Thursday, February 28, 2013

All is well

"January 11, 2002:  Called Marie Parker.  The 9th was her 97th birthday.
January 12, 2002:  Mitch and Anna here in evening -- watched cartoons on TV.
January 13, 2002:  Called Greta in a.m.  Nancy came for dinner.  I took a shower.
January 14, 2002:  Bill here in p.m.  We played Rummikub.  Jenny and Patty went shopping after Patty went to the dentist."

I should have started a label for Rummikub.  It sure gets mentioned frequently on here.

As some will already know and recall, there was (probably still is) a perk at The Pioneer House for those wishing to participate.  Folks were given a little cardboard tag on a string.  The idea was that they would put it outside their door hanging on the doorknob once they were up in the morning every day.  Someone volunteered to go around and check for tags at some point in the day.  This was a way to be sure the occupant was okay and did not need help or medical attention.  I believe the occupant was to move the tag back in at some point and that was likely checked too, otherwise the tag would be there morning after morning and not accomplish its purpose. 

When we were clearing out Grandma's unit after she died, I took the tag without really having a concrete reason for doing so.  Well, now it has become my "everything is okay" talisman.  Not that things are awful and I need the assurance; it's just a nice thought that includes Grandma with it.

I noticed some time ago that the tag was missing.  I knew it wasn't stolen and that a tornado hadn't blown through, so it would turn up in time.  And yesterday it did.  It fell down behind my desktop at work and was on the floor behind a box.  But, now it is back where it belongs as my little all-is-well reminder.  Photographic evidence above.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Heard a good joke lately, anyone?

"January 8, 2002:  Nancy called in the evening.  Allen Anderson -- her boss -- had died in the morning.
January 9, 2002:  Mary came at noon.  She ate her lunch while I showered.  Went to Book Club in evening.  Brought a book back to read.
January 10, 2002:  Mary and kids took me to get a permanent at 6:00 p.m.  That was a real rip-off.  A gift certificate from Nancy for $20 paid for the haircut and I had to pay an additional $55.00!!!"

Not to downplay Grandma's troubles with her permanent, but I must make mention of Allen.  Since Rick and I were a one-car household for awhile, and because Nancy and I worked in the same building downtown, Nancy picked me up each morning and was my ride to and from work.  Since she has a better work ethic than myself, I would leave work promptly at 5:00 and take the stairs to the 9th floor.  Inevitably, Nancy would be finishing up this or that and so I often got a chance to yak at Allen.  What a super nice guy who would frequently have a joke to tell.  And if no joke was available, there was usually something funny that had happened on the job recently, or he had a tale to tell of one kind or another.  A shame he died as young as he did.

I don't know for sure, but I think it's possible Mom and Nancy were sharing a joke here in 1981.  What I find not so amusing is that I am considerably older right now than they are in the photo.  I have no idea why that is disturbing to me . . .  Oh, and look . . . Nancy is smoking.  Looks strange to see her doing that.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Alarm bells again

"January 6, 2002:  Greta called in p.m.  Mary came early and changed dressing.  Nancy came at noon.  We had dinner and then she vacuumed while I showered.  We played some Rummikub.
January 7, 2002:  Fire alarm rang this morning -- down the steps again.  Some clothes in the dryer had caught fire -- a lot of smoke.  When the smoke alarm goes off it automatically sets the bell ringing, calls 9-1-1 and shuts off the elevators.  I took the band-aid off my face -- it had healed nicely.  I called Arlene R. in p.m."

Maybe this was the firemen assist trip down the stairs.  Not that it matters one way or the other.  I notice Grandma was writing something every day; she wasn't doing that in the last journal.  I wonder why.  Maybe with everything all scaled down she was more organized.  Maybe by the time I am nearly 90, I will be organized, too.  It's a goal I am going to shoot for.

For no particular reason, here is Grandma Anna and I on my confirmation day.  I loved that dress.  Also love the Dorothy Hamill haircut!  (And you, too, Grandma Anna . . . )

Monday, February 25, 2013

Booted out for a spell

"January 3, 2002:  Nancy took me to the dermatologist -- appointment was 8:30.  He removed the wart-like growth from the left side of my face.  Myrtle called in evening.
January 4, 2002:  Maryan C. came and changed the dressing on my face.  About 2:30 or 3:00 the fire alarm went off.  Went down the stairs to the first floor.  Maryan C. helped me.  Could go back to rooms at 4;30.  Several opinions as to where the fire was -- could have been from a short in a door bell.
January 5, 2002:  Mary brought the kids over early.  Mitch and Anna brought balloons to play with so we didn't watch cartoons on TV.  Mary changed dressing on my face."

Grandma talks about Maryan helping her.  I know one time, at least, the firemen helped her.  I think she got a kick out of that.  And who wouldn't, really.

This is Grandma Anna but it doesn't look like her to me based on other photos.  I hope that dress was some dark color other than black -- does anyone know what color it was?

Sunday, February 24, 2013


"December 31, 2001:  Mary painted the door.  To the party room here at Pioneer House for a pot luck supper at 5:00.  Had a good time, played card Bingo.
January 1, 2002:  Loafed around all day.
January 2, 2002:  Nancy came for supper.  She took care of washing clothes and we played Rummikub.  Greta called -- Charlotte Wylie died Monday.

Drawing a blank here as to what to add.  It's a bit late and I just got back from eating out with Anna and Tasha at The Parthenon -- way too much food so I brought the rest home and have my lunch figured out for tomorrow.  My point being, between the hour and the full tummy, my brain has disengaged somewhat.

Speaking of disengaged, blowing out eggs will make you think your brain is completely disengaged from your head.  That's why my belt is hanging loose there; I expelled all the air from my lungs and beyond and still didn't budge that egg.  Well, that's how it seemed anyway.  We did get them done somehow -- I don't know who did the most blowing but it was quite the experience as I remember.  I also am not sure why I needed empty eggs and what I/we did with them.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Left-over painting

"December 27, 2001:  Took a walk up and down the hallway.  Mary took me to the hairdresser.
December 28, 2001:  Nancy here for my shower.  Took a walk up and down the hallway.
December 29, 2001:  Nancy brought groceries in p.m.  Mitch and Anna here in evening.
December 30, 2001:  Talked to Greta.  Mary came in p.m. and put primer on door to the hall closet."

Oh, yeah.  I forgot about a bit of the painting that didn't get done prior to Grandma moving in.  Nice to know I got it taken care of before she was there a year or better.

Here's a very nice photo of Nancy.  I don't know that she likes it, but I think she looks very sweet.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Surely, she's not anti-social

"December 24, 2001:  Christmas Eve.  Nancy, Tom, Merilyn and Linda (a special friend of Merilyn's) here for chili supper and gift exchange.  Played Rummikub (Linda and Merilyn played Rummy.)
December 25, 2001:  Nancy and I to Tom and Merilyn's for dinner.  Linda was there, too.  She played Solitaire on the computer while the rest played Rummikub.
December 26, 2001:  Tired all day -- just sat around and watched TV."

I don't remember Linda but from the sparse reporting, it appears she didn't want to play well with others.  I'm kidding -- if she was a friend of Merilyn's, I'm sure she was good people.  Maybe Rummikub was a bit intimidating given the world class status of the other players.

I miss church and chili on Christmas Eve.  May have to get that tradition up and running with some regularity again.

For not particular reason, here's a goofy picture.  Everyone seems to be having a top-drawer kind of time.  Except maybe Bill there on the television.  He looks fairly serious.  Omigosh, there's the fish lamp!  I think.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Christmas 2001

"December 21, 2001:  Took my walk today.  Made cereal snacks.
December 22, 2001:  Baked three pies for tomorrow.  A bleak day -- Howard died on a Saturday a year ago.
December 23, 2001:  Nancy and I to Wahoo.  Left early enough to go to church.  The service was all singing by the choir.  Jayson sings in the choir.  After the service to Jayson and Lora's for dinner.  Everyone there except Lester, Tom and Merilyn."

I am wondering if this is the first year we did the auction/exchange instead of drawing names.  It seems to me the first time we did that was at Jayson and Lora's -- two houses ago.  I do know we were much more reserved and polite about stealing gifts that first time, namely Grandma's throw and Patty's tabletop waterfall.  But even discounting those gifts, we were super polite.  It took us a few years to get cut-throat like we are now.  Most likely due to our fine Scandinavian Lutheran upbringing.

Up top is another 1954 photo.  I think it shows how extremely fond Nancy always was of her little brother.  What I can't get over, though, is how teeny her purse is.  That would never fly today.  As per Nancy's comment from yesterday's post, Tom is wearing a favorite shirt -- again.  It looks likes Nancy's sleeves are different, so either she rolled them up and down or Tom wore the same shirt on two different days.  I put it here below for easier comparison in case someone wants to weigh in and disagree or agree with me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Walking around

"December 18, 2001:  Mary took me to the hair dresser in a.m.  Nancy came in evening.  I showered and then we played Rummikub.
December 19, 2001:  A light skiff of snow last night.  I'm going to walk around the building at least once a day.  This is the third day I've done it (a repeat of my resolution).
December 20, 2001:  Annabelle and Herb visited me in the morning.  They'll be going home the day after Christmas.  Myrtle called in p.m.  I took my walk -- very nice weather."

I do recall Grandma saying she was taking her walks.  I don't know how much she kept up with it, but of course, as she made friends, she was getting out and about visiting them both at Pioneer House and then when some of them went out to eat and such.

Again using a photo I do not know when I will use otherwise, here are Aunt Irene, Mom, Nancy and Tom in August 1954.  Not sure of the handwriting on the back, but I am thinking Aunt Helen's, it says, "This one is the one that Iny looks like Greta or Greta looks like Iny -- whichever you want it !!".  I would have to say I agree.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Snail Tracks??

"December 15, 2001:  Made cereal snacks and stirred up four kinds of cookies.  Mitch and Anna came about 5:30 -- had supper and stayed all night.
December 16, 2001:  Talked to Greta in the morning.  Mary came about 9:30.  She made almond bark cookies.  Then dinner and then she baked the cookies for me.
December 17, 2001:  Still nice weather -- no measurable rain or snow since I've been here.  I took a walk outside around the building.  When weather permits I'm going to try it every day.  I talked to Dorothy Jo and Marie Parker.  Received a pink angel from Henrietta Jensen."

Does Grandma mean snail tracks when she says cereal snacks?  Who would have thought that a fairly easy and straightforward recipe would be such a big hit with the family?  Quite frankly, I've forgotten how they came to be called snail tracks.  Also, didn't Aunt Helen have a funny name for a food -- the box was upside down and actually made a word or two and she went with the upside-down words?  Maybe "doo dads" became "spap oops"?  I think I'm close on that.

No connection between the photo and Grandma's journal entry -- I am just using a photo I don't have a chance to use very often.  Not even sure if I've posted it before since I have been very poor about listing which ones I have and haven't used.  But no harm either way, so on I go.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Worn out, both of us

"December 12, 2001:  Nancy came at noon.  Had a doctor's appointment at 11:00.  Everything okay -- come back in three months.  Shopped at grocery store and Walgreens.  Ate noon meal at Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Too tired to play Rummikub tonight.  Went to Book Club.
December 13, 2001:  Spent the whole day resting up from the last several days.  Talked to Myrtle.
December 14, 2001:  Mailed four Christmas cards.  Nancy here in evening.  She vacuumed while I showered."

I see that Grandma was too tired for Rummikub, but couldn't stay away from the Book Club.  Sounds about right.  Maybe it's the dreary weather outside my window, but I am totally lacking of anything to add here. 

And nothing to add about the photo, other than that droopy diaper cracks me up.  Thanks for holding me up there, Nancy.  :-)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Always a teacher

"December 9, 2001:  Greta called in the morning.  I watched 'Anne of Green Gables' a sequel, all afternoon.
December 10, 2001:  Tom stopped in evening to get his keys.
December 11, 2001:  Bill came for me about 11:00.  Went to Wahoo -- had dinner.  Jenny washed my hair.  Went to Alicia's school at 3:00 and told the pupils about one-room schools.  In the evening went to school program that Alicia was in.  Bill and Jayson brought me back to Lincoln.  Had a wonderful time."

Of course Grandma had a wonderful time -- family, kids and getting a chance to teach.  I don't remember Grandma ever going on and on about how much she did or didn't like to teach, but I always thought she was good at it and she sure was fond of her students.  Alicia would have been in kindergarten or first grade and that's a fun age where kids are engaged and wanting to listen, so I am thinking the talk about one-room schoolhouses was great fun.

Since we have Bill and Jenny and Jayson in this particular post, I thought it only fair to get Jayme in there, too, so here he is in a photo.  Sure wish he would have cheered up a bit for the occasion.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Tis the season

"December 6, 2001:  Nancy came for supper and brought groceries.  We played Rummikub.  A man brought the keys for Tom for Life Line.
December 7, 2001:  Mailed 10 Christmas cards -- the 4th bunch of Christmas cards.
December 8, 2001:  Mailed 20 Christmas cards.  Mitch and Anna here for supper.  Nancy came and they put up Christmas decorations while I showered.  Then Nancy took us for a drive around the city to see the Christmas lights."

I bet I am safe in saying the Grandma and the kids enjoyed seeing the Christmas lights. What's not to like about such an outing?

I bet I am also safe in saying that Grandma sent out more Christmas cards than I normally do. 

Here's Mitch being an unhappy reindeer.

Friday, February 15, 2013

This is helping me remember

"December 3, 2001:  Tom and Merilyn here for supper and Rummikub afterwards. 
December 4, 2001:  Mary took me to the hair dresser.  She had a meeting to attend so she had Dale take me home. Tom here in evening and put towel bars in bathroom and other items.
December 5, 2001:  Mailed 10 Christmas cards.  Tom brought chicken supper from Popeyes.  We played Rummikub.  I watched Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy in "Naughty Marietta" and "Rose Marie".  Went to bed at 2:30 a.m."

I have no recollection of when Dale started working in Omaha, but unless there was some fluke and he was in Lincoln the day of Grandma's appointment, I am thinking he was still in Lincoln in late 2001.  Not that it matters in my day-to-day life, but still.

I am afraid that is all the commentary I have for today.  I do have the tower up and running, and the journal is with me, so I will be able to post this weekend and Monday as well -- a day off for me.

Here is a photo of the group.  I wonder if Tom is smiling because he is wearing his favorite shirt.  I thought I heard that said at one time or another.  Note that he is the most smiley of the bunch in this particular picture.  And what is that white thing to the right side?  The front of a car?  That doesn't seem a good spot for a birdbath.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


"November 30, 2001:  Cloudy all day.  I called Jean -- they will go to Florida in January.
December 1, 2001:  Nancy came in p.m. -- cleaned the shower stall.  I showered.  Mary brought Mitch and Anna about 6:00.  Nancy didn't stay for evening.  Rummikub, Yahtzee and TV were the evening events.
December 2, 2001:  Slept late -- called Greta at 9:30.  John T. has the locker going.  Mary, Mitch, Anna, Nancy and I went to the Lied Center and saw 'A Tribute to Pearl Harbor.'  Very impressive.  Afterwards we ate at Runza."

Hate to say it, but I am pretty sure at ages 10 and 6, the kids were probably more impressed with going to Runza than the Lied performance.  Just sayin'.

Those cabbages weren't used to make Runzas, but they sure would have made up quite a batch!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Small world

"November 27, 2001:  At noon Mary took me to hair salon.
November 28, 2001:  Nancy came for supper.  While I went to Book Club she did the laundry.  After the meeting I showered -- the we played two games of Rummikub.
November 29, 2001:  Cloudy and cold.  Myrtle called for our regular Thursday visit.  Wayne L. installed the four-foot grab bar in the shower stall.  He said his dad knew Howard, that when his dad delivered feed in Winside he would come and visit Howard.  That must have been the guy we called Randolph Charlie.  Today was Grandma Iversen's birthday."

I picked Wayne to do the work in Grandma's unit -- he did a lot before she even moved in -- because I knew of him from my job.  I had no idea he knew Grandpa.  I knew he was from Randolph, but that was all.  He said his dad went to some kind of club house or man cave when he visited.  I informed him proudly that that was the Honda House.  And to further prove that Lincoln is really just a small town, Wayne and Dale's kids went to school together.

They may be better photos of the Honda House around, but I like this one.  Especially since I am anxious for spring to get here and am enjoying those peonies.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dale - 1, Nail - 0

"November 24, 2001:  Baked three pies.  Mitch and Anna here in evening.  We watched TV, played cards and then Rummikub.
November 25, 2001:  Nancy came for me.  We met Dale's family and Mary's family at a restaurant called "Grandmother's".  Had a buffet style dinner -- really good.  Then to Nancy's house for the p.m.  Bill came -- Jenny wasn't feeling well.  We played cards and visited.
November 26, 2001:  Tired after the busy day yesterday."

The meal at Grandmother's is when I first heard the story of Dale shooting himself with the nail gun while working on the house.  Quite the story from quite the storyteller.  Needless to say, we were all thankful on that Thanksgiving Day to know that he was okay.  It could definitely have been much worse.  It isn't because of any bad karma feeling, but I do not believe I have been back to Grandmother's since that day.

Here's a photo of Dale before he handled very many power tools.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Normal, normal

"November 21, 2001:  Made two pumpkin pies.  Dale brought lunch and we visited.
November 22, 2001:  Thanksgiving Day.  Nancy and I went to Greta's.  Mary, Mitch and Anna went, too.  Had a grand dinner and a wonderful afternoon.
November 23, 2001:  I called Myrtle today.  Nancy came in evening.  I showered and then we played Rummikub.

I see a developing pattern here of visitors and Rummikub in Grandma's life at this time.  Plus, going to Winside as opposed to a long history of hosting visitors coming to Winside.  But, Grandma adapted and soldiered on; change didn't seem to affect her all that much or else she was good at just going with the flow.

Here in 2013, I am proud to announce that I got my desk cleared out this weekend.  I will not report on how embarrassingly long a chore it was.  But, the point is, I should be up and running with the computer before the weekend so I just might be an every day blogger again soon instead of just a Monday through Friday blogger.  Life is good.

I just have to show off this photo I took of two of the four turkeys that have adopted us and feel comfortable enough to go in the coop and eat all of the guineas' food, darn it.  But, they are handsome beasts in a weird kind of regal way.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A kid's perspective

"November 17, 2001:  Mitch and Anna here for supper and the evening.  We watched TV and played Rummikub.
November 19, 2001:  Rearranged some of the cupboards.  Still a lot more to do.  Nancy came with a card for Bill.  We got ours ready and she'll mail them tomorrow.
November 20, 2001:  Bill is 62 years old today.  Mary took me to beauty school at noon for shampoo, etc.  Nancy came in evening so I could shower -- then we played Rummikub."

Pretty normal stuff here.  I remember Grandma babysitting for the kids for me, but I did not remember at all that it started so soon after she moved to Lincoln.  (I hope that doesn't make me a bad, opportunistic grand-daughter.)  I am pretty sure she didn't mind and it was certainly great for the kids to be able to spend time one-on-one with her.  Not that they always wanted to -- see a paper Mitch wrote in November of 2004, a year to the month before Grandma died and before she was diagnosed. 

The Card Game

One way that I have grown up or looked at a person differently involves me and my great-grandma, Marian.  Let me start off by telling you a little about my grandmother.  She is 92 years old and her will to fight is too strong to describe.  Her husband died almost four years ago on Christmas Eve.  It was hard for everyone but especially for Grandma, so she soon decided to move to Lincoln closer to family.  So whenever the family had nothing to do in the evenings we went over to her house to play cards.  It turned into a weekly routine and we all went over to play cards.  I found I was quickly getting bored and I started not wanting to go.

That was one year ago and I used to avoid going to her house but once I said no, I don't really want to, a thick haze of guilt covered me like a felt blanket.  But we still went occasionally and I still didn't want to go until my mother asked me one day why I didn't want to go and I said that I just didn't want to.  She gave me a crooked look and left.  The same question and following look arrived more and more until she did not accept my usual answer, "I just don't want to go".  She insisted one day that I give her another answer and I told her that I just got really bored sitting there and playing cards.  She stood there for a few seconds and told me that I needed to understand that her husband died, she had to move from the house she lived in almost her whole life, and the fact that she lives alone.  No one here in the family can truly relate to the situation she is in.  Then came that same haze of guilt, only this time the blanket was folded over and it was much heavier.

She has lived near us three years now and I look at my grandmother in ways that I have never looked at her before.  If she can live through all the stuff she has so far, I'm guessing that she could take on the world with one eye shut and one arm tied behind her back.  I now understand what she has gone through and whenever she has a card game scheduled I will always be there if I can make it.  That is how I came to change my view of my grandmother from being bored to being loving and supporting.

There are a few technical errors here; the date Grandpa died and the "whenever the family had nothing to do".....we did go just to go, not just as a last resort.  But, all in all, he did pretty good with this.  Oh, and on his "I don't want to go" instances, we went anyway -- he did not get to call the shots.  I may have let him stay home a few times, but that would have been it.

The photo is of everyone mentioned in this post except Bill and myself.  Look at those flowers!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lots of 'Cubing going on

"November 15, 2001:  Myrtle called in a.m.  Started reading new book.
November 16, 2001:  Nancy came for supper.  Then my shower and some Rummicube.
November 18, 2001:  Nancy came a little after 12:00.  Went shopping.  Went to Sears to get bathroom rugs.  Saw Kenneth Jaeger.  Had a real nice visit with him.  Ate at the Village Inn -- then home and played a game of Rummicube."

As previously mentioned, Grandma wanted the paint in the bedroom and living room of her new place to match the old place as closely as possible.  I was given free rein to pick the color for the bathroom.  Not that there was much wall space to paint, but I went with a light lavender.  I didn't think I could go wrong with that.  And now I can't remember what color rugs she got for in there.  Oh, well.

I looked just now at to see if it was Grandma or I who was spelling "Rummicube" right.  Turns out neither of us were; she consistently put Rummicub and I thought for sure that should have an "e" at the end, given the way we pronounce it.  In truth, it is Rummikub, so I'll endeavor to be correct from now on.  Interesting to note, but not enough for me to purchase, that there are miniature versions, Attache Rummikub and Travel Rummikub.  Both sound way too little to mess with, but in a pinch I guess all bets would be off.

Speaking of Aunt Myrtle, here's this great photo of (l. to r.) Aunt Margaret, Aunt Myrtle, Little Grandma , Aunt Clara and . . . Aunt Kate?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Meeting and mingling

"November 12, 2001:  I talked to Maryan C. about the two calls concerning noise from hammering.  A lady came and installed the Life Line instrument.  Late in p.m., Maryan came and told me who made the calls and not to worry about it.  'Go ahead and finish your hanging pictures, etc.'
November 13, 2001:  Mary took me at noon to have my hair-do.  Bill came to visit Saturday p.m.  He was in Lincoln to apply for Social Security.  Nancy came for supper -- then my shower and then Rummicube.
November 14, 2001:  Went to Book Club meeting in evening.  Brought home a book in large print 'Washington Wives'.  After the meeting stopped at Zoya Z.'s place.  She's very nice and friendly."

I was so glad when Grandma started reading books again.  I don't know if she was squeamish about requesting large print, but I am glad she did it.  I also do not know if she had trouble reading it with her eyes the way they were.  Of course, I was really happy when she was able to get different lenses for her glasses and was back to reading print as small as that in the newspaper.

All this also brings to mind how great it was that Grandma was just an elevator ride and a short walk away from new friends and that she was so tickled to go on out there and make new friends; going to the book club, playing cards with the usual group, and getting grief for winning the football pool so much.  I loved it.

And here's a photo before Grandma thought about large print books, or even glasses for that matter.  I think she looks lovely.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


"November 9, 2001:  Maintenance men here to work on radiators -- no warm air, just cold.  By evening all okay.  Arlene P. called from York.  They like it there.
November 10, 2001:  Nancy and Lois came at noon with lunch from Popeyes.  They watched Nebraska football game and then state finals of high school volleyball.
November 11, 2001:  Greta came to Lincoln.  Greta, Nancy and I met Mary, Mitch and Anna at Boston Market.  After the meal we went shopping.  I found a light to put under the cupboard above the sink.  We went to see Dale's house -- will be great when finished.  Tom came in late p.m.  About 5:30 a woman came and said the pounding disturbed her when she was working!!!!"

Those four exclamation marks are exactly what Grandma had written down.  I suppose it was a bit of an adjustment to have to worry about disturbing people after having always lived in a house and not multi-unit housing.  There are bound to be some stinkers in any group setting.  Overall, I believe Grandma's experience at The Pioneer House was a positive one.

And Grandma was right.  Dale's house is great even though it nearly killed him, and by extension, Lynn, too.  Here he is with me drinking milk in 1965.  We are reading real estate news and I think Dale has a milk moustache.

Oh, and shame on me....I missed saying something on Grandma's birthday!!  Happy 101st!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Assisted living

"November 6, 2001:  Mary took me to the hair dresser.  Evena Stemm brought me two red roses.
November 7, 2001:  Nancy took me to the doctor -- Shawn Semin.  He seems real nice -- we shopped -- then played some Rummicube.  I went to Book Club at 6:45 and Nancy did my washing.
November 8, 2001:  Maintenance man worked on radiators.  I saw "Brigadoon" and "Kismet" in evening.  A lot of music."

I haven't read ahead to see if Grandma ever wrote it down, but she was fond of saying that she stayed in an assisted living place -- Nancy assisted with groceries, Tom assisted with laundry, I assisted with hair dresser visits, etc. etc.  She got a chuckle out of telling people that.

Grandma also was conflicted about the beauty college we went to for her hair appointments.  We would go over my lunch.  I would pick her up and take her there and wait for her to finish.  Due to whatever their scheduling restraints were, it would take f..o..r..e..v..e..r.  I was not getting in to trouble at work and could take some short lunches to make up for the lost time, and I told her so, but Grandma did not like that at all.  So, she worked out a solution a ways down the road.  She took the HandiVan to her appointment and then just had the desk call me when she was finished.  We then had time for me to pick her up and have lunch together.  It was a good solution, and she felt much better about the whole situation.  Plus, we had some good lunches and good visits.  Because of that tradition, I have arm-twisted Mom into hosting me and anyone else that shows up on Fridays for lunch.  Pretty clever, eh?

I am still thinking about Uncle Raymond, so here is a photo of him being silly.  I will be honest -- it took me comparing two photos of two different men in buttoned-down shirts to figure out which was Grandpa and which was Uncle Raymond when they both had that goofy mask on.  But I got it right.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Bye, for now, to Uncle Raymond

"November 3, 2001:  Nancy came in a.m. and helped rearrange articles on top shelves.  She left at noon to meet Jeff and Tom to go to the Nebraska football game in Lawrence, Kansas.  Maryan C. came to visit in p.m.  I watched movies in evening.  Saw Bette Davis in "Dark Victory" and then "My Fair Lady".  Got to bed at 3:00 a.m.
November 4, 2001:  Talked to Greta in a.m.  Jeff, Tom and Merilyn here in evening.  Tom brought some good Mexican food.  Tom and Merilyn showed me how to use the oven on my new electric stove.
November 5, 2001:  Nancy here in evening."

Funny, I had completely forgotten about the hours Grandma kept once she moved to Lincoln.  It was not unusual to hear her say she had stayed up well past midnight.  I am thinking it was almost always to watch movies.

I can't complete this post without mentioning dear Uncle Raymond who passed away this week.  If he was ever grumpy, I never saw it.  Word is, he was a favorite at the retirement home he lived at and until very recently was enjoying company and playing cards and going to BINGO.  He was 99 years old, a combat veteran of WWII, and a husband who had the sad task of burying two wives.  I suppose both Aunt Ramona and Aunt Marina can fuss over him now.  And I imagine all the fine folks in this photo, plus their other siblings and spouses, are having a rootin' tootin' good time together.  I must say Aunt Irene's expression is illustrating my point the best.