Monday, June 8, 2009

Garage Sale Week and Paz B’rina

This has been an unbelievable week with incredible highs and lows. It started with the most surprising coincidence. Just as we were beginning to discuss getting 24/7 help to deal with Mom, Ken called early on Monday morning to tell us that one of his employees, who has been working for him for four years, told him that he spent the weekend helping to move his mother’s things out of her apartment in Ocean City, NJ, and into his brother’s home. His mother is a trained and certified home health aide who had been laid off from her nursing home job and could not afford to continue to live in a resort town where the rent increases every summer season. Monday evening, Saul, Ken and I spoke with her on the phone. Ken asked her what her ideal job situation would be and she responded that she would like to work from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. because she was used to doing night work. It was hard to keep from jumping for joy. She also told Ken that her biggest fault in her work was that she is a terrible cook. To add to the coincidence, when we asked where in the township she would be moving in with her son, it seems that he lives only five to ten minutes from our house. In addition to that, my mother was devastated when she had to sign the papers to sell her car, her last link to her past of living independently. One of Ken’s employees bought the car from us for his mother—guess who? The car, evidently, will be returning to our driveway. Next weekend, she will be officially moving into the area and we are scheduled to meet with her. The next morning after our conversation, none of us could believe the confluence of events that had occurred to bring all this together. If all goes according to plan, Stacey will be able to continue to work the hours that she wants, and we will have someone to monitor Mom at night and on weekends so that we will be able to sleep peacefully again.

Before our revelatory phone conversation on Monday, my friend Roxy came down from Yardley to shop at Costco and join us for lunch. Adele joined us also and we went to a nearby favorite Japanese restaurant called Miraku. Evidently it has been sold to new owners and while the menu was very similar and the food very good, the prices have gone up considerably. The bento box meal that was similar to the one we were accustomed to ordering ran $14 instead of the usual $10. That evening, Ken and Randi met us for dinner at Cheesecake Factory in Willow Grove where we had a delicious and relaxing dinner. The usual hoards of diners who were always waiting in line there seem to have evaporated since last September’s stock market crash, but perhaps it was only because we were dining on a Monday. Two meals out in one day was pleasantly reminiscent of our lifestyle last spring in the days before hospice, Camp Bubbie and Saba, and the economic meltdown.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent stair-climbing. Who needs a fancy machine or expensive health club membership when there is so much real work to be done? Beth came over and got a workout as well as we carried shelving, and heavy boxes of all sorts of junk, down from the attic and up from the basement for the garage sale. There is so much that we hardly made a dent. At Aunt Ruth’s suggestion, we put an ad up on Craigslist on Wednesday afternoon in addition to our newpaper ads in the local papers, and within a few hours, a number of dealers were here, knocking at our door, and willing to spend lots of time and money going through our old things. The rain was teeming for two days, but we were able to set up a tent on the driveway (which doubles as our sukkah) to house the overflow from a two-and-a-half-car garage. We consider the sale a great financial success. We earned hundreds of dollars getting rid of things that have languished here for many years, in fact, for so many that we had forgotten we still had them. And many people were thrilled to have some of those things at giveaway prices.

Friday evening, Stacey, Larry and Beth joined us for Shabbat dinner. Ari drove up from DC for the weekend and had dinner much later as well. By then, I could no longer hold my head up and excused myself after saying a brief hello to Ari. For dinner we had homemade challah from the freezer and garlic bread from Costco, smoked turkey split pea soup with matzoh balls, iceberg lettuce wedges with homemade Russian dressing, smoked sliced turkey in giblet gravy from the freezer, black and white rice, fresh berries dipped in individual pots of melted chocolate, and oatmeal, peanut butter and raisin cookies from the freezer.

Sunday was the occasion when we officially welcomed Presley Bella into our family with the Hebrew name, Paz B’rina, at Jamie and Andy’s home in Delaware. The ceremony was designed by Jamie using sources suggested by Jessica and was very dramatic, including the washing of the baby’s feet with a special cup provided for the occasion by Jessica. Saul officiated with the Hebrew blessings and I prepared a certificate marking the occasion that was similar to the one given to Jamie at her naming. The sun finally shone brightly on this most perfect spring day. Their home was filled with all the many children of the next generation of cousins, including my three wonderful granddaughters. Saul and I brought Izzy home with us for the week as she is finished with preschool following her graduation last week. Stacey had stayed overnight on Friday and Saturday to care for Mom and to relieve us from the exhaustion of the garage sale and the preparation for the naming ceremony. She had today off.

I don’t know how I was able to accomplish everything that was done today. I made breakfast for us all, cleaned up the kitchen, made beds, hung up clothes, washed and folded two loads of laundry, consolidated the leftovers from the garage sale, took Izzy next door to play on Beth’s swings, made lunch for us all, including Adele, who came to help out for a few hours, cleaned up the kitchen, read 17 emails and brought my computer work up to date, made seven dozen mini filled chocolate cupcakes and a carrot cake with Izzy for Yona’s naming next Saturday, made dinner for Izzy and Mom while Saul attended a Masonic meeting, spent a half hour telling Izzy a “Bubbie story,” singing lullablies including “Puff the Magic Dragon,” and tucking both her and Mom in for the evening, spoke with Ari on the phone while he was on his way home from work, and last, but not least, wrote this blog post. I hope there is some energy left in me for tomorrow after I get a good night’s sleep!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun actually. I hope you made izzy help out with all of your house chores! She does a great job here with moving the laundry around. Into the washer, into the dryer, out of the dryer, and she can fold everything except shirts now. She's also pretty good at making her own bed as long as you are not looking for perfection! :)