As expected, we had a nice day in Asheville yesterday. I had made reservations for lunch for 12:15 at one of our favorite places. I never quite know how easy or difficult it might to meet a specific time like this and also get in her muffin at Panera, but she had been getting up early enough for us to make it. It turned out that I had to wake her, something I don’t like to do. That meant I did have to “gently rush” her to get ready. She wasn’t entirely happy about it, but we avoided a big problem. I called the restaurant to get a later reservation.
When we arrived at the restaurant, our server came up to the hostess desk to greet us. I had made the reservation on Open Table and requested Melissa. This was the fourth time she has served us. We like her and she seems to like us. She even brought us an order of their warm banana bread on the house, a recent addition to their menu. The last time we were here was in September. At that time I told her about Kate’s Alzheimer’s. I didn’t get a chance to say very much before Kate came back from the restroom; I’m afraid it was a more abrupt announcement than I had intended. Her eyes were filled with tears as we left. As we walked to our table, I was able to let her know how well Kate has been getting along even though her memory is just about gone.
Near the end of our meal, I got a call from our hotel letting us know that our room was ready. When I picked up the key at the front desk, they let us know it is the “Christmas” room. It is beautifully decorated for Christmas and is the only such room in the hotel. Right now, I am sitting in front of the fireplace in a sitting room adjoining he bedroom. At the end of the sofa to my left is a gorgeous Christmas tree. It’s no wonder we always choose to stay here. They have always been so very nice to us.
A few years ago, I told the front desk about Kate’s diagnosis. I usually do this at the hotels we visit. It may not be necessary, but I like them to know in case she should come out of our room and not be able to find her way back, especially if is during the night. On a few occasions, she has gotten up to go to the bathroom during the night and tried to go outside. On one occasion she had gotten into the hallway before I caught her. I have been confident that I would wake up when she gets out of bed. Recently, however, there have been a couple of occasions that I haven’t waked up.
At 3:00 yesterday afternoon, we went to see the musical Annie. We have seen other productions at this theater and been pleased. I wondered how well they would do with this one since the cast consists of so many children. I got my answer. These were exceptional children, especially the young girl who played Annie. This is a very upbeat musical. I knew Kate would like it, and I was not disappointed. She expressed her enthusiasm throughout the show. In fact, this is one of the things that I am trying to watch carefully. She gets so excited that she expresses her emotion audibly with things like “Wow” or “She is good.” She frequently says these things after many of the songs. So far the volume of her expressions has been low enough that I doubt people around us felt disturbed. It does make me wonder though if the volume might increase as she declines further.
On the way back to dinner after the show, Kate said, “Where in the world are we? New York? San Francisco? Dallas?” I told her we were in Asheville. She said, “I knew that.” She has asked the same question at least one other time on this trip. That is not unusual and is understandable given the limits of her memory.
At dinner, we had a nice conversation with a couple sitting at the table next to us. We learned that they were members of a church whose former pastor is a former student of mine at UT. They were both educators, and we discovered other connections we have in common.
During the night, Kate got up twice to use the bathroom. This hotel has a very good night light for the bathroom. There are two small ceiling lights that are controlled by a switch just inside the door. They provide a soft light that enables you to easily find the bathroom in the dark. That is something about which I would have given a thought before Kate’s diagnosis. Now it’s a very important thing. I wish they were available in all hotels.
Kate is still sleeping. She awoke about fifteen minutes ago and started to get up. She asked, “What can I do?” I told her she could get up and go to breakfast, stay in bed and work on her iPad, or sit on the sofa with me in front of the fireplace. She chose to stay I bed. I told her there is no hurry, that she can stay in bed as long as she likes. I may go back to the lobby where they served a continental breakfast and bring something back to the room for her. That is just in case she gets up after 10:00 when they take up the breakfast.
I am happy to say that our visit here has been a good one.