Books Read in 2007
My Favorite Video Blogs
(for others, see Links page)
Britain's Got Talent - Dominic
(more from Britain's Got Talent)
Britain's Got Talent
(you MUST watch this!)
O Mio Babbino Caro
Women in Art
Family Stories Vlog
That's My Answer
Have you answered
TIME GOES BY SO SLOWLY
3 July 2007
The agapantha was lush and blindingly purple. It stretched as far as the eye could see in every direction, filling the grounds in a sea of color.
Walt's mother lives in a beautiful place, Maravilla, a "senior resource group retirement community" (now isn't that a great euphemism?) here in Santa Barbara.
The "elegance" of this place is evident the moment you walk through the door into the waiting area.
When she moved here a few years back, it was into the independent living facility but then she began having problems and it didn't take long before she was moved to "assisted living." She is now blind, so she can't appreciate the surroundings or the beautiful blooming agapantha, or the little birds that flit in and out of the trees just off her patio.
She also hasn't lived here long enough to have made friends who will drop around to visit. And since she began having her back problems, she is in a wheelchair and attached to oxygen 24/7, so she is dependent on her caregivers (or someone in the family) to take her out of her room, so there is not much chance of forming any sort of a social network outside of the rotating caregivers.
Walt and I had breakfast "at home" today and then went and spent the day with his mother, who is still recuperating from her big day at the picnic yesterday.
I discovered two things, spending most of the day at Maravilla: (1) it is much more pleasant than that convalescent hospital my mother was in! (of course, since it's really a series of apartment complexes and nobody is calling out that she has to poop now! all night long), and (2) as the old song says, "time goes by so slowly."
When you are pretty much confined to chair, toilet and bed, there isn't a lot to do and most of it needs to be done with a caregiver who drops around at regular intervals, but not necessarily when you want him or her.
No wonder older people sleep so much. What else are they going to do?
We got her reminiscing about her travels. She has traveled extensively and has seen most of the world. She has a world map on the wall with dozens of red-headed pins stuck in the places she has visited and a bookcase filled with photos and diaries of her trip.
"I took all those pictures and wrote all those travel diaries so I could remember it all in my old age...and now I'm blind and can't see any of them," she said, wryly when we began talking to her about her trips.
But I had brought my video camera with me and so I made a video of her talking about some of her travels, mostly about the trip she took, at age 72, following the old Silk Road, riding the Orient Express, and traveling by bus through parts of China which had never seen white people before.
I don't know how much I actually got on video, but I did record some and I'm glad that I did. I hope that in subsequent trips I can do more recording. Her brain is sharp as a tack, for someone who is 93 and if I'm going to make more video, I'd better be quick about it.
I recorded her on cassette tape many years ago, talking about growing up in Washington, DC in the shadow of the McLean family. I transcribed those notes and had the story put into a hardback book for each of her children that Christmas.
That was in the pre-video days and now that I have video available to me, I will have to see how much of her memories I can get on video.
If nothing else, it passes those very long hours between caregiver visits!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2652