Saturday, June 13, 2009
Okay, I got AOL working and managed to download the photos. What a relief!
Mom really has trouble walking, even with a walker, and watching her try to manage stairs is awful. She can do it, but she has to cling to a bannister with both hands and haul herself up each step as if she's climbing Everest. Nonetheless, she wanted to go on the jewelry expedition today, and she wanted to take her walker, not her wheelchair, so that's what we did.
Yesterday, Liz and I went to a large craft shop where she got supplies for her students to make Father's Day gifts. I looked at the yarn, but saw nothing I liked. I did, however -- in the beading section -- find this cool agate pendant, which is solid black, although the undulations in the stone give it a subtle cross shape. The label said it was a "swirl agate" and that the shape occurs naturally (the store had them in a variety of colors), but I can't find anything like that on the Internet, so I'm suspicious. In any case, it was a neat find for under $5, so I got it, but then I needed a chain for it, which I figured I'd get while we were jewelry shopping today.
Mom wanted to buy things for me and Liz, but before that could happen, we convinced her to buy this absolutely gorgeous necklace, which also cost much more than any of us had planned to spend. It was an extravagant purchase, and it's not like she needs more jewelry, but she loved the piece, and it made her happy, and anything that can give her pleasure and energy is a good thing.
Under the circumstances, though, I didn't want her to spend a lot on me, especially since I'd picked out several things to take home: the earrings and pendant shown here, along with the chain -- which will also work for the agate -- and a tiny pair of inexpensive turquoise studs. So I told her she could buy me one of those items. She sulked and told me she'd get all of them (as the saleswomen watched with amusement), but I wore her down, so she bought me the pendant and I paid for the other things. Maybe I should have let her buy everything, because that would have made her happy, too, but Liz had only picked out one pair of earrings, and i wanted to be fair.
We had a yummy, filling lunch at a Chinese restaurant next door, and then Liz remembered that there was a yarn store somewhere in town. It took us several false starts to find the store. Liz decided to drop me there and stay in the car with Mom, who was already worn out from the hour's drive to Skippack followed by shopping and lunch. Since Mom was lying down in the back seat, though, Liz told me to take my time. I'd tried to take pictures of Mom wearing her necklace at lunch and she'd gotten annoyed at me, so I was a bit rattled. I wound up spending much longer at the yarn place than I'd intended, partly because the owner obligingly searched for a second skein of some sale yarn, with no luck, and partly because the yarn I did buy -- a gorgeous, and pricey, skein of Blue Heron rayon/metallic -- needed to be wound into a ball, which took some time even with a yarn swift and winder.
Then, when I got back outside, I couldn't find the car. Liz had to honk to get my attention. As we pulled out of the parking lot, it started pouring: can't-see-anything-even-with-wipers-on-max, instant-roadway-flooding rain, furious and loud on the roof of the car. We pulled off the road for a few minutes, hoping the rain would ease, which it finally did a bit, but then Liz stopped at a garden shop to dash inside for some plants while I stayed with Mom.
The upshot was that everyone was tired and a bit frazzled when we got home. Mom couldn't find her new necklace because she didn't realize she was still wearing it. She had so much trouble getting up from the dinner table that I was afraid she wouldn't make it at all, and she cried out in pain when I tried to help her. When we got her upstairs -- using the wonderful elevator chair Liz and her husband had installed -- her feet were swollen in a way that made me flash back to Dad (she has CHF, like he did; Liz will give her extra Lasix tomorrow if her feet are still swollen then). I was feeling complicated mixtures of grief and misery and guilt.
Liz and I had decided to do needlework -- knitting for me, crochet for her -- after Mom went to bed. I'd intended to work on my current project, which has devolved into a mess, but Liz wanted to see what the new yarn looked like knitted up, and I wanted to work on an easy, satisfying project, so I started one of my tried-and-true diagonal garter-stitch scarves. This one's for me. The yarn color is called 'deep water," and the short repeats of aqua, purple and blue, along with the glinting silver metallic thread, indeed make the scarf look like a swath of the ocean. As I hope you can see from this photo, the scarf goes very well with the whale-tail earrings i got on our first trip to Maui. The rayon's also a dream to work with, although I'm told it needs to be dry-cleaned (ugh . . . but how often does one wash scarves?).
The knitting relaxed me, which is what i wanted it to do, and now I've also blogged. Huzzah! Tomorrow, we're going to try to take Mom out for a shorter excursion, but we'll see what happens.