|Late afternoon light on Sequim Bay beaches...|
Since May I have been caring, on a part-time basis, for an elderly lady who has become a dear friend. Cooking and keeping up with her household affairs was an enjoyable duty and starting a routine for the two of us to have tea at 4 p.m. was something we both came to enjoy. Sadly, several weeks ago her family decided to place her in an assisted living facility. Although I was paid to spend afternoons with her during a transitional time, it is clear that her level of awareness and ability to move around has been degrading daily.
|Last cutting for the fall hay season is done.|
As we age, it becomes more and more important to stay active, and to drink water that is 'good,' not just processed. One month of not doing certain physical exercises will have a negative effect. Strength training, walking, and eating fresh foods are essential. I tried to get Mrs. R to walk with me, but every step was painful. I encouraged her to do some weight lifting but she soon tired of the effort. I cooked fresh foods every day, but with less and less activity there was less and less appetite. Clearly everything NOT done was affecting everything else. And when I had to leave for several weeks to close out my affairs in Colombia, I was pretty certain no one else would push her to make some effort. When I returned, I could see that I had been right.
|I'm not a mushroom specialist, but the shape of this one|
was intriguing. The Elks Lodge had a show this weekend.
|Someone piled up stones on Rialto|
Beach, like the Tibetans prayer piles.
And as her cognitive life wanes, she cares less and less about the world around her, resulting in a sort of peaceful place where napping means no pain and no concerns. She awoke from just such a nap the other day and said to me, "It gives me such pleasure to wake up and see you sitting there, being here for me." I am grateful I can do that much for her now.
But I recently learned of a part-time job on a newspaper, and like the aging dalmatian fire dog who is accustomed to jumping up at the ringing of the fire bell, I was drawn to apply.
My part-time job will still allow me to have some time with Mrs. R, but more importantly I will be continuing to keep my own mind active as well as affording time for the gym and weekend journeys. If I have a couple of decades ahead of me, I certainly want them to be healthy ones.