Saturday, September 10, 2005

I thought maybe the blog needed a bit more cheery post for once.
My Dad is settling into an assisted living "cottage" maybe a mile and a half from my house after moving up from LA last weekend. Well I should say after he and his cat moved up. His furnishings are still enroute. That's another story that's somewhat less cheery so I'll just leave it there. He's 85 and lived in his last house for nearly 50 years and we didn't really think this would be the smoothest transition, but he is doing so great! I had been telling myself to expect him to be depressed for at least a month, that anything we had done to make the move pleasant would be virtually invisible for a while while he grieved and missed his old life. But he's so positive and grateful and seems to be adjusting pretty fast. He'll do even better once the rest of his stuff is here and he can feel more settled!

One of the things we thought would be challenging would be eating in the dining room. I know that I felt awkward walking in with him the first day, having lots of people watch us, "the new folks" come in, look for a place to sit, knowing no one, finding a table. Its kinda like a restaurant, but you eat there all the time. This feels odd, let me tell you. Do you send food back if the meat is tough? How do you get a side of Heinz 57 for your hamburger? Anyhow, I was fairly sure he wouldn't brave it on his own the next day when I went back to work. He has a kitchen we set it up with a fair amount of stuff so he could eat in his cottage, but no, the next day he trooped over to the dining room and had lunch with a pair of total strangers. Same thing happened the next day, but this time at dinner he went over, and ate with two new people. He says he's antisocial.... but when we ask him about it he actually seems to have enjoyed the conversation! The food isn't great. Today I made him a spinach, tomato and cheese omelet and fried some toast (his toaster is in the still unaccounted for moving van) and he told me it was the best thing he'd eaten that week, but I'm super proud of him for facing that dining room the first couple of times. I'll go over with him again on Monday for lunch and by then he'll probably know half the people.

I don't think he's actually antisocial. :)

Next week's goal is getting him driving the cabrio so he can get out on his own.
Don't you love the mental picture of my 85 year old dad zipping around in a green cabrio convertible? The same car everyone told me was a "chick car" when I got it?

Hold good thoughts. He still has to get through a Portland winter.

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