IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2006
"Lizzie and Dancer"
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HOW DO THEY DO IT?
11 January 2007
The economy of California is such that it is extremely expensive to live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Rents in San Francisco itself are among the highest, if not the highest in the country.
People moving to California with the idea of working in San Francisco begin searching farther and farther from their place of work if they want affordable housing, especially if they have a family to consider.
One of our foreign students lives in Patterson, which is in the central valley and he works in the Silicon Valley area, over on the coast. He has a commute of about 3 hours each way. When we last spoke with him, he was doing this every day. He's not the only one.
There are periodic reports on local news stations about people who travel up to 5 hours each way to get to work every day, in order to live in areas which are affordable.
How do they do it????
Today was only my fourth day of commuting, not 3 hours each way but 1.5 hour each way and I'm already exhausted. I love being there with my mother, I love being able to fetch and carry for her but I just dread getting into the car at the end of the day and facing the drive home again.
I could, of course, just stay down there, but there are things to do here and I'm going to move down there when she comes home, so I'd rather reserve that "staying down there" for when she is home and I can be of more practical help.
This morning I stopped by the house and called her to see what she needed. I picked up a bunch of things and drove over to the convalescent hospital. I had just missed my cousin Denise, who is a real Force to Be Contended With. She had apparently burst into the room and instantly transformed it into a room.
No longer the sterile look of yesterday. Now she has her own TV (which Denise brought), a bed tray with her name and hearts on it, she has a brightly colored bedspread, her bulletin board has been decorated, she gave her a pedicure. Denise just has this wonderful talent for knowing what is needed and just doing it, another talent I lack.
When I arrived, my mother was fully dressed, sitting up in her wheelchair, on the telephone, doing some business at the bedside table.
If it weren't for the 10 lb leg propped up on pillows and the fact that I almost never see my mother without make-up, you would hardly know she wasn't in her own living room.
I printed out and brought her a set of photos from The Day of the Spirometer. She says she has no memory of that day and can barely even remember Ned being there, much less all the hilarity that we shared.
We sat and chatted for a long time, her friend Jeff, with whom she used to work at Hospice of Marin, came and I finally got to meet him. And then Elaine, her roommate was admitted. Another older woman with a broken leg, so I hope they will have some camaraderie, though Elaine is hard of hearing, so conversation might be difficult.
My mother is still more worried about everyone else. She got very tired, but didn't want to call for help in getting into bed because the nurse's aid had been "rushing around all day" and she didn't want to bother her. Likewise, she didn't "stay on top" of the pain in her leg by calling for pain medication until it really started hurting because she didn't want to bother anybody.
So when I finally left, so I could try to avoid rush hour traffic, she was still in the wheelchair, very tired, and in pain because she had finally asked for a pain pill, but it hadn't arrived yet.
I had planned to go back to the house to get some stuff done, feed the birds, and pick up the mail, but I really was tired, so I just came on home.
There is good news on the convalescing front. She may be able to come home in just a few days if they can work out a logical care regimen for her. The orthopedist said he could see that she didn't want to be there at the convalescent home.
She has had so many people volunteer to help care for her that we may be able to have a rotating list of people, interspersed with home care nurses when there isn't someone to cover.
Things are rolling along. The length of it all is just settling in--on my mother, who is already ready to be running around again and very frustrated with this forced relaxation, and on me, not tired of being around my mother and helping, but very tired of the drive...even in my mother's nice Lexus I'm now driving!
I was so tired when I got home that I didn't have dinner and
it was 3 hrs before I turned on the computer. Now that's tired!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Every time I feel concern about the aggressiveness of the puppies,
This is entry #2477