Mom shows up a day, and an hour, early – Surprise! Caleb and I had finished making peach cobbler for our neighbor Ritchie. I dropped one off at his house and kept the second on the stove. Caleb was waking from his nap, after having duty the day before, when Sparky began to bark. Hugs are exchanged and I suggest we go check out the new Pier South Hotel that just opened up in Imperial Beach less than a week ago. I’d recommend staying there, but only if you have $200/night in your budget.
Heading back to land and Mom spots a sand dollar from the pier. A nice couple keeps an eye on it and directs us towards it. That’s incentive enough for my mom to walk another half-mile down the beach looking for more. She will find at least seven that are still whole and picks up a broken one in hopes of finding some of the ‘doves’ inside. Mom found me a baby sand dollar and Caleb, not to be outdone, found me one twice that size, but still smaller than the ones I’m used to seeing.
We made our way back to the car in twilight and would walk to dinner at Don Panchos. We ordered three burritos, one for each of us, and some cheese enchiladas for Barry. Then Mom and I walked to two convenient stores looking for a blackberry-flavored Ice drink and grabbed three. It’s something new they drink, or southern-style iced tea, and I’m glad Caleb and I only had to share one – “It’s not my favorite.” This is one of Barry’s more familiar quotes and I hear it as a description towards dinner upon our return.
Barry is diagnosed with Dementia, the most common cause being Alzheimer’s. He has no problem sharing this information with us at 54 years old. He’s grateful to be healthy otherwise and still be here to see his family, unlike his father that passed of heart disease in the 80s. Part of his frontal lobe is missing and this has drastically affected his taste buds. He will still eat things that aren’t his favorite, but he prefers cheese enchiladas, burger and fries from Dairy Queen, wheat pancakes, and frozen yogurt. He stirs his meal together and offers us some. It reminds me of the putrid-looking meals I make at home.
His short-term memory suffers the most as does his ability to make decisions. He’s nice and full of love and questions about everything. Mom says he no longer likes violent films like Forrest Gump – his poor buttocks. After dinner and a long drive, Barry is ready for bed when we get home at 7:00 pm. Caleb sets up the air mattress for him in the office and I look at my mom’s new-to-her Dell laptop. She wants to know if the wi-fi works, so while I have internet connected I update her firewall and can’t help but laugh at the 500MB ram of her operating system – old, but plenty for playing solitaire.
I show Mom my inkle loom, the picture from the Renaissance Faire of 2011, the calendar made by to-kuehne.de, my degree on the wall with knickknacks underneath, and my two current knitting projects – patterned socks and a chair cover. Caleb will go to bed at 9:00 pm and Mom and I will stay up till midnight talking about whatever we can think of next. We almost made it to bed once, stood in the hallway for a bit, and made our way back to the couch. It’s nice to visit with them and not hear about their exit strategy upon arrival.