family visits

silhouette-74876_1920My mother looks forward to calls, notes and visits, particularly from my brothers – I have three of them. She enjoys hearing what they are up to and what’s going on with her grandchildren – she has seven of them. Unfortunately, she doesn’t retain the information for very long and has difficulty remembering which grandchild goes with which son! But that’s another story.

I mentioned in another post (have I told you lately that I’m 90?) that one brother and sister-in-law came to my mother’s 90th birthday party. It was terrific to see them and we all had a good time. Another brother calls frequently and it’s always interesting to hear my mother’s interpretation of the call. Sometimes, follow-up text messages are in order!

My oldest brother and his wife have made a couple of trips to see us. They live across the country, so it is always great to have them come to visit. After weeks of Skype calls, the four of us were finally all in the same room. We hadn’t all been in the same room for quite some time.

On the first visit, we tried to pack in activities and it was great to get out of the apartment and do something different. I don’t have a car, so being able to zip around was a nice change. It was a little tiring for my mother, but she was enjoying her time out and was excited to see where we were going next. We talked and ate and laughed and enjoyed each other’s company.

On the second visit, during the extreme heat of July, we stayed in. In may ways, this was a more intimate visit. We talked. We went to dinner. We ate ice cream. This was nice, too. Staying put was relaxing. Mom held court and, without the distractions of other people and new things, she could focus on the conversation. Again, we enjoyed each other’s company.

Both visits, in their own way, were just what was needed at the time. It’s funny how it all worked out that way … we didn’t plan on the heat being so oppressive, but it gave us time to really talk and understand each other a little better.

That said, I think they mentioned trying a different season for the next visit!

the evolution of things


banner-1076214_1920In a prior posts (including staying on schedule, logging progress and challenging fears), I talked about putting together lists and organizing my mother’s time and space. It’s a process. Every time we fix one piece, there seems to be another that needs an adjustment.  These aren’t wholesale changes – just tweaking around the edges. Changing out one spreadsheet for another. Switching out furniture for something easier to use. Editing some instructions on how to use X, Y and Z to include more pictures. Simplifying … everything. Continue reading

transitions continue … my new job

questions-1922477_1920.jpgWhen my mother came to live with me, I had hoped that cutting my workload to 80% efforts would be adequate to accommodate her needs. My work included a long commute that made it impossible to return home quickly if my mother needed assistance. When it soon became obvious that the arrangement would not work, I explored other options. Fortunately, my then-employer made it possible for me to work from home one day a week and my former boss (from a decade ago) had a position open for the other four days. Thus, I was able to work from Baltimore. This was truly a blessing. Continue reading

counting the changes and making trade-offs

hourglass-1425727_1280This post will be something sort of a stream of consciousness, as this is how I am processing change these days.

Accepting change is not always easy. There are trade-offs, so even if we are moving toward something great … or at least better … the loss of what we know is a bit unsettling. What if my new gig doesn’t work out? What if I don’t like it? What if I didn’t think through all the ramifications of change?

In the past, changes in my life usually were initiated by me – I decided when to move or when to change jobs or how to spend my time. As I’ve gotten older, there have been significant changes and, more often than not, I’m on the receiving end of change. This seems counter-intuitive – I should be more in control, not less, right? (more…)

have I told you lately that I’m 90?

birthday-1453878_1280My mother celebrated her 90th birthday about 9 months ago. It was a terrific day! My brother and sister-in-law came down from upstate New York and several cousins and friends came. The joy of having a bar/restaurant downstairs is that it is easy to plan something. The bar regularly serves Sunday brunch, so that’s when we celebrated. The chef made two amazing cakes: a chocolate Pimlico cake and a carrot cake. Continue reading

where do we start?

fractal-2428531_1280So, fall became winter, which became spring, which became summer! I can say with some confidence that I’m back.

A lot has happened since I last “really” posted, so I’ll spend the next few posts bringing everyone up-to-date on the three of us.

First, we are all doing well and are enjoying life. Oscar is feasting on treats, perching in his window seat and lounging on my new desk. Mom is knitting up a storm using pretty sparkly yarn and doing jigsaw puzzles. I’m in resting mode after a very busy few months … more on that later.

Second, I decided to update the blog with a different look – I hope you like it. If you notice anything missing, please let me know. I tried to go back through and read everything (and resisted the temptation to edit) but may have missed something. It seemed like a good time to make a change!

Third, thanks to everyone following or reading the blog and to anyone who has sent in comments. I really appreciate hearing from people.

Now,  here we go ….