On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Archive for October, 2012

Who Will Care for Her? | by Linda Brendle

Like most of America, I’ve been watching the coverage of Sandy for the last two days. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected, and I breathe a sigh of relief with each new Facebook post saying that another friend is safe. There are so many images of unimaginable destruction and loss, but one in particular has stuck with me. (more…)

Top Ten Ways to Know Fall Has Arrived in Texas | by Linda Brendle

All of us who live in the South have heard some version of this comment from our friends of a more northern persuasion:

“I couldn’t live down here. I’d miss the change of seasons too much.”

It’s true that we don’t always have the gradual Spring thaw with the first green sprigs peeking timidly through the muddy remnants of the last snow. Instead we go to bed one March night with nothing but bare branches in the yard and wake up with a riot of white blossoms on every pear tree. And we don’t have a month or two to go through a slow transition from long johns to lightweight jackets to summer wear. Instead we go directly from boots and sweaters to shorts and sandals. But we usually get a day or two of beautiful weather when we can open the windows and air out the house before we shut ourselves in for the long, hot summer. (more…)

When Does One Become “Elderly” | by Linda Brendle

We recently got a new neighbor. He’s in his early 30’s, and he’s been helping David cut down and dispose of some dead trees in the back part of the lot. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but then I began to wonder. Was he simply being a good neighbor, returning some of the help he has received from us and others in the neighborhood, or was he helping out his elderly neighbors? (more…)

Mom’s Fears | by Linda Brendle

Mom was always a fearful person. Dad worked nights several times during their 70-year marriage. She sometimes told the story of being a young bride, left alone in an isolated country house while her groom worked at the ice house every night. One evening she was awakened from a restless sleep by a terrible noise. She later described it as sounding like someone was trying to get into the house straight through the wall of her bedroom. She had no phone and no close neighbors, so she huddled in the center of the bed, trembling with fear and wondering how long she had left to live. The noise continued for a while, but when the walls didn’t splinter and the threat didn’t seem to increase, she screwed up her courage and crept outside to investigate. She slipped down the front steps and peeked around the corner, and there she saw it. An old milk cow was chewing on the grass that grew up beside the pier and beam foundation that supported the house. She laughed about it later, but she and I had a replay of sorts years later when I was in my early teens. (more…)

Bringing Alzheimer’s Out of the Closet | by Linda Brendle

I almost began this post with I haven’t written much in the last week or so, but that’s not really accurate. I’ve written a lot: agendas for meetings; e-mails announcing meetings and encouraging people to attend; copy for flyers, posters and the church website; more e-mails answering questions. Our church is hosting an area-wide ladies’ conference in January, and our pastor asked me to coordinate the event. If I could re-wind to that moment when I said Sure, why not, I might think again before answering.

Seriously, I’m enjoying the experience, and the response from people who are willing to help has been amazing, but it’s also amazing how much time and focus is required. Something else that is amazing is how, in spite of no longer being directly involved with Alzheimer’s and being totally focused on something other than my writings about caring for those with the disease, I am still faced with Alzheimer’s again and again. (more…)

Blog Awards: to Participate or Not | by Linda Brendle

When I got my first “blog award” a few months after I published my first post, I was really excited. Then I read the instructions: post this award button on your blog, write a post including 7 things about yourself and links to 15 blogs including the one who sent you this award.  Be sure to send an award notification to the bloggers you mention along with an explanation of the award requirements. It sounded an awful lot like a chain letter to me, and my excitement dwindled a bit. In fact, I handled those awards the way I handle most chain letters: I did nothing. Then I got an award from Liz. (more…)

Return on Investment: Plant the Seeds and Watch Them Grow | by Linda Brendle

Anaheim chili peppers

Anaheim chili peppers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I made a pot of green chili stew this afternoon using home grown Anaheim peppers. In May I planted a small garden:  2 tomato plants, 4 cayenne peppers and 4 Anaheim peppers. David laughed and said it looked a little scraggly. He was right, but the squirrels didn’t mind. They watched carefully, and every time a tomato got about the size of a ping pong ball, they carefully snatched it, leaving no broken leaves or incriminating paw prints. I don’t know how many I lost; I quit counting after 30. (more…)

Other People’s Garbage | by Linda Brendle

Pile of trash 1

Pile of trash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been away for a few days – not away from home, just away from the keyboard. I’ve written before about our limited internet access, and this was another of those months when we had more month left at the end of our data. I felt like I was grounded from the computer, but I filled the time by getting caught up on laundry and other household duties, and I helped David in the yard.

I spent one morning picking up trash. I think we’re the first residents of this property who pay to have our trash hauled off. Since we’re outside the city limits, it’s legal to burn unless there’s a ban on because of extreme heat and/or drought. Former residents of our 2+ acres took full advantage of that right. (more…)

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