Sunday, February 17, 2008

February 17, 1979

Today has dawned(well not yet, it only 6:48AM) a steady rain, with temps hovering around the 40 degree range...that will change tonight and the rain will change to a snow mix sometime after midnight....the ugly February continues........

The weather is not like 29 years ago on 12/17/79, when it was about 10 degrees with a steady light snow....I had broadcast a Sectional/District High School Wrestling Tournament in Wausau(WI) the night before, and Patricia, despite being 9 months pregnant, went with was a "remote" broadcast, where basically I wrote down the scores, and fed them back to the radio station, WJMT in Merrill, giving the local schools updates and standings....I had only been a "jock" for several months and any chance I got to do sports was taken....since the extra pay helped, and it was what I wanted to do in broadcasting anyway...spinning records was fun, but my interests leaned more to News and Sports.

We woke up the next morning, a Saturday, to the typical northern Wisconsin February scene...cold, wind, and a little snow. Patricia started cleaning, which I thought was strange....not the part about her cleaning, because she kept a clean house, but the timing....being a to-be first time father, I really didn't know much, but I had heard of the "nesting instinct", and I guessed that was what was going on....she denied that, but as the day continued, she began to have contractions that were fairly far apart. Still thinking it was a false labor, which she had before, Patricia protested that this was nothing and her time was not at hand.....I thought different, but did not say much....finally about 3 O'clock despite her protests, I was convinced it was indeed "that time"....and as the pain bouts became closer and closer together, I talked her into getting ready...and from here the time line get blurred.

We grabbed her bag of goods and loaded into the Jeep Cherokee, all the while she still protested that this was nothing...anyway off we went into the frozen afternoon, heading south towards Wausau(we lived about 12 miles north on the Marathon-Lincoln County Line Road)...we got to Wausau South Hospital in plenty of time, and Patricia was prepped and eventually wheeled into the delivery room. { As I described in the previous post about Anissa on December 19, 2007}:

{The delivery room doctor was slow getting there, and Patricia went through an unwelcome waiting period, which today we suspect, but don't know for sure, that was to affect Anissa and cause some of her conditions today.....that is not the point, however, you can't go back, and nothing we could do would change Anissa, and I'm not sure we want to.....her handicaps are part of who she is and who we are, and that story can be read at the above link.}

After the delivery, at 6:59PM which saw another Houseworth girl(at that time I was the last male Houseworth born some 30 years earlier in 1949). My mom now had 5 granddaughters and no grandsons, that would change when Sam was born in late 1981.

As I said, things were a blur, but I do remember heading back to the farm alone....Saturday night....I had calls to make, but basically I sat in front of the small TV(we were not big television watchers, even then) had a beer or two, and just reflected, just me and the Airedales Rags and Max....can't really remember about what, but the whole evening had a pretty surreal effect about it. So I was a first time dad at the age of 29 years, 11 months, and 1 day......I can't imagine having kids at 20 or so....that would not have been for me...Hell I still was no where near a grown adult at 30.

The next day, a Sunday, Daytona 500 Sunday to be exact, dawned sunny and cold....I headed to Wausau to spend the day with wife and daughter...and take photos for the album and for my family back in Ohio and hers in southeast Wisconsin. And with today being another Daytona Beach race day, I can say I remember that one as clear as a bell....Patricia and Anissa slept much of the afternoon, and I sat and watched the greatest 500 ever.....not a big race fan am I, but that was the first "live" broadcast and was the one where my favorite driver Richard Petty won as Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison crashed each other out on the final turn...the Allison boys, Bobby and his brother Donnie, got into a dandy of a fight with on CBS, as King Richard swept past them and crossed the line a winner...again!

That's the way it was 29 years ago this very weekend....Happy Birthday Anissa!

Next I finish up the tale of the Outlaw Marvin Kuhns____________

{photos-Me with Anissa at the Hospital on February 18, 1979, Patricia and Anissa in 1981, Anissa and Rags 1980}


Jeni said...

I've been reading your blog (via Google reader) for about 5-6 weeks now. I read the post linking back to your "rant" about your daughter back in December. Something we have in common -my granddaughter -age 4 -is autistic, high functioning, pdd-nos; her baby brother who will be two in April is developmentally delayed, getting therapy now but the people who evaluated him believe he too will be evaluated as autistic same as his sister was. Dealing with both these little ones on a day-to-day basis -they, their parents and older half-sister all live with me- is indeed, quite a trip!
I have a cousin (my Dad's youngest sister's only child) who is severely mentally and physically challenged (cerebral palsy plus the retardation factors) who will be 51 the end of this month. As you said about your daughter, she too is quite a trip! My aunt was told when she was about 18 months old to institutionalize her but she opted to care for her at home which she did until 18 months ago when, at age 89, it was way too much for her to handle any longer and they both are now in a nursing home -sharing a room. Having a special needs child brings so many thoughts into ones mind -you love that child with heart and soul and yet, at the same time, you still wonder -and I suppose wish too -that things were different, that the child didn't have to deal with all these extra challenges. Some who have autistic children would take issue with my saying that but it doesn't mean I don't accept my grandchildren for who and what they are, just that I wish, hope and pray that they will get the best help available so they can lead the most normal life possible then. Keep on loving and supporting is the best I can think to do. How about your thoughts there?

Buck said...

Happy Birthday Anissa!

Great pics yet again, Pat, as was the narrative that accompanied them.

pat houseworth said...


I believe the following:

You are dealt the hand God gives you. As for wishing things were different? The way this country is going, and the doubt I have for the future good, makes predictions about any of our futures
"iffy" at best....however, I really am not concerned. We hope for the best for Anissa, and as long as we are able, we will continue to care for her(she stays with us about 60% of the time). I am lucky, my wife is a long time Special Education teacher, and I am on the board of MRS,( Mercer Residential Services) the President of that group's Board to be exact, so I have contacts. And feel as confident as possible Anissa will be taken care of after we are gone.

Our youngest son also has worked with MR adults, and even though his education masters will be in High School History, he has a working knowledge of Anissa's life, and is more than willing to be her guardian after we can no longer perform.

Life is a challenge, I belive I am up to most, I know my wife and youngest son I'm in good hands, and so is Anissa.

Thanks for dropping by, hope I answered some of your questions.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

That's a wonderful story man. Happy Birthday to all of you guys, and big hugs to the mama.

You know, it's great to read this sort of thing, and see the love you guys have for one another.

I got a wild hair once and decided to buy my mom flowers on my birthday. She went to the door and saw the flowers, roses, and dropped to her seat on the stairs and started ballin' right there in front of the delivery guy. One of the best things I ever did. Need to do it more often, but she hates to see me spend the money. We need to show these women how much we love them, much more often.