Published in the Rains County Leader on February 27, 2018:
Sunday was David’s birthday, and he finally joined me in the 70s. Although I’ve been there since April and have tried to reassure him that it doesn’t hurt when the age-o-meter rolls over, he didn’t seem to look forward to this birthday the way he usually does. However, when I came home from Brookshire’s and waved a package of German’s Sweet Chocolate and another of coconut, he broke into a smile, knowing his birthday cake was on the way.
We don’t make a big deal of birthdays – at least not any more. The first year I celebrated his birthday with him, I took him out to dinner, and he gave me an engagement ring. It was hard to top that, but I sometimes tried to at least come close. One year I gave him an I-Pod, and another year I presented him with a bicycle, but we’ve reached the point in our lives where we have all the electronics we need and there’s no space to store larger toys. So most years I send him an e-card, and if I’m feeling extravagant, I give him a printed one, too. We go out for catfish or Mexican food, or sometimes I make a roast and a big pot of beans at home. And I usually make a German Chocolate Cake. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on June 13, 2017:
Everything around the Brendle house has a lot of miles on the odometer. Our 2002 Pontiac recently rolled over 133,000 miles, and David’s 2000 Harley has been driven 102,000 miles. David and I have covered a few miles ourselves, but thankfully we don’t have odometers. Still, all of us are showing our age.
David has always taken extremely good care of his vehicles, and people are often surprised at how old our car is. However, time is beginning to take its toll. The lower exterior door panels have begun to crack, and the pins that attach them to the door have weakened. Several months ago when I was on the way to the grocery store, the wind caught the front edge of the panel on the passenger door and peeled it back. I heard a crack and looked in the rear-view mirror in time to see it flying down the shoulder behind me. I did a quick U-turn and was able to locate the panel before it fell victim to an eighteen-wheeler. It had suffered some minor road rash, but David was able to reattach it. (more…)
Published by the Rains County Leader on May 16, 2017:
I entered a new decade of my life on Easter Sunday this year, but the celebration of the Resurrection took precedence over my birthday. Still, it’s hard to ignore all the signs of the advance of time, especially when events conspire to remind you. There were several events like that this past week.
First, our next-door neighbor asked David if we would be interested in selling him the back part of our property, the part that borders the creek.
“I don’t think so,” said David. “But I’ll run it by Linda.” (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on January 31, 2017:
Last week at the Senior Center several of us had a conversation about knowing when it was time to take the keys away from aging parents. I suspected the time was growing near for Dad several years before I actually took the step. Riding with him became a test of nerves. He often became confused about where to turn or when to exit, and he would stop in the middle of the road while he tried to figure out where he was going. Sitting in a stopped vehicle in the middle of Hwy 635 tends to make a person think that maybe the time has come. (more…)
And this is just a list of the health related ones!
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 3, 2015.
It’s true. There seems to be a national day, week, or month for almost anything you can think of. The last two weeks I’ve mentioned that November is National Caregiver Month, but November is also National Novel Writing Month. I’ve been working on, if not the great American novel, at least a project that interests me for quite a while, but I’ve only managed to get a little over 6,000 words actually written. I’ve decided to use the motivation and peer pressure of NaNoWriMo and to focus my keyboard time on getting a complete rough draft into the computer. With that in mind, here’s one more week of stories about the lighter side of aging and caregiving. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on October 27, 2015:
Last week I began celebrating National Family Caregiver Month a little early by sharing a few stories about the lighter side of both aging and caregiving. Here are a few more. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on October 20, 2015:
November is National Family Caregiver Month. In honor of all the families who devote themselves to the care of loved ones, many of whom are elderly, I’ve decided to devote my columns in the next few weeks to some stories about the lighter side of both aging and caregiving. (more…)