Thursday, January 31, 2019

Singing in the Retirement Center

I'm writing in the library of my mom and dad's retirement center.  I have a view of the fireplace that burns non-stop--the benefits of a gas-powered fireplace!  The coffee machine isn't far away.  There's no wi-fi in the guest rooms, but I'm writing in a much cozier spot.

I'm having a great visit.  It's an interesting change of perspective.   It is sobering to realize how easy it is to tip into poor health--yesterday I went with Mom and Dad's singing group to the Memory Care Unit, where most of the residents have some form of dementia, which I assume is permanent. It was somewhat distressing, although everything was orderly. I was probably more distressed than the residents. They tapped their fingers and nodded their heads and perhaps wondered why we were singing "Sleigh Ride" along with patriotic songs. Or perhaps they're not trying to make sense of the world anymore.

We've eaten several meals at the dining center.  So far, my favorite has been a Buddha bowl with a beautiful piece of salmon. The rest of the bowl was brown rice, raw baby spinach, edamame, cherry tomatoes, and shredded carrots--really delicious, considering how simple it was.

My mom and I went shopping, and I heard the words I never thought I would hear:  "Those jeans are too big for you.  Let me get you the next smaller size."

Lest you get the wrong idea, I'm still not wearing jeans in the single digit size.  I still need pants that come from the Women's section of the store.  But yesterday, I found several pairs that fit, which has almost never happened to me when I shop.

In fact, we almost didn't go shopping yesterday--I figured there would be no point, since all the clothes on sale would be winter clothes, which aren't of much use to me in South Florida.

Instead, I found some "boyfriend jeans."  The saleswoman explained that they're like your boyfriend's pants, much bigger through the hips.  Really?  Where have these boyfriends been?  I have always been the bigger one, although it's been decades since I've had a boyfriend and not a spouse.

I'm not proud--when I find pants that fit, I buy them, regardless of what they're called.  Call them fat lady jeans, and I'm still on board.  Given how seldom I find pants that fit, I don't pass up on them.

Even better, they were on a super sale.  Once they cost $89.99, which I would not pay for jeans, unless they vacuumed the house on their own.  Yesterday I got them for $19.99.  Hurrah.

I've been enjoying having relaxed time with my mom and dad--what a treat.  I've also had time to read.  I'm reading my dad's copy of Jon Meacham's The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels.  If you need to feel hopeful about the future in this troubling political time, this book is for you.  

Here's a quote from the book to inspire you this Thursday; I admire both the sentiment and the imagery:  "If we expect the trumpets of a given era to sound unwavering notes, we will be disappointed, for the past tells us that politics in an uneven symphony” (p. 103).

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