Saturday, July 16, 2022

Having your Maypops and eating them too.

 Whole lotta storms these past two weeks.. Yesterday the high was 82 which was a wonderful change from the average high of 100 degrees.. Although humid, I did a bit of yardwork. It did not take long for sweat to dampen my clothes. About 8PM I came in the house. Around 8:30, I thought I would push the mower a wee more. You have to get the maximum amount of dirty to make your shower most effective. Then I heard a heavy downpour of rain. I walked to the shower and cleaned up for the night.

When I walk I see the Maypops or Passion Fruits blooming. My mother tells how when the fruit turns brown, they are quite good. I would never know in that I see the fruit glossy and green hanging from the vines. They then just disappear. Mom tells how they make a popping noise when you step on them or throw one at another kid.  I have read the flavor for Hawaiian punch is based on a passion fruit that grows in Hawaii.

The flower is quite pretty but not so exotic as to grow them. Although they are native, they are also invasive and hard to control. My entire front pasture has them. Since some butterfly species use them as a nursery for their young and the animals that I share my yard with eat them. They are good.

I never cut all of my front pasture and certainly don't cut it during the summer. One thing I enjoy is walking around the front pasture during the gloaming and listening to the birds that live on the ground settling down for the night. This morning, there was a drizzle of rain and the sun was out. I jumped when I first saw a black King snake with small gold markings in the grass by my drive. The dogs and two cats who make the walk each morning did not take notice. I knew the cats had to know it was there. They don't miss much.

I would not dare to walk across this tangle of plants without a good pair of snake boots on. We do have rattle snakes. 

Taking care of my elderly mother has moved to a different level this past year. I spend the night in her room. Most nights she sleeps all night. I see her wake up during the night and check to make sure I am there. One night she was awake and angry. That morning she chastised me for telling people she was crazy. This all goes back to an incident with her seeing some kittens that did not exist. 

I decided to not pretend to see them.  We may cross that bridge one day. But now, a visit to the doctor was needed. They are doing a brain scan to check her out. I am not sure what they are checking for. I am guessing evidence of a minor stroke or plaque in the brain to diagnose Alzheimer's. We don't have Alzheimer's in the family but dementia does occur late in life. One of my aunts had mild dementia her last couple of years. This aunt was a very bright woman in her day.

Fortunately mom no longer sees the kittens and has decided I have not been gossiping about her. I understand where I get my sense of pride. She doesn't like I told the doctor what is wrong but as I told her, they can't treat you if they don't know the symptoms. I'm hoping they find nothing. Mom's thinking has cleared and hey late at night, I can think some wild things too.

There is so much rose colored admonitions of some truly tough parts of life. One I experience is the comment that I am lucky to have my mother. I often think of a child I taught whose mother was killed in a car accident. To lose your mom at 13 makes a difficult life. There are so few who are in your corner so solidly as your parents no matter how much they question your choices in career, spouses, child rearing, cooking.  

I'm glad to have my mother. But the duty is quite onerous. You have your mother and still enjoy being with them. You have your mother and a big part of your day revolves around keeping them tidy, making sure they have small nutritious meals which they may or may not eat, listening to very old stories and some surprising family secrets on occasion. I have enjoyed sitting more and being less busy working. 

I remember when I started this journey. My mom did not really need me. I have a developmentally delayed brother and this is why we all live together. I remember an older gentleman who shared that his mom lived with him for 26 years. I thought wow. You don't really think. The reality of life and death is nebulous in the beginning. We are on year 22. I hope we make it to 26.

My writing is  a welcome outlet. I try to not spend so much time surfing the web and writing instead. I'm a night owl and my day does not really end until about midnight. So I am wired when I first sit in the recliner that I sleep on.. I've discovered that I can play the television with sound as my mother snoozes. She doesn't have her hearing aids in. Television usually makes me conk out in no time. In a few minutes, I am sound asleep. 


  1. Know how nice 82 degrees would seem. Almost sweater weather:) We are also firmly in the hundreds daily. Admire you taking care of your Mom like that. Caregiving is the hardest job in the world. There is no let up. Seems you have found a sleeping arrangement though that works with her not wearing her hearing aids.

    1. I always thought it would be easy street once I retired. As my dad said, you always have problems. He said this at 75 and I felt sad for him. I guess I am getting to know what he knew.

  2. Gorgeous passion flower! It's rather mild weather right where I live--currently about 65F, but in other areas rather close by we're seeing similar temps to yours. HOT stuff.

    1. You must live at a high elevation. My mother grew up on top of a mountain in Alabama and she has never liked the heat of the coastal plain of Georgia.

  3. You're lucky to have had so much support from your parents. My parents gave me very little support apart from the basic physical child care. My mother had dementia for about two years before she died. Fortunately she was spared a much longer ordeal.

    1. I've known many who had the same treatment as you. As much as I hated parents that would hassle me over a molehill they thought was a mountain; I tried to remind myself at least they cared.

      Dementia is a rough thing. My mother is functioning much better but we will see what I am made of in the next few years.

  4. I can see where you're coming from since we are taking care of my almost 93 year old mom. She's in good health though beginning show some alarming signs of dementia.

    We call passion fruits Lilikoi here in Hawaii. I see them growing on neighbor's fences. And yet, I've never actually tried the fruit itself.


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