I often wondered how much dad “got” out of the newspaper he read each day. Today I learned it was more than I thought. I arrived an hour before lunch as I usually do and brought dad some snacks to keep in his refrigerator.
Dad pulled out his note pad that he keeps in his pocket. He writes down things he wants to remember to ask me. Today his note said “Garage Sale, June 1st and 2nd, and the address of a nearby church”. I asked him where he learned that but he didn’t remember. I think it must be the newspaper as he doesn’t watch television and I don’t know who would have told him.
At first I wasn’t enthusiastic about going out because traffic had been so bad on the way over. Then I decided dad didn’t get out very much and it wouldn’t be that difficult to get him to the address listed. I told him to get ready and we would go.
We drove to the church and it didn’t look busy at all. If there weren’t a sign out front, I would have believed nothing was going on there. I got out dad’s walker and we went inside. We took the elevator to the lower level and there were ladies set up at a table. The room was literally full of items for sale.
From the conversations I overheard we missed the large crowds by coming on the 2nd day. That was fine by me as we didn’t need anything. It is easier for dad to get around in his walker if there are not too many people nearby. While we were there, others came and went, so there was a steady flow of customers.
Dad went right to the computer section, forgetting perhaps that he no longer has a computer in his apartment and he doesn’t remember how to use it. I made a mental note to let him get whatever he wants even if he can’t use it. Dad looked at the books and then went back and looked again. He picked up “Spanish for Dummies” and I wondered if he wanted to buy it. He doesn’t speak Spanish and he rarely reads books any more, but I didn’t say anything. Eventually he put it back. In the end he spent about an hour looking at all the items but didn’t make any purchases.
I did purchase a small folding walker that would fit more easily in my car. From now on I will leave dad’s bulky walker at his assisted living facility and just take the small one when we go out. I have a hard time getting his bulky walker in my car and it doesn’t fit in my trunk — only on the back seat.
Afterwards I took dad out to lunch again. We had been out on Thursday as well. This time we went a bit further from home and the menu was so extensive dad couldn’t decide what to get. I reminded him that the last time we were there he had shrimp. He looked it all over and decided on the shrimp again. He ate well but as usual I asked for a box to take home our leftovers.
I usually think that dad doesn’t remember much, but he reminded me twice – as we got out of the car and as I was leaving his apartment – that we had taken a “doggy bag” and asked where it was. It seems he remembers some things very well – even though he never eats leftovers as he gets all his meals at the ALF dining room.
All in all it was a nice time out. I didn’t plan on going out but it didn’t conflict with any other plans either. Dad was tired when he got home and ready to rest. I was tired too!