Thursday, March 25, 2010


I pushed in the code, opened the door and started down the hall toward Elbert's room. Something looked different. Hey, there's women stuff in Chester's room. Guess Chester isn't coming back. He had a fall some time ago and had to go to the hospital. I kept looking for him to get well so he could come back. You see, he and Elbert were the only two men in The Garden unit at Magnolia along with 15 women. Man, they had it made, all that female attention, only Chester was often gruff and disconnected. He could be a sweetheart if you handled him right, though.

Seems Elbert is the only rooster in the hen house now. He's gonna have to watch out for those doting females. Ruth was his first 'friend' but she was soon replaced by Louise who still has top dibs on Elbert's affection. 

I know that one of these days I am going to get a call that Elbert has fallen and broken a bone or two and then his passage in time will go like Chester's has. In The Garden one day, the hospital next and then to the 'convalescent home'. It's coming. I am a realist and I must brace myself for the eventuality but I just don't like to think about it.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Handsome fellow

After days of my being at the beach and not seeing Elbert I did not know what I would find. But, there he was sitting in his rocking chair watching Bonanza on tv.

I did not have my camera and here was this handsome guy just needing his picture taken. He had on kaiki pants, a light blue shirt and a knitted dark blue vest. Hair combed, looking good. His eyes were brighter than I'd seen them in awhile and he did talk some. 

Lordy, did he talk....
Getting out of his chair 'I gotta change my pants'
'Why' I ask
'Gotta go met the guys'
'Out in the wild woods'

Oh, he thinks he's going hunting. In the wild woods? Wonder what it was that those guys did in years past in the wild woods!! hmmmm  

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Is Spring really here? It was such a gorgeous day yesterday and as I sat visiting with Elbert I wondered if he missed getting out and digging in the garden and flower beds. I wanted to take him for a drive but it's been quite awhile since he has noticed anything as we drove along the roadside. That's so sad. He did so love the out-of-doors. He'd head out first thing in the morning and I'd scarcely see him until it got too dark for him to see anything. Those days are over.

Yesterday I asked him if he remembered plowing an old mule one time and although he nodded I doubt that he does. We'd moved to the country and he wanted a big corn field. He got it planted with his tractor but when the corn grew tall he thought he needed to plow between the rows (why I don't know). We had an old plow but no horse or mule to pull it with. So, he borrowed a mule from his cousin.

Now, mules are stubborn, that is true, but this one had a double dose of stubbornness. Elbert fought that mule to keep it under subjection and he was totally worn out long before he'd finished plowing that patch. The mule would take one step, stop, turn his head to eat a corn stalk on his right, take another step, stop, turn his head to eat a corn stalk on his left. I am surprised we had any corn left after all that. It was the last time Elbert used a mule for anything.... and the last big corn patch we had. 

Just remembering things like that is painful to me. It brings tears to my eyes but it's all I have of Elbert. 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A good day

Elbert and I spend some time yesterday looking at 80 plus photos taken in 2005 that I had finally had developed at Rite Aid. He was alert, enjoyed looking at the pictures, turned them over to see if I had written on the back of each one. He always seemed to recognize himself in the image, but not others. Oh well, I had fun pointing out different ones of the family and remembering better times. 

A couple days ago I had a call from the Dr. that sees the residents at Magnolia once a week. He's trying to figure out how to keep Elbert from falling. Change in meds? Trying to keep him awake during the day (yeah, you try that. ha) And, he said that he thought Elbert would be better supervised in the 'nursing home' side. That really took me by surprise and pretty much upset me. 

So, I dropped into the head nurses office as I left yesterday. They assured me that it was just the Dr. thinking aloud about what it might take to protect Elbert from being hurt. And, that they had never discussed his falling being a problem or that he might need extra care. They reminded me that even though there is less staff at Magnolia there also are less residents and less residents that require constant care in the nursing home setting, so that Elbert is fine right where he is. Wow, that's a relief. That Dr. needed to have put his thoughts into different words. I was worried that the next step (that of having to move Elbert into a nursing home) was imminent. Now, I can relax and enjoy those good days that we have on occassion.