Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Knuckle Update - Six Floors Down

Doesn't matter if you're moving six blocks, six miles or six floors, you still need more boxes than you've got.

Now that the Knuckle's been ousted from the rehab whether anyone thought she could handle it or not, it's time to move her little butt down from the quiet independent floor to a more active floor in the assisted living block of the same building. She is still welcome to eat in the main dining room, where the indies and those ALFs who can bring a fork to their lips, gather daily at 4 p.m. like voracious pigeons. In the indie dining room, there is waiter service, cloth napkins, courses served one at a time and a brave sense of civility among the deuces and the four and five tops. There's also a spectacular view of the Clearwater Gulf to Bay Bridge and the ultramarine water it spans.

The Knuckle is also welcome to eat in the ALF's fifth floor dining room, a small spartan space in the lobby of that floor where the atmosphere, while not quite Titicut Follies, is a rigidly lively and slightly surreal version of the dining experience. Paper napkins, tables and walkers in a bustle, no carpet, linen or drapery and one window before which sits a woman who has been sitting there since lunch. Instead of the fresh-faced teenage waitstaff of the first floor, here we enjoy cheerfully screaming aides who alternate service with sotto voce yet hilarity-provoking personal comments. To be fair, they do know their residents. In fact, everyone at the Oaks knows the names and personalities of the residents; it's one of the things I really like about this place.

Still, on the Knuckle's fourth day out of Rehab (which means four days out of bed), she's had her hair done, her clothes donned and even a little lipstick added and she's heading for the show.
I'd intended to let her go downstairs with the companion we'd hired and find her friends, while I "supervised" the shift of her big furniture and its placement, but there was in her shrinking aura that sense of anxiety and stage fright familiar to kindergartners on their first day. "I'll be right down."

I found her sitting upright at a table for two working her way through a cup of cream of broccoli soup in the approved style: bring the food to the mouth, not the face to the plate. (That's just so nursing home.)

She plowed through her prime ribs like an 80-year old (the new 60) but she's 92.
Parked her with the her buddies, all lobby lizards, and left her to sort out the new apartment. A job well done.

More as it occurs to me...and there's plenty.


Anonymous said...

I am touched by how much love you show in your caring for her. Seriously. Cyn

ABG said...

i, on the other hand, am downright shocked.

Anonymous said...

Didn't you mention recently (on your blog, no less) that you had learned you are mostly motivated by love? Or something along those lines....Anyway,shocking though you may find it - ain't it grand to discover something we didn't know about ourselves at such a late age?