A Weird but Good Day.

The best laid plans of mice and men. The best laid plans of authors and others.

Yesterday, for some reason, I became convinced it was Monday. I texted my two brothers, “Happy Monday,” along with a punny meme. One reminded me it was only Sunday. I knew that, but gee. How does the human brain do that to us? And then, today, I was further convinced it was Tuesday. Gosh. Not another day of being clueless! Where does that come from? Wow.

Mom called yesterday, and asked if I could do her a favor. It was a grocery run. No problem! But I had to come to her home first and see what cereal she wanted (she has very low vision, so some days reading packages is not in the plan). So, I made a list and set off on my quest.

I had a big flashback to when my older brother Tom and I sometimes had to walk to our neighborhood Safeway store. We only had one car, Dad worked nights, and when the two younger brothers came along, it was hard for Mom to get to the store.

Tom and I walked three blocks to the store; we cruised the aisles with Mom’s handwritten list, wondering what the heck a “loof of bird” was. Her handwriting wasn’t too legible. Our analysis revealed it meant a loaf of bread. That’s ok, Mom. We broke the code. We proudly presented the cash she gave us, and each took a nice brown bag filled with the good stuff she sent us for.

We reached the end of the first alley shortcut. Tom had such a heavy bag, we had to stop and re-bag some of his things. I gave him some of the lighter items and took the package of chicken. We made it the rest of the way home with no problems. Mom was thrilled. We felt rather victorious.

It’s funny, I found everything Mom wanted today. She insisted I call her from the store, in the cereal aisle, specifically, to report how much a certain store brand cereal cost. I reported in, and she determined at 2 for $4, she needed six boxes of that particular type of cereal. At this point in life, whatever makes her happy. Whatever my two brothers and I can do to make her life easier and hopefully worry free, the better days she’ll have for the rest of her life. A 92 year old widow shouldn’t have to worry about her food supplies, her comfort needs, or anything else. It amazes me that she is still a homeowner. She needed another roof last summer, and luckily, my brother who lives across the street from her handled the project. She deserves a rest. And thanks, Steve.

Now that the cereal supply is complete again, the quest is to find the cat food her fussy cat eats. No vet or pet store in Omaha has any. This supply line is weird, it’s an American company, not a foreign one. The cat is getting old, and Mom’s had him for probably 10 years. His name is Hugo, although my youngest brother calls him, “Pffatt Ass.” Very fitting, for sure. I’m not a cat person. Sorry, folks. Dog lover until the end!

Had a proud grandma moment x 2 this weekend. Grandkids Addison and Joell each showed what kind of great teenagers they are. Addison was a last minute sub for a senior at the regional Dance Squad competition on Saturday. The whole family went to Minnesota. The team came in second. Second! So proud!

Grandson Joell was celebrated by his immediate family after his first official day of work. He just turned 14 so I was surprised he got a job. He is a fantastic competition swimmer out in Maryland. His job is that of a swim coach for the younger kids. It’s perfect! We’ve watched him develop from a beginner swimmer to a tough competitor. So proud of him for doing what he loves and the growth he’ll experience by teaching younger kids. So proud!

Addison, back row, middle; Joell, surprised by his family after his first day of work. Life is a celebration!

As we gather our thoughts on whatever day this is, I hope you’ve also had a great day. There’s another new opportunity happening in the morning, too. We an make the day as good as we want. Be positive, and see how it unfolds! See you tomorrow, whatever day it will be.

Busy Friday

Today was a three hour conference with home health folks about therapy for Mom at home. She doesn’t want to go out, but isn’t good enough to go to therapy at a building. She is pretty much home bound, so she qualifies for assistance. The home had to be gone over with a find tooth comb, and lots of questions answered. She doesn’t understand the repetition is necessary. One discussion revealed a discrepancy in meds; not enough to be an issue but because of her hearing problems. Even with hearing aids, she cannot hear conversation. It’s frustrating, but just how her life is. I’m only talking about these things to alert other people their parents may need some assistance. They become pretty defensive when questioned about their home and habits.

The very last thing they want is to be removed from their homes because it’s no longer safe. I don’t blame them. Yet, I think I have less fear of going to assisted living than my mom does. I know the theory behind them, and am not as attached to our home as Mom is to hers. I suppose living there over 70 years makes a difference. She lived at her family home before Dad and her got married; they may have lived in an apartment until moving into our house. At the most, to have only lived in three places in your whole life is pretty amazing.

By contrast, I’ve lived in nine different places in my life. That isn’t too many, either, all things considered. My home is where the Babe is. My home used to be where the kids were. I love our house and area now, but the Babe still determines where my home is. If he passes first, the dwelling we last lived together in is my home. Especially since we love the deck and yard so much. I told him if he’s a cardinal in his next life, to come sing to me from the tops of the trees, like the cardinal sings every morning. He promised to do that.

As you consider how you’ll age in place or how your parents will, think ahead. Think about how you’d feel being told you had to move, it’s not safe anymore. I’m sure Mom, at 92, still thinks of herself as the 19 year old girl who moved in there with her husband. The time passed too quickly for them, and Dad’s been gone for 33 years in December. She was 59 when he passed away, and she worked for a few years after that, then went headlong into volunteering for the Zoo in Omaha. Now, with diminished hearing and vision, she is an old woman with 92 years of life behind her. I can only pray God is good to her for her remaining time on earth, and she understands all that happens with her health the next years. I realize nothing is perfect, and I can’t control things. I just pray and hope she’s not too stressed about it.

Take care and have a beautiful evening. I’m helping with a Craft Fair at the VFW tomorrow, and won’t put the blog up until later. Have a beautiful day and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Some Saturday!

This was some great Saturday! The Babe and I were at the Post for their Craft Show. We enjoyed talking with the various vendors and seeing their talents. Woodworking has really come around again; we had three booths with that craft displayed. The usual jewelry makers attended, along with crocheters, knitters, seamstresses, and even a guy who sold golf equipment. Something for everyone.

The weather was overcast and chilly again. I believe it’s going to be like that again tomorrow for Mother’s Day. I remember going to see my mothers-in-law on Mother’s Day – both Josephine and Liz were such gracious ladies. Josephine had seven children; Liz had four. Josephine was ten years older than my mom; Liz and my mom were the same age. Both women worked very hard inside and outside of the home; my mom did not, mostly because Dad didn’t want her to. At least that’s the story she told. I don’t know my dad’s feelings on the topic.

I think since Josephine was older, she kept to the traditions which were “old school.” She needed to supplement the family income, the money she needed to take care of the kids and home didn’t make it home regularly. My father cashed his check at the bank; or at least Mom did after he endorsed it. My exes father cashed it at the local taverns he frequented. There were many kids whose Dad’s did the same. I am so fortunate my father wasn’t that way. He was a good provider.

Josephine believed the man headed the household, and the woman was the heart. She deeply loved her family. She had a hard life, but she was one woman who wore the title Mother as a badge of honor. She sacrificed for her children and loved when they would visit. Liz was the same way. She made time to visit with company, both in her home and at the nursing home where she lived for over twelve years with M/S.

My mom, once everyone left home, volunteered at the Zoo. She had her schedule of so many days to be there and even did some overnight babysitting of the nursery animals when needed. You had to make reservations to visit her. There was no dropping by unannounced. Partly because you wouldn’t find her home. If she was home and not expecting you, she startles easily. Even now, she prefers to know you’re coming, rather than have it be a surprise. She isn’t too spontaneous, she would rather script her days and keep to it. She has been that way. From high school years, I remember she would bowl in the City or State Bowling tournaments rather than spend the day with her family. I felt bad about that. We often offered, but she’d always say no to a meal at our home or visiting. Many years, I don’t receive cards from my kids, but do from Tracy. I get texts and a phone call from Frankie. It’s really not about all that. It’s about remembering.

Mother’s Day can be rough for a lot of Mom’s. Couples with multiple miscarriages. Couples who have lost older young children to accident and illness. Mom’s who couldn’t keep their babies but adopted them out to couples who wanted them. Mom’s who were good Mom’s but their kids decide to cut them out of their lives. It happens to good Mom’s too. I’ve read a lot about the topic. It’s amazing.

Be kind to those who seem distant on Mother’s Day. It hurts when things don’t work out how they should. When you have losses, you cannot talk about easily. I have a sister-in-law who lost a young child at two years old and an adult child in his 30s. So sad. In a world where just about anything can happen, it often does. Life is not fair.

As you approach Mother’s Day, if you don’t have a Mom, call someone you know who lost their child or lives far away from them. Chances are, they will be grateful. If you have a Mom, but she doesn’t want to be bothered, call someone who never hears from their kids. You will make someone’s day. It costs nothing but your time. We all can spare a little of that, can’t we?

Help cheer someone up tomorrow. You may not have another chance. Or they might not. I hope you have a beautiful evening, and splendid night. Be Kind, Thoughtful, Courteous, and Safe. Thank you for reading, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Thursday Thoughts

Another adventuresome day with Mom. Her vision was pretty bad today, and that frustrates her. She had difficulty getting in the car, too. I have an SUV. It is higher than a car. She was pretty worn out after we were home. She stayed in the car while I went in and got her prescription. There has been a dramatic reduction in her activity in the last six months. Please keep her in your prayers, she can use them. We just want to keep her safe from injury and harm.

I have found my mind wandering this afternoon, my friends. I want to stay in this moment. It’s important to remember life may make some enormous switches soon. We cannot plan for everything, and we don’t want to borrow trouble from tomorrow. We need to replace the worry with prayer. It’s all we can do.

The weather over the next few days will be brutal. We are in a polar vortex that just won’t let go. Again, I feel sad for the homeless and hungry. Drop off an extra coat at a shelter. Send an extra $10 to the Salvation Army. It doesn’t take a lot to be mindful of others during these hard times.

It’s time to finish some random tasks to get organized for my meeting with Cartney tomorrow about our book. We need to decide the project deadlines, page orientation (portrait or landscape), arrangement of cover, back cover, and all the pages in between. It will be a good start.

Take care. Stay warm. Check on your neighbors. Thank you for reading. Tomorrow we’ll know how soon we can talk about when we finish and release our book, “Roxie! What ARE You Doing?” I’ll see you tomorrow.