My dad is older than most of my friends' dads. He's just old, period. We're talking fought-in-World-War-II, older-than-my-maternal-grandpa old. For me it's just a fact of life. But, especially in the past few years, its downsides have shown, namely that my dad has developed Alzheimer's and it's grown steadily worse. It began as just short-term memory problems, but in the past year or two, he's become more agitated and aggressive, which stems from not understanding where he is and why he's there. Sometime last year he started hitchhiking occasionally, trying to get "home" though that's where he was. When I visited Oregon in September, my mom gave me a second key to the house because they'd put another lock on the door to try and keep him from being able to leave, though she said it didn't really work. I felt really helpless, but I was also frustrated that my dad wasn't even on any meds yet to try and keep at least the aggression and wandering in check. Also, it was obvious that it was getting harder and harder for my mom to take of him, even with my brother helping a bit, and they looked into care facilities for him. When I was visiting, my mom told me that apparently my dad couldn't go into a facility because he could still take reasonable care of himself, like get dressed and bathe and such. Never mind the hitchhiking and that he had once hit my mom out of frustration and that he was prone to public outbursts and that he kept my mom awake all night as he paced around the house.
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I found out from my brother that my dad would finally be put into a care home because he had fallen twice, once while trying to hitchhike again. So this week, after stints in the hospital and another care facility, my dad was moved to a place that specializes in Alzheimer's patients. I talked to my mom a couple of weekends ago about how it was going, and I think she's relieved and so much less stressed out now that she doesn't have to take care of my dad. The news about my dad going into a home didn't make me feel as relieved as I thought it would though. I suddenly was worried about my mom being on her own and not keeping herself busy. But being stressed out about my dad is not a healthy way to keep busy either.
So, moving onto less heavy things to talk about... First of all, a link
to something from De Volkskrant about the coffee snobbishness of Melbourne and how you can't go into a cafe and ask for just a coffee (sorry, most of it's in Dutch...). I definitely felt like I was missing out on something there because I'm not a coffee drinker.
Thanks to Natasja and her van, I finally have an oven! I feel like my apartment is now truly complete. I haven't hooked it up yet, but I plan to make some brownies tomorrow, in Elton's honor, since the oven made many a pan of brownies back in the day. After that, there is so much I want to make, I don't know where to begin...
My work had their yearly charity book sale on Thursday. People donate books (and CDs and DVDs) they don't want and then they are sold for very cheap, with the money going to a good cause. I came away with 7 books for 4 euros. And this sale came through for me where Powell's -- Powell's
-- couldn't. See, when I went home in September, I wanted to grab the Patrick White books I had from the college course on him that I took. Don't worry if you don't know the name; I didn't before I took that class, but he was an Australian author and that class sparked my desire to go to Australia. So I was interested in rereading the novels I had. I apparently had forgotten that I sold them to Powell's on my previous trip to the States, so they were gone. I went to Powell's to see what replacements I could get, but they didn't have the book I really wanted to reread, Voss, so I ended up not getting any Patrick White books. Then at the sale this week, there was a copy of Voss! How insane. And I found two other White novels, one of which I'd read for the class and quite liked. It was awesome. I also bought a cookbook, a novel that sounded interesting, a little book with a short story I read in college, and another book that takes place in Australia. A pretty good haul.