||[Apr. 2nd, 2019|06:38 am]
Sunday dawned dark with heavy clouds that threatened rain. I drove north west to Meeting, zipping on the country roads, a few spatters of damp moving the first visible pollen around on the windshield. The message was brought by an architect who talked about the Quaker term of the Light and the work of James Turrell as the sky grew darker outside. Meeting dispersed over the carpet of tiny bluets, with no rain.
I drove east, crossed the Haw, and followed its course south east then began meandering east, past my sister's place then circumnavigated Lake Jordan to get to my folks home. My sister's family had long been waiting for lunch because my brother didn't get communicated that it would be one pm or after when i would make my way. Fortunately, it was a compose-your-own salad and didn't come to harm as they waited. It wouldn't be a visit from my brother if there wasn't at least one failure to communicate about scheduling for my sister and i to roll our eyes over.
After lunch my brother wanted to nap, and i figured my parents could use a nap, too, so i retraced my circuit around the lake (which was at normal levels! They must have been able to drain all the high water down stream finally) and came home. I puttered around out side in the blazing sunshine, watering the potatoes. It wasn't long before i was back in the car, circumnavigating the lake, and back to my parents, to watch my brother take leave of them. I took photos and caught an expression of grief on my mother's face as she hugged my brother, and there's a mournfulness in my father's hug.
I got my brother to the airport for his trip through Istanbul-was-Constantinople-Now-it's-Istanbul-not-Constantinople and on to Singapore and his wife and three kids. En route was the usual monologue about how his work isn't what he wanted and he's mulling over whether it's time to come back to the states but then he'd be hardly paid, which i've been hearing every time i've seen him. He also ruminates on his relationship with his wife: this time was the issue of being a morning person married to a oh-so-not morning person. I shared a little of how Christine and i turn that difference to our advantage.
My brother's assessment of my dad's state as care taker wasn't far from mine. I don't think my brother was able to give my dad any respite, but i think just having my brother to talk to offered my dad an outlet he needs.
Yesterday morning was really rough for my parents, and Dad called multiple times. Mom's verbal abuse is just ... hard... so many old wounds. My poor father has what i have taken to referring to as engineer brain: he is solving problems optimizing for ease and efficiency. Unfortunately, he completely discounts the values of propriety. So yesterday started with him setting my mother up to brush her teeth at the table in the living room. (This is far better than putting the commode there, which my sister and i had to wave him off several times.) Mom insisted it was wrong and then there were struggles over wheelchair navigation and various bathrooms and various issues. I can tell my Dad can't begin to see why the kitchen was "wrong." As i shared with Christine she noted, "it's kind of weird" to brush your teeth at the table. I realize i am more like my dad in my willingness to discount propriety over ease, but i'm not blind to it. And it really does cause others distress to make that discount.
It seems the respite person J--- actually provided Dad some respite last night, unlike Friday. Friday night, as i was picking my brother up at the train station, my dad called to relate how he got home from his grocery shopping at the Fort Bragg (over a hour's drive from their home) mom was still up laughing with J---. That meant not only did Dad need to do the physical work of getting Mom ready and into bed, he had to do it when Mom was tired and less cognitively able and more cantankerous.
I did have a very productive work day yesterday, but personally i felt paralysis when it came to connecting with people (and my email box). I did wander back in the woods. I assessed a cluster of Tree of heaven and hope i identified the right large tree as the source of the sprouts. I went back to the garage, grabbed the machette and glyphosphate. I think the technique of exposing the pholem, the working transport tissue under the bark, and directly applying glyphosphate to be carried to the roots minimizes the amount of environmental release of poison and effectively targets the plant.
I came back to the house to realize the miniature roses are covered with aphids. I sprayed soapy water and reflected on my exterminations. Neither rests easily with me. Still, there's something blighted about the woods where the tree of heaven are. Ha "Ailanthus produces an allelopathic chemical called ailanthone, which inhibits the growth of other plants." I'm not imagining it.
I'd taken the covers of the peony and the blueberries yesterday, but woke to find it 30°F. Well. That's not what the forecast led me to expect.