile


425 posts in 4115 days

#14 posted 05-01-2007 07:50 AM

I was… but am ashamed to say I have a long way to go to keep up with Dusty…


-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4183 days

#15 posted 05-01-2007 11:57 AM


Thank you for the high complement.

No, I never got to be a boy scout. I was a cub scout.

Because we had so much work on the farm and I had to choose carefully what I could do after school because of the commitment milking 110 cows demanded.

I am sorry to say I never got to join Boy Scouts.

My parents were, and still are a huge influence and my moral compass for me.

My father came down to help with this project. He is 80 something. He insisted he help even with his late stage Parkinson disease.

He wouldn’t be happy with me if he knew I disclosed that he was suffering from this ailment.

He is a man of quiet service to others and no excuses.


My father was the youngest of 19 kids and never knew his father. His father died when he was one year old.

His mother, my grandmother was the most giving person I ever met.

I was very close to her.

I never once heard her complain, except, that there wasn’t enough time to do all the things she wanted to do for and with her family, church, and friends.

I miss her.

I will never be able to fill her shoes.

I will simply have to settle for trying my best.

-- Dusty

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