As I type this, it’s 106° F and is right on schedule, being the first week of September. Before it got really unpleasant this morning, I cleaned out the rat-poop infested workshop at my parent’s house, which finishes the worst part of the job. The house and garage are now about 98% cleaned out, so attention is turning toward making the yard a bit nicer before the house goes up for sale.
It’s a sad but necessary part of life, cleaning out your parent’s home, but so it goes. We’ve had several Zoom meetings with mom, her at the retirement home and us calling from her house. She’s both hard of hearing and has trouble processing sounds even when she does hear them, and between that and the typical laptop speakers, it’s not much of a meeting. She seems happy with the place, but did ask why she was there and when she could come home, and that’s when the feelings of guilt and deceit arise, but there wasn’t any choice in the matter. Anyway, seeing us seems to make her happy, and that’s the whole point.
(It finally dropped below 100° F just before 6PM)
While I’d like to be driving Midlana, we’re busy cleaning out our parent’s house, hence the truck. The task that we were all putting off was cleaning out the workshop and behind the garage due to the huge amount of rat droppings. I decided to first spray it with a very fine mist of water to settle the dust, then blast it out with a strong water jet. Bleach was considered, but it leaves a very strong lingering smell, and we hope to sell the house sooner rather than later. Also, since both the workshop and rear of the garage are nearly fully enclosed, the bleach smell would remain trapped, so that was off the list.
The foul stuff completely filled a wheel barrow—it was bad. I dispatched four out of six mice that darted out as I lifted one of the million boxes, and two rat parents ran off, leaving a crying baby. I did not enjoy that but it had to be done. The rear of the garage is done, and the floor in the workshop, but with my brother being off enjoying a track day at Laguna Seca instead of helping out, means that he gets to deal with the workshop shelves, which has its own share of squeaking noises, scurrying feet, and droppings everywhere.
Next week I’m on-call, and between that and this, I feel like I’ve lost control of my weekends. I know that “this, too, shall pass”, but I look forward to returning to my own garage to piddle about, perhaps after this first heatwave of the year has run its course.
Since moving mom to the retirement home, we’ve had two Web meetings with the place. The first took place one day after she moved in, and they said “Oh yes, she’s fitting right in, eating well, and making lots of new friends!” They included a few pictures of her, but suspiciously, her face wasn’t visible in any of them. In other words, we suspected we were hearing BS.
The second meeting was two days later and included her doctor, us, mom. and a representative from the home. At one point in the conversation, the doctor asked the home “how was her first night?” There was a pause just long enough that us kids glanced at each other, then the representative said “Yeah the first night was pretty rough.” Okay then…
I’m posting this so that when the time comes in your family, you can expect similar interactions with these places, businesses that are nearly or completely opaque. You only have their word about what’s going on inside, and especially in these cases, we can’t really believe anything mom says (it’s to that point now), so if she says they’re mistreating her, are they? How can we know? Due to privacy laws, such places don’t allow external video feeds, so we’re left in the dark. I joked that when we call, we should expect to hear, “Your relative is doing great… what’s their name?”