|Shadow of clouds on the dry California hills|
My mother lives in a one bedroom apartment with a tiny kitchen featuring a single electric burner stove and a microwave. The apartment is in an assisted living facility that has a nice restaurant for the residents (we call them inmates!), so not much cooking takes place in those small kitchens. We don't particularly like eating food that isn't organic or that we haven't prepared ourselves, so we have found ways to make fine meals on that one little burner. Of course, breakfast is easy. We travel with a toaster, cutting board, and frying pans. Dinners are a bit trickier. Luckily, there's a Trader Joe's within walking distance of my mother's apartment. We don't have to risk losing our very precious parking space to head out to the store for some of their frozen organic brown rice. We pop that little package into the microwave and within four minutes there's steaming bowl of rice. In one frying pan I can make stir-fries of various flavors. We love tofu and veggies with spicy peanut sauce. Yum. It's an interesting challenge to try and be inventive there, but we give it our best.
|A screen grab of my eclipse photos from the camera|
On the day before we headed back north to the beach house (and then home from there), I spent four hours at the chemotherapy lab with my mother while she had her infusion. The lab has nine reclining chairs for the patients. There are Registered Nurses, nursing assistants, and administrative staff in the room at all times. Each reclining chair has one of those devices next to it where bags of liquid medicine hang and drip into the veins of the patients. There is only the sound of beeping machines and muffled conversations. On the day we were in the lab all of the chairs were full, and eight of the nine patients were women. My mother was the oldest in the room. There was one woman who looked very close to death. I was surprised she was getting a treatment. One woman entered the lab looking like a well-coiffed and well-dressed business executive. She clicked in high heels all the way across the lab to the recliner next to my mother's. She sat down in the chair, took off those shoes, and put on slippers. Then she proceeded to take off her beautiful long-hair wig and revealed a head of sparsely grown-in hair. I enjoyed her presence very much. We had some light conversation, while her medicine dripped into a vein in her chest. Some of the people had friends or family with them. Most didn't. One woman slept during the process, wearing a beautiful cloth eye mask. One read on her kindle. I sat next to my mother the whole time. She read her book. I played on the computer. At one point I showed her the headline of that day: A Mass Shooting At A College Campus in Oregon. We shook our heads.
|My mother after the infusion|
We are home. Weary, and very glad to be here.