Friday, March 26, 2010

Is there blood on the carpet?

Do you really need to call me at work? When my sons were adolescents and I was a working single mom we developed a useful guideline. I expected the boys to settle disputes and handle problems themselves up to the code level of blood on the carpet.

Tonight Dad has his undies in a bunch for no reason. Having left one phone message on my cell, he's calling and calling my home and cell phones so I can't even get a return call through to him. When I finally catch him he says he was about ready to call my brother to have him call me. What's the emergency? What's the problem? Is there blood on the carpet?!

Dad was just calling to tell me about his supper. This is our daily call. Sometimes it is the first of several evening calls. I remind him of the days when his grandsons had the blood-on-the-carpet rule. He remembers and laughs. For a second we are in the present remembering the past together in a relaxed way.

I love you. I'll call you tomorrow when I get home from work. Don't call me unless there's blood on the rug.

© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder

Friday, March 05, 2010

Downhill combined

Dad has no patience for the Winter Olympics tv coverage. He was glad to be freed from figure skating competitions when Mom died five years ago. Now he can't tolerate any of the downhill events. Instead he wants to be scooting his wheelchair out the door to keep tabs on the hallway happenings of the skilled care floor.

Dad is assisted living's answer to Dick Buttons and Scotty Hamilton. He is all about scoring, judging, and commentating on the skilled care facility medal events. The nurses, aides, food-servers, bathers, therapists, activity coordinators, and housekeepers are all being judged on a his strict Eastern European Cold War scale.

It took three phone calls Thursday evening for Dad to fully judge and report the carpet cleaning event. One phone call was to inform me that the one-man sawed-off bobsled was actually a National Sanitation Service (NSS) Pony 20 SCA carpet extractor for cleaning the hallway.

© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A Foggy Day in Lifesize Town

It had me low.
It had me down.
The "17-day charge capacity" time and energy concept on his new Norelco rechargeable electric razor has Dad in a fog. He needs a lot of attention to talk him through. He needs more help to ponder the best way to break the safety seal on a tube of Avon hand lotion. Small projects, big worries.

Many recording artists have sung George and Ira's "A Foggy Day in London Town." I'm hearing Julie London singing from a clearance bin LP Dad brought home for our hi-fi in the mid-Sixties.

My little art students are beginning a trace-around project. I haven't tackled one of these projects for a couple years because they are joyful, messy, logistical nightmares. On the upside, trace-arounds are popular and fun to display.

Wednesday the kids took turns lying down on a big roll of brown butcher paper in a pose. I traced around forty-five kids. Seeing the outline is exciting as each child loves to know just how big he/she really is.

I hope to post photos of the completed project in April. Until then, I have my own visual aid letting me see exactly how big and ground down my teeth are. My, what big teeth you have, Grandma!

But in foggy Lincoln town my dad is shaving...

© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder