Category: Life lessons

Grumble and then move on

Following an aggravation, I often think, “Maybe I can get a blog post out of this.” Last week’s aggravations could have supplied more than one post. “Glad you weren’t planning to go to Yellowstone this year,” my sister texted after the park flooded. Guess I’d forgotten to tell her. “I was,” I answered. “Not just... Read more »

First swimming lessons at 73

One in five Americans say they can’t swim, according to the Red Cross. The next level up (barely swim?) is where I was. I had never had lessons but taught myself to float, tread water, backstroke, and manage a couple of weak freestyle strokes. For some reason, it’s embarrassing to not swim, almost up there... Read more »

The downside of decorating comparisons

Do you ever wander around your home and think that it could use more pizzazz? Browsing through an Apartment Therapy book recently, I thought about why my condo seems uninspired in comparison with the places in the photographs.  To begin with, the apartments and houses have high ceilings, architectural details like molding and wainscoting, gleaming... Read more »

Getting beyond guilt about parent in nursing home

Until about a year ago, I thought the worst thing that could happen to a family member of a dementia patient was not being recognized. Now, I wouldn’t mind if my mother didn’t recognize me if it meant she is no longer thinking at all. Mom knows enough to not want to be where she... Read more »

When friends disagree about safe behavior

Among everything to lament about COVID-19, what’s bothering me now is its impact on friendships. Not friendships that became dormant, but frIendships where we don’t agree about safe behavior. I feel defensive when very vigilant people say that it’s foolish for Illinois to ease up on restrictions. Some of those people are my friends. It... Read more »

Hard to give it away

Do you think it’s hard to declutter? Wait until you try to find places to take unwanted china and furniture. The apartment from which my mother moved had a sleeper sofa, a wing chair, matching end and coffee tables, a pullout dining table, a recliner, a china cabinet, a dinette table and four chairs, and... Read more »

Observing rapid aging, and it's not pretty

The last few months have been a scary vision of the ravages of aging. Until my mother declined precipitously after a fall in August, I didn’t perceive her as feeble and infirm. Other than using a walker, she did not seem 94. She was always fastidiously groomed, wore a wig, and was known as a... Read more »

Mom’s upcoming move to a nursing home

Is there anything an elderly person dreads more than going into a nursing home? Is there anything that makes a son or a daughter feel worse than placing an elderly parent in a nursing home? My mother will be moved into nursing care at Our Lady of Angels in Joliet next week. She needs more... Read more »

Thoughts of the season

Note: I had already composed this post when we received word that my mother’s needs are greater than her assisted living home can handle, so she must move to a nursing home. My sister and brother are negotiating with the assisted living home to let her stay through Christmas so that we can observe Christmas... Read more »

Neighborliness in a high-rise

Recently I got on my building’s elevator with a man who pushed 9. I remarked that we live on the same floor and asked when he’d moved in. He’s been here more than two years! Why had we never met before — at the elevator, the trash room, the mailboxes? In my former 13-unit building,... Read more »