Friday, October 14, 2011

Weekend reprise

Last weekend was another pretty-much perfect couple of days spent at my parents' cottage. G continues to be mostly positive and cheerful, a trend that started mid-August. No idea why, but we appreciate every day of it.

The rest stop where we made our last get-out-and-stretch before the final hour of driving was full of color.

Oscar in the backseat, ready for us to start the last leg of the trip.

My mom, who happened to be at the window as we were pulling in, later told me G was smiling as we drove in the driveway. He greeted my parents so warmly, saying how glad he was to see them, how happy he was to be there. Usually there is more about how stiff and sore he is and activity around getting him out of the car and into the cottage.

After lunch I told G I was going to the orchard to pick up a bushel of apples to make appelmoes (Dutch for applesauce), and did he want to come along. To my surprise, he said yes. He almost never says yes to an outing. Besides being happy that he wanted to go, it meant Arleen, our lovely "going out of town" caregiver, could come, too. She is enthusiastic about nature and plants and gardens, so I was very happy she could be included. (If G doesn't want to go, Arleen doesn't get to go.) We had a transport chair so we could wheel G around the driveway when we got there. The orchard belongs to a family who planted apple trees around their house. They also have beautiful gardens. Lots of monarch butterflies on the asters. Can you see how many are in this picture? At least 4. Click for a bigger view.

After we got home, I asked if G wanted to go for a walk with me and Oscar, and he said yes, another surprise. This is the first time he has said yes to a suggestion of a walk, and we've had the transport chair since mid-August. (And no, I don't think the transport chair is the reason for his lifted spirits, though it does make life easier.)

G and Arleen, coming along the walking path. The big boulders are still in place - see them back there? And that big glare on the left is sun sparkling on the water.

We haven't been bringing the footrests for the chair, because G never wanted to go anywhere in it - we just use the chair when he's tired to go from spot to spot inside the cottage. So he just picks up his feet or shuffles them along as one of us pushes. Which created a snowplow / leafplow. Can you see the path he plowed?

Before dinner we sat on the porch with my parents and got hysterical listening to my mom tell a story about riding with friends who constantly (and annoyingly) call out the gasoline prices of every gas station they pass. She said, "And now your father is doing it!" This made us laugh harder, and I haven't seen G laugh like that in a long, long time. If laughter is good medicine, we all added some months onto our lives.

Arleen had brought a little bouquet of zinnias from her garden, and we added a spray of bittersweet from the edge of the woods.

Saturday was spent making apples into appelmoes.

Wash and cut into pieces. Don't core or peel.

Steam until tender.

Put through, if you are lucky enough to have one,
a 1930's KitchenAid with foodmill attachment.

Fill jars and process in a hot waterbath canner.

Also spent some time hanging laundry. It's something I enjoy, and even nicer when there is something beautiful to look at. The golden trees? Shagbark hickories I learned later...

...after Arleen found some small nuts and we had a discussion about them with my mom.

Checking out the gardens around the yard.

Monkshood (Oscar patiently waiting in background)

Blue gentian

Asters (don't remember what type)

Hydrangea we put in last fall. A bit disappointing on the flowering front.

Wood asters

It was such a warm, beautiful day, that I decided I might go for one last swim for this season. But by the time I was done with the applesauce (about 16 quarts' worth), it was late afternoon and I had come to my senses. (That and my mom saying, "Yes, it's been in the 70's and 80's during the day, but the 50's at night.") So instead I took my glass of wine down to the pier, climbed down the ladder, and cooled my legs in the water (right nippy!) while Oscar stood guard. (A fat lot of help he would be if I fell in.)

Sunday morning my parents, younger sister, and I went on a house walk. Another gorgeous day to see some beautiful homes on the lake and out in the country. The only place I took pictures was in the house where a bedroom for the grandkids had been painted by a local muralist. Is this cool, or what?

Such happy days.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful weekend you had. That picture of Oscar on the pier looks as if the wine belongs to him. It made me laugh. Much love to you and G.


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