Okaasan was brought home by a police car tonight!
She's fine. But a bit angry at being the center of fuss.
"That high school boy I asked the way of - he must have telephoned the police! He shouldn't have done that! I'm not a senile old woman. I knew how to get home. I was just checking which road!"
She'd gone out at 6 pm to the local Macdonald's for a coffee. She hasn't been there in months because all winter she has gone to the Seicomart convenience store downtown by subway.
But today her subway card had ran out and while I was hunting around upstairs for the next Oldies Discount card she said she'd just go for a walk locally.
Fine by me. I set her off - with warnings "don't eat chicken nuggets because you'll spoil your dinner" (I have become a nagging mother to this old lady!!!).
Off she went at 6 pm.
7 pm came and went.
She'd forgotten her GPS-loaded mobile phone so I couldn't trace her.
By 7.30 I was hungry. So I ate my dinner.
By 8 pm I was thinking: "hmm, should I go and look for her?"
I heard a car pull up outside, voices....steps....
Two big cops were escorting Okaasan to the door. She was clutching a Macdonalds bag with a spilled coffee inside it.
All apologetic to the police for causing them trouble etc
I managed to get her inside the kitchen, while I stood in the entrance hall and gave our details to the cops.
Yes, she does forget sometimes.
Yes, she usually has a cell phone with GPS.
Yes, she usually has the address written on a card...oh...in her subway card case that she DIDN'T have today.
Yes, we will look after her.
Unusual really. Okaasan's homing instinct has been pretty strong.
People are often surprised when I say she goes out alone, and comes home safely. The memory for streets and places seems strong - essential life information.
When she first moved to Sapporo she got lost several times - and once we called the police, and they quizzed us about whether there'd been a family row etc!
When we moved homes and came here she got lost a few times and she asked strangers to help her, or the police.
But she's been fine for 2 years or more.
I guess she hasn't been to Macdonald's for almost 6 months....even though it's only 15 mins. away from here - so she had just forgotten the street layout.
Anyway. She's home.