Saturday, November 04, 2006

When I'm 94

The Beatles had a great tune called, "When I'm 64," to which I can't remember all the lyrics, mostly because the year it came out, I was occupied with wedding preparations, and 64 seemed like the back side of the moon. Now that it's imminent, well....

Dear old Dad has been with us for two weeks now, and this morning was about typical: DH is making coffee and we're chatting quietly when suddenly we hear a roar: "I NEED A SHOWER!" This is supposed to be the signal for DH to drop everything and going rushing in to help his father, not the easiest thing in the world when you are making brewed coffee and in the middle of counting out the appropriate number of scoops. "JUST A MINUTE," yells back DH. (We have to yell because dear old is deaf, and won't wear a hearing aid.) "HELP ME WITH THE SHOWER!" "IN A MINUTE!" Coffee counted out, DH runs to the bathroom to help dear old into the shower, explain to him -- yet again -- how to turn on the hot and cold water, and where the grab bar is.

Then breakfast. He shuffles out, clean and spruce, sits down, and starts worrying about mail that came for him yesterday. Now, at the same time, he also wants his juice, his oatmeal, his bread and peanut butter, and his coffee, in that order -- but he wants us to see to his bills, too. Right now. The Boss (me) steps in: "JIM IS MAKING BREAKFAST. WE WILL WORRY ABOUT BILLS AFTER BREAKFAST." "OK," he mutters, and subsides.

We are hoping to take him with us later today while we shop for a new sofa. My brother has offered to take our old sofa for his son, newly graduated from college and in need of "real" furniture, and we had decided, while I was convalescing, to get a new sofa; dear old's arrival put a crimp in those plans, but since my brother is coming to collect our sofa on Thursday or Friday, we kind of need something to put in its place. So shopping with dear old in tow is something of a necessity, since we both need to be comfortable with this thing.

We are also hoping to hold off putting dear old into assisted living till sometime after Christmas. It doesn't seem fair to move him up here and toss him into a home just before the holidays. But if we ever doubted it before, today's episode has made it crystal clear that he really needs assisted living; I don't have the physical strength to deal with his frailties, and DH can't be home all the time.

And meanwhile, we are hoping that we can survive dear old's arrival into our household. He really is as demanding as a three-year-old, and as needy as a three-year-old, but without the resources to entertain himself for any length of time. Yesterday he was complaining to DH that he needs to get out more often. (He was upset that I wouldn't take him grocery shopping with me.) But when they went for a walk, 2/10 of a mile down to the post office, DH found that he had to hold the old man up on the way back. I can picture me struggling with groceries, a cart, and holding up at 94-year-old grown man who's taller than me.

Anyway, assuming we survive this Presence in our household -- not all caregivers do -- we have also begun to take steps towards getting long-term care insurance. I hope never to need it; but if I do, I don't want to do this to my children. Neither, bless him, does DH.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Things I've Done...

...are in bold face type. Swiped this from Philippa. I hate swiping stuff, but when it's this good, how can I resist?

What have you done? Or not, as the case may be?
01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain (if you count the gondola car to the top of the Zugspitze....)
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula.
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you’ and meant it!
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s nappy
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Drunk champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse.
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Scored a winning goal
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Visited all 5 continents
40. Taken care of someone who was drunk
41. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
42. Watched wild whales
43. Stolen a sign
44. Backpacked 4
5. Taken a road-trip
46. Gone rock climbing
48. Midnight walk on the beach
49. Gone sky diving
50. Taken a train through Europe
51. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
52. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table, and had a meal with them
53. Milked a cow
54. Alphabetized your CDs
55. Sung karaoke
56. Lounged around in bed all day
57. Gone scuba diving
58. Kissed in the rain
59. Gone to a drive-in theatre
60. Started a business
61. Taken a martial arts class
62. Been in a movie (not to my knowledge, but having worked in NYC, it's possible I was in one a hundred years ago without knowing it....)
63. Crashed a party
64. Gone without food for 5 days
65. Gotten a tattoo
66. Got flowers for no reason
67. Performed on stage
68. Been to Las Vegas
69. Recorded music
70. Eaten shark
71. Buried one/both of your parents.
72. Been on a cruise ship
73. Spoken more than one language fluently
74. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
75. Walked a famous bridge
76. Had plastic surgery
77. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
78. Wrote articles for a large publication.
77. Tried to lose weight seriously
79. Piloted an airplane
80. Petted a stingray.
81. Broken someone’s heart
82. Broken a bone
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Parasailed
86. Skipped all your school reunions (not, I hasten to add, by choice -- they all took place around family events)
87. Shaved your head
88. Caused a car accident
89. Pretended to be “sick” (who's pretending? I call it "sick and tired leave")
90. Swam in the Pacific Ocean
91. Saved someone’s life.
92. Fainted
93. Been in the room while someone is giving birth
94. Hitchhiked
95. Adopted a child
96. Been caught daydreaming
97. Been to the Painted Desert
98. Called off a wedding engagement
99. Donated your blood
100. Become a follower of Jesus Christ