Monday, November 2, 2009


I went out today and mowed the back yard. Mowing, when so many leaves have fallen, also doubles as raking. I hadn't mowed either yard in more than a month due to my sickness; I'm still sick, but the yard needed doing (the back is being taken over by onion grass, and some of the exposed dirt-- a relic of last year's renovation-- has become overgrown with moss), and I'll be out doing the front tomorrow.

A normal session in the back yard, during the summer, means producing about two bags' worth of lawn clippings. But with a month of growth and leaves to boot, today's haul was about eight bags. The whole process took longer, too: close to three hours as opposed to an hour and fifteen minutes. I had to rake leaves out from under the wheelchair ramp as well; the mower was no good for corners and tight spaces. In the end, though, despite all the grunting and sweating, I felt that I had accomplished something. Doing little more than cooking and limited household chores for a month can get a bit stifling. It was good to spend time outside, sickness or no sickness.

Mom was visited by her friend Mrs. Merrill today; she talked to Mom the entire time, massaging Mom's feet as well. When I came in, I saw that Mrs. Merrill had made good on her threat to bring over some fruit: we now have a huge box of Korean pears. While I'm thankful for the fruit, I'm more thankful that Mom got just the sort of attention she needed.

The day wanes. I need to shower and think about making dinner. I've risked ducking downstairs to type this entry and get cleaned up, fairly confident that Mom won't try anything funny. She seems unusually quiet and passive today; she becomes more verbal only when I'm within touching distance. I worry that her perseveration is once again flaring up. These days, it's increasingly difficult to tell what sort of cognitive symptoms Mom might be suffering; the less she speaks, the more we have to infer from nonverbal cues.


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