December 3, 2007

A Good Day

LA. Railside Spools, 5. Remember, we both love Junque of all kinds, and there was a lot of junk along the tracks as we headed north. November 2007.

We did Duck things after nursing our aches and pains over lunch. He was clean, but his clothes weren’t. One more time, he convinced them the clothes were clean when they weren’t. So we had a charming conversation in the ersatz oriental living room, after which we turned him from grey spotted into grey clean. Grey’s seem to be working best, and he does like to be color coordinated. His corduroy baseball cap matches his heavy sweater….both grey.

Duck things at Target which blessed us with a tiny lighted tree for under twenty dollars that we can Velcro to the top of his TV or on his table, two packages of the kind of underwear he likes, and a nice, grey watch cap that will keep the top of his head warm. Warmth is a factor in this wall to wall glass, 1970’s nursing home building.

At Target too, I spent wildly on two sets of Christmas cards…..40 in each box for fourteen bucks. I’ll send half to Duck’s friends and half to ours. There were those $6.95 sweats….for warmth is a factor here too, the pigtails for plugging in house lights, and other small orts that I am sure broke the bank.

I’ve decorated….gold balls in clear glass containers here and there. G’s decorated….great big, old fashioned style bulbs outside on three layers of the house plus small deck off the front. We look ready for the holidays. We will be ready once I decorate Duck’s tree and write a letter for his friends.

Dear friends of Duck………

Duck has had a good year here at the Ocean Beach Convalescent Center. He lives quietly now going to exercise classes in the morning, and lectures in the afternoons…if he remembers. He has several friends who remind him to come to this or that, and once reminded he attends. There are also various tours and outings during the year. One tour is coming up very soon to view the Holiday lights at our fairgrounds. He normally goes out to see the lights this time of year with friends, so this fits perfectly into his life.

He continues to be as color coordinated as we remember his with his wardrobe, mostly in greys right now. He has the best of his clothes there, and the rest are hanging in the Bailey’s garage in clothes bags. He often wears a hat, jauntily to be sure, but mainly to keep his head warm. A polo, slacks, and a sweater keep him comfortable.

He shares his room with a retired, single gentleman who sleeps most of the time and enjoys classical music when he is awake. Duck has his television and watches it while wearing his headphones. His needlepoint’s adorn the walls, and a large sliding glass door lets the lovely garden and his patio be part of his room. He does have a small table and two chairs right outside his room. A geranium and three kittens that play in the gardens always amuse him too.

The facility is mid 1970’s and though it shows signs of aging, the new owners are putting money into maintenance. The rooms are clean, the floors are polished, and the paint has been recently done. The staff cares about their patients, and Duck gets a little more attention than some others as we visit every day.

We found the food good every time we have sampled it. Thanksgiving dinner was excellent….we ate with Duck and his tablemates, Richard and Alice. They get well balanced meals three times a day with snacks available between meals. And decaf is available at the nursing stations from mid-afternoon on. We drop in to visit at different times of the day, and several times a month we are there at dinnertime to see how he is eating and what the food is like.

We confess that when he first got there, we brought in M&M’s. When we saw he wasn’t eating his dinner, we cut out the M&M’s. He hasn’t noticed.

Every few months there is a staff meeting to which we are invited. They told us that he has adapted well socially, but he looses his temper on occasion. He does get easily confused now. He cannot always communicate what he needs or wants now, and the frustration angers him. We understand. To balance this, he has developed a wry and delightful sense of humor.

He has his own phone now next to his bed. The number is……… . He enjoys your calls though he often feels he doesn’t have anything to say. He usually remembers that you call and tells us all about it. If you send a card, he shares it with us. We tack the postcards and photographs you send up on a bulletin board on a wall in his room and he enjoys them very much.

Thank you all for keeping Duck as a part of your lives.

Duck: We shopped for him at Target yesterday after visiting. He’s bamboozeled them for another week….at least on the shirt, and when we changed his clothes, we discovered that he didn’t like our choice of boxer shorts.

Me: Took one of G’s pills and felt great. Oh, Oh. Will call dentist this again this morning.

G: His nose resembles a nose again. Progress indeed.

Weather: When we got up it was in the low forties with lovely clear skies. Simply glorious.

Gifts for the Military:

Gifts for the Military An MSMBC article with links and lots of useful information. I think we are adopting one more person overseas. Send your support to a soldier in harms way. It’s nearing the holidays. Perhaps you would like to send off a box to someone in the military. There are things you can’t send too. Read the pages before you send anything.

mailing fact sheet: Everything you need to know about mailing food gifts to the military overseas.


  1. 3, 2007 at 2:24 PM

    duck is very lucky to have such wonderful friends. thank you for sharing with us. can you direct me to the posts (dates) that would tell me more about your friendship? Annie

  2. Alice from WintersongDecember 3, 2007 at 3:38 PM

    I was thinking almost the very same thing! So if there are specific posts I'd enjoy reading those as well.

  3. I think you are wonderful. I spent several years visiting my father in various facilities, assisted living and nursing homes. I don't think I could do it again, and I probably never did it as cheerfully as you seem able to do.


What a delight to get a note from you. Thanks for leaving one.


Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...