A whomp on the head by a two-by-four

favoritetreeI am blessed on both sides of my family by longevity genes, so to speak. People tend to live into their late 80s, and some of them on into the 90s and I even have a great-aunt who lived to be, um, oh kee-reist, was it 101 or 103? I think it was 101. She was a wonderful but rather eccentric person and I might tell y’all about her 100th birthday party someday. I wasn’t there but those who were had an interesting time.

The downside of living a long, vibrant, active life is that, at least in our current society, it can be hard to keep up your lifestyle *and* your beloved home. So, you end up moving, temporarily or not, voluntarily or not, into some sort of assisted living facility. Probably without your automotive vee-hickle. The one that gave you the freedom to get out into the world and do your own shopping and banking and driving your grandchildren to Clyde’s Drive-In and maybe sometimes just joyfully driving around rubbernecking at whatever is out in the world.

Recently, a healthy, lucid nonagenarian aunt of mine has moved into a lovely facility right here on the Planet. She has been there for several months now and I am embarrassed to say that I haven’t visited her until today. Yeah, I work full-time. And I have a couple of octo-women up there in Yooperland. Er, The Comm will kill me if I don’t clarify that she is not in assisted living and is still a competent driver. Since I am at the top of the call list for The Comm but not for my aunt down here (The Comm’s big sis), it’s been easy to sort of put off the visiting and spend the weekends I’m at home doing chores and hiking with the GG and just kind of catching my breath. But still. Good niece? Not… Other nieces and nephews have been much more wonderful about helping with all of this.

Today, I *finally* picked up my aunt and took her out. I wasn’t sure what we’d do. I was envisioning grocery shopping? Why? Maybe because that’s what I spend half my life doing? I dunno. She can eat some meals at the facility and has food in her kitchen and older people get less interested in eating, etc., etc. She didn’t really want to shop. We were driving along and I thought, okay, I’ll drive her down to the scenic drive along the Huron River. It was snowing to beat the band and it was gorgeous and we rubbernecked at ducks and swams swans and talked about what it was like in the summer when the turtles and lily pads were out. She seemed to absolutely love getting out and seeing all that stuff. And I love to drive. Heck, I haven’t been a very good niece but I know lots of beautiful little roads around here and we’ll do that again.

P.S. There is a “tulip tree” (is that the name?) on my afternoon walk and I *think* it is budding? I think it is an early budding tree? I tried to take pics of the buds but they all turned out really fuzzy!!!!! So y’all get a tree in “my” little woods instead.

3 Responses to “A whomp on the head by a two-by-four”

  1. Dog Mom Says:

    I thought she made it to 104…

  2. Margaret Says:

    I’m sometimes not a very good daughter-in-law; I get wrapped up in my own activities and don’t call her as often as I should. But I DO nag my husband about doing so. Does that count?

  3. Kathy Farnell Says:

    I don’t know if your aunt has an option of going to a common room for food or if she does all of her own cooking. If she goes to a cafeteria, try meeting her for dinner on her turf. (Prearranged) Most homes will charge you a just few dollars for a tray, and you won’t have to cook. Also, the food may be as good as the home where Doug’s parents lived. You might find that you can eat both eat for $10.00 or so, have a great meal, and visit your aunt (and maybe a few of her new friends) at the same timeTake GG with you because he will make her laugh with his “lemon teeth”. If she usually does her own cooking, drop by (prearranged) with a pizza or some kind of carry-out and paper plates. It won’t take you much longer than going to a restaurant and your aunt will be so happy. Invite her to go to the store with you when you are going anyhow or when the weather gets nicer just drop by and walk around her home outside for a while. I’ll bet you will find some pretty flowers to photograph. Our lives have become so busy that sometimes we lose sight of what is important. The people in our lives are important. People need people. You can read that book later in the evening. Who wants to clean? Once a month or so would be nice.