Friday, March 8, 2013

Day 32/51: Living with Oldies

I extended my stay a bit, so now I'm going home just before Easter. I'm starting to get the hang of living in this busy part of the planet with two grumpy/hilarious oldies, but life is most definitely choppy and I also developed a serious hankering for quiet, solo, making time. I suspect my parents would like their quite life back too, but for them the convenience and the entertainment won out, and for me, being able to research care facilities with my sister was the deal breaker; she thinks we can visit half a dozen before I leave, which would be helpful when I go home and one or another has to leave home, I know what folks would be talking about.

It also gives me a few more afternoons of sitting in the sun and sharing the same space with Dad. For the last several years, when I came home or when the parents visited me, I always had this foreboding that it would be the last time I'll ever see Dad; unless I return here rather soon, chances are this time this will be true. I need to stop rushing around the house trying to make things right and just sit with him more.  

My parents are funny. Speaking on cross purposes is the norm. It's not always because of their hearing; Dad doesn't care and Mom thinks she knows what we want to say. Sometimes I can't help playing cute tricks to confuse them ever so slightly.

Dad is a news freak, and here it appears possible to watch news programs on one channel or another from, oh, five in the morning to at least midnight, in addition to the bulletins. So he does, almost his every waking hour. And then shouts at the main 7PM that they have no new information. Likewise Mom watches the weather forecast diligently and complains when what they say this hour is different from the last!

It's been wonderfully warm and spring like this week, which I had hoped would make her happier, but not exactly; it's too bright, too hot already, and understandably, too much pollen.

Life hasn't been easy nor hopeful for the oldies. In addition to their individual ailments, inflation this side of the quake has been silly-stupid-high, laws concerning pension is looking to change soon; sales tax went up and will again; and all this on top of the the recession since around 1990/2.  There seems to be no solution to the Fukushima nuclear disaster; a day or so after I arrived the Chinese Navy (??) did something or rather to challenge the Jaqpanese territorial waters; they say they didn't, our government say it was a blatant challenge; North Korea is playing with nuclear weapons. The house seems to be newly under the American military flight path, and some days fighter plans roar and howl above us. (I'm so glad both are sufficiently deaf they don't hear the planes all the time.) We continue to have territorial disputes with China and South Korea and relations with them have deteriorated noticable, not to mention the dispute with Russia way up north since the end of WWII. It's the hay fever season, which also means yellow sand come flying from China, this year with the additional gift of PM2.5, the cancerous pollutant you may have seen footage of from China.

And the grandkids are growing up and they are so busy! So it wasn't hard for me to decide to entertain them for a couple of weeks longer. And time with both are precious. Even though I'm not finding Japan a particularly attractive place to live at the moment. I shall appreciate my easy, fun life with Ben all the more when I get home. 

On Mom front, I failed to inspire her very much with the buntings in the way I thought she ought to be inspired. While cleaning the room I'm staying, I found two empty picture frames and made collages of some of her past works, which finally seemed to have done the trick.
I assembled photos I took in 2010, 2011 and this trip; there are heaps more she wove, but many have been gifted, many have been used and discarded, and some weren't as photogenic as others. And I didn't even think of her "current scarves" in her closet room, but even from a limited pool, Mom got her mojo back realizing she has woven not only many pieces but of many varieties and techniques. A couple of days ago she even cleaned/reorged her samples chest of drawers, (the big one in the back of the room in the second last pic here,) and selected projects and techniques she'd like to revisit. Weaving-wise, that's one big item off my To Do list for the trip.
We walked around the house looking for the best positions for the two frames - the larger one would have been nice in the work room, but that room is so crowded and in older homes like ours we can't put nails into the wall, so this one lives in the room  where I'm staying, but where Mom uses when she needs a large space or better light.
The small one, we put a nail in the side of a bookcase in the work room.

One of the techniques Mom wants to try again is tapestry, so I requested a piece. I shall design something based on an abstraction of something I will draw, no bigger than a sheet of A4/Letter paper, but more likely smaller. Here are the colors I can work with:
In addition, Mom is going to weave a networked twill on the wider 8-shaft, I on the narrower; Mom is going to make a networked twill winter scarves for Mom's home helper who comes three mornings a week using pale blues and greens and some pink, and I her gardener, (sounds luxurious, doesn't it? He's meant to cut dangerous branches and tidy the exterior of the house, but it turns out he's very knowledgeable in veggie gardening!) After some observation, Mom and I noticed he only ever wears blues, so here are my options:
Last week I suggested my sister and brother consider visiting the oldies, without their families perhaps, just to sit in the same room as Mom and Dad and and enjoy each others' company. It seems I need to take heed that advice, too. Precious times.

5 comments:

  1. Meg, totally know what you mean. I am so glad I had all the visits and quiet times with my folks before my dad died three years ago. Now my time with my mom is really really precious.

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  2. What a lovely way to celebrate your mother's weaving and inspire her to weave some more. It sounds as though you have accomplished a lot in your visit already, so you can enjoy that sitting time - and I hope the research trips are helpful. It is certainly much easier to discuss something you have actually seen, when it comes to making the big decisions.

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  3. Susan, it's not necessarily easy nor nice, but boy, it is precious time.

    Cally, I was REALLY running out of ideas, so I'm glad I hit gold with the second idea. I don't know what I would have done as a third measure.

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  4. Good that you are enjoying yourself and can stay on a bit! I do like the collages of your Mom's work.

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  5. Now if we could only get our respective warps on our looms next, Dot. That's on the menu for today.

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