Pleasant New Year’s Eve

About an hour ago, Kate and I returned from lunch at Bluefish. For the past several months we have had our Saturday lunch there. It is several cuts above our routine places. Beyond the quality of the food (Kate always gets scallops with sautéed vegetables and sweet potato fries, and I get various things. I had my favorite today, Andouille sausage and shrimp stew and a special house salad that I love.), I find that it makes for a relaxing ride to and from the restaurant. It is a full 25 minutes each way. That seemed especially appropriate today. Kate got to bed a little later last night (shortly after 9:00). Consequently, she slept later than usual. She wasn’t ready to go to Panera until 10:45. I had to help her find some clothes. She was quite groggy.

We stayed at Panera for an hour before she was ready to go. (Over the past few weeks she has not wanted to continue in one place for long. The exception would be that she can stay outside a good while when the weather cooperates.) I asked if she were ready for lunch, and she nodded. Then we headed to Bluefish.

She was quiet at the restaurant, something that is not unusual. After the meal, however, we chatted a bit in a real conversation which is rare. The funny thing is that the conversation began with a strange comment from Kate. Out of the blue she said, “Now, let’s see what else you can blame on Dr. Pepper.” I said, “You think I blame Dr. Pepper for things?” She gave me a look that meant, “Are you kidding?” Then she went on to say that I don’t blame anything else; it’s always Dr. Pepper. I didn’t push her to explain as I knew that she was simply imagining that I discourage her from drinking her favorite beverage. I suspect this is something that has been on her mind for a while. The only other thing I had noticed is that occasionally she asks, “Is it all right if I have a Dr. Pepper?” I always say yes. From this point, however, we started to talk about how different we are but how well things have worked out for us. We talked about the fact that we had been able to overlook the things on which we differ because of the important things we share.

We also had a nice conversation with our server. I had asked her how she compared the quality of Bluefish with other restaurants around town. She gave me a good answer. I mean by that she was able to tell me how it stacks up in her mind compared to a number of other restaurants with which we are familiar. It confirmed what I hoped; she thinks it is a cut above most restaurants but not quite as good as several others. Kate and I believe it is unusually good. What had started as a slow day had now turned into one of those special moments that makes a day successful. We left the restaurant feeling good. I think that experience will set the tone for the balance of the day. I feel especially confident because she stayed outside pruning for an hour after we returned from lunch. That is one of the most therapeutic things she does.

I neglected to say something else that is becoming a pattern Kate is establishing. She came into the family room where I am listening to music and have the TV on to one of the many bowl games. When she sat down on the sofa with her iPad, she also had her charging cable in her hand. I think I had mentioned previously that she sometimes disconnects it to take when we are going out, usually to Panera. In some cases, like now, we aren’t going anywhere. When she sat down, she put the cable on the coffee table and said, “I want to take this with us.” I said, “You’re prepared.”

Something else that is becoming commonplace is closing doors to the bedrooms and bathrooms before we leave the house. I’ve never said a word to her about doing this, but I suspect that is something else that she believes I have told her she should do. This is just another reminder of the many things that a person with Alzheimer’s will do apart from the more typical memory issues.