A big outing: I picked Mom up at about noon and drove her to my house, where John took over driving. Marie and I sat in the middle seats of the van, holding pies in our laps, and Mom's wheelchair was in the back.
Over the highway and past the surf to my sister-in-law's house we went, in Malibu.
Mom enjoyed sitting in the front seat and talking to John. She launched into some of her favorite stories, about how her huband is in prison--heaven--and left her here. About how she rescued a bit of pulp and it grew up into that little girl, who is now in college to be doctor, at the University of Colorado.
Upon arriving, we wheeled Mom in, and she enjoyed seeing Lee and Leo's four-year-old twins dance around. They are small and wiry, climbing on the top of the tv cabinet, on top of side tables in the living room, none of which had anything sitting on top. The house is completely childproofed.
At one point one of the twins was even standing in a window sill with her back toward the outside. I didn't worry much about it--it was not my house, not my kids.
Mom didn't talk much--I think the kaleidoscope of movement and faces was too much for her.
When it came time for dinner, we fixed her a plate full of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and she methodically ate all of it. She ate some pumpkin pie too.
The hardest part was getting Mom in and out of the bathroom once--a small room, no bar for her to hold onto while I removed her nylons and Depends. I turned her and told her to hang onto her wheelchair arms while I did that. It worked, barely.
After more conversation and a lovely sunset on the Pacific, with a crescent moon, we drove back. In the front seat again, she chatted excitedly with John as we drove along.
After dropping off my family at home, I took her back to her residence.
Because I had given her private caregiver, Connie Reysag, two days off, I had to spend an hour or so toileting her, brushing her teeth, putting on her nightgown, and putting her in her recliner to rest until bedtime.
She was tired, but she had had a wonderful Thanksgiving.