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Pacific Northwest Gardening: Winter solstice is approaching

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Forum: Pacific Northwest GardeningReplies: 18, Views: 115
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bonehead
Cedarhome, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 12, 2011
9:16 PM

Post #8927261

Our forum has been noticeably silent lately. I suspect this is primarily the winter duldrums, although I hope it is not a sign of apathy. I do so enjoy conversing with everyone...and the occasional in-person events are always so much fun. That said, I've been going through a bit of turmoil myself.

My father (83) was sent to the ER 2x in a week by his assisted living facility. Neither time was emergent or even warranted. Both were initiated by his facility even though he had executed a POLST requesting no transport and no resuscitation (he was in do particular danger either time). Nevertheless, those visits set him back hard. He's been in a rehab facility since Thanksgiving and is now moving to a different assisted living facility (his prior one won't take him back because they have somehow diagnosed him as needing 24 hour care). This will separate him from his steady lady-friend of 4 years which will be devastating to both of them. I can't undo any of it. It really sucks. He's sad. She's sad. We're all sad. This all crashed down on us on Thanksgiving Eve and we're still trying to move forward positively. Dad is moving from rehab to new place on Thursday. I hope that works out for everyone, although I have serious doubts.

Perhaps the winter solstice will bring a good turn and new hope.

Thumbnail by bonehead
Click the image for an enlarged view.

summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

December 13, 2011
3:41 AM

Post #8927416

Oh wow. To be so out of control over your own life & love like that. Flashbacks to being forbidden to date a particular boy in 8th grade.
springcolor
Lake Stevens, WA

December 13, 2011
8:27 AM

Post #8927662

That is so sad. Can his Gal-pal move too? Maybe she would like the new place as well. So sorry to hear about your dad, moving is so hard on them. Take care.
Happy Holidays everyone! Is Spring here yet?
PNWMountainGirl
(Sharon)SouthPrairie, WA
(Zone 7a)

December 13, 2011
10:11 AM

Post #8927804

So many problems, dealing with our aging parents! That is a terrible turn of events!

We certainly do miss keeping in touch with our gardening friends, too. Julie and I are still here, though life has a lot of drama right now. Holidays are difficult these days when we no longer have all of our loved ones to share them with. Will be happy with the solstice and the world moving toward spring.

In the meantime, there is one small plus to this time of the year: pretty skies...

Best wishes to you all!

Thumbnail by PNWMountainGirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

springcolor
Lake Stevens, WA

December 13, 2011
3:18 PM

Post #8928247

WOW! Thank you for that picture.
mauryhillfarm
Vashon, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 14, 2011
7:43 PM

Post #8930019

So sorry about your dad, bonehead. Our modern society can be such a hard place for the elderly to maintain their dignity and family connections. A friend of mine drove every weekend into Seattle to pick up her mother at her home and take her to visit her father who was in a nursing home 45 minutes away by car.

Sharon, you are so right about the holidays being difficult with loved ones gone. My mother has an especially hard time around Christmas because her wedding anniversary is Dec. 26th, and my dad died a few years ago on Dec.23rd. He was trying so hard to make it to their 50th, but couldn't quite hang on.

I also miss the camaraderie of our gardening group, as I have been up to my eyeballs in work and schoolwork for the last 6 months and will remain so for the next year. I know I won't be the life of the party (or the forum, as the case may be), and not much will be happening in my garden other than keeping my garlic going since I don't want to lose my ongoing varieties. However, I do check in periodically to see how people are, and I've missed that with nobody posting much.
bonehead
Cedarhome, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 15, 2011
7:38 AM

Post #8930494

Gorgeous photo, PNW. SK, I did give Dad's new facility information to his GF's family, but that's about as much as I feel comfortable inserting myself into their family decisions. It was so sad the other day when I drove Pat (the GF) back from a visit with Dad -- she kind of sighed and said, "All we do is eat and sleep," in such a wistful voice. I had to agree with her thoughts -- really, how hard is it to just let these old folks wind down at their own pace and with people they care about?? Dad is declining quicker than Pat and needs much more care than she does, but she still just wants to sit around and hold hands with him. Such a small thing...

For what it's worth, if anyone is considering an assisted care facility for an elder, I would pay particularly close attention to how much future care they offer, and at what point they essentially give your oldster the boot. I thought we had moved Dad from his home of 53 years to a nice retirement facility where he could live out his final years with dignity. Not so. As soon as he failed to fit their 'image' of vibrant and mobile, they first upped his fees astronomically and then ejected him.
summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

December 15, 2011
7:51 AM

Post #8930515

In my family, our elders just live with us till death do us part.
I guess that's not an option here?
bonehead
Cedarhome, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 15, 2011
5:33 PM

Post #8931154

I have tried and tried and tried to get Dad to move in with me (add a wing, trick out the basement, build a separate residence, haul in a mobilehome). He refuses. I've told my boys to pick out which one of us they want when Gary and I get old, cuz neither of us plans to go into an old folks home.
velveteena
Seattle, WA

December 15, 2011
10:17 PM

Post #8931602

Bonehead, your dad is still a spring chicken by many standards! Is there no appeal possible? I would think this sort of behavior could get the state involved, as others probably suffer from it, too. Not that the state is flush with extra cash for investigations, but I would definitely go on record with a complaint. I agree that his flame should "put in for a transfer" also. Have you gotten to know her family, if there is one?? After both my parents died, I began to regret all the mistakes in their care, simply because they were elderly. Sometimes, only a lawsuit does the trick, and that was told to me by people in the medical profession. We tend to side with them, because they ARE our caregivers, thus we depend upon them. Show your discontent in any way you can, perhaps with the assistance of an attorney. I hate to see this sort of riding roughshod going on with the Greatest Generation.
summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

December 15, 2011
11:50 PM

Post #8931639

I love that image, bonehead! "Yeah, OK, I'll take Ma if you throw in a lhasa apso & Grandma's good skillet ..."
Willowwind2
Union, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 18, 2011
4:31 PM

Post #8934726

Nice to hear from everyone. I check in once a day but no one was around. I've been to busy to think of anything creative to say. DH is getting much worse and requires a lot of attention. Been working in the yard raking maple leaves and sacking them up. Cutting down a holy. Found my camera so will be soon posting some pictures. I really do love this little house.
mauryhillfarm
Vashon, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 18, 2011
10:38 PM

Post #8935086

Willow, I'm so sorry your husband's health is deteriorating. That must be really hard. I'll be thinking of you. I would love to see pictures of your new house and garden. I know you'll make it as special a place as your previous home.
I just got my assignment and exam done for this week about an hour ago, and I am free for a week! So I'll be around and checking in.
summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

December 18, 2011
11:07 PM

Post #8935092

Willow, I too would love to see some pix.
Maury, do you have any photos of your garlic or garden that you want to share?
mauryhillfarm
Vashon, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 19, 2011
12:01 AM

Post #8935107

I haven't taken any pictures recently due to being massively overworked with school (where I teach) and school (the online masters program I am in), but I now have a week off (Hooray!!!), and may be inspired to run about the yard with a camera. I don't know if my garlic has sprouted since planting, as I have been holed up inside writing papers for weeks. I hope there is a little sun tomorrow.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

December 20, 2011
7:12 PM

Post #8937454

My Dad didn't want proceedures to prolong his life after my Mom (Betty) died, but at first they fast-talked him, then bullied him once.

After that he blew them off no matter what they said or how many people they brought into his room to tell him he HAD to do something. Hah! How little they knew him. Since he wasn't a trouble-maker, I guess they thought he was easy.

Once he saw it was just a delaying action, and he didn't consider the indignities worth the extra days, there was little chance they would bully HIM again. He finally got rid of them by expending on "NO". he said "No, I just nat to be with Betty again." They finally stopped hasseling him.

He would really rather have skipped heart bypass suregry (is there such a thing as a quadruple bypass?) around 4 years earlier, at 88 or 89, but Mom made it clear that SHE was not ready for him to go first, so he sucked it up and went through the surgery - 99% because she needed him to. Doctors and Mom had been trying to get him to go for many years, but he had to see Mom panicked that he would go first, before he would agree to go the extra innings.

I more than half suspect that he only hung on past Mom another year (plus a month or so) because their friends all thought that he would be gone within a year of Mom dieing. He just quietly did not let anyone make decisions for him.

I think that was "The Greatest Generation". Even the thigns he hated most (like having to walk to the bathroom in adult diapers and a flapping hospital gown while nurses tried desperately to get him NOT to wlak unassisted) , he just gritted his teeth and put up with.

Here's to you, Dad! I hope I'm half as brave when my time comes.
velveteena
Seattle, WA

December 21, 2011
1:38 AM

Post #8937832

Rick, I suspect you take after Dad! Guess he showed everyone who was boss---your mom!
Willowwind2
Union, WA
(Zone 8b)

December 21, 2011
3:04 PM

Post #8938496

Great story Rick.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

December 22, 2011
5:04 PM

Post #8939749

>> Guess he showed everyone who was boss---your mom!

That's the truth. She was from Brooklyn, and it showed.

And yet, she needed his emotional support more than he needed hers.

Once while they were both with us, Mom had just been very "Mom" at high volume levels and for a protracted period. When my ears stopped ringing, I muttered to Dad "She can really be a ---ch sometimes!"

I reccoemend his answer to any married couple, or inded anyone in a relationship. I'm comvinced that it is the only path to long-term happiness.

"No, Rick! She's the most wonderful woman in the world."

Words to live by.

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