Mom and D both joined me today for a Tuesday with Terry and we had a nice time just talking about stuff. During the conversation Mom mentioned again how exciting it was, on her way to McD’s with me two weeks ago, to see the new fine arts center and administration building nearing completion on the school district’s combined middle/high school campus. Hmm, what else is new in town? It dawned on me that it might be fun on our way home to drive by some of the new scenery in the neighborhood because she hadn’t really been out of her assisted living apartment much since moving in nearly eight months ago.
Mom was quite pleased to see the newly landscaped corner, complete with pond and waterfalls which mark the main intersection entering our township from the east, and the temporarily grassed-in lot with stately old trees marking the secondary entrance off the highway, formerly occupied by a very dated brick church building, an early school building, and about five homes which had seen much better days. Not worthy of historic building designation and having outlived their original function, these buildings had been more detracting than pleasing to the folks entering our little suburb, so the township board saw fit to spruce things up a bit for visitors and residents alike.
As we drove on we described to Mom all the changes near the mall where she and Dad used to hang out with “the Group” each day; she was surprised to hear about the many new shops and restaurants and is looking forward to another “drive by” excursion with her family to appreciate the changes.
Most of us don’t like change much, and yet we find it fun to see new things happening around us. Mom’s a good case in point; it was hard to make the move to assisted living, but she still wants to know what’s changing in the community. That need to appreciate our surroundings stays with us over the years and, when we find ourselves losing our mobility and becoming house-bound, the boredom associated with our condition leaves us depressed and feeling stuck in time, living the same day over and over again. It’s hard to listen to Mom talk about her situation when we’re visiting her. It’s much more fun to hear the excitement in her voice and see the smile on her face when she gets out and experiences the change that continues in her surroundings.
The things we take for granted are the same things Mom still wants to see and experience on whatever level her health and mobility permit. And today’s lesson on care giving and assisted living? Same as last week folks, preserve desirable routines as often as possible, and follow the lead of Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin. Go on an occasional ‘explore’ just to see what’s changing out there.
Exploring from a fresh perspective…
PS: I spun a few more yards of yarn this week, and even got a lesson in the art of using a spinning wheel. Then a pleasant lunch stop next door to the yarn shop and voila, another fun day of grinning and spinning. Hey, could be a whole new career, you know, if this consulting thing doesn’t pan out.