It’s beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas. Our neighbors across the street started their decorating the week after Thanksgiving. When we returned from Texas, we noticed that the neighbors next door and one other put theirs up while we were gone. The past couple of years I haven’t done anything except to join all the neighbors in putting up a tree near the street in the front yard. All of us do that every year.
This could very well be the last Christmas that Kate and I will celebrate in a typical way. I felt like we should do more than in the past few years. I discovered that the wife of the man who has been helping to clean up the dead shrubs around the house is a former florist and decorator. I engaged her to put up greenery with red bows outside in each of the front windows. She also put garlands with white lights down the railings on either side of the front porch. I showed her some of the other decorations that Kate has used in the past. She use those along with a few new things and decorated our family room and the bay window in the kitchen. It is not elaborate but attractive. Kate was happy with what she had done. So was I.
Our church sponsored a Christmas luncheon for seniors that we attended yesterday. We were supposed to be at church at 11:15 to catch a bus to the restaurant where it was held. That made me a little nervous since it can easily be 11:30 or noon before Kate can get ready. Fortunately, that was not a problem. I woke her around 9:30. She got up easily, and we were there in plenty of time. I was happy about that because we have been very irregular in our church attendance for at least a year. I believe it is good for both of us to maintain our ties. This luncheon was a good opportunity with a group of people we have known for a long time.
Kate handled herself well as usual. After we arrived, I left Kate with a couple of friends while I went to a table to make name tags for us. I was gone only a short time when I noticed that she was looking around the room. I knew she was looking for me. I walked over to her. She said, “I didn’t know where you were.” The only thing I know that she couldn’t handle was how to answer a woman’s question as to where she lives. She turned to me and asked me to tell her. This was a woman we don’t know well and probably doesn’t know about Kate’s Alzheimer’s. She must have thought it strange. We had a brief conversation with another woman Kate didn’t remember. The woman said she had trouble with names herself. Then Kate proceeded to tell her she has the same problem. She went on to describe how she turns to me, points to someone she should remember, and asks me the person’s name.
We came back home after lunch. Kate rested for about almost an hour before we left to get our hair cut. They cut Kate’s hair first and then mine. Kate worked on her iPad while I was getting my hair cut. When I was through and ready to leave, she was in the middle of a puzzle and wanted to finish. I sat down with my iPad and did a little reading. The next thing I knew thirty minutes had passed. I asked if she were ready to leave. She said she wasn’t. She had gotten comfortable and was enjoying herself in much the same way she does at Panera or Barnes & Noble. I waited a few more minutes and then told her I thought it was time to go.
From there, we went to Target where I was looking for a hanger for the wreath for our front door. They didn’t have what I needed, but Kate walked very patiently through the store with me and back to the car.
It was getting close to dinner time, so we went to eat before going back home. We had a nice dinner. Then we returned home and relaxed until 9:00 when we started getting ready for bed.
Kate’s brother and his wife arrive from Texas this afternoon. As we left the restaurant last night, I reminded her of that. As I expected, she hadn’t remembered and asked their names. We went through them a couple of times. Then she asked when they were coming. When I told her this afternoon, she asked, “Where are they staying?” I told her they were staying in a hotel near us. She had a look of relief as she realized she didn’t have to do anything to get the house ready. I was pleased to see that. It is one of the few signs I have seen suggesting that she might feel some responsibility for taking care of things like that. Something similar happened yesterday afternoon. We drove up to our house, and I said, “Look at all the leaves, and (the person who cuts the grass) was just here last week.” Kate said, “I guess I’ll have to get out and rake them.” She has done a little raking in the past but never often. I was surprised that she assumed it would be her responsibility.