I called Mom around 11 a.m. She'd just come in from walking her dog. She walks the dog at least four times a day. She says she knows the cars by now, when they are coming from behind her. They all sound different, but she says, the same cars pass by at the same time everyday. Some brand new fancy ones and some clunkers that look like they are falling apart. I reminded her, we've driven both kinds and she laughs.
At first she seemed muddled. I always say the same thing. "Hi mom, this is Nancy, your daughter." Her response this morning was, "Well, it is nice to have you call me." Then five minutes later she asks, "Who is this?"
She keeps talking about an idea she has that she wants to tell Jim about and was going to when she talked to him a few days ago. In fact, I talked her a few minutes before he called her on Sunday and she was going to bring it up when he called. Today, I asked her about it. She thought for a second and then said she must have forgotten about it when she was on the phone with him. Then she asked me, what is was she was going to tell him. She was more foggy and less focused today.
It's been raining in WNY, too. Mom said it had stopped long enough for her to get her walk completed, but
the dampness is about as bad as the rain. She likes to walk and talked about when she was a school girl.
"We didn't have a car, so we have to walk to get anywhere. We had soccer after school and I loved playing soccer. I had to walk home from soccer, but I didn't mind. Then at noon hour they had basketball games and I had so much fun playing basketball. I still love to walk."
But she has to be careful when she walks. "They bring me my lunch everyday. Meals on Wheels, I think they call it. They serve the meals at the Masonic Temple, just down the street. I could go and eat there with other people, but I would probably fall down and get hurt, if I walked there. The sidewalk is broken and I am not walking that good, these days."
Mom says, she mostly sits outside and watches the same cars go by. When school is in session, the kids on the school buses wave to her as they pass by. She says the kids all know her. Then she remembered one time when she went to the big supermarket in Olean with Liz, a girl (I think she was talking about the cashier) said Hi Hazel and Liz couldn't believe she knew Mom. Tickled mom to be so well known.
Dennis is her right hand man. He runs errands and takes her to doctors' appointments. She says, he's been having trouble, but for a second, she couldn't remember what kind of trouble. Then she says, car trouble. She misses him and hopes everything is okay.
"That woman he lives with (her way of saying his wife) has a mother whose boyfriend brought Dennis over before when Dennis didn't have his car, and they took me to the doctor. He was a very nice man. He'll probably help Dennis out again, if he needs to take me some place."
There are the usual issues she brings. A couple I am not involved with, getting into or writing about.
She is worried about staying in the cold North this winter. Told me three times that the girls (Stephanie and Maia) invited her to stay with them. But she says she told them it wouldn't be good because while they were all at work or school, she would probably fall down on the sidewalk while walking her dog and not be able to get up. "They are your girls, aren't they? she said. "They are such wonderful girls. Always so nice to me. Took me to an Island and we saw - something. I can't remember what. Birds. And then they took me to a spaghetti house. I had such a wonderful time with them."
She's asked me (over and over) where I am living. I told her near Tampa, in a tiny place with barely enough room for ourselves.
She complains about how most of her children have moved away. And that some of their families live nearby, but never come to visit her. "I must've sown some bad seeds," she said. I reassured her she didn't, especially since I am one of those children who moved away.
She asked if I live near the girls. I said a few hours away and she thought that was close enough for occasional visits. She loves to talk about her visiting me in Massachusetts. "Isn't that the place with all of those big beautiful houses?"
I told her she always worked her butt off, cleaning. "Aw, I like to keep busy and that's what I like to do. I hoped it stayed clean until I came for another visit." That made me smile -- fat chance my house stayed clean, very long.
She remembered going to New Hampshire for one of the Ralston Purina conventions. They stayed in a beautiful resort, in the middle of summer. I remember she was dreamy for weeks after they came home. We agreed one of the many goods things that came from Dad working for Purina was those first rate conventions, because they would never take a vacation, especially so plush, on their own.
She takes the food bank program food because the pastor at the church next door where they distribute the food, said, everyone who lives at Portville Manor qualifies and should not pass it up. Mom keeps the foods she can eat and puts the rest in the community kitchen. "And boy, that food is gone before I can get back to my apartment. That's good, though. I would rather see it used, than wasted. The farmers' market and some others bring fresh vegetables to us. Some of the things I can eat, but I have to be careful. I have trouble digesting some vegetables. They don't bring tomatoes much. I would like tomatoes."
But she didn't like that they asked for her income and stuff when she filled out the papers for the program. I explained they have to do that to show people who deserve the food, are getting it. We talked for while about poor people and rich people. She says she hates it when someone says people get what they deserve.
"A lot of poor people don't deserve to be poor. It isn't their fault," she says. We agreed the bigger problem is rich people who could pay more income tax and still be rich, but instead they put their money in foreign banks and complain about the poor. She adds, "It isn't fair anymore."
She doesn't just sit outside. She puts puzzles together in the community area. She says, "The girl who runs it got into trouble for bringing alcohol. It is illegal or something to drink alcohol in the public area. People who live here can have it in their rooms. I think they have to sign a paper. I never paid attention to that because I don't do any of that."
Mom has blue days. She likes it when I call. She says she is remembering more things -- maybe only the good things. She brings up things, I would consider bad -- but I don't make any input on those things and, instead, get her on a new subject.
I am calling her again on Friday. Unlike the other day, she didn't say she'd write it down before forgetting. Maybe the rainy weather is getting to her. I am going to send her some photos -- just haven't gotten to Walgreens for printing them. Does anyone have something for me to ask her? Or any discussion on any of this?