Used to be that we could only get her dirty laundry by sneaking into her room while she was out, whisking it away (at arm's length) into the washing machine, drying it upstairs in our apartment, and then sneaking it back into her room again - artfully scattering knickers in piles where she might come across them.
If I asked about doing laundry for her she'd say there was none to do, and then wash two pairs of knickers by hand while 25 others festered in one of two laundry boxes in her room. And I do mean festered...
This winter this system was getting harder because she didn't go out so much and sneaking in to the clothes store room while she was in the other room watching TV was TOO risky.
So I bravely stepped up the Help Action: marching into her room all brightly with a half filled basket of dirty clothes and asking if she wanted to put anything in the machine "because it is SO hard to do hand washing in winter isn't it!".
A few times she got in the "no laundry to do" excuse and I left it seconds too late to override that and march in and grab the stuff. against her will. Not that brave.
But generally it is working. I follow up the offer quick enough with a "let's have a look to see if you have anything".
This morning I got into the living room with the bright: "got any laundry for the machine?" and as she was muttering about laundry and standing up I moved quickly towards the door into the other room and got her to follow me inside where I pointed out the two laundry boxes...both sitting innocently covered with old newspapers...and Lo, and Behold! - opened up to reveal the usual army of knickers and pajamas.
I stood there with the laundry cue basket and she picked thru her bits put them into my basket...everytime she looked like she was hesitating I cheerfully gabbled on about how BIG the wonderful washing machine is "yes, yes - give it all to me!!"...and the other basket and finally out to the laundry room.
"When I was young we didn't have washing machines, we did it by hand" said Okaasan a little embarrassed, and I gave her the reassurances that it is "SO hard to hand wash in winter and you were sick last week and didn't have time to do it all did you etc etc etc".
An hour later I gave her back a bowl of 5 pairs of pants and a set of pajamas and a circle clothes hanger....and took the bulk of the stuff to dry upstairs. Thought it best to let her hang up some of the stuff - it took her ages...because the clothes drying rack in her room is covered with everyday clothes...well, if summer T-shirts and hula skirts can be counted as everyday wear in February.
It is sort of working as a system. When the bulk of the stuff is dry I will give it back to her.
Letting me do her personal laundry MUST be a slightly embarrassing and I'm trying to make it as unstressy, but no-nonsense firm. Mostly succeeding. But the whole transaction is finely balanced, a moment too late and it is hard to invade her private space and take her dirty clothes...and trying to keep the whole thing light and friendly and done with a feeling of helpful togetherness.
Stretches me as an actress it does!
These are Taiwan bananas. Okaasan's absolute favorite. Since before the war. She won't eat any other kind. Tell us all that endlessly. You only have to mention "Taiwan" or "banana" or "fruit" or "yellow" or "monkeys"...(well maybe not all of those words)....and the "Taiwan bananas are the best" story comes out for an airing.
Regular supermarkets don't sell these much, the Philippines and Mexico grow them cheaper. Okaasan is adamant that ONLY Taiwan bananas are worth eating.
Last night I found them in our local, cheapo supermarket. Bought them as a sweet present to my dear Okaasan to make her happy.
Happy???????????? Dream on.
See that hint of green up near the stalks? It is a clear sign that these were picked too early, so they won't be delicious. No, not even if we leave them for a week under the kotatsu . In fact...could it be??...maybe they are NOT Taiwan bananas!!! Maybe the label is a lie! Never have Taiwan bananas been seen with green bits like this. No!
After 4 rounds of THAT conversation I was clearing my lunchtime plates and making kitchen escape plans. Yujiro could zap the offending potatoes in the microwave the other night, I don't think that works with bananas. Maybe a pot of yellow paint would be a good idea!
So much for a nice present of your favorite food. :-((
Takes a lot of patience to be an Oyomesan.
* Good News: I haven't had my leg spasms for two mornings now!! I am drinking a LOT of water and eating almost healthily..and two boxes of chocolate are surviving uneaten. Maybe it IS dehydration? I am thinking of getting a humidifier machine to improve my working air.
Got lots of potassium in the bananas though!