As a kid, I remember going to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and Lake Mead. I particularly enjoyed Lake Mead, because the water was warm, unlike most lakes. At the time, and for many years afterward, I really didn’t know much about the lake, its origins, or its secrets. These days, I maybe know too much about its secrets. In fact, some of them are really creepy. Many lakes sport hidden ghost towns, underground ranches, and various sunken boats. There are probably more bodies in them that we know or want to think about too, but when a drought occurs and we find ourselves hearing about body after body being found in a lake that is close to one of the big mob-controlled areas of the nation, it makes you wonder exactly what happened here and just how many more bodies will surface. Well, in the case of Lake Mead, the answer is a total of five bodies…so far. Who knows how many more will surface.

One body was found in a barrel, with a gun nearby, causing speculation of a mob killing, and possibly making people who might have been the perpetrators of mob murders…if they are still alive, to become a little nervous about their crimes being found out. Of course, the police aren’t telling us much, but it is said that the body in the barrel, discovered in May, had been shot in the head and after being stuffed in the barrel it was thrown overboard, in the hope that it would never be seen again. It was the type of killing that was classic mob style, or so we’ve been told in the movies. Las Vegas was, and maybe still is, a big mob crime city, and this type of killing was a trademark in the 1970s and 19802. So, it is entirely possible that the killer is still alive and could be brought to justice.

Shortly after the body in the barrel was found, another body surfaced, and then in July a third body was found. Days after the body in the barrel surfaced, another corpse was reported. A third was discovered in July. Now, the skeletal remains of two more people were found just this month in the Swim Beach area. It makes me wonder how many more bodies will surface, if the drought continues and the lake level continues to drop. The lake level has dropped nearly 200 feet due to two decades of drought. Right now, the lake is very close to the level it was when it was originally filled after the building of Hoover Dam. I guess the old saying about the truth finding you out is true. the bodies, some long hidden, are coming out to tell of their demise.

Growing up on ranches and around horses, my mother-in-law felt very at home on the back of a horse. She loved them, and really still does today. Western shows are her favorite shows, other than game shows and of course, the rodeo. In her mind, the drama of a cop show, or the laughs of a comedy, can’t even begin to measure up.

For me, it is very hard to imagine her in that type of life. I have been her daughter-in-law for almost 37 years now. That was all after the years that she had and rode horses. She was a skilled seamstress, could knit and crochet with the skill of a professional.  She supplemented the family income with the clothing she made and the sewing repairs she did. She also grew a garden and canned vegetables. That is the person I knew as my mother-in-law for many years. She was a capable homemaker and mother.

So much has changed since those years. Alzheimer’s Disease has take most of what she once was. These days, the knitting needles lay quietly in a box somewhere, as do the crochet hooks. They have moved to town now, so there is no more garden or canning, and she would not remember how to do those things anyway. She often talks about sewing on a button or making a shirt, but I’m sure she would not remember how to do those things anymore. She doesn’t remember how to drive, and would not know where to go if she did try to drive.

So much confuses her these days. She remembers her family on most days, but thinks that my grown daughters, who have both been married for more than 16 years and have teenaged children, should still be in high school. In fact, all of her grandchildren should be too young to be married, although most of them are married and have been for some time.

Age changes us all, but when Alzheimer’s Disease comes into the picture, the changes are so cruel. The person knows things aren’t right, but they are powerless to change the situation. It scares them sometimes, because they suddenly don’t know where they are…and they are in their own house. They don’t feel safe going places, because they no longer know where they are going, and as time goes on, they aren’t sure who is taking them, and it is their own family. Yes, everyone changes as they age, but for some people, it can be traumatic. Alzheimer’s Disease is an ugly thief…it steals it’s victims mind and eventually every other part of their body. I hope someday they will find a cure.

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