January 15, 2007

It was a dreary drive but we are glad to be home

We got a late start and the trip up to Scranton seemed to take forever. I would guess the rain and fog didn’t help. At one point it got dark so fast I had to confirm with Mini Red for fear something was wrong with my tired eyes.

We arrived and Aunt Dot seemed happy to see us. She looks so good and I couldn’t have asked for more other than her dancing down the hallway. She is living in assisted living and it’s the building next to where she lived prior to the stroke. Seems I’m the only one she complains to but she hates it there and refuses to settle in. So much so that she doesn’t want to even use the dressers.

Her former living arrangements were like a dorm. No A/C and they all share a dorm like bathroom. Back in August when I first saw the new assisted living facility I could help but hope she would want to move there soon just for peace of mind and the fact that she would soon be 94. Her age alone should have been reason enough. Her new digs give her a bedroom and a living area as well as her own huge bathroom. Not-to-mention the balcony she shares with her neighbor.

The nurses are some wonderful people. As I watched them I could help but just feel like a heel of a person because of how much good they do for these women they tend to. They bring out these amazing smiles in my Aunt that remind me a baby’s smile.

Quite a few of her friends stopped by to greet us but the best was when they were all at dinner. Mini Red and I stayed in my Aunt’s room and ate the sandwiches we brought. One of the Sister’s was worried and came by to bring us napkins and check on us. She was tickled by Mini Red and loved our hair.

Sister: “I used to be a red head too!”
Red: “Oh I can tell.”
Sister: “I always wanted to have black hair.”
Red: “Me too!”
Sister: “Plus I wanted to be a boy so they would call me Peter.”
Red: “Oh.”
Yeah… I was stumped at that last comment. She excused herself and went back to her dinner. I felt bad for laughing about it (to myself) and thought maybe she just loved the Apostle Peter. Yeah the Apostle! Ok, whatever way you look at it that was a funny comment and her face was priceless. These women are just so cute and innocent.

After Aunt Dot returned from dinner I gathered details of what she wanted me to get from her previous room (that she refuses to give up). We also planned out Sunday and what time we would arrive so Mini Red and I could take her down for church rather than just watching it on the TV.

It wasn’t long before Mini Red and I headed to the hotel, which is where I decided that I am a SNOB. This place scared me a bit. They didn’t even ask me for ID when we checked in but at least the dude was watching “The Wedding Date”, which for some reason this put me at ease. We found our room and Mini Red set down her stuff and jumped on the bed. I yelled “Stop!” I just didn’t want her touching the bed spread cause I’ve heard some stories that just oogie me out. This is when I realized I was a snob and I just needed to chill out.

I told Mini Red and I discussed Aunt Dot and how she needs to speak up and enunciate when she speaks to Aunt Dot because she was having a hard time hearing her. Mini Red said, “It’s tough Mom cause your always telling me to talk softer and now your telling me to talk louder. It’s confusing.” I had to agree with her but all the Sisters had painful looks on their faces when Mini Red spoke because they were trying desperately to understand her.

We struggled to get up the next morning but got me some coffee and we arrived with enough time to visit before church. The nurse got her settled in the wheelchair and we made our way downstairs to the chapel. We got her positioned up front after she gave us some instructions on how it works there. After Mass everyone gathered for lunch, which is a big ordeal getting everyone on the two elevators with all their equipment (wheelchairs, walkers etc).

We ran some errands for Aunt Dot and gathered some items from her old room and visited for a bit before hitting the road around 4:30. I was dreading the drive home due to the weather and I was right. It was dark, dreary and very foggy but I gave Mini Red the camera to see what she could capture before all light was lost.

We made it home in just over three and a half hours due to the lead foot I inherited from Aunt Dot. She always giggles at this comment. Mini Red and I had fun with music, the camera and we talked.

Monday we will sleep in and hang out in our jammies before heading out to see Night at the Museum, which I have heard very good things about.

Ok I’m beat so off to bed I go.