This time my silence was due to lack of internet. I am back from my hurried trip to Tennessee. When I make that drive to visit my parents, I stay with my aunt, who doesn’t have internet. So I’m either at the nursing home visiting my mom or at my aunt’s house where I can’t get online, so blogging does not happen.
I wasn’t able to leave until 4:00 on Wednesday afternoon, after three days of rain. When I left, it was cloudy and overcast, and I drove through some drizzle, but no real rain. It is hard for me to drive that far when I leave that late in the day, but I made it. Jordan texted me that he was leaving the door unlocked for me so he could go to bed. Mary was out and wouldn’t be home till after midnight.
So when I arrived at their place at about 11:00, there were only two very surprised and indignant cats to meet me. When I woke up Thursday morning, Jordan had already left for work and Mary was still asleep. So I made some tea in my travel mug, carried my stuff out to the car, and set off without having seen either Mary or Jordan!
When I was fairly close to my parents’ town, I stopped to buy some flowers for my mother, and then tried to arrange them in the trunk of my car while trying not to freeze to death. It was very cold!
My dad wanted me to come straight to the nursing home, so I did. They both were glad to see me, and Mom loved the flowers. Dad had to leave to run some errands, so I stayed with Mom and we did one of the puzzles I had brought in memory of the many hours we spent doing puzzles together in the past. She was really out of practice, but it was an easy puzzle and we finished it quite quickly. She loves the picture on it (birds) and we kept it on the tray to show Dad when he returned.
I left shortly after supper so as to get to my aunt’s house while she was still up to let me in. She goes to bed very early most nights. I have so much reading to do for my classes that I didn’t have to wonder how to spend the rest of the evening!
Friday morning was very cold—well below freezing—and I was glad I had packed my warm coat. I had tea with my aunt and then made tea in my travel mug AND a whole thermos of tea because the nursing home is a tea-free desert. I arrived a few minutes before visiting hours technically started, but no one stopped me so I went in and found my mom up and dressed and patiently waiting for physical therapy.
While we waited, I read to her from the latest #1 Ladies Detective Agency book, a series she loves. Then we got talked into going to the nursing home’s Valentine’s Party. I’m not sure what I expected. What we got was a room full of mostly silent residents sitting at tables with plates of snacks in front of them. Swing music was playing. The only item on the agenda was crowing the Valentine’s “king” and “queen” and taking pictures of them. Others could then get their pictures taken with props in front of the backdrop, so I had one taken of Mom and me and then I wheeled her back to her room.
By lunchtime, they still hadn’t come to get her for therapy so I wheeled her down to the dining room for her big date with Dad. By that time my aunt and her assistant were also there. Mom refused to eat until Dad arrived. When he did, he came bringing a dozen red roses and a sweet card/poster that she could hang up over her bed. He paid for a meal tray so he could eat lunch with her.
After lunch she finally had therapy and was worn out by the end of it. She needed a nap. So Dad and I went back to the house so I could do the one thing he’d requested—help him make a mincemeat pie. He wanted to enhance the recipe to make it more like the mincemeat he remembers from his childhood. We had a little issue finding a pie plate, but eventually we got the filling made and once the pie was in the oven I headed back to the nursing home to see Mom, who had just woken up from her nap.
We were able to do a video call with my Aunt Glenda, my mom’s youngest sister, and she really enjoyed getting to chat for a few minutes. Dad rejoined us at supper time and then we took Mom down to the dining room so she could watch a couple of favorite TV shows (she doesn’t have her own TV in her room). Dad ran out to buy some snacks and Mom ate a surprising amount of caramel corn!
Saturday morning after tea with my aunt I loaded most of my stuff into the car and headed back to the nursing home. Mom was up and waiting for me and had already had therapy, so I wheeled her through the halls just for something to do and then into the lobby where we watched the birds for a while.
When she started getting cold we returned to the room and I read to her for the rest of the morning. The big success of the day was that she finished her whole lunch. Getting her to eat is a huge struggle at every meal but she must have really liked that chicken and gravy.
After she finished eating, we had a brief video chat with my daughter Lina, after which Mom needed a nap and I needed to get on the road. I said my goodbyes and headed back to my aunt’s house to get my cooler before heading out of town. I stopped in Nashville to meet another aunt (my mom’s other sister) and uncle and visit with them over a meal before continuing on to Memphis.
Mary and Jordan had a fire going as it was another cool evening. Picture this idyllic scene: a fire crackling in the fireplace over glowing embers, two pampered cats stretched out enjoying the warmth—and three humans all working on their laptops! But I really needed to get some work done after being without internet for three days.
Today I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with Mary and Jordan before getting back on the road. The drive was uneventful. I picked up some food on my way into town and we had our usual Sunday family dinner with minimal effort from me. All my effort has gone into my school responsibilities!