Last summer while on a camping trip, I heated up some water, filled an old fashioned rubber “hot water bottle” and put it in Miriam’s bed a while before we went to bed. This part of the country gets cool to cold at night, even after a very hot day, and Miriam has perennially cold feet.
“How thoughtful of you,” she purred.
Actually, I thought (and said out loud): “No this is an act of pure selfishness!”
I went on to explain that the hot water bottle would keep her cold feet off my legs when we went to bed! That is the story I told her, but of course I was looking after her.
So I tease my wonderful daughters who say they are going to help me through the winter by coming to visit periodically. It is wonderful for them to be so considerate of dear old dad (and mom), but I can tease them too.
I could say they want to keep me going and keep me healthy because that is easier than taking care of their mother without me, and while there might be a point there, in truth they are good kids looking after their parents.
Today is the birthday of our oldest grandson: David.
Today is the birthday of his grandmother, who is also my wife Miriam!
Said wife had a brother, who is gone now, whose birthday is today too.
And then there is Andy, Miriam's oldest brother's grandson, who was born the very same day as our grandson David.
Miriam will tell you without very much encouraging, that grandson David was the best birthday present she ever received. Then, I chime in (with a bit of good natured teasing): "How about the new car I bought you one year?"
"That was the 2nd best," she will say.
So, happy birthday to all of you. Our lives have been so blessed by each of you.
I never met this man who seems to have died very young. This plaque is mounted besides a trail near a campground I like to visit. Obviously he was well thought of. I am old fashioned I guess, but I have great admiration for the employees of the Forest Service. I would have liked this man I am sure.
An author I admire said that Vermont had three seasons: summer, winter and mud.
Here in the land of the Ides we are warming up a bit, which means that the frozen ground becomes mud. Good slimy mud.
Tomorrow we were going to bring the trailer around from the back of our property. We own two triangles with a stream down the middle. In order to walk to the back of our property I use a foot bridge I built decades ago. To take a vehicle to that side requires driving 5 or 6 blocks.
But tomorrow we will have mud on the back road. In our valley, we irrigate with water from the high mountains that goes into man made reservoirs before being sent by miles and miles of canals and ditches. The road on the back of my place is along one of those canals. I own the property, the county says, but the ditch company maintains it or not.
One year I got my pickup stuck in the mud and I just left it there for a week or two. No one could get by or steal it.
They are an interesting bunch. Productive good people. But individuals at the same time.
Her younger brother (her three older brothers had a different mother) comes over for a visit each month.
He, like his father, like to emphasize how dumb he is. Well, he is not. He had some learning issues in school, but that does not make him dumb.
Ask him about a baseball player and his memory is incredible. Miriam remembers the old days quite well, but she is coming up with details I have not heard before, and I have known her about 58 years!
She is sure that she and her paternal grandmother share a birthdate. I don’t remember that being part of the family myth. She is sure that her mother “was five feet tall and weighed a hundred pounds.”
Well, her mom was not tall, but 5 2 or 3 is closer to what the rest of us remember and probably 120 anyway.
But her younger brother came to visit today. He brought two pair of men’s denim pants that were faded enough that he won’t wear them. While it is possible for her to wear them, I really don’t like her to.
He brought a “hoodie” that he was tied of. I REALLY don’t like them very much (if one is working or playing outside then it is different).
So I put the bag where daughter one can find it and “make it go away.”
She will take a car load of that kind of thing when she leaves here.
This blog began as a spot to vent about my life with Miriam and her time with Alzheimer's disease.
She was diagnosed in '99 and her decline has been quite slow. In fact some of our best years of our long marriage have been these recent years.
Alzherimer's, at least her version is a disease of waiting. One shoe drops and it can be a very long time before the other one drops.
So life goes on.
At the beginning of this blog I told the story of our courtship and marriage, about out family and our personal journey with this disease. The part that scares the most is the anticipation as the disease slowly progresses.
So, I will touch on that subject from time to time, but the entries will tend toward comments on life. I'll leave politics and religion for others to worry about, not that I don't have strong opinions!
I have my hands full just looking after my wonderful Miriam.
We met when we were 6, began dating at 15 and have been together since. We will have our 56th anniversary this June.
We have four wonderful daughters. Smart, independent, awesome. They have given us 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. None of them are little any more. The oldest is 28 and married, the youngest is 14.
Until this last fall we lived in a hosue I designed and built in the '70's and it is pretty weird and wild, but very comfortable. Last summer the girls came to the conclusion that I really did need help dealing with Miriam. Now we live on a couple acres with daughter 1.
Life has been good. There is not much I would do different even if I could. We are rich beyond belief but chronically short of cash!
And, unless stated otherwise all the photographs are mine.