It was a pleasant surprise to see Sandy when I arrived. This was supposed to be her "off" week, but now she'll have two weeks in a row when she is off. We commiserated on Trump again, and additional things that we have realized about the upcoming administration. But we will "push through," as a teacher on TV said this morning, because we have no other choice.
The first customer was a short, older man with white hair and beard and a big backpack. He bought a copy of "Siddhartha" and asked about when he could bring books in for donation. He was sad to hear we are not accepting books any more (though at the end of the day, Peter told me that he thinks they're going to start taking books again soon, so people will be happy to hear that).
Train guy came in with 5-10 minutes to browse, a long time for him. But with all that time he didn't find anything that he wanted and said he "came up empty" this week.
A woman so nondescript I couldn't find anything to say about her bought 4 bargain books.
The next woman was more noticeable in her skin tight jeans, grey sweater and boots. She had horn-rimmed glasses and a backpack, but even though she was more "noticeable" she didn't buy anything.
An older woman who has been in before came in with a young companion who was obviously there to help carry books. She bought 2 biographies (one the biography of Lady Randolph Churchill) and a bargain book. She was probably younger than my mother, but she reminded me of her, very determined to do all she could for herself, with her companion only there when she needed help.
A young woman with shoulder length very curly hair bought a book on the Japanese method of "Tidying up." We laughed about the likelihood that either of us would actually do that.
The Antiquarian was in and out within 5 minutes (he's always in such a rush!) but was there long enough to buy a little book "The Life of Samuel Johnson."
A jock-type lumbered in wearing jeans, a white t-shirt and an unbuttoned red plaid shirt over it. He walked in that bow-legged way cowboys do when they have just gotten off a horse. Surprisingly, he searched cookbooks but didn't buy anything.
A middle aged man was looking for Outlander book for his wife. He specifically wanted "Dragonfly in Amber" (book 2) but we have no Diana Gabaldon books at present.
A tall man was looking for a book by someone named "Graham," but couldn't remember anything else. He wandered around for so long and was so interested in the tally sheet on which we record each sale that I had to wonder if maybe he was doing reconnaissance for Friends of the Public Library, which was going to vote last night on whether they wanted to take over the store or not.
A man with a DVR box under his arm started to walk past the store and then, kind of like an afterthought came in, looked around for awhile, but then left. As he left, he confirmed that we would be closing at the end of January.
A woman came in with a cell phone held to her ear, walked around continuing to hold the phone to her ear, though she never spoke. She had a shoulder bag over one shoulder and a cup of something in her hand. She was very interested in the sci fi and fantasy section, but didn't buy anything.
The next guy was a study in black, from his skinny jeans and black boots to his curly black hair to his black rimmed glasses, to the black skateboard he held under his arm. He bought a book and I goofed up his change., shortchanging him by $5.
A short, swarthy man checked our history section for a long time. He, too, was all dressed in black except for his bright red sneakers. He ultimately bought two math books.
An older woman in a red Santa hat, trimmed in a leopard skin print, wearing hot pink sparkly sneakers. She brought in a huge armload of bargain books. She noticed the elephant t-shirt I was wearing and said she would bring me an elephant charm she has at home.
Walt picked me up and we came home to watch Jeopardy. I started cooking some Indian chicken dish and was about 5 minutes from plating it when I had a call from Atria. There was another crisis. It was the same "where am I? who am I? what am I supposed to be doing?" angst, but a bad one again.
I tried to calm her down over the phone, but the aid didn't feel that she would go to sleep and that I should come. I told Walt how to do the last few minutes of cooking his dinner and I went off to Atria.
When I went in, she was sitting in a chair, clutching her purse and with the most terrified look on her face. She didn't know who I was. I told the aid I would get her into bed and let her go.
I took my mother to the couch and held onto her and just kept talking. Over the next hour, I did get her somewhat calmed down, though she was terrified that I was going to leave her alone all night. What would she do if she woke up in the middle of the night and I wasn't there?
We talked about that over and over and over again and I did finally manage to get her into her bedroom and into pajamas (with PANTS!). I was going to show her the help button, but of course I can't find it, but it doesn't really matter because she wouldn't remember anyway, specially not in the dark.
I promised I'd be there early in the morning, so I'm going over at 9, which may be 3 hours before she wakes up, but at least I'll be there if she's terrified when she wakes up. At least I always have a book to read while waiting for her to come to.
I'm also going to see if I can tour the memory unit to see whether this might be a better option for her now that these anxiety attacks seem to be coming more often.
Ned, who spent 2 hours with her yesterday, and who has never been one to play the politically correct game, says that the best thing for her would be to die. "It's time for Grandma to die," he tells me. It's the sort of thing I probably would never say but he's really right. She's not happy. She is afraid every waking moment and is living her own personal Hell. All I can think of is how much peace she would have if she could just go to sleep and not wake up (I can't even say "she should die.")
But for now it's another day, another adventure at the Home.