Well, Sunday went fairly well, as I described last week, I took a drive to Moose Jaw to help a friend celebrate her birthday. It has been decades since I last made a highway trip that lasted about 3 hours one way, so that was something to adjust to.
Saturday was spent in doing many physical things, like some gardening, cooking and preparing food for the picnic lunch. Plus a quick sweeping and washing of the floors. I was quite exhausted by Saturday evening.
Then on Sunday morning, as soon as I'd had my bath and got dressed I went to the kitchen and started to pack for the day - which took about two hours!
One thing I had not thought through ahead of time was that the picnic hamper would be very heavy. I managed to carry it out the back door, through the garden, past the car in the tent/garage, and then into the trunk. Before I got there I started to pray that I would NOT get another fracture in my back.
That did not happen, and I praised God for it most of the morning. However, I began to notice that my left elbow was feeling weak and achy. That got worse later on, when I lugged the hamper from the car to a picnic spot in the park.
Anyway, aside from all that, I arrived at the care home just before 12 noon, and my friend was waiting. I was a bit surprised when I saw my friend, whom I had not seen in person for many years either. However, I did recognize her face.
Funny thing is, she wasn't sure who I was and asked my name. :) Turns out she had not seen me with white hair before, and thought I looked much too short to be - me.
She showed me her room first and several things, then we decided to go check for a suitable park. I'd studied the map of the city, and knew where there were several, but I wasn't sure which might have a picnic table. Not the one on the other side of the block. A kiddies' playground. Not the one a bit north of her Care home. So we headed downtown to find Central Park. I ended up circling around it with no place to park, or get through the fences and hedges, until we were on the 3rd side. There was a gap in the hedge, and I thought I saw a park bench.
We settled for a shady spot under some trees near that gap. (And I'd forgotten the foam mats I'd brought up from my basement - in case we ended up on the grass). But we managed with a cushion and some fabric shopping bags to sit on.
I opened up the hamper and brought out onto my circular tablecloth, shake n' bake chicken, potato salad, colesaw and cucumber slices, and a tall jar of iced tea. Later I brought out the square pan with a Saskatoon berry cheesecake.
When I was packing things up again, I let her open and go through the gift bag with her birthday gifts. Was she ever excited once she realized that in that one small box was a brand new flip phone! It was very similar to one she had when she moved to this care home from Regina. But she had showed it to me in her room, and I saw it was terribly corroded; I suggested she toss that into the garbage!
My friend was keen to go shopping for clothes at Walmart. (I had to stop at a fast food place to ask directions). Then we spent most of the afternoon there. At one point she fell as her walker slipped away on her, and two women rushed to lift her up. (I was glad for that as I didn't think my left arm was up to it; I was nursing my elbow more and more!)
At that point my friend decided that she was finished with shopping but she wanted to get a cold drink in the MaDonalds that was in the store. We went through checkout for the few items we'd picked up, and then into McDonalds. When she asked what I would like, I said, a small Strawberry milkshake. She came back with 2 very tall strawberry milkshakes. (I think about 1.5 litres in each).
I managed to finish mine but was VERY FULL. She only had half of hers and was prepared to leave it behind. I said I'd take it for on my way home; and switched the straw to the one I'd been using.
She was very tired when I returned her to her room. I realized that I had more stamina than she did, but I was quite tired too, and worried about staying awake on the way home. So I said my good byes, and headed out just before 5 pm.
I took a half hour rest break parked behind the Esso station at Chamberlain, but wished I had remembered my pink pillow. As I was passing the exits for Davidson I realized that I needed a bathroom, and maybe another real snooze. I pulled into a much bigger, more modern Esso and once I'd used their facilities I was feeling much better, so decided to drive a while longer. I made it all the way home by 8 pm.
Instead of lugging the hamper back into the house loaded, I divided the stuff into smaller shopping bags, and carried most of them in that way. I brought out my brown garden cart and rolled the hamper inside that way.
I did snack a bit on the leftovers, watched the morning Church service online (replay), and did a bit of typing on the e-book I've mentioned. But then I went to bed early.
I do have a new rule for my friend, and others who call too early in the morning, when I'm still waking, or in the bathroom, or bathtub; I will refuse to answer any phone calls until I'm dressed and ready for the day. (They can leave a message if they wish).
Ruth Marlene Friesen
The Responsible One