22 September 2018

Sylvie And Her Mother’s Hands. Mansion Moments

By: Jon Katz

Sylvie And Her Mother's Hands

When I arrived at the Mansion Friday evening to call the weekly Bingo game with Maria, Sylvie was waiting for me. Sylvie is deeply religious, and never plays games of any kind. But she was clearly waiting to talk to me, as she sometimes does.

I asked her what she wanted to show me, and she reached into one of her tote bags for a red envelope, and opened and took out a worn photograph. It was of a pair of hands, one clutching the other, with a gold wedding band.

"Whose hands are these?," I asked Sylvie. "They are my mother's,"she said. "They were taken the day she died in 2015, and I wanted you to see them." I was profoundly touched by Sylvie's gesture, and her desire for me to share something so important to her, something she carries around with her all of the time.

The residents often look backward on loss, all of them have lost people dear to them and close to them – beloved friends, relatives, parents, spouses, even children. Loss is so familiar to them, and sometimes they need to share these moments of loss.

I was deeply moved that Sylvia had taken the trouble to wait for me Friday and show me this photo, which she treasures and carries with her. I am glad to be able to share it with you.

I asked Sylvie if I could take a short video of her talking about her very beloved Mother's hands, and she said of course. Sylvie and I have a special connection. She also asked me for envelopes so she can try to answer the many people sending her letters.

You can write to Sylvia c/o The Mansion, 11 S. Union Avenue, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.

-The Mansion work depends on your support. If you care to help, please send your donations and contributions to Jon Katz, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816, or via Paypal, jon@bedlamfarm.com.

And thanks. There are many small acts of great kindness to commit. And much good to do.

Posted in General | Post a Comment
21 September 2018

Running Into Dottie. The Mansion Needs Combs And Brushes

By: Jon Katz

For The Mansion: Combs And Brushes

This afternoon, Red spotted Dottie walking on the path outside the Mansion, they had a sweet reunion. While at the Mansion, I learned that the residents are in need of combs and brushes,  most of the residents don't have any, lost theirs, or wore out the ones they had.

The need seems mildly urgent to me, I went out to Rite-Aid and the Dollar Store and got six Conair brushes and six combs use right now, I ordered a few more of each online. Since combs and brushes seem to have a short life span at the Mansion, perhaps some of the Army of Good could send some combs and brushes.

I've taken care of the short run,  but I'm worried about the long run. This speaks to hygiene and grooming, two important things at any assisted care facility. Grooming has to do with pride and confidence and hope, I think.

The aides help the residents clean up at night and in the morning, and they have noticed almost no one has brushes and combs. We can fix that.

If combs and brushes come into the Mansion, the staff will store the extras away (along with the boxes of bacterial soap and shampoo in the basement) when the new crop of  brushes and combs disappear.

Thanks in advance, you can send one or two brushes and combs to Brushes and Combs, The Mansion, 11 S. Union Avenue, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816, Thank you. Small acts of great kindness.

Posted in General | Post a Comment

Portrait, Black And White Album: Ed Gulley’s Tin Man

By: Jon Katz

Ed Gulley's Tin Man

Ed  Gulley wanted his Tin Man to stay here on the Bedlam Farm lawn, and so did  we. This winter, the Tin Man blew over in a wild snowstorm and his left arm is mangled and hanging. We weren't sure what to do with him after Ed died, we decided we wanted him to stay here, both as a reminder of Ed and also as a symbol of Bedlam Farm.

Ray Telford, our new handyman/carpenter, says he knows how to weld and he can fix the Tin Man's arm. He is now a permanent fixture and lots of people in town ask about him. You don't see Tin Men all the time.

Ed Gulley was  sorry to cut short his budding career as an artist. He loved making art very much, and I see the  Tin Man both as a memorial to him and a monument to him. I say hello every morning.

Posted in General | Post a Comment

Black And White Album: The Flower Pot In Fall

By: Jon Katz

Flower Pot In Fall

For me, black and white photos sometimes capture more color than color photos. I love this flower pot, radiant all summer, turning now to Fall. One brave flower left, and the pot will soon come into my study for the winter. It is a beautiful shade of worn blue.

Posted in General | Post a Comment

Black And White Album: The Meadow Dog

By: Jon Katz

The Meadow Dog

Fate has always loved the meadow where we walk, she has always vanished into it to sniff things and chase mice and chipmunks. She has never caught one, I think the pursuit is the thing with her. I think Fate is the only dog I have ever had who could happily live in the meadow, she knows how to find food, dig warm holes, and stay safe.

Posted in General | Post a Comment