Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Cowes Day 3

Well, on Day 3 at Cowes, Mother's bowel problem rectified itself without drama. She made little remark except for it is almost a predictable cycle, but unpredictable enough for her being too afraid to do social things.

R was becoming thoroughly exasperated by hearing about her medical problems. I, like my brothers and sister don't really hear or take notice when she moans on about her medical problems, but clearly it was getting to R as he was getting snappy with me. I quote what R said to a friend on the phone, "She moaned and whinged for the whole three days". Not exactly, but she did moan on enough. R is used to Mother Thursday, where when he arrives to take her out she is about to die. By the time he takes her back home, she is happy as Larry. R said she never got to that happy point for the whole three days. I don't really agree. I had some good chats about old family stuff with Mother. Perhaps not so interesting to R.

Check out time was 10am. Mother was ready by 10:10, breakfast, showered, dressed, made up and packed, a good effort I thought. I must speak to her about getting her travelling luggage into one or two cases or bags.

I woke on the morning of our departure at 5am and I could not go back to sleep. About 5:30 I got up and did internet stuff on my tablet and phone. I showered and dressed and walked to the beach to see sunrise. It was quite nice, but I wasn't alone. Other people were up and about and people were packing up their caravans and campers and departing, clearly on a mission to be be somewhere else at a certain time.


We drove to the spectacular Nobbies. The flat rock in the distance is called Seal Rock. Mother reminded me that Step Father and I once walked out to the large rock at low tide and climbed half way up. I can't remember doing so, but Mother's memories are invariably accurate. I do remember messing about on the rocks at low tide. Now it is all forbidden and you must stay on the many boardwalks.


R inserted $2 into one of the fixed binoculars, but could not see a seal. He was annoyed.



In this photo at full size on the large desktop screen, I can see lots of seals on Seal Rock.


We saw a couple of these birds on the road back from Rhyll the day before. I identified them as geese. I had never seen them before on the island. They were also at The Nobbies. What kind of geese are they, I wondered out loud. Cape Barren Geese, Mother replied. How did she who rarely moves from her lounge room and kitchen know that? Yes, I should have killed some photos, but it hard to decide which ones.




Something disturbed them at one point and there was much honking.









After admiring the view, mention was made of lunch. R said he had an upset stomach and did not want lunch. His stomach had become upset the day before and it was due to Mother stress. He was totally fed up with her. He went off to the Nobbies centre shop to get a gastrolyte drink. I escorted Mother in the same direction. She slowly shuffled along without her walker or any assistance but I was within hands reach. She never takes in the bigger picture of where she walking, and so walks in directions like she is young. She heads for steps when there is a ramp. Always she finds the steepness as opposed to the gentle slopes. She stepped off the smooth path onto a rough gravel area. She made it to the cafe come gift shop.

I soon found R. "Are you so effing useless that you let your mother walk across to here without her walking frame?" "Err, the walking frame is packed under luggage in the car. I would have to unpack the car".  More along the same vein was said. R then disappeared. Mother and I had a look around gift shop, feeling fabrics and soft toy critters, but I was very stressed about R. We left and via a toilet stop, Mother shuffled back to the car, where R was nearby drinking his electrolyte drink while sitting on a seat admiring The Nobbies view. 

We set off to Mother's home but via the Summerland Estate and the Penguin Parade. My young memories is of driving along the same road at night after seeing the Penguin Parade and seeing Fairy Penguins crossing the road as they went to their burrows. 

The road is now closed at night to protect the penguins. The State Government compulsorily acquired all the houses there and demolished them and you would now never know there were any houses there. It has been totally returned to natural vegetation and while in times past the penguins and the Summerland housing estate lived well enough together, it is now all over to the penguins without humans to deal with. I approve and there is a brief summary here.

We stopped off for lunch at Grantville and R was holding it together by not saying much to either Mother or myself. As we left Mother said she will need to stop in Koo Wee Rup for a toilet. I thought, damn that. You are only fifteen minutes from home. I had set the sat nav for to take Mother back home, but then I saw a sign to Koo Wee Rup and I knew we had to go that way, so I swung across the road and exited the major road. Ok, the sat nav was telling me to use the Koo Wee Rup bypass. Instead we are back in Koo Wee Rup, so Mother may as well go to toilet here. 

We dumped Mother at home as quickly as we could and reached home mid afternoon. R hated the weekend away and it took him two days to recover and his physical problems to settle down. I didn't mind the weekend away. Mother loved it and thanked us profusely. 

In summary, this will be the last time we take Mother away anywhere. It is just too hard. She is just too slow. In the cabin it did not matter which way we wanted to go, she was in the way as she crept around. Yep, all too hard.

50 comments:

  1. My partner coped better with mother than I did. I was a lot like R. My tummy became upset and I became a grump (more of a grump). And because my mother thought the sun shone out of my partner's nether regions I often (to my shame) picked a squabble with him on the way home.
    I am glad that your mother enjoyed the trip away, and that you found some positives. My heart goes out to R though.

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    1. EC, normally that is the case with Mother. I suspect R's problem was that was not on familiar soil when dealing with her. I am not disappointed to learn you are not perfect.

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    2. Perfect? Moi? Queue hysterical laughter.

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  2. No doubt your mum will have happy memories of her weekend away with her son,totally oblivious to R's discomfort. You will have to do something special for him now.

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    1. Marie, I have. For his birthday I am taking him to Sydney for the outdoors La Boheme.

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    2. Followed by cocktails and romance?

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    3. River, quite unlikely.

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  3. Enjoy you mum when you have her

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    1. Yeah, I know John. At times that does go out the window in frustration.

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  4. I would much rather talk about the amazing Cape Barren Geese, the seals, koalas and the Fairy Penguins than an elderly relative who makes people exhausted. One of Joe's replies has me in tears, every visit.

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    1. Rellies

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    2. Well Hels, I do come with warts and all. Obligation can be very hard.

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  5. I echo John Grays words.... enjoy your Mum while you have her. I know the feeling - they can drive you around the twist ... my Mum is 83 and she could be your Mum's twin! LOL

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    1. Lady J, we better make sure they never meet or we will suffer badly.

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  6. I wish I had something intelligent to say. I am sorry for all of you that this is how things went. :(

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    1. Snoskred, thanks. It has passed now, but truly, there won't be anymore days away like by us.

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  7. I think next time you do a similar weekend or days away, you should dump R along the way, or just leave him at home, and take Mother!

    Cherish and remember the stories your mother tells...one day she won't be here to share them with you.

    Most of us grow old...and for some it's not a lot of fun. Until one has walked in their shoes, or with their walking frame, no one can understand the frustrations the elderly have to deal with daily.

    The geese are a lovely bird, as is the area.

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    1. Lee, I have a better idea. R can take her and I'll stay home. Yes, I wish I could remember all she has told me. I do have things about rels written down. We would be more tolerant of her if she at all helped herself, but she just won't. She complains of loneliness but then doesn't want visitors upsetting her routines. Now she is put out that we will be celebrating my great niece's 4th birthday with hers and R's. She is normally ok with the joint one with R, but I think she feels her birthday is not properly celebrated when the niece takes the limelight. The three birthdays are six days apart. What else can we do?

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  8. Decide upon who will make the rules for your vacation. Yourself. Do not take more than one person to share your holiday. Remember Three is a crowd.

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    1. Vest, while that I love that our quite large family never falls out, that is because we don't speak frankly or lay down rules. You are right though, three was a crowd, but then it would not happened at all if there wasn't three.

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  9. Bit of a sad end to the story, A. It would be a shame if you never took your mother away again but it looks as though if you do you will have to do it yourself and leave R out of it. Surely he will be OK with that.

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    1. Marcellous, I think I can call it that she is too old and frail to do such things anymore. Well, not without professional carers. R and myself were going away for the couple of days. Mother was an afterthought, a bad one for us, but at least not for her.

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  10. Love the sunrise photo, just beautiful! It's a beautiful area, I do remember seeing those geese somewhere, could have been when we visited Phillip Island.
    It's sad about the stress your Mom brought on R, not easy to travel with elderly people, specially if they are the complaining kind :)

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    1. Sami, you are so sweet. Thank you. It was a weird moment being on my own on the beach at sunrise. I bet your parents aren't the complaining type like my mother is.

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  11. Sad that R got so stressed over your mother, he isn't able to tune her out at all? Also sad that this is the last time you take her on a getaway, but understandable of course. I need to try and remember things like this when I get old, especially not too much luggage and not complaining.

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    1. River, as I would expect, you picked up on really key points. R has known Mother for 39 years. Sister is only 50. Why do both deal with her so differently and one, R, allows her to get under his skin. I truly do not know. Yeah, if you are ever a guest at The Highrise, do not spread your medications and makeup all over my ensuite and make sure everything is packed in two bags. Older person getting sympathy without complaining must be written somewhere.

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  12. Well at least you did it, and I'm sure your mother appreciated it. Maybe next time, something nearer and easier. I love those Geese.

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    1. Cro, yes, she did enjoy it and while it won't happen again, I have no regrets. The geese are way cool. I just remembered, there were ravens that flew over that caused all the honking. It was quite a performance.

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  13. Oh dear, R got himself worked up and I expect one day is enough for him to take her shopping. He is wonderful to your mum really to do that.
    I was smiling to myself when you were describing about your mother wanting to go on the rough area and not up the small incline but to go the hard way - guess she was trying to show you she could do it the hard way :)
    Anyway it was a breakaway from your home.

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    1. Margaret, worked up describes the situation well. Originally R went each Thursday to take her our for lunch. Now he thinks he is her slave as she presents him with a shopping list and list of things she wants done at home. No, she does not walk the hard way for a point. It is because she does not properly take in her surroundings, always relying on other people to sort such mundane matters out.

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  14. Margaret-whiteangel, I slow down to almost a standstill walking to the nursing home for a mother afternoon. The latest is not to give her $2 coins because she can't pick them up but now $l coins make her purse too heavy. Most of the time she's in bed or in the wheelchair so not exactly carrying them anywhere. Like R, there are times when I'm at screaming point and my regular taxi drivers take one look at me and say "home or pub?"
    I'm now going to put up a wallpaper of Andrew's seals and calm down.

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    1. Jah Teh, and what does she do with such coins? It is not like she plays pokies, like her daughter. The geese make better wallpaper.

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    2. Jah Teh,
      Understand you :) It's difficult for sure.
      I looked after both my parents until they passed on :)

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  15. Oh my! I do agree Andrew, probably at this stage day trips are best.. it's not worth the stress.. a much happier experience all round. Although it does sound as if you and mum got on really well, might that have been the reason for someone's annoyance?

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    1. Grace, I haven't thought about the time away from that angle, but yes, I was pretty relaxed until I could see R being stressed. Perhaps it was a case of R being annoyed by me not being so troubled about Mother when he was. In fact, I really think it was.

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    2. Sometimes it takes an outside view to see things missed when closely involved ✨

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  16. Some of, or really most of you, have really given me some clarity of thought on little holiday away. You are all so smart. I do care very much about my mother and perhaps the post was a bit of black humour to deal with the experience and the future. Thank you heaps.

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    1. I have been thinking more about this over the course of the day Andrew, and I realised that my other half is your R. ;) He does not always enjoy spending time with my parents whereas I do.

      I recognise that they are getting older and who knows how much time I will get to spend with them. We almost lost Dad in 2011, so I think that has shown me to value these kinds of moments, even though they might be somewhat annoying to experience.

      I think maybe you should plan some time with just you and your Mother, so you can relive old times and enjoy her company without R getting so stressed.

      I also recall my Mother having to take Father's Mother shopping quite a bit and she was just exhausting to deal with. I think we in Australia have a tendency to this kind of duty as a part and parcel of who we have chosen as our partner, even if the person we have to shuttle around drives us up the wall..

      As annoying as your Mother might be, I think I have the most annoying family member, my loopy uncle who ditched his wife and went to China to find a new one. Try going shopping with him, he spent an hour comparing tins of tuna one time. They don't put seats within the supermarkets for a reason, I was thinking of bringing my own. :)

      I always find if I am angry, the other half is totally calm, and vice versa. So if I want to make sure the other half has a great day, I can actually "pretend" to be angry and he takes on the calm role. I am not really angry, but he does not need to know this. :)

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    2. Oh gosh Snoskred. I hate the responsibility of making people think. I am with you until the third para. I have spent enough time with her.
      R's parents came to Australia in the mid 1980s. I did not behave well towards them in some ways. It ended up them having their dinner at 5.30 and us having ours at 7.30. I forbade R's mother from washing any of my clothes.

      I remember about your uncle and his life.

      I have tried the fake anger, and still do, but it never really works but may soften things.

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  17. What a wonderful place. I love those geese.
    You know I've always associated penguins with a cold weather environment so you've broadened my horizons.
    If this is your mom's last vacay it's ending on a high note.

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    1. Sandra, yes, I don't suppose there are too many species away from the ice caps. These are quite small, known as Little Penguins or Fairy Penguins.

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  18. Andrew, I have been so ill even the pokies were out of bounds. The coins are to bribe her minions for favours like a $2 comb when I had just paid $8 for a set of baby brushes because her hair is so fine. She said the handles weren't long enough and I was so tempted to take her a toilet brush.

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    1. Yes, I know. I was being flippant. Your hair is not thin. Maybe you don't have all her genes.

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  19. That area is beautiful. I had to take a tour after your first post, via google maps. The beach and rocks and boardwalks........As for your dedication to your mom, I am in awe. You are a good son. Taking care of aging parents or ill friends is very stressful.

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    1. Strayer, it is an area we are very fond of. Mother's and late Step Father's ashes will be spread at the Rose Avenue Beach that I showed in the Cowes Day 2.

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  20. That's the trouble with getting old, and the family. We went once with our son and DIL on holidays, never again !!

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    1. Gattina, I expect it was more the DiL that made your holiday difficult.

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  21. Was excited to see the photos of your Cape Barren goose. I've never seen one outside a zoo.

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    1. Ad Rad, apparently they have been on the island for a long time, but I think their numbers must have increased dramatically, or it seasonal visiting.

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