It was a strategic decision to limit our client load – the freed time let me attend the IAGG World Congress, develop Cyber Access for the Technically Timid & start writing That Your Days May Be Long. One impact of that belt-tightening decision is that John & I put any potential purchases under a microscope before moving ahead.
That said, we blew the wad last night.
Background: On Tuesday, we had our weekly visit with an older friend, taking her out on a ramble (beloved pooch on her lap) followed by lunch at York Diner (good food, great access for wheel chairs), capped with watching SUMMER STOCK back in her senior residence room. Alas, just about ten minutes before the end, the electricity went dark in her room! We rolled her down to the dining/social room, where there was still lights & air conditioning. Heading out, we promised to return to watch the ending.
And back we went! Due to a full morning & early afternoon, we got there at 3:00 p.m., late for us. What a grand time watching the end of SUMMER STOCK, then popping in ANCHORS AWEIGH – we assumed there was plenty of time to watch before dinner was served.
Live & learn.
The person who cares for the pooch from late afternoon to early morning stopped by at 5:00 p.m. to pick up her canine charge. Which was when John & I learned that, every day, our dear older friend has the 1-2 punch of seeing her beloved dog taken away just when she needs him most (at night) AND, on the way out, the doggie’s caretaker rolls her down to dinner. At 5:00 p.m.
Our horror isn’t just that our friend likes to eat at 7:00 or later – it’s that once dinner is over, she has nothing to do but watch television. Even if she steeps herself in TCM’s classic movies, it’s by herself, no dog on her lap or curled up next to her.
John & I could not bear it. Instead of rolling down the hall to a way-too-early dinner, the three of us enjoyed the end of ANCHORS AWEIGH, then we happily headed down & OUT for a beautiful early evening drive, ending up at – you guessed it – York Diner.
It’s hard to explain what it means to someone who has three or four choices to have for her senior residence’s dinner to open up a big, many-paged diner menu. Having options, the ability to make your own choices of what to eat & how it’s prepared, goes to the heart of freedom, even if it’s just winnowing your final choice to between ordering a Monte Cristo sandwich or a cheeseburger (medium rare) with french fries.
An aside – whenever we take our friend out to a meal, she demolishes it. We’re talking famously large diner servings. Gives us pause, knowing the small portions she’s served at her senior residence.
It turned out the evening didn’t end with a lovely late sundown drive back to her residence. I wheeled her up to her room, while John waited downstairs. Waited & waited & waited. He was about to come up to find out if all was well, when he spotted me walking out to him – smiling.
Much to my delight, our friend asked if I could help her get ready for bed. I know how much having a caring pair of hands to help her prep for bedtime meant to my Mom. Even John became expert at it! Last night, I helped a dear older friend undress, got her fresh unders, helped her get on her nightgown & take a last visit to the bathroom, then helped her transfer from the wheelchair to bed – all of which she normally handles on her own, but which went so much more smoothly with extra hands & heart.
It’s true that we put our purchases under a microscope. It’s true we did not include “dinner for three” on our weekly budget. But the biggest truth is that the hit to our wallet was a mega boost to our hearts!