Turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce and [insert mumble about some kind of veggies here]…

franbettySo, maybe today was a difficult day because my coffee buddy couldn’t make it this morning? That is, one of my CBs is outta town and by outta town, I mean China or someplace, I can’t really remember where she is right now. The other one? She travels a bit more locally like I do but she was in town, she just reeeeeallly doesn’t like to drive in any amount of snow. Or on the freeway, even on a dry pavement kind of day. I am a wee bit braver despite my snow-driving kvetching but I understand and I love her anyway but I missed my coffee klatch today. (For the record, in the wee dark morning hours, as I was heading out for my 0-skunk-30 neighborhood prowl, I timidly asked the GG if he would mind switching vee-hickles today. The answer was, “Of course” and so I had AWD. And wouldn’t you know, driving the Ninja would’ve been just fine.)

Anyway, this CB is a quilter (like yer fav-o-rite blahgger is in a rather on-and-off way) and she is currently making fidget quilts. These are small lap-size quilts with many different textures and things like pockets with beanie babies in them and whatever. If you didn’t click over, these little quilts are tools for people who have forms of dementia to keep their hands busy. I think this is a cool idea.

I spent quite a bit of time around people with whatever form of dementia a few years ago when The Commander began having her difficulties. She experienced life in a rehab / long term care facility with several roommates and eventually an assisted living facility where she had her own studio apartment. The Comm, who did not have any mental issues, had compassion for the folks she lived with but I know that she felt incarcerated, no matter what the staff (who *loved* her) did to try to make her intellectual life stimulating enough to meet her needs.

I spent a lot of time telecommuting to work from the rehab facility during her sojourn there. I’m sure that there were people in that facility who could have used a fidget quilt. I know there were people there with gazillions of stuffed aminals but I’m not sure they had memory issues. Believe it or not, some people were living at that facility by choice. The people I was most familiar were the wanderers. Like Mumma. She was one of The Comm’s roommates. She wandered the halls constantly and would often lose the tennis shoes that her family provided her with. She also had baby dolls and took care of them very well, like the time mom and I were in the solarium and Mumma came in and gave one of her babies a “bath”. In the wastebasket. At the end of that afternoon, The Comm and Mumma had both left the room. I shut down my work laptop and packed things up. And then, on my way out of the solarium, I snagged Mumma’s baby from the wastebasket and a shoe that she had left behind. I deposited those items on her bed as I was walking out of the facility. Probably the most interesting end to a work day that I’ve ever had but who was this woman back in her day? At the least, someone who loved babies and loved taking care of them. And probably much more than that.

So, the gorgeous octogenarian women in the photooo did not have dementia. The Commander? Word search issues sometimes but boy oh boy if you (aka meeeee) didn’t quite understand whatever it was that she said the first time, she would sit back and think about her words and eventually *nail* me with whatever it was I missed the first time. I could look up the actual year that this pic was taken but I know that it was a Piedmont party after Grandroobly died and these grand old babes were still totally capable of getting down to the beach and walking on it unassisted. This particular party was interesting in a lot of ways including a water rescue but what I remember the most is that an area had been set up on the bank where the “old folks” could sit. The Comm and Radical Betty? No thank you! We love those folks who are sitting up on the bank and we will visit them but we will spend most of our time on the beach!

Oh yeah, difficult day? Just weird, niggly tech problems at work. Nothing worth writing about.

4 Responses to “Turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce and [insert mumble about some kind of veggies here]…”

  1. Paulette Says:

    One of my favorite photos of the Grande Dames of B.P. beach. Miss them. I often think of Betty on days like this with steadily falling snow and winds off of the lake. She loved winter.

  2. Sam Says:

    RB’s laugh was one for the ages. I remember hearing it over the particular, especial sounds of the word “girdle” by her own pronunciation. In our/her defense (ours because we joined her), there was snow on the ground (in my recollection, but it may merely have been cool, shoulder season outdoors), deep-ish, but not snow-effect deep, just standard winter accumulation that even without a small application of alcohol might make beach-people giddy and bring on paroxysms of laughter.

  3. Margaret Says:

    I love reading these memories of your mom (and RB); I bet they would laugh and appreciate them too. (although your mom didn’t enjoy the time in the rehab facility, which my MIL hated as well)

  4. Pooh Says:

    BFF, from long before people used text speak!