My Solo Decider Winter is almost over! He is home - for 3 days now - no work! He is home and getting bossy with the cooking. I have no problem with that - he can do it all for me.
Today we took Okaasan out in the car for a lunch and a walk. Had delicious noodles in a nice restaurant in a village south of the city, and then walked Okaasan round an electrical superstore and a supermarket for exercise.
I feel all my stress levels coming down, just knowing that I don't have to be responsible for everything that happens in this home - from the garbage bags out on the right day to cooking and serving dinner, to keeping the dust levels below knee-level and monitoring the cat and his injures.
Last Wednesday (before he came back) I had an evening class. I cooked two savory pancakes for Okaasan and got her to the table just I was heading out to my evening class.
The pancakes were on the table top hot plate - almost done - all the sauces were there - and the ingredients for my pancakes were on the kitchen counter for when I came home later. I showed Okaasan the sauces and showed her how to switch off the hot plate - and drove away to work.
SLIGHTLY worried about the hot plate and wondered whether to call her and remind her again. Last week there was one badly burned tabletop cooker. But the student came early and I forgot.
Two hours later after 8 pm I arrived home. House was still standing. Relief.
Walked into the kitchen....pancake smell was still strong.
Okaasan was still in the kitchen. Sitting at the table! She'd eaten one pancake - but hadn't used any of the usual sauces - and the second one was browning nicely on the hot plate.
"Can I eat it? Really? Is it alright? This is for me??" she asked.
So sweet. So sad.
She had sat there for two hours wondering and hoping if she could eat the second one. Couldn't remember what I'd said of course. Didn't notice/understand the line up of ingredients on the counter 1 meter away which indicated the makings of more pancakes.
So sat there and looked at the tempting food. But didn't eat it. For two hours...
And still didn't seem to understand what to do with all the sauces that usually go on this traditional Japanese dish. She ate the second one, browned and slightly dry. But happy.
I do feel she is losing the clear understanding of familiar routines in the kitchen. The tea making. The washing up of the lunch box. The rice bowls. We are prompting her more and more.
Slightly drifting in ability.