As one gets older normal things become mysteries

I think there is a point as you age you start to regress from a fully functional adult set of logic back to a child like state. 

I had to go pick up my grandma’s tax paper work to drop off at the preparers office. I went over her paper work, which I think she was somewhat agitated that I was going through all off of it, but I figured let her be miffed than have something important not get in the pile. Grandma as I’ve mentioned in the past is in an old folks home. She requests that they send her refund check to the old folks home and no her house. I tell her that I’m pretty sure that they have to send it to the home address. Ok, let’s faced it I know 100% with out a doubt that the IRS is going to send things to a home address and that their feelings on special circumstances is “to bad, so sad.” But, with Grandma’s you don’t just say that they are wrong you soften it. I being the genius I am suggest getting it direct deposited and listed off all the wondrous benefits of this amazing technology of direct deposit those being no paper check, no driving to get said paper check, and getting the deposit weeks before a paper check would arrive. I thought I had won…but, no. 

I told her I needed a voided check or a deposit slip, she didn’t get why I needed that even though I explained it several times. She then asked me what a routing number was. I had to show her. She said “Well, I’ve never noticed that before.” 

Uh…what? Not like you haven’t been paying your own bills since I was a small child and you’ve never ever once wondered what the hell all those numbers are at the bottom of the checks. I’m calling bullshit on that one. 

And then there was the other piece of paper work that has nothing to do with taxes but came from some financial institution. Grandma was stressing about this paper work, I read it and as I was reading it she was telling me about it and that she had to call them but there was no number (incorrect but I’ll get to that later). I read it, and tell her “You don’t need to do anything, you can throw this away if you want.” She thought I was CRAZY! Then informed me that she brought it down to the office ladies and had several people read it and no one could explain to her what it is and no one, not one told her she didn’t need it and could throw it away. Including various people looking up information on the Internets. 

My response was “Well, then no one bothered to actually read it.” And then I explained each section, the top section is the instructions part which states “….if this information is correct, no further action is required.” The next part I explained is nothing more but a series of definitions and the information after that is the information (grandma) provided to the company…which I made sure confirm is was correct. Grandma stops looks at me and says “No one bothered to explain it like that to me, that makes so much more sense, why didn’t anyone tell me that earlier.” Uh, because no one bothered to read it?

Anyhow, I told her to save any financial paper work she had questions on and I would review them. I think my mom is just exasperated by Grandma at the moment with saying she’s moving home the end of the month with no plans (yeah….that’s the end of this month which is this week.) 

And this all brings me to my theory that old people become more child like the older they get. My neighbor, a sweet old lady at the age of 87 who lives on her own and is quite spry still has her child moments. Such as a few years ago when we had a bad storm roll through. It was wet and we have a number of trees that are in desperate need of trimming on the street. One of the larger tree branches was hitting the power cables sending down a shower of sparks all day long directly across the street from my neighbors house. She sat there in her house all day watching the sparks rain down from the power cables and waiting for one of the neighbors to return home from work. 

My husband happened to be the first one home. As soon as he pulled in the drive way she came running out of her house, catching Husband in the drive way and franticly telling him about the sparking wires all day. She asked him “What should I do?” He asked if she had called the cable company, she said no and if he thought she should do that. At this point he said that she didn’t need to call them and that he would take care of it. She was so thankful that someone was home and could handle the situation. 

When he told me I just said “I told you, they lose their grasp on logic and become like children.” 

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Visit to the Grandma

We made it out to go visit Grandma at the home today. This was a five day in the making happening, or should I say we tried three different times to leave one day I actually remembered I didn’t have the carseats and didn’t even try on that day. We had to switch the carseats to the other vehicle and life being life it was left. Then the day I had the vehicle with the seats in it the weather was just too nasty to try and take the children out. (Why I had the car with the seats in the first place as Husband took the 4-wheel drive vehicle to work.) 

Then the next week after we take the car seats out we’re ready to go. I get the kids all set up, in their coats, go start the car to warm up, grab the first kid to put them in the car, walk out to the car annnnnd, no seats. Husband had moved them to the other room to mop, I did not see them in the morning and thought he must have put them in the car when I was out grocery shopping. By that time once I got the seats in the car and got the kids back in their winter attire it would have been well past lunch time at the home. Strike number three. 

Today we actually made it. As always it’s an adventure. The parking lot has very few parking spaces, in good weather. The snow drifts are still taking up a good portion of the parking area. Maybe with all the snow melt over the past week they have gained back one space. Then just to make the parking matters worse there were three jackasses that felt the need to park their cars across the lines. Not just a little way but effectively taking up two entire spots. I was driving a Jeep Wrangler, it’s slim compared to other cars, even if they ere a little over the line I could have gotten into a spot but no. I was able to find a spot after someone left, luckily,otherwise I would have had to drive over a snow bank and park in their muddy dead grass area which is not for parking. 

Once inside we ran into Grandma’s eating buddy. They have meals together. She said to me “Taking them to visit their grandma.” Not going to lie I REALLY wanted to say she’s MY grandma. I was thinking “really lady, Grandma is ninety to I look that old? She would have had me when she was 68.” I said nothing, of coarse.

Then on to the visit, which was as always glorious. She started telling me about how she is going home and this is pretty much how it played out….

Grandma: “That lady says that I’m not ready to go home.”

Me: “So, you’re planning on staying another month.”

Grandma: “No. That lady said I can’t go home yet that I’m not ready, so I went down and talked to them about staying for an extra two weeks…and you won’t believe this atrocity…and I know that my kids have talked to that lady already….if I want to stay an extra two weeks I have to pay for the WHOLE MONTH isn’t that ridiculous! So you know what I told them, ‘Well, I guess I’m moving out in two weeks then.” 

*How she said some things made me think that she was fishing to start an argument, I kept my mouth shut* 

“That lady said that if I want to go home I need to have someone living with me and I can’t go home until I can get in and out of bed myself.” 

Me: If you’re not ready to go home yet, but you might be mid April but have to pay for a full month, why not just stay until the end of the month. It’s only an extra two weeks and much safer than going home early.” 

Grandma: “Maybe.” 

Oh, and then this conversation was followed up about how she got to go to the museum and it was super fantastic, and how she went to the store with a group and it was great. 

But that brings us to the best part of the whole visit. She starts taking about her taxes. She tells me that she needs to get home because of her taxes. 

Grandma: I just don’t know what I’m going to do about my taxes if don’t get home. 

Me: “What about your taxes?” 

Grandma: “Well, I have all the stuff here, but I’m not going to be able to take care of them if I don’t get home. So, I’ve decided what I will do. I am going to take everything and just mail it to them.” 

Me: “them who?” 

Grandma: “Oh the tax people, you know…where does it even go, Lansing.” 

Me: “There is an address on your tax forms, typically all that information is there.” 

Grandma: “Oh! It is! Well, ok, I’ll take all my stuff and just put a little note on it saying ‘I’m in a nursing home so you’ll have to take care of it this year.” 

*pause* 

Me: “uh….pretty sure the IRS doesn’t work that way.”

Grandma: “Well why not! I’m sending them everything.”

Me: “Why can’t you just have a tax professional do them or mom?” 

Grandma: “Your mom doesn’t want to do that! And, I can’t get to a tax person. I went to that, whats that tax business…”

M: “H&R block?”

G: “Yes, that’s it…but last year I went with B & M to someplace in Granville. Where would I even find a tax person…” 

(Grandville is a whole 5 minutes away from where the home is.) 

M: “I have a tax person, would you like to use mine?” 

G: “You DO!” (like this was the most amazing information ever that I would use a tax professional)

Then we discussed how she thought the tax preparer had to come out and do it in the nursing home and I kept trying to tell her that I could just bring her paper work to the tax guy and he’ll take care of everything and I’ll pick it up when it’s done. She also companied that it would way too much work to take care of. I even offered to go pick up her previous years’ tax paper work if it was needed. Thinking that she could just send all her paper work to the IRS (which is in Lansing, now if you didn’t know that) with a note that says in essence “you deal with this shit” was mind boggling and hilarious. 

Either way, I think this tax issue had something to do with her wanting to get home so bad, maybe now that it will be taken care of she’ll settle down and take some time before making the leap to move back home. 

Then just to ice the cake of grandma day I get a text from my mom (after calling her and telling her about the taxes thing) that says “Well, Grandma figured out how to use the cell phone, she racked up an extra $360 of charges.” This is after months of having issues with trying to get her to use the cell phone. My mom was heading to the home to visit with Grandma when she got the bill. I knew this so I sent back…

“Have fun! lol!” 

The Rabbits

The rabbits are decimating my bushes. I mean truly decimating. Not only are they all over my burning bush but they have stripped my forsythia bush of every branch dow to the huge stalk things that went wild last year (they are typically called suckers). I was going to trim the suckers back this year so I not too concerned that the rabbits were snacking on this bush until I went and took a look at it today. They have eaten all the branches a good three feel off the ground, and as the snow melts the eat the uncovered branches like a starved homeless person at an all you can eat buffet. They are starving after all so I guess I can’t blame them too much. I am trying to feed them and they are not eating the food I’m throwing out. They only thing they seem to want to eat are stale taco shells and cabbage. The cabbage is even so-so on the rabbit menu preferring the stale taco shells. The squirrels are all about the cabbage. I think the rabbits have taken to trying to eat the bark off the oak tree as well because there is massive amounts of rabbit shit ringing the tree.

I’m looking out my large window at my burning bush the rabbits have decided is their all-you-can eat buffet. Around the ground is all kinds of black/brown stuff which looks to be chewed up bark, or dirt. I’m just standing in my window, in my pajamas cursing the rabbits. If they were out there at that very moment I would have shook my fist at them and called up my impression of a caricature of some old man ranting at some of those damn youngin’s. Later on I went out to inspect these dirt/bark leavings that were strewn all about my burning bush. I’m squatting down about two inches from the ground studying this dirt when I get a small sent. I continue to study the brown stuff and thing “this stuff kind of looks like coffee grounds, I keep thinking I can smell coffee too.”

Coffee…it was coffee.

Husband was throwing the grounds on the burning bush.

Visting Grandma

I finally made it to go visit Grandma. It’s been awhile. Things have just felt so busy. Not productive, just busy. That means that nothing is getting done and we have no time to get anything done either.

My trip to the assisted living center was an event, as everything with the kids becomes an event leaving everyone so exhausted that we have to go take a four-hour nap when we get home. I was driving the Jeep, for the most part I’m always driving the Jeep. That thing is a pain in the royal ass for me to cart the kids around. The littlest one is still rear facing so how do we get her in and out of the Jeep…though the back window. Yes…the back window. It’s Wrangler, and this Wrangler has no running steps on the side. It’s just a huge step up into the Jeep, which is especially hazardous if you’re trying to get into it holding a 25 lb baby and then maneuver yourself around to in the wee back compartment to get the baby into the rear facing seat, hence thought the back window. This back window thing is amazing easy for Husband and no so much for me because I am short and therefore have short arms. I just don’t have the reach to get baby into the back without touching my knees all over the back bumper. It’s winter, and everything is covered in salt. It’s the season where is you get within a one foot span of a vehicle all of your clothes will be covered in salt particles. I’m also currently suffering from a stupid rotator cuff injury that happened last November. (I’m also not very good at taking the time off to let it heal, unfortunately.) So once I get baby into the Wrangler by way of half climbing on the bumper and depositing her all cattywampus into the bucket I then climb into the back. My feet are stationed on the bumper and my entire upper body is in the back of the Jeep balanced over the seat and car seat so I can adjust the baby and strap them into the carseat. As this is going on baby is grabbing at every string, zipper, glasses and anything else I may have on my person. This does not make the weird situation any better. Eventually I get her strapped in, then it’s time to work on the other one.

Running boards would be extremely helpful, but we don’t have those, so instead of the other one being able to climb up on her own I have to pick her up put her in the Jeep. Since she has to sit behind the driver’s seat and that seat has less room to move up it’s not just a simple place kid in back seat. Oh NO! It’s pick kid up then turn her on her side like we’re playing airplane flying and then slide her backward into the itty bitty space between the seat and the roll bar. At this point I set her on the back floor and she can climb into the car seat herself. Thank goodness for that, because previously I would have to put her on the floor, the climb into the back, partially sit on the back of the folded up seat and then lift her into the car seat. It was super awesome on my back. Now, I still have to climb in and sit on the back of the folded up car seat but now I just have to buckle her into the seat. Not too bad, but this is a three-year-old so as I’m trying to buckle her in she’s kicking the window, or me, or grabbing the baby which then cause the baby to scream bloody murder.

Eventually everyone is in their seats. Then I go back inside to get a Coke, because by this time I need a freakin’ Coke.

Then we’re off. We navigate the driveway which has become a hazard all its own with gigantic ice berms only to hit the road which is an ice two-track, but then we make to the main subdivision road and that’s all good. Until we have to get on the main roads where I can’t see over the snow mounds in a Jeep Wrangler because the things are so damn high.

We get to the assisted living center. The massive amounts of snow have taken their toll there as well. It looks like the assisted living center has decided not to find a company to come and dump truck all their snow away and have pushed the massive piles out-of-the-way as much as possible, however that leaves about 1/3 rd of the open parking spaces actually available. The parking lot was something out of Mad Max only instead of sand, snow. People were parking all over the place and some mini bus couldn’t get though the one lane lot. I ended up parking in/on a snow bank. The Jeep might be a pain in the ass to deal with getting kids in and out but damn, I CAN park where ever the hell I want, including a snow bank, and not have to worry about getting back out.

Once in the snow bank I retrieved the children which is a reverse process as described above.

I was told that Grandma lived all the way at the end of the last building. This I took to mean the very last room of the last building of the complex. Uh…no. She’s in what I could call the beginning of the building, so I walked, carting my 25 lb baby, a stack full of kid stuff, a gift and  toddler to the complete wrong side of the building only to find out that it was the other end of the building that I needed.

sigh.

When we got to Grandma’s room she goes “Oh! You came!” Like it was some huge surprise, I only called an hour earlier to tell her I was going to be there as soon as I fangled the children into the car (and yes, it took me that hour to get them out the door). Then we chatted. I thought Grandma looked quite well, much better than I had expected. She talked about wanting to go home and silly things my Aunt and Mom do and I laughed. Then she talked to the kids and gave them jelly beans which one of them decided were hers to dole out to people if she thought they needed a jelly bean (which means she ate 80% of them herself.) The baby thought it would be great to get into to everything and in her search found a bag of cheese popcorn. That was a big deal. They ran around eating cheese popcorn and wiping their grubby hands on EVERYTHING as I tried my best to wipe up cheese smears all over the room.

Grandma informed me that this week (tomorrow) she is going on an outing to the dollar store. The Family Dollar, ugh, they could at least go to a good dollar store such as the Dollar Tree (best dollar store EVER). Grandma was very excited about this outing. She at first told the staff she could not go because she could not walk. They had to explain it to her that she would be going in the wheel chair…that was amazing to Grandma and she spend much of the time pondering out loud how they were going to take the wheel chair and all to the Family Dollar. I explained to her that they have a special bus with a lift. I then riffled through her monthly paper work from the center to look at what events they were having. I remember the events from with my Dad’s mom was in the same center. I asked her want events she had participated and which ones she thought she might like. I said “Do you go play Bingo?” That was in truth a dumb question. I knew she played bingo because my mom told me. Grandma was bitching to my mom about how boring it was there as two ladies from down the hall come wheeling into her room going “Hey Gennie! You coming down for bingo? It’s such a good time when we can all sit together,” or something like that about hanging out together. I just wanted to see if she would tell me she went down to bingo or if she was going to say it was boring. She says “Just about every day. I win most of the time. I typically take the candy bar. I’m saving them to give away but sometimes I eat them.”

Then it was back to talking about how amazing the Family Dollar trip is going to be. She also told me about how they go to the library. They only do that once a month she said she wasn’t feeling the library that day. I tried to talk her into going to the next one and that we could meet up. They happen to go to the library on the same day/time as kids time. Then I read off all the things I thought she might like, I left off the toddler-esq craft events they throw almost daily. They have a day planned to go to the one of a kind local doughnut shop. When I told grandma what was lifted she seemed pretty excited about that, hopefully she signs herself up, (not that she needs any doughnuts but she’s 90 so who cares). There is also a trip to the museum. Grandma is itching to get home and I can understand that but I tried to convince her that when she was there to take advantage of the things she can do there, like going on trips down town. When I left she seemed to the point where she might take my advice. That however was short-lived.

On Sunday we went to have dinner with my mom, she was giving me the report on Grandma. I get one every Sunday. My mom is filling me in on the weeks events, when I told her that I went to visit, and then I told my mom about the events. I then learn from my mom that between the time I was there and my mom went a few days later that Grandma had decided that she was going home. That’s all fine and dandy, but she has decided that she is going home at the end of the month. Everyone count how many days until the end of the month…not that many. And in truth there are not enough days to get her house ready for her to move back home. There are things that need to be figured out and schedules to be coordinated where most everyone works so that leaves only the weekend and there are only two weekends left.

I really had the hope that she would have decided to enjoy the time at the assisted living place taking the opportunity to do fun stuff when there, and then make a plan to go home, but no. Old people. I fear the day when I have to be in this position with my own mom as I don’t get to share the responsibility it’s just me and secondly Grandma is at least seemingly good-natured about everything. My mom will just be surly. She once said “I’m not moving out of this house unless it’s in a box,” and I fully believe her to stick to that until I have to force her into an assisted living center where she will be bitter and angry at me like my dad’s mom was to my dad to the end of her days.