Out & About

The home health care team was pretty adamant that Nonny not go out while she is “convalescing”.  She got permission for church and for her weekly shampoo and blow out.  (While I was there, she also convinced them that she should be allowed to go to a 90s birthday party with her PEO group, where she is one of the honorees.  She shamelessly used tears to get this dispensation.)

Wednesday morning, we got her out of the condo, down the steps and into the car.  Her walker folds up easily so we were quickly on our way.  The hairdresser is in a neighborhood called Old Orchard, which is located in Webster Groves but actually was around before it was swallowed up by Webster.  When I was in the 5th grade, we moved to Old Orchard – we lived in the house on Sunnyside for five years – the longest of any of the houses I lived in until I was on my own.    Since we were right there, we drove over to see how the house was doing.  It looks just fine, although it’s white now; when we lived there my folks had it painted a deep gray and we had yellow trim.  Then we went a saw my grandparents house which is 2 blocks away (they lived there before we lived on Sunnyside).  Then we went looking for the elementary school I went to in 5th and 6th grade.  We didn’t find it and an internet search shows when it was built and when it changed names but nothing about when it closed.  I’m just curious enough that I might call the school district in the next couple of weeks and ask them.

By this time, we were on a roll.  We found 2 of the schools Nonny went to as a kid, the house she lived in back then and then rounded off our trip down memory lane by driving  by the house on West Cedar where we lived when I was five. 

I learned to ride a bike when we lived here.  Nonny had scarlet fever when we lived her.  I played with Bobby and his matchbox cars and was just about to go into kindergarten at Bristol school when my dad got a job with Missouri State and we moved to Jefferson City. 

When my sister Sally came over later on Wednesday, we regaled her with all the places of our past that we had visited.  She was quite upset as apparently the permission to get Nonny’s hair done did not include joy-riding.  In fact, the home health care team had specifically said Nonny shouldn’t be accompanying anyone on any other trips than her allowable outings.  Oops.

Neither Nonny or I mentioned our gadding about when the physical therapist came the next day.

When was the last time you went joy-riding?

53 thoughts on “Out & About”

  1. During the first Covid lockdown, we would take drives out in the country, which here includes climbs up to the top of the bluffs. There are some gorgeous views if you know which roads – sometimes you can see clear over two or three valleys…

    More recently, a trip to Red Wing along the Mississippi…

    VS – I forget what Nonny is convalescing from…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The summer of 2013, when both my parents were in their early 90’s, we were in Luverne visiting, and my mom insisted we go for a drive. She had me drive all over Pipestone County and showed me all the farms she and her family lived on until Grandpa finally was able to buy his own. She showed me where she and her sister were followed by a herd of cows as they walked to their country school. Some of the roads were minimum maintenance, but I had to drive them anyway at her insistence. It was really important for her to show me these places. A year later she was gone.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    Every winter while we are in Arizona, Lou and I go joyriding in the mountains in the Northern part of the state. It is so beautiful. Sometimes there is snow, and we get to see all the denizens of Phoenix and the suburbs, racing into the mountains to give their kids a chance to make a snowman and have a snowball fight before the snow melts. At the most, it stays for a week. The kids are delighted with the snow.

    Regarding Nonny’s desire to go joyriding: I wonder about the care team’s focus. (As the daughter of a mom who is almost age 94, if I have a chance to give her a good day at this age, I take it. She no longer has many good days.). Isn’t Nonny’s desire to participate in PEO and to review the places she lived her life an important thing? Surely, VS, this trip did her a world of good! She had you, she had good memories, and it sounds like she had a carefree day, despite some hard medical realities.

    Over the weekend I visited my 87 year old aunt who played a daily role in my life. Aunt Donna often counteracted my mother’s harshness with her gentle affection. She had COVID (but not where I got it) over the past two weeks while at the hospital where she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She is obviously at the end of her life. We did a photo joyride of my garden and we discussed Grandma’s flowers, specifically her gladiolus of which she planted so many. After 45 minutes she was exhausted, so we departed. Then we visited Uncle Jim (her husband) who wanted us to see where they will be buried. He has put so much thought into this and it was so important to him that I see this. It made me cry. He cried, too, although I had to pretend I did not see this. Saying goodbye to these people is so poignant.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The home health care team has to follow the Medicare rules, so I’m assuming that’s where this starts. I will have to say the first week that Nonny was home from the hospital, while my sister and her husband were taking care of her, they really babied her and coddled her and hovered over her to the point that when I arrived she wasn’t doing one darn thing for herself. So perhaps the rules for someone who doesn’t seem to be able to do anything on her own include not gadding about. The coddling and hovering changed immediately when I got there.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I believe these client-patient situations are supposed to be “person-centered.” If the person who has hired the home health care company wants something and it hasn’t been forbidden by the doctor, then the company can and should provide it. I hired a good company for my mom. I wanted help with things like housework, dishes, bathing, medications, and meals. But Mom scorned all of that and asked them to take her for drives, anywhere, just out. Their policy was to use her car and that was fine with us. I didn’t really get my needs met as far as the housekeeping and medications, but Mom enjoyed the drives. She had been driving on her own which was very unsafe as she showed up in Austin once, and once in Waterville in her pajamas. Later, when she was in memory care, I took her out every time I was there. We did lots of those trips down memory lane. Since she didn’t remember where we’d gone the last time, sometimes she would ask to go to the same place again. These memories are important and I always indulged her. I will never forget those little joyrides with my mom.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. I last visited England three years ago, and stayed the last night at the house of Sue, an old friend. She drove me to the airport, following a route of my choice, showing her a few houses I’d lived in, in Devon, and a couple of the farms Dad and I had worked on. A bit rushed, but nice to share it with someone.

      One afternoon, before Isaac was born, I was missing home badly and drove down to North Devon from Southampton, and drove round at random, looking at places I knew, and didn’t know. I covered nearly every place there is there, with the exception of Trentishoe and Kittitoe, neither of which I’ve been to to this day. I had breakfast in Ilfracombe, then visited my brother and sisters in Barnstaple before driving home,having soaked up every bit of home that I could.

      Liked by 5 people

  4. And in 1974, it was a misery ride really. I was heartbroken over a girl, and set off from Barnstaple, driving aimlessly. I think I meandered around Exmoor, not really looking at much, for an hour or two.

    And they were my three joyrides , not counting motorbikes.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Last joyride I had was sailing on the Pride of Baltimore II on Lake Superior! It was certainly not a trip down memory lane and I was not the driver, just an excited passenger watching the captain at the wheel of the ship and the crew chanting as they hoisted the sails. The day was cool and cloudy with a northeast wind. On Lake Superior, that is a cold wind and near Two Harbors, the swells are large from the wind coming all the way down-lake. So it was rough, there was spray, the sails snapped and creaked in the wind, the crew chanted, Gordon and I sang sea songs, and I was so exhilarated I felt like a kid at Christmas. Maybe I missed my calling and should have sailed the seven seas. While I wasn’t so impressed with the Festival of Sail itself, I was very impressed with sailing on the Pride of Baltimore II. I will gladly do that again if I get the chance.

    Great story, VS!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Back when I used to take my friend Ken out for outings on Wednesdays, it quickly became obvious that what gave him most joy was driving driving past places where he had some history, or in areas where he previously used to ride his bike. He’d say “one of my girls used to live there,” or “I used to work there,” or “that’s where I lived when I met Eva.” These comments were always a way of engaging him in conversation that might dig a little deeper into his fading memory. He couldn’t remember which of his “girls” used to live there, in fact, toward the end he couldn’t remember their names. He had little or no interest in exploring places that were new to him. So we returned, again and again, to the places that gave him pleasure.The bike paths along the River Road both East and West, as well along Shepherd Road were obviously places he was intimately familiar with. Even as his dementia became more profound and debilitating, he never failed to point these things out to me.

    I agree with Jacque, vs, I’m sure that small violation of Medicare rules, if in fact it was one, did your mom a world of good.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am better. The paxlovid reduces symptoms, but I am still testing positive. The nasty taste in my mouth from the paxlovid I could gladly leave behind.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Are both of the photos in your blog houses you’ve lived in as a child, vs, or is one of them your grandparents’ house? I’m assuming these photos are current photos that you took on your drive with your mother, and not photos of how they looked while you lived there. Am I right about that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I took these photos the day we were driving around. The header photo is the house on Sunnyside where we moved when I was in the fifth grade. The gray house is the house on West Cedar where I lived for a fairly short time when I was 4 1/2 to 5

      Liked by 2 people

        1. The signage in the yard is actually on the next property over. If I enlarge the picture on my phone it looks like some kind of generator, maybe an air-conditioning unit?. I can’t read the plaque but the entire neighborhood is residential and driving on both sides of the house it doesn’t look like it’s anything other than a residence but you never know. It’s actually a white house but the way the sun is streaming in, since it was a pretty early morning photograph, it does give it a yellow tint.


    1. So I started doing right turn, left turn, right turn, left turn, stair-stepping south. There were sometimes dead ends and some interstate but eventually I decided to view Mammoth Cave. I determined to go home without using any interstate highway. It was a good weekend.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. I think of a joy ride as a somewhat local, more-or-less spontaneous drive of a couple of hours. In my experience lately there is very little joy in driving around the city.

    Our nonessential drives tend to be planned all-day excursions, sometimes with a definite objective, like an event or historical site or a particularly interesting shop or cluster of shops somewhere. Sometimes we go out just to explore—to Afton or Mantorville or Maiden Rock and Stockholm, Wis.

    When my parents were alive and sufficiently mobile, I took them once to visit some of the cemeteries where our more distant ancestors are buried—these are on my mother’s side. I had taken the time to discover where they were and who was where, something they had not known. For all I know, that knowledge will end with me, since none of the succeeding generation has evinced an interest.


  9. Joy sailing, huh?
    On honeymoon, we rode up the Mississippi out of Memphis, and back, on the Memphis Queen.
    And from New Orleans, it was the Creole Queen.
    I seem to remember bragging before, about the Mississippi being second only to the mighty River Taw, which passes by Barnstaple in Devon.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. And a joy walk I’ve also mentioned before, from Bratton (Fleming) to Porlock Bay, coincidentally following the words of an obnoxious Devonian hunting song.
    It was very hot by our standards at the time. Early summer, 1975. I crossed parts of Exmoor again. Baboons will have seen photos from Steve, from his visit to the area.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Evening. We take lots of joy rides. I hate going the same way in as I do coming home, if it can be avoided. So we take the “scenic” route.
    We often get in the gator and drive around looking at the crops on our farm. Sometimes East fields, sometimes North fields, sometimes just down in the pasture. Old dog Allie rides inside, Bailey and Humphrey run the first half, then they get in the back and enjoy a ride back home.

    Liked by 2 people

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