I got an email from Ashleigh Brilliant (yes, that really is his name -- I'm on his mailing list) about the new book he is working on. It's his 10th. I think I have most of his previous books, which are filled with his famous "potshots," which now appear regularly in the Santa Barbara newspaper and perhaps elsewhere. You can buy them as postcards, though lately I have only found the postcards in Santa Barbara.
There are wonderful potshots that I have loved over the years. This new one spoke to me though, because I understand it completely, and I suspect any writer does. After I see a show, I am often told "I can't wait to read your review" and my response is always "me too!" because most often I don't know what I really think of a production until I sit down and start writing. Now there was no question about that awful show I saw last week, but often as I start to write, more coherent thoughts begin to form and I really often don't know what I think of a show until I've finished the review.
The same holds true for a journal entry. I am writing this at 5;30 a.m., having been mentally working it over since 2:30, when I woke up. Not that there is anything particularly interesting or complicated to write about. Walt mentioned that he had received a photo from Jeri of a Dunkin Donuts sign saying the shop would be closed today because of the weather and would open tomorrow and I thought that would be interesting to include. Sometimes she sends things to just him, or to just me, or to both of us. I had hoped she sent the sign to both of us, but she didn't and it's too early to wake Walt and ask him to email it to me, so I won't include it....but it shows how much snow is expected in Boston today.
Mostly I wanted to talk about my most common topic--my mother. Yesterday was going to be terribly complicated. Her doctor had scheduled her for an eye appointment to check her diabetic retinopathy at 1:50 in Davis and for a bone density exam in Vacaville, 20 miles away, at 3:30. I knew timing was going to be tight and my mother doesn't do "tight" these days.
I have noticed she is slowing down a lot. Imagine. Slowing down at 98. She also is fearful of falling whenever she walks, which is understandable. She can't remember her many falls, but some part of her brain must have registered them.
When I went to get her jacket the other day, I noticed that the big name "MARGE" on the door (her roommate's daughter put that on for her, prompting Jeri to go out and get big letters to add "MILDRED" on the door) was gone. Marge has been such a strange person. She no longer has concept of personal space and would often walk into my mother's apartment and stand there talking. In the nearly year my mother has been at Atria, I have not understood one thing Marge has said. I got to where I always closed and locked the door when I went to visit.
She also tends to take things. Jeri had to fight her not to take a clock of my mother's and I know she took her wrist watch because she wears it and another watch all the time. But I don't worry about it and don't make a fuss since the watch doesn't work and my mother can't tell time any more anyway. I ran into Marge's daughter once with a fancy bracelet in her hand. She said "my mother has been 'shopping' again and I have to find out who this belongs to."
But Marge's name is gone now and when I asked an aide, she said that Marge is gone too. She moved to a facility closer to her family. For now, Marge's apartment is empty, but I'm sure it will be filled soon. It would be nice if it were someone my mother could relate to more.
(Now see? In all my 2 a.m.-5 a.m. musings, I never once thought of Marge and here I am writing about her!)
Anyway, Walt came with me to the doctors' appointments because I almost have to have a second person when we go to the Vacaville Kaiser. It's such a big facility and parking close to the door is always a problem. I can let my mother out because she'll forget that I'm parking the car and will panic. I can't park the car far from the door because it's too far for her to walk and I always get a wheelchair to make it easier to zip around the building.
We went first to her eye appointment, which was thorough and included dilating her pupils, writing a prescription for new lenses, and choosing frames for the lenses. It all took so long that it was really too late to think about going to Vacaville, for which I was happy. She's 98. Does she really need a bone density exam?
I don't know that she understands a single thing that happened yesterday. The poor doctor when doing her eye exam and doing that "which is better 1 or 2, 3 or 4" business had to explain to her every single time that she was supposed to look through both lens 1 and 2 and decide which one made the eye chart look clearer. It extended the exam significantly and she has no clue that she is about to get a new pair of glasses. I would have skipped that entirely, since she doesn't read any more anyway but apparently her insurance covers her for new glasses so I decided it would be good to get a pair, which gives her a spare when she misplaces the ones she wears all the time.
I was happy to return her to Atria, which finally seems like "home" to her, I think. I notice she is more often in the "living room" with the other residents and I have found her several times walking around the halls, which she never did before. The last time I visited her, her "boyfriend" walked by as we were sitting in the entry hall and she was more interested in leaning over to see where he had gone than in talking to me, so I finally just left and she went off, presumably in search of him.
And now it's 6 a.m. so I guess I'll go off and see if we are at war with anybody yet, or if anybody else has left the White House for greener pastures. It's always a depressing voyage of discovery every time I turn on the news.
Later - I was right. Rex Tillerson is out. Another day, another departure.