Sunday, 12 April 2009

Thank goodness for GPS.(J)

Saturday is a busy working day for me - but it gives me confidence and power.
I really enjoy meeting students at my small school and the Saturday schedule is a little tiring, but fun.
Cooking and the salt-saga seemed a long way away.

At lunchtime I called Yujiro to check on him and he sounded stronger. He'd also eaten some of the Oden and said he thought it was good: "I don't know what she is talking about." Yes. Well. Me too.

I got home about 5.30 pm. Relaxed with a beer. Checked email. Injected the cat. Checked a few websites about elderly people and salt...Alzheimer's and salt.
Around 7 pm I cooked fried tofu and vegetables. Threw in lots of soy sauce. Salt. Okaasan was still out shopping. So he and I sat and ate dinner quietly. I'm not going to wait dinner for Okaasan if she isn't home. I worked hard today and dinner is at 7 pm. I had phone calls to make and our favorite TV program starting at 9 pm.

By 8 pm Okaasan was still not home. Department stores here close late, but she is usually home by 7...7.30 pm.

Yujiro checked the GPS connection between his and Okaasan's cell phones. I craned my neck to look at the screen. It's amazing technology.

"Ebetsu? Ebetsu? She's in Ebetsu?" we chorused.
Wow. Oh my god. Etc.
Ebetsu is a town about 20 km from here on the train line south-west of Sapporo! What on earth was she doing there?

Yujiro started calling her. After some false starts he got her holding the cell phone correctly and able to have a conversation. Got her to ask station staff for help. Got her onto a train back to Sapporo. The GPS tracked her position and showed her return...Atsubetsu...Shiroishi...there was a bit of a delay at Sapporo Station when we thought she may have bought another JR ticket and gone back throgh the ticket gates...finally the shouted instructions to the cell phone brought her safely back to our local subway station.

It was 9.15 pm. She emerged from the subway crowd clutching some bread in a bag. Looking a bit tired. But giggling and make comments about: "Oh, I'm confused! How did that happen?"

We guess that she came out of Daimaru department store and instead of turning right and going downstairs to the subway, she maybe turned left into the station and bought a ticket and followed the crowds through the ticket gates and onto a train! Maybe the train ended at Ebetsu, or maybe she had the smarts to get off finally. We'll never really know.

Luckily (again)...Sapporo is basically a safe city. She is physically strong enough to do this kind of trip. Eventually she asks people. But..but....

We took her home, Yujiro heated up the tofu, rice and soup.
We retreated to our living room and finally started our Saturday night at home.

Okaasan fell asleep on her living room carpet with the TV blaring.

Thankgoodness for GPS!







“江別? 江別? 江別にいるって?”ワタシたちは口をそろえて言ったわ。









  1. Hi, I've just found your blog and have been reading all the back posts. I wanted to comment on your MIL and the salt thing because my mum went through the same thing after she got older. She is now 67 but when she was around 65 she got really sick and every time we gave her food she said it tasted yucky and there wasn't enough pepper or salt. Finally she was hospitalised and they said it was her kidneys that made her tastebuds change as the kidneys weren't working properly and it affected her whole system.

    I'm not saying your MIL has a problem with her kidney but this sounds so familiar to what I went through with my own mum. It could be just something old people go through, or as you say, might be a side effect of alzheimers.

    It's frustrating to say the least, when you know you have cooked good tasting food and they say "oh yuck, can't eat this".

    I really sympathise with you in that respect.

    I just thought I would put my two cents in and tell you that you are not alone. :)

    I will carry on reading through your posts. :)

    Kelly xx

  2. Hi Kelly,

    Thankyou for your support thoughts...yes, I think the salt thing is something to do with age and needing a stronger taste - it's the reason many older people eat sweet stuff too...
    But Okaasan will never ever go to a hospital for we may never know!

    Welcome to the blog - this living with another generayion stuff is interesting....