10 January 2017

Talking Shop: Two Fiber Artists

Two Fiber Artists

It's been lovely to have Maria join Red and on some of my visits to the Mansion, our work and art is usually quite separate, but I invited Maria to come to the Mansion, and she came. She and Connie have a lot in common, both have done fiber work and art, they talk easily and comfortably with one another.

Connie wanted to know about Maria's trip to India and they both talked about knitting, weaving, and designing quilts. Red sits quietly by Connie while they talk, and I love the three of them, sitting quietly and chatting. I went off and visited some of the other Mansion residents and when I came back, they were still sitting together and talking.

Connie said she has a lot of work to do for a long time, her room is crammed with baskets and buckets of yarn. She said she'd miss Maria when she is gone. Me too, I said.

My favorite part of the visit was when the women in the activity room saw Maria's Frida Kahlo tights and got very excited, all of them had something to say about the bright colors and images. I think Maria had a blast talking to them about it. As I've mentioned, it is a good idea, I think to mark Valentine's Day, a day of love.

I think that is a day when love will be on everyone's mind, Valentine's Day is Tuesday, February 14. If you wish to send the Mansion residents messages or small gifts, you can send them to The Mansion, 11 S.Union Street, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.

Posted in General

Killer Monopoly At The Mansion. Maria’s Leggings Were A Big Hit.

Killer Monopoly At The Mansion

It is inspiring to watch the activity directors at the Mansion and the other assisted care facilities I've been to with Red. They are extraordinarily generous, dedicated and warm. Every time I've been at the Mansion, either Julie or Gail (above) is in the activity room, organizing a game or taking out a puzzle.

The room is an important place in the Mansion, the residents can gather there, talk to one another, have some fun and mental stimulation. Today, there was a killer game of monopoly going on, lots of money on the table, lots of negotiating. Lots of smiles, laughing and concentration.

There is a feeling of warmth and connection at the Mansion, the staff looks out for the residents, and the residents who can look out for one another. They play a hard game of Monopoly as well.

Maria and I came into the activity room with Red, and everyone lit up at her Frieda Kahlo leggings, everybody wanted to know where she got them, and then they peppered her with questions about her trip to India. Madeline, who is in her 90's, said she was ready and willing to go to Kolkata.

They were just wild about her leggings and she had a blast talking about them. Maria is wonderful at this work, it is a joy to have her along sometimes.

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Red And Peggy: Valentine’s

Valentine's

Peggy had her hair dyed red again (I only had my black and white camera, and her fingernails painted blue. She asked Red to be her Valentine. I think he already is. When she spots him in the hall, she yells "Red," and he comes running.

I haven't told the residents that some of you are planning to send them Valentine's Day cards and messages,  (11 S.Union Street, Cambridge, N.Y.,12816.) They are still going through all of the Christmas messages and trying to write as many replies as possible.

It makes sense to me to space out our gifts and messages to the residents at the Mansion, I don't want to wear anybody out, and you can't imagine what these messages and presents mean to the people who live at the home. People are so good when given the chance.

Peggy is hot stuff, a lot of love and fun. And very full of life.

Valentine's Day is February 14th, a Tuesday. I think I'll bring some chocolates. Your love and generosity is awesome, I thank you. Again, the address is The Mansion, 11 S. Union Street, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.

The first names of the residents who can or wish to receive your messages are Jean A., Mary B., Gerry, Sylvie, Diane, Alice, Jean G., Madeline, John, Allan, Carl (Bob), John K., Aileen, Christie, Helen, Connie, Alanna, Barbara, Peggie, Dennis, John R., Bruce, John Z.

Posted in General

Saying Goodbye To Bill

Saying Goodbye To Bill

I went to the Mansion today to say goodbye with Bill, who I have gotten to know fairly well. He is leaving the Mansion for another facility. I will be able to visit him with Red, his new home is less than a half hour away. And I will visit him, we have a connection now and I don't care to break it, Bill needs some additional care.

Bill, a former farmer and cook, lost his wife of 62 years last year, and his very beloved dog Duke when he came into assisted care. He was very touched by your letters and messages and has them in a pile near his bed. When I get his new address I will pass it along on the blog, for those who wish to continue corresponding with him.

We've spent a few hours talking, he has stories to tell. When Red came in, he lay down next to Bill, rather than sit up, as he usually does. Bill said that was just where Duke used to lie. I gave Bill one of my books, he apologized for not being able to read it yet.

Bill was surprised when I said I would see him again, "really, you'd have to come all that way." It's not that far, I said, Red and I have been there before. Well, he said, I'd appreciate that. We shook hands, he's leaving early tomorrow morning.

If you work or volunteer in the homes and facilities for the aging, goodbyes are very common. People come and go, into hospitals, in need of different levels of care, according to the ever changing finances and regulations governing anything to do with health and insurance.

These are among the most vulnerable people in our world, and I hope and pray they will be cared for and supported in the future.

Posted in General

Grandfather Chronicles: The Power Of A Smile

Smiles Are Infectious

Emma says that when Robin smiles, she puts her whole body into it, I suspect she is laughing at the world and it's ridiculous ways. Still, smiles are infectious and when I see Robin smile I smile, and when I put her smile up on the blog, I see that many other people smile as well.

Walking on the street in Brooklyn, a grandmother came up to me and asked if she could hold the baby for a minute, and I said sure, and she saw Robin smile and she said isn't it the most wonderful thing, the smile of a baby, it is so pure, she has not had to deal with the nature of life yet.

I told her I hoped Robin's life was worth smiling about, but I knew what she meant. So I'll keep sharing Robin's smiles, I think they do a lot of good.

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