Saturday, 29 October 2011

The autumn family day out.

Just realize we are doing this every year: taking Okaasan out to see the autumn colors.

So today the weather played nice and we got out for that annual happy-family-thing. Got Okaasan to have a bath first (she never has one on her own decision, we always suggest it), and then via a quick panic about the front door...and OUT!

Took the subway to the campus of Hokkaido University, one of the big old universities of Japan, where the Ginko Tree avenue was glorious in yellow and everywhere else was pretty goregous too. 
We enjoyed it. Okaasan enjoyed it - all very nice.

Mum and Son.

Okaasan and Yujiro.


We walked a looong way. Okaasan is amazing with this: she can walk and walk. By the time we got back to Sapporo Station she was looking a bit starey eyed and tired - hardly surprising really as she hadn't eaten breakfast or anything.
In the station we found a real autumn treat: deep fried oysters. YUM. After talking about it etc it was great to actually find a restaurant serving it and stuff ourselves.

And then we went home. Mission Accomplished.

I asked Okaasan if she'd telephoned the hair salon with the telephone number etc I gave her last week....a look of blankness. Last week I'd actually given her a A4 size piece of paper with the name and number of the salon etc all highlighted with pens, and talked to her several times about wouldn't-it-be-nice-to-have-a-haircut-hint-hint....but she hadn't done anything. Somehow dementia seems to have the effect of robbing people of decision making and carrying out a plan - Okaasan sometimes decides to go to the drycleaners and manages to gather the clothes she wants cleaned and go to the shop (but of course forget to pick up until the shop telephone months later) - but that's about it.

So, acting on all the good mood after the autumn colors viewing trip I marched into her room with the salon number again, dialed it on Okaasan's phone and handed it to so that SHE could make the appointment herself.
"What am I calling about? Who is this?"...and then she managed it, I sat by the phone too so I could hear the conversation and write it all down on the calender...because Okaasan had forgotten the day and time within seconds of putting the phone down.

Tomorrow at 2 pm. I'll take her downtown to the hairsalon. A weekend of family duty.

It's ok, has to be done. Last week he and I were working in the evenings three times, so Okaasan got a lot of left food on the kitchen table dinners. This weekend is time to give her some human interaction. 
She was GREAT last night: I noticed immediately. She came back from her evening walk and stood in the kitchen chatting to me, almost...almost normally...bring and  engaged and eye contact and everything...just forgot once or twice who we were talking about...but a very normal conversation.

But that conversation stands out because usually, it's a few stock phrases and not much give and take or conversation.

But this year's autumn day out was a success. :-))


  1. Sounds like a great adventure for everyone. I am sure that being out and about with you and Yujiro provides the stimulation for Okaasan that gets her more engaged. It'll be another couple weeks before we get to enjoy the splendor of the fall colors down here in Kyushu.

  2. beautiful colors! nothing here yet... :(