The Little Dog Beckons

Mandela got very sick a couple of days ago. Mom called Thursday night and told me she was very weak and would not eat. I was three hours away and feeling already guilty about not being with the little dog. When we spoke on Friday morning, Mandela would not even get out of bed. Dad had to carry her outside to toilet and then to the vet. The vet prescribed antibiotics—not because they know what is going on, but because they did not know what else to do.

I drove down Friday after work and Mandela was still very weak. Listless. Distant. Instead of alert and full of intelligent curiosity, her eyes were distant. I could see she was still there, but fading. I cannot tell if she was in pain or not. When I took her out to go to toilet, she could barely stand. She took a few very stiff steps and that’s about all she had in her.

She slept with me last night as always. Her breathing was more shallow and fast—she did not have the deep snores that I am used to from her in sleep.

Now we are back from yet another vet visit. The antibiotics are kicking in and I think she is improving. She’s sleeping now in mom’s kitchen—I brought her bed in so she could share space with us even while she lies sleeping.

In other news. My dad really really wants to be ‘in the cloud’. But of course he is enormously confused about what that means. He cannot articulate why he needs to store information in the cloud. When I pressed him he said he wanted to write down what they spend on monthly bills. I told him, given the circumstances, the best thing to do is to write down the information and give it to mom. Mom should then put it in a shoebox labeled ‘The Cloud’ and then put the shoebox someplace safe. I don’t think that was the answer he was looking for.

He has a non-smart phone, an old iPad and a ChromeBook—none of which can he remember how to use. He came to technology far too late in life to have a solid grasp of how to troubleshoot or learn on the fly. I am sure I will be in the same boat in a few years so assume I will have the same frustrations associated with feeling non-relevant and left behind. Inventing uses for technology just to try to remain aware rather than for any useful purpose. Dad also wanted me to get his printer working. It is an old Canon and is stuck on some error code about replacing printer cartridges and it will not come off that menu option. So we fiddled with that for an hour without success. I am hopelessly inept at tech support.

Mandela seems to be improving, but of course we still don’t understand the root cause of the issues. Is it just old age? All her bloodwork has not revealed a clue. She also had an x-ray today with no conclusive results.

It’s impossible to tell what is in mom’s refrigerator. She has every cool whip and sour cream container she has ever had and they are re-used for years. So if I want some left over soup, mom will say “it’s in the Sour Cream container”. And when I open the refrigerator, there are 13 sour cream containers. Some will have broth, some will have chicken, some beans, cheese, and what not. One of them will have the left over soup I am looking for. Sometimes I find something that looks better and just change the menu on the fly.

They maintain two refrigerators and a large freezer. I am pretty sure the freezer has things from when I was in high school. Mom saves every scrap of food that is not being used, no matter how small the morsel. And what is not saved directly, goes into vegetable or meat stock. Final scraps go to compost. She is an all-in recycler. We need more like her in this world. For this and for many other reasons.

So this weekend got de-railed because of Mandela being sick, but we will still have fun. Lisa is on her way down from Cleveland. We will have a good meal and play some cards. Back to Cleveland tomorrow. Back to work on Monday. I have some work to do tomorrow when I get back  since I lost most of the day today.

My grandmom’s cousin died last week. Mom, Dad, Larry and Shannon went down to the funeral in Tennessee. I only met him a few times; nice guy. A good guitar player and singer. His name was Pat Studer.

Shannon and Trent are off to Florida for a weekend of fun. Larry and Terri are bartending tonight at the Ducks Unlimited Fundraiser at the Catholic school up the street. This is Americana in full glory. Trump country for sure, but good people for the most part. A little myopic for my taste, but mostly well-meaning I presume. We will probably walk up a bit later and sneak in the back door and have a drink with Larry and Terri while they are getting the armed crowd of duck hunters liquored up.

Onah is missing her two boys. Sjoerd and Bear went to Osnabruck to see Arno. She sent through a couple of photos. The boys will be missing her soon enough and find their way back to Zaandijk.

Little Mandela–not well at all.
Mom cutting up a large pork butte
Sjoerd and Bear in Osnabruck

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