The HVAC is keeping the environment a crisp 72 degrees as the thermometer outside on the balcony tips 90. The Basil, Lavender, and Rosemary are flourishing in the morning sun that sweeps the balcony and fills the condo with bright light and hope. It does the same again at sundown only as reflected by the tall buildings a block or two across from me.
The floors shine cleanly having been cleaned by my housekeeper yesterday and the bed is newly linen-ed as are the bathroom towels. The condo is, as it usually is, in order with things put away and others in their place. The collections fill shelves and tables and desks but in an orderly fashion so that many have said, "Doesn't feel cluttered!" My closets are clean, once again, as we begin at the top of the "messy/orderly" cycle only to return to the messy and then once again back to orderly.
The green plants growing in the living room say "HOME." The art work and black and white photographs, mostly by friends, hanging on the walls of the condo in the "regulation" black frames say "HOME." The Dragon's Blood Red bathroom with its Asian Collection filling one wall, the Colonial Blue Guest bathroom, the deep and intense gray that flows on the condo walls in a zig zag from the entrance door to the far living room corner say "HOME." The TV Room/Den, with its large flat screen Smart TV, more art and plants, and black leather guest sofa-bed say "HOME." The "Leaving and Arriving Shrine" at the front door say "HOME."
Most of all probably, Gigi and Emma, our two three year old cats say "HOME." They greet me on my arriving and send me off on my leaving. They sleep most of the day but also chase and run and get into trouble. They never get up on the kitchen counter or tables, except when I catch them. Emma plays "fetch" with her red and blue puff ball and Gigi plays the same with her crumpled up calendar page. At night they snuggle next to me as we all fall asleep.
Out in the neighborhood, within walking distance, is located almost everything I need: some 90+ restaurants, grocery stores, library, postoffice, book stores, bakery, a 7-11, clothing shops, a bicycle shop, my barber, a 16 screen movie theater, an art supply store, cleaners, and more.
If going into Chicago, the CTA and the METRA systems are less than half a block from the condo and after a 30 minute ride, I am downtown. When I do take my car out of her parking place easy access to streets and highways and expressways makes getting around easy.
I am able to live with Gregory's Dementia/Alzheimer's Disease due to the fact that he is being so well taken care of at Lieberman Center and by Manny. I am filled with JOY even though it is carried on the shoulders of SORROW. I enjoy our visits and am so filled with love at Gregory's "Monumental Momentary Miracles" of engagement as well as with the interactions I have with many of the other residents and staff. I bring him treats, bake pies, keep his refrigerator and cabinet filled with goodies for him and for the staff to share. We laugh and cry together. We kiss and hug. We get silly sometimes and then laugh some more.
Most of all, I wake up each morning grateful for who I am and for what I have. I do not take this for granted. Rarely is there something scheduled on my calendar that I do NOT want to do. Rarely is there anything that I am worried about. My concerns are almost nonexistent. Making sure Gregory is doing well at Lieberman does take some time and at times does cause some concerns, but the details are always worked out and I have very little, any more, to fear or dread for his future.
I can travel a little (do not want to be away from him too long,) attend opera and theater and movies. I can enjoy meals out with friends and family. I can take myself on little shopping or antiquing adventures. Pretty much I can buy what I want although my wants are minimal. Sometimes family comes to town and I enjoy their staying in the condo. Sometimes friends do the same.
Sometimes I am very active and other times I never leave the house or get out of my "jammies" I just purchased a "Senior" discount ticket, as well as getting an "Industry" discount to see a friend in Chicago Folks Operetta's Madame Pompadour for Saturday night. During the day I'll walk over to the lake to spend some time at the annual Evanston International Art Fair and look forward to the operetta performance that night. Meanwhile I have to go take the Rhubarb Pie out of the oven and then am going to visit Gregory. Rhubarb is his favorite.
Being 70 isn't so bad!