The Local

One thing leads to another. At the Alzheimer’s workshop the facilitator, Pam, talks about other programs and classes. There’s cooking and painting and a weekly gathering at The Local. Every Wednesday.

Wednesday is a free day for mom. There’s no exercise classes on Wednesday or Friday. So I’m curious to find out more.

The Local is a community hub in the former Co-op building. We used to get bird food and other garden supplies there. It was mostly for farmers. Now it’s been repurposed to include a large dining area with a piano and other entertainment stuff (a microphone) and commercial kitchen. There’s also gardens in the greenhouses. It’s a community gathering place.

On Wednesday they host the seniors and feature gentle exercise followed by lunch and social (either a guest speaker or bingo etc). Pam tells us it starts at 11:30 am. Sounds great. I switch my schedule around and plan to take mom. Hopefully dad will take her to the legion on Thursday. I drive by with dad so he sees exactly where he needs to go.

Mom and I arrive at The Local. It’s pouring rain so I drive mom to the door. It’s 11:20 am and the lot is jam packed. I’m impressed. When we get inside I check in at the door. The exercise class started at 10:30 (not 11:30 as we were told). Oh well. We join another table of ladies. Lunch will be served at 11:30 am

I can see the hustle and bustle in the open kitchen. They (about 8 or so volunteers) are plating. I notice there’s a couple of “servers” so I tell mom I’m going to pitch in. She’s already talking to the others at our table. I head over to the kitchen and offer my services. There’s about 80 people ready to eat and they are waiting to be served. It takes a few minutes and everyone is eating. One of the servers approaches me. Are you a Mikler? Yes. Do I know you? Yes. I’m Bev Mason. Oh wow. Former neighbours. Her daughter Heather was my brothers prom date in grade 8. I permed her hair for the occasion. I tell her mom is here and less her over to the table.

They get reacquainted but mom is confused. It takes a bit longer for her to make the connections in her brain. She thinks about it and it clicks later on.

We eat lunch which is a kale salad with peaches and raspberry vinaigrette and goats cheese alongside a fall veggie stir fry on rice. Mom cleans her plate. I offer to get everyone coffee. Then another lady approaches our table and says hello to mom. Mom looks at me confused. I ask the lady to tell mom her name. It’s Angus MacDermids sister Sally. She worked at FAG. They have a nice chat.

Since there’s no social today (the lady who runs it didn’t show up) we get ready to leave. It’s still raining so I dash for the car. We drive home and dad is waiting for us inside. He asks where we are going for lunch. Oh dear. I’ve reminded him every day on our phone call that today was a new thing. He didn’t want to come. I brought him soup to eat. He didn’t. He forgot.

He’s more concerned about the soccer matches. His team played yesterday but he couldn’t watch it. I ask if he tried the DAZN channel. He said it wasn’t on You Tube. Oh no. He doesn’t know how to access the sports channel. So we Ho into his “office” and he shows me how to get to the channels. He finds You Tube. Somehow he’s locked into You Tube and didn’t realize the other. Then it occurs to me that my brother set it up this summer while dad had cataract surgery. It didn’t sink in.

We go through the routine and find the right channel. There’s a great game on. It’s not Bayern but it’s Dortmund another German team. He’s stoked. Better yet his brother calls (he watches the games on his computer and tells dad the score). Dad excitedly tells him he gets it on his tv. He should come over and watch. Yes. Next time.

Dad can’t decide if he’d rather watch tv or play cards. He decides he can do both. He’s probably hungry. Then I notice the cookies I brought have been sampled. At least he ate something. Mom in the mean time has been trying to tell dad about everyone she met at lunch. He’s a bit distracted but listens and comments. Suddenly mom gets a paper (it’s her homework from last week) she flips to the blank side and takes my pen. “Tell me the name of the place we went today. I think Hilde would like it”. I tell her and she writes it down. Wow. I seize the moment and say “while you’re at it you can do your homework “. Meh. Dad pipes up: I did mine. Do you want to check it?? OMG. He gleefully produces his sheet. It’s on the side table with the dictionary he used. Too cute.

After cards I think he’s wishing he stuck to tv. He wasn’t as lucky as the German soccer team. I made him a shaming sign. His ass is grass.

Remember, dad, you have to take mom to the legion tomorrow at 10 am. Ja. Ok. What time is that? 10 am. Ok.

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