Saturday, July 11, 2009


It's been a busy Saturday. I've been inside, prepping food for a crowd and watching over Mom. Dad's been outside, moving tables, doing the burger and 'furter grilling, and helping the workers. Pastor Jeri stopped over for a bit, as did at least one of the workers' wives. Mrs. Kopf also stopped by with yet more food. The wheelchair ramp construction crew, about ten strong, has been out in the heat all day, toiling ceaselessly.

Progress on the ramp seems brisk to my untrained eye. I'm definitely having flashbacks to our recent renovation; the back yard is once again filled with people, lumber, and equipment. I'm not sure whether the ramp will be finished by tonight, but with so many people on task, it looks as though the team will succeed in making this a one-day affair.

Our family's thanks go out to all the people who have contributed to today's work. Thanks especially to Dad, who's been almost literally moving mountains to make things as smooth as possible for the workers. Last night, Dad even made two of his famous rum cakes, which were a hit during the 2PM break today.

More later. Break's almost over for me.

UPDATE, 3:56PM: Dad says a storm is moving in, which might cut things short. The ramp has definitely taken shape. I'm marveling at how fast this was done, as opposed to the construction of our deck, which took months. Many hands do indeed make light work.

I also wanted to note some good and bad news on the Mom front. Bad news first: Mom remains forgetful, and she also exhibits some of the obsessive-compulsive behavior we'd been warned about, behavior that normally accompanies damage to the frontal lobe. The bright side is that, when Mom toddles into the kitchen and starts cleaning something, she really cleans it. On the not-so-bright side, it's often necessary to pull Mom's focus away from one activity to get her to focus on something else. The other bit of bad news is that Mom's balance remains precarious. She can walk, but today she had trouble turning around while in the kitchen. I'm being a bit negligent, right now, by typing this update: Mom is outside with Pastor Jeri (Mom enjoys her company; I'm glad Jeri came back to see her), but Dad is helping the guys, which leaves Jeri to watch over Mom.

The good news, though, is that Mom is trying to re-engage with normal, everyday activities: putting on makeup and working in the kitchen, for example. Today, Mom de-stemmed and washed a bunch of strawberries; this was a huge help to me, as it allowed me to get dessert out to the crew in a more or less timely manner. She also washed dishes and trays after lunch was done, which was also an enormous help. Mom is still shy about appearing in front of people in her helmet, but that's changing. The fact that she's out there right now, watching the construction happen, is a testament to the diminution of her self-consciousness.

I'll end this update with a special note of thanks to Mike Frady and his work crew, as well as to the crew from the local Home Depot. Dad has taken down everyone's names and has shot some pics of the ramp-in-progress; either tonight or tomorrow, a post specifically dedicated to today's construction will be written. I still can't get over how quickly the ramp is forming.


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