This and that

  • Do you ever feel that, once this event or that obligation is over, then things will get back to “normal” and you can get other things done. And then on the horizon is the next event or obligation. And then you begin to wonder if maybe this is normal? 🙂
  • Thanks for all your thoughts and kind words in regard to my mom yesterday.
  • We had a nice day yesterday, with lots of great food and plenty of leftovers for lunch today! Jim had suggested going to a park, but I felt the parks would probably be crowded yesterday. Yet reading about all the folks who went somewhere yesterday almost makes me feel maybe we should have. I’m not a fan of packing up food just to go cook it somewhere else just to eat outside…and with the kids being older, there’s not the fun of letting them play on the playground or watching them feed ducks, etc. I wish we had done one of the suggestions on the link about observing Memorial Day that I posted yesterday — finding information about one person who gave their life for our country and reading about him or her to the kids, to personalize what we’re observing. But I didn’t see that early enough to prepare for it. I hope to next year.
  • Jesse just finished school Friday, so this feels like the first day of summer vacation to me. I haven’t quite fathomed that my youngest is now a high school freshman! :O
  • Jesse is (im)patiently waiting for me to get done with the computer and came to see if I was nearly done. While waiting he was bent over reading what I was writing, and I whispered, “I don’t like people reading over my shoulder.” He said, “I wasn’t reading over your shoulder. I was reading beside you.” Smart aleck!! 😀
  • I love the more laid back pace of summer (especially not having to set the alarm clock!) but it always takes a few days to adjust to everyone being home and the higher noise level and the loss of solitude. None of the rooms in our house closes off from the others except the bedrooms and bathrooms, so from here in the sunroom where the computer is or the living room or kitchen, I can hear the cartoons or video games from the family room. Plus one of my sons is just loud!! And constantly making noise!
  • Everyone is traveling somewhere over the summer — a couple of them out of the country! — except me. I’m a homebody who doesn’t like to travel, so I don’t mind at all being the one to “stay by the stuff” and “keep the home fires burning.” I will probably say more about those travels after they occur. I don’t think any cyberstalkers are paying attention to me, but, still, I’d rather play it safe.
  • I need to sit down and make a list of things I want to get done this summer. Much as I like the more laid-back pace, it is very easy to just drift through the days and get nothing of consequence accomplished.

One of the biggest changes for us will be that my mother-in-law will be moving here from Idaho to stay in an assisted living facility. She can’t live alone any more and all the family is leaving the area there one by one. We don’t want her in a facility there because we wouldn’t really know how she is doing — she is one who says everything is “fine” because she doesn’t want anyone to worry, no matter what is going on. Plus there would be no one there to visit her. Out of all her kids, our family has the most time available, plus the cost of such facilities is much lower here than out in CA where Jim’s brother is.

At first she did not want to move at all, understandably. She’s been in ID some 35 years or so, I think, so this is a big change, not to mention not being able to live independently any more. I am hoping and praying that it will not be too traumatic for her.

My husband visited several facilities in the area and found one he liked a lot. He went last week to make arrangements and sign papers. He took pictures to send to his mom, and asked one of the residents if he could take a picture of her garden area to send his mom. She readily agreed and said, “Tell her we’d love to have her!” The people there seem friendly, happy, and open, so that helps a lot. The administration seemed great and answered a lot of questions we had. The whole set-up seems really good. I think once she adjusts to the changes and gives it a chance, she will do well, but it is going to be an adjustment period for all of us.

One of the biggest adjustments for us will be that we have never lived near family. It has always been “feast or famine” in that regard — either far apart with occasional letters and phone calls, or a big trip with everyone visiting for several days. So just the time factor and the social obligations of having family nearby is something we’re not used to. Jim said we probably shouldn’t try to go over every day — that probably would not be good for us or for her. But we plan to pick her up for church on Sundays and then have her spend the day here, and I am sure we’ll be over several times during the week. We’ll juts have to play it by ear for a while. I’d be less than honest if I didn’t admit I am a little apprehensive about several factors, but we fell this is what the Lord would have us do, so we can trust for His wisdom and grace.

With these new changes I am contemplating whether I should lay aside some of the other things I am doing, particularly a couple of the other smaller ministries at church. That’s one of the things I need to sit down and think through. Maybe we’ll just see how it goes for a while.

Well, Jesse has been very good and patient, and I need to let him have his “turn” at the computer now. 🙂 Have a good day!

10 thoughts on “This and that

  1. My kids go to school till the end of June so I have a few more weeks before they are home. Mind you with 6 dayhome kids, it’s not like I have solitude that I’ll be losing anyway. LOL.

    I’m sure that will be an adjustment for your mom in law and for yourselves but you’ll find your routine once it all gets going.

  2. I know another teenaged son who would say “I was reading beside you, not over your shoulder!” 😉

    I would have no idea how to adjust to having family nearby. We’ve never lived near our family either. I think I would be excited, but still a little apprehensive. I know you’ll all get it figured out and find that balance you and your MIL will need.

  3. I enjoyed this post very much. We’ve always lived away from extended family too except for 15 years when we lived about 2 miles from my parents and 20 from J’s. None of our parents ever got to the point where they had to give up their home before they died. In so many ways, we were blessed by that. I hear so many talk about problems with parents as they get stubborn or have dementia. J’s mother had alzheimers for about 10 years but his Dad took care of her until near the end when they went to one of the children. She was already bedridden by that time. It was a very short period and then he went back home. He married again 2 years later and moved into a new home the boys built. They were married 9 years.
    My Mother always said fine when asked how she was also.

    Thinking about what you said about the amount of time to spend visiting: I wonder just how much care your MIL needs? If she is going into a place where she has her own apartment, she will have an opportunity to make new friends her age. I know some of these assisted living places have many activities and outings. If this is the case, I would say your idea about Sunday is a good one. If you start out having her depend on your family for all of her social situations and outings, she might not settle in and get acquainted with the other residents. It all depends on the set up there.

    I understand the anxiety in the changes in family dynamics too.
    Will she be moving her own things into the new place? That is always a big help.

    About the summer situation: We go on picnics a lot but its just us two now. We don’t take food to cook but just pack fruit, crackers, cheese and drink. I like to take summer sausage when I have it.
    I think it is good to plan outings with the boys during summer if they still enjoy going places with their parents. Maybe once a week, you could plan a visit to local places or a movie. I take my grands in Alabama bowling. They enjoy it and it doesn’t require any effort for me as I just sit and cheer them on. We also go to the movies.
    Even without children in the house, we sometimes like to have a place to ourselves. We sit in the guest room or our bedroom. We both use earphones when we’re on the laptop so it doesn’t disturb the other person. We don’t watch much TV so that isn’t a problem. I enjoy a quiet house though and after visiting family, am always happy to be back at my own place and pace.
    Mama Bear

  4. Hello Barbara,

    I know God will see all of you through these necessary changes. I pray that you’ll become even closer in relationship than you probably already are with your mother-in-law. Judging from what I’ve already read about you and the things you’ve written, I see that you’re in tune with the Holy Spirit’s direction for your lives. You’ll all be fine, I’m sure.
    God bless,
    Brenda

  5. Barbara….I was just telling my husband over the weekend that soooo many of our friends are dealing and coping with aging parents. It can be very difficult for some, depending upon the health of their parents. I’ll be praying for you all as you get your mother-in-law settled.
    Your son’s comment sounds just like something our son would have said! *smile* When I used to ask him to put something “up” or “away”, he would take whatever object it was and hold it “up” or “away” from himself until I would notice him doing it and then tell him to put it in its “particular” place! Grrrrrrrrrr! LOL We had alot of laughs over this!
    I do understand about needing to take a step back and graciously bow out of some of the responsibilites at church. I know it is difficult to do, but so necessary at times. Actually, in retrospect, I would have done so much more than I actually did. There were others who could have/would have done them now that I look back. BUT I do love to be involved and I am a doer. BUT with the physical limitations that I now have, I’ve HAD to cut back AND others HAVE indeed stepped in to fill my shoes and are doing a wonderful job.
    Hope your week is going well, Barb! ((HUGS))

  6. Wow! You’ve got a lot going on now. I always had to adjust to the Summer coming too – but I did it quickly – because it meant I didn’t have to get up to go to work!!! LOL! My kids and I really treasured our summers together! There was NOT a lot of “boredom” for my kids. We played together all the time!

    I understand your concerns with having your MIL living nearby… especially since you haven’t had family nearby. We never did a lot of socializing with extended family either — like you say – feast or famine! And I sure never thought I’d have my MIL living WITH us! So take it very easy… And if she’s going from complete independence to assisted living, she probably does NOT need to be overwhelmed with family visits either. It’s going to be a fine line between offering “enough” company (since she’ll be in a new area) and being a nuisance and making her feel “checked up on”. I don’t envy you this, and I sure do hope she is someone that you LIKE and have gotten along with through the years.

    You’ll all be in my prayers!

  7. Thanks so much for all your kind thoughts and comments and prayers! They are quite uplifting and heart-warming.

    Melli, you mentioned hoping that my MIL and I get along well in light of her moving here. We’ve always done ok — but we have never been around each other as much as we will be then. 🙂 We share a love of reading — I pass along my books to her — but that’s not something you can really do together. Well, I guess you can — but it seems strange to go over and visit and pop out a book. 🙂 I told my husband if it was my mom, I would know what kinds of things to suggest doing — I am not so sure with his mom. We’ll have to play it by ear.

    She’s always been extremely shy about meeting people (she’s hard of hearing and has a bit of a speech impediment and is self-conscious about it), so that will make this new experience even harder. But I am hoping once she makes friends with some of the folks she’ll do fine and even thrive.

    The director said it is a lot like taking your child to school the first time. You try to help them adjust but it is good to step back and let them get acclimated and learn to handle it. We’ll try for that balance — being supportive as needed but not hindering her adjustment there by overdoing it.

    I do look forward to ministering to her in these last years of her life and for my kids having the opportunity to be around her. They’ve missed out on being around grandparents much.

    Mama Bear, at this time she doesn’t have major needs. The place she will be staying is pretty much like an apartment at an assisted living place. They are even permitted to have a small dog (don’t know if we’ll do that, but she has always had a dog, so we might) and a small garden area if they like. My husband said the whole place seemed homey.

    We can bring furniture or they have some. It wouldn’t be feasible to ship it from Idaho, but I am pretty sure she can have pictures, bookcases, etc., to make it more personal. That’s one thing my husband and his brother will need to do when they go back — help her sort through what to bring.

    I can so empathize with how hard that will be. On the one hand, things are just “things,” but on the other hand, things can be special, and it’s hard to think of getting rid of things you’ve had for most of your adult life.

  8. Pingback: Caring for elderly parents « Stray Thoughts

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