Neile Graham (neile) wrote,
Neile Graham

Les Semaines August 23, 2009: What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Went to Victoria to visit my parents, leaving Jim and the cats to fend for themselves which sadly they seem to be able to manage.

Realizing that our lives had been sadly without drama for a long while, Dad proceeded to put The Fear into Mom and I by letting us take him to visit the doctor, receiving a prescription for nitroglycerin patches and referrals to a cardiologist and a thoracic surgeon, and coming home a falling to what could best be called a decline. He did get himself dressed and downstairs, but for a few days that was the most he could manage. He looked grey, had no energy or appetite, and couldn't manage even a short walk with the dogs. He slept in his chair and held his dog Ben, mostly. He wouldn't have done the latter, except Ben insists on it.

Luckily, the patches gradually seemed to help him perk up, and by the time I left he could manage a short evening walk with the dogs, which still leaves poor Mom with her bad knee dealing with the two other daily walks. I am low-level worried about this, especially as Mom's not feeling particularly wonderful herself, and they have to deal with a second leak following the complete replacement of the outside structure of their duplex (leaking so badly the house would have fallen in about another year--the photographic record of the repair is scary). But they went through that for months and months. And then a leak and finally it was repaired. An now another. They are beyond sick of dealing with this, and I can't blame them. They shouldn't have to.

Also, while in Victoria, I got to see John Barton for several brief visits, and even had lunch with Diane, Harold, and their daughter Leandra, which was fun. John also gave me a copy of his new book and it's a knockout. It has been a long while since a book of poems has impressed me this much, and believe me, it's not just because we're friends. If this book were a chocolate bar, it would be the Firecracker one here, whose glory I just appreciated through the wonder that is the chocolate-level subscription to Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet.

So, after Victoria it was home to the real world. Which meant all the errands, chores, and nagging personal and home projects. Too many of them! So I've been picking away at them. Jim took the week off to write and do home repairs, and only had a chance to do the latter, because stripping and scraping our front concrete steps took over his life. He did it for four days, and has the blisters to show for it. However, we have since painted the stairs and they look *wonderful*. Wonderful, that is, for a boring, plain, innocuous set of concrete steps painted pearl grey. You wouldn't think them capable of such perfidy as stealing a week. Butter wouldn't melt in their mouths, if they had any. Since they're concrete and it's summer, butter would definitely melt *on* them. Jim nearly did, as did I when I helped with the painting.

For my listening, reading and writing reports, see Les Semaines.

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