Mom's favorite thing to do, besides sitting in my kitchen and eating raisin toast, is riding in the car. At least once a week she gets out to go to church or to a doctor's appointment or just to do errands.
She sits happily in the Sav-On parking lot while I buy Kleenex, Efferdent, Depends, wipes, boxes of 50 thin green plastic gloves, etc.
She's good at telling me when the light has turned green (I'm often studying a map or talking on the cell phone and need to be told). The only problem comes when I can't respond--there are cars ahead of me--but she still thinks the green light means "Go!"
Today our errands include picking up from the tailor four pairs of velour and cotton elastic-waist pants that have been shortened by 6-8 inches. I am removing several dresses and skirts from her closet in favor of pants, which are easier for the caregiver to deal with during toileting. Then we stop at the dry cleaners and also at Out of the Closet, a local thrift shop that benefits AIDS LA.
But the first errand on her mind is going to 31 Flavors. She remembers that we didn't do this yesterday, after physical therapy, and I had promised tomorrow. So we do that first. She always wants a scoop of butter pecan on a plain cone. I bravely put a 24 x 18 plastic bib on the front of her (it's really a sheet for protecting chairs or the bed) and give her the cone. She has lost touch with how to catch the dripping ice cream by licking and rotating the cone, but she enjoys tackling it in big bites. Usually it's not too big a mess.
After the other errands we drive to the post office to mail valentines to her two oldest and dearest friends. Cookie S. went through nurses training with Mom in the 1930s at Children's Hospital in Denver and now lives in Georgia. Janelle K. worked with Mom as a public health nurse in Boulder in the 1950s and was later dean of the school of nursing at the University of Arizona.
Then it's back to Ocean View--a successful trip because she got to ride around, but I only had to get her in and out of the car once.