Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lunch With Mom - 6/20/2017

It was a beautiful morning after so many days of rain.  I picked up an Italian combo on a soft roll for Mom and grilled turkey and swiss cheese for me from Crazy River Cafe.  Mom only eats a quarter of her sandwiches and I am just gaining weight from eating all her other sandwich halves that I take home.  I ran over to Wadler Bros. to pick up some 1x4x12s for the backyard pergola and then went to Mom’s place.  They moved her from the recliner near the window to the recliner near the hallway.  However, I think she gets more sleep by the window.  I dropped off the tote and groceries in her room and then picked her up in her wheelchair and brought her back to her room so the two of us could eat.  

News on the TV was all about the House election in Georgia and the young guy who died after his return from North Korea - just incredibly sad.  We ate and I talked about her upcoming 80th birthday and told her that her sister, Roseanne, and her husband, Jack, will be coming to visit for that weekend.  That really seemed to perk her up.   Her eyes which she tends to keep closed opened up and we talked about what kind of lunch she would like and birthday cake choices.  When I asked her if she would like lasagna, she said that that sounded good.  I told her that she liked my lasagna and she commented - “I like mine better.”  That made me laugh.  She is such a fussy eater and takes pride in her cooking.  She was always very territorial in the kitchen.  I told her that I didn’t know if making Italian food would be a good choice around so many Italian sisters and she smiled and laughed.  She was in a good mood. 

I mentioned that I had to leave early to do some work and she asked me if I had found a job and I told her that I was still looking.  I was laid off in February.  I talked about upcoming interviews and she suddenly asked, “does that mean we wouldn’t be able to have lunch together anymore?”  I crumbled inside.  I know how lonely she is at this place. I told her that we would go back to just weekends.  She made a face.  Part of me feels that this has really had an effect on my work life.  Part of me feels that she should be my priority and that I could put off working for a little bit longer.  I don’t know what to do?  I head home and take advantage of the sunny couple hours to put on the siding on the pergola and then head inside to go online and job search.  All I can think about is her comment.  What should I do?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Happy Father's Day


It’s been 4 years and I think of you every day.  I have this recurring dream about you.  I am 9 years old and you have just returned from one of your flights overseas.  I see you walking across the street towards our house and I run to greet you.  You are wearing your olive-colored flight suit and I jump into your arms and hug you tight.  I smell your aftershave and cigarettes.  I feel the scruff of your beard on my face. I am just so happy to see you.  

I miss your daily calls to tell me what the weather is like in Bovina and NYC.  I miss our FaceTime chats where I show you what I did over the weekend and hearing your comments.  I miss fighting with you trying to change your Netflix movie list.  As fast as I can add any Obama documentary to the list, you delete and add something with George W Bush in it.   I miss watching James Bond movies with you. I just miss you.  I love you. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Funeral Pre-Arranging Step One

I have been in the process of making pre-arrangements for funeral plans at a local funeral home.  There is no way I can get around doing it.  I feel that if I do a little bit at a time, I can make it less depressing and less impactful.  So, I have been biting off a little bit at a time.  Buying plots at the cemetery. Prepaying the funeral arrangements.  Now, I have to arrange for the headstone.  Each step seems manageable but it ends up being enormously painful despite the baby steps.

1. Buying the Cemetery Plots.  Originally, because my Dad was in the service, I thought my parents got plots and burial costs taken care of by the military but that turned out not to be true.  Also, the thought of ever having to go back to Texas even to have a service or pay my respects was just not going to happen.  Tim and I will more than likely retire here in this town and this house. I guess it makes sense to be buried here - unless it was on a cliff overlooking Positano or Barcelona or something but that will never happen either.

I arranged to meet the woman who sells the plots at the cemetery and drove down to take a look and discuss.  One of my pet peeves about cemeteries is graves that are too close to the road.  I don't want to think of myself as roadkill.  Susan, the cemetery manager, was very nice and pleasant.  The cemetery is in a very pretty location, centered in the valley with views of the ridge lines along Coulter Brook Rd.  I had been hoping to find a couple plots at the top of the hill but that is the oldest part of the cemetery and there was nothing available.  Susan showed me the next row of empty lots which were a little close to the drive but not the road.  I stood there and took 360-degree photos from the spot.  In my mind, I guess I thought - this is what you will be looking at for eternity - it better be a pretty view?

Dealing with your parent's deaths is also learning to deal with your own mortality.   Thinking about how or where you want to spend eternity is overwhelming.  I have researched different burial options.  Cremation with having my ashes tossed in the garden, buried in expensive Le Creuset cookware, your ashes mixed with bird seed and eaten by birds and then they fly away, biodegradable pods at the base roots of trees and assorted other ideas.  It is all too complicated and depressing.  I was feeling very overwhelmed and agreed to buy two sets of cremation plots - a set for my parents and a set for Tim and myself.  I mailed the check and drove Tim over to take a look at our future resting place.  All he could say was "nice views."  He takes these things less seriously than I do or maybe he just doesn't have his mind wrapped around it at the moment?  I get the deeds in the mail and take a deep breath.  Check that one off my list.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Our woods are filled with ferns.  However, the Bracken ferns which are taller and denser have been really expanding.  They were the first ferns that I remember noticing when we moved up here. I just think they are so beautiful.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The remodel of our lobby in our co-op in the city was finally finished.  Although the building is not art deco - the lobby turned out beautiful.  The building was built in the 1920s but has a Moorish edifice. It looks a hundred times better than the old lobby which always looked a little dirty.  Glad that it is finally done.  With this and the new rooftop - the value of the co-ops should increase significantly.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Lunch with Mom 6-11-2017

I picked up Mom to bring her over to the house for lunch today.  It was so pretty and thought she might enjoy the day.  However, she wasn't feeling so well.  We sat under the new pergola and had a nice visit, a little lunch and then I took her home.  Her gardenia plants which I have been nursing for a few months bloomed this weekend just for her.  I was very excited and they smell beautiful.  Hopefully, she can come back and see them soon.

More Gorgeous June Weekend

Nice close to great day.  Grilled London Broil and corn.  Tim made a Mexican butter for the corn which was really good. We lit the tea lights in the cinder blocks around the pond which looked very pretty .  There was a gorgeous full moon that came over the mountains and we sat out to watch it.  Beautiful weekend.