1. I walked into Kindred this morning and the first thing I heard was a group of residents speaking the words of an Episcopalian liturgy being led by MaryKay Lyons Hanson. My knees nearly buckled. I'd been hungry for liturgy. I haven't worshiped in an Episcopal Church for several weeks and hearing MaryKay and the residents worship together touched me with a moment of grace and comfort. I delivered Mom's laundry and some other items to her room. I knew it would make Mom happy if I told her I was returning to her house to sweep, mop, vacuum. "How about the dishes?" she asked. "Yes! The dishes, too." On my way out of Kindred, MaryKay and the residents were reading what sounded like a Psalm in unison and the grace and comfort I felt walking in touched me as I left.
2. Mom had a full slate of visitors today. Christy spent between four and five hours with Mom and was there when Teresa Hill Baillie came by and when Susan and Joe Kerns visited. In the middle of the afternoon, Paul and Zoe visited Mom for a couple of hours and I came to Mom's room around five, wanting to be with her for dinner. From what Christy, Paul, and Zoe told me, it was a good day for Mom. She was conversational. She enjoyed her visitors. When I was with her, Mom was tired, subdued, concerned about a green chair she thought was missing and a suitcase she thought should be in her room. Mom never eats a lot and, true to form, she only ate a small portion of her dinner. About 6:30, I told Mom I needed to leave to eat dinner with Christy and Everett.
"You promise you'll come back?"
I raised my right hand, as if to take an oath.
Mom said, "Repeat after me."
Mom said, as if she were a county judge: "I, William R. Woolum, do solemnly swear" and then she couldn't think what the pledge should be, so she said, "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."
I repeated it all, blahs blahs and all.
As promised, I returned an hour later.
Mom was fast asleep.
I returned to Christy and Everett's deck.
3. Back at Mom's house during the day, I did what I told Mom I was going to do -- and a little more. I did the laundry I mentioned earlier, watered the indoor plants, swept and mopped the kitchen floor, put dishes away, loaded the dishwasher, vacuumed the living room, folded my clothes, and generally spiffed up Mom's house.
I made these tasks all the more enjoyable by listening to Warren Zevon's electrifying live album, Stand in the Fire, recorded in August 1980 at the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood.
I also refashioned the pasta dish I had made Friday into a pasta salad, adding pasta shells to it and increasing the amount of tomatoes, fresh lemon juice, and Kalamata olives and brine. I also toasted two slices of Killer Dave's Blues Bread, chopped the toast into small pieces, added Italian seasoning, and fried the pieces in olive oil in an attempt to add some crunch to the pasta. The bread crumbs tasted good, but weren't that crunchy. No problem.
Christy used chicken left over from several nights ago and made a fresh lettuce salad that also featured radishes out of Mom's garden, so we had a cool and refreshing double salad dinner.