Thirty per cent chance of snow, every tree outside my window is coated with soft snow, the sky still white. My husband's daughter and her boyfriend took him out to dinner last night. They had to cancel last week due to icy roads and in her mind they had rescheduled for last night. Both sons were off, after a difficult (at home) but productive work week. My plan was to watch Bones, Hawaii Five-O, and Blue Bloods. My husband was confused and tired, told me he would rather stay home. We sat watching the California wildfires and the Rio de Janeiro statue of Jesus getting struck by lightning on the news, then a brief update on the local man, missing for a week now. My husband asked if that was the lost man from my mother's town. I said yes. He turned, looked at me intently, then asked, "Who is going to fix all of this?"
Who, indeed. In the meantime I found out one sister and her daughter are coming down from Rochester to visit my mother for two days before her daughter returns to Vassar. His daughter calls back and I answer; she wants to make sure he's dressed the way she likes. Prior to her call, I had suggested he take a shower to perk himself up, hoping to get him to change out of the same clothes he's been wearing all week. Three shirts, flannel lined jeans, and a vest with a train on it and a hole from his pipe ashes. Three pairs of socks. I tell her he's in the shower, but I'm glad she's taking him out, so I can wash his week-long outfit. I also tell her he's had a hard week and she gets a bit snippy about what she thinks I'm implying, her lack of knowledge of Alzheimer's. I try to offset this by telling a funny story about him flirting with my other sister at Christmas.
I can't win, as she interrupts to tell me how she is still embarrassed about him flirting with the parent of a child she babysat for, over 40 years ago. "Oh, wait," I interrupt her, "I can hear he's out of the shower. I'll get him." Walking into his library, where he's wearing the same clothes from before, I tell him, "Your daughter is on the phone and wants to tell you how she wants you to dress." He blurts out some swear words, then gets on the phone. I wait until he hangs up. He is angry, "These jeans are brand new and I'm not changing my shirts. I don't care what she wants."
I tell him he's been grouchy all day and his jeans are not new. Then I say, "Come on, all you have to do is wear different pants and warmer socks." He gets up and I hand him a pair of flannel lined dress slacks with a belt. "Here you go, handsome." He puts the new pants on, while I show him the various worn places on the jeans. I say, "See, these were probably new 8 or 10 years ago." He starts laughing, then I start laughing. For whatever reason, we can't stop laughing. I decide to show him on my computer the statue of Jesus that got struck by lightning. I try to briefly explain Wikipedia and show him a short article that I supplied photographs for a Free Black Cemetery somewhat nearby. I'm basically trying to kill time until his daughter shows up, when the phone rings.
The call is from my other sister, who I haven't talked with since Christmas; she's concerned about my mother and wants to discuss the recent barrage of emails regarding planning for my mother's 90th birthday in April. Daughter and boyfriend arrive and I wave them off, thanking my sister I don't have any more contact or confrontation. The rest of the night is blessedly uneventful except for finding a child's drawing in pencil, with some erasures, of a Spongebob Squarepants look-alike and the words "wanteD 100000,0 DoLeR ReWRD" at the bottom of the paper, which is taped to our front gate. I forgot to bring in the mail earlier and would have missed finding that, or seeing the hazy moon, no longer full.