Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Mid-summer truckin' along.

Obon holiday here in Japan now - a kind of quiet week when work takes a back seat and people (both the living and the spirits) go back to hometowns and families.

The dead have easier journeys. They just up and leave the graveyards, find the lantern guiding them into the family home and chill out on the snacks left on the home altar for a few nights.

The living awake at dawn and cram into trains and highway queues to trek home. Then spend time with crowds of other people, waiting for theme park rides and restaurant tables, then chilling in front of TV programs while the family bicker gently around them.

Our family glides along ok.
Okaasan's family - alive and dead - are all in Saitama, near Tokyo. She is spending calm, routine days in Sapporo.

We had another - much smaller - BBQ. With the guests informed that the event would end by 5 pm. As soon as Okaasan heard there was going to be a BBQ she gobbled down her lunch and 20 mins later was out the door and gone. ;-(

But when she came back a few hours later she actually JOINED us, kind of in the garden and ate some corn and drank a little beer!
First time for that.
The seating arrangement wasn't great. All the guests were at a garden table in the center of the grass, and Okaasan plomped herself down in a chair a few meters away in the parking area....but near the BBQ set and the just cooked corn. She loves corn.
She sat there chomping on corn and sipping the small glass of beer. Didn't/couldn't join in the chat at the table. But at least she was there and showing some sociability. She stayed about 20 mins and then went inside to switch on the Tv.
The BBQ ended at 6 pm and we cleaned up and got her dinner on the table at 7 pm, in an almost cleaned kitchen. Her stress levels were lower.

Apart from that:

* she is wearing the pajamas :-)
* she came home one night and actually told us she didn't need dinner: "I just ate ramen!" Usually she eats something and doesn't say anything until we have cooked and she is at the table saying: "oh, not so hungry..."
* she snoozes by the TV all morning and after lunch, and heads out for walks late afternoon.
* I'm going in every morning now to change her TV channels...her control of the remote is getting worse and she can really sit for hours with TV shopping or circular weather reports.
* caught her watching a TV report about Alzheimer's.....what DOES she think when she watches that topic??? "Oh, poor people. I'm glad I am not like that?"

And so. Summer.
I have a half schedule.
Enjoying the garden, some kayaking, lunches and dinners with friends, a beer festival, movies, TV....sleeping.

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