There have been very few times over the last 32 years that JM and I have not been together. This is one of them. He needed to go to Paris to help his parents and there is no way I can now go away and leave my mother.

I took him to the station in Carcassonne on Friday. It actually makes more sense to take the TGV through Montpellier than to fly from Toulouse. The whole voyage is about 5 1/2 hours, there is no security tsuris and you only need to arrive a few minutes ahead of the train. Plus, the drive to Carcassonne is much simpler for me than taking the autoroute to Blagnac. Even for the two of us to go to Paris (if we need to do so), it actually is less expensive to take the train than to drive.

I did a couple of errands, but had to rush home because I tried to call Mom and couldn’t get through. I was relatively sure that she was just having trouble using her phone, but I couldn’t be certain, so canceled half of what I had planned. This pretty much proved my point that I really can’t go away and leave her.

Luckily she was okay, although she had a bit of a crisis and now is really more confused than ever, so needs extra help. I had bought some Chinese takeaway, but was so worried about getting home that I didn’t store it well enough in the car and had quite a mess by the time I got home. Ah well, transporting food 45 kilometers is not without its risks.

My friend, Margaret, came to help me walk the dogs yesterday afternoon, but mostly I’ve been taking them myself. This has proved to be much easier than I feared. The extra training I’ve given Shmoo has really paid off, and he is MUCH better behaved around other dogs now. Peaches is perfect when she’s off leash, but even when we come across a dog while she is on leash, she has also improved. The best thing is that she’s really trustworthy off leash, and as soon as we get to the gardens she can roam so I only have to hold onto Shmoo.

I was mostly concerned about our first walk of the morning, because right now, it’s pitch dark at 7:00. There are benefits to that; such as the fact that on a clear morning you can see a billion stars. Particularly on Sundays, when no one else is up and about, there is dead silence except for the sound of the river, and it’s a rather magical time that I love. I have these little lights that I clip onto Peaches’ harness, so I can see her in the dark, and you can see her little red lights moving through the night, which must look pretty scary to the night creatures.

The worst thing, really, is that the house is so silent. I love quiet, but the presence of another person is very reassuring in a house of this size. I also don’t really feel like cooking just for me, so I haven’t exactly been eating balanced meals, which is bad. And, the dogs, Shmoo in particular, really miss their daddy. Our life is so regular and calm that we forget how small changes can stress the canines. Shmoo is so big that you wouldn’t think he is the big softie that he is; but he takes things much more to heart than most dogs I think.

I can’t really tell them that it will be all right and JM will be back soon. They don’t get the benefit of telephone and text messaging either. But I still think I have the better deal in all this than JM does; at least I am home and not in the hectic buzz of Paris, so I guess I can’t really complain.

Ciao for now,


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5 thoughts on “Alone

  1. I hope JM parents are well, as much as their age can allow, and not too disturbed by their planned move to Toulon. If you have any occasion, please give them our best wishes and regards. I do not know if they still use e-mail?
    Indeed, being alone in a big house is quite scary. I never got used to it, and I am happy that it does not happen very often. Although Nadine has to take care, part-time, of her mother, she is living only 40 minutes away, so this is much easier. We can just drop by a few times a week.
    Please give my regards to JM, and a scratch-scratch to the hounds.

    • It’s hard to answer about JM’s parents, Alberto. They are not really well, but most of that seems to be a mental problem. He can’t really talk to them about what is going on with them, because they get upset. So I’m afraid he’s not having a very good visit. Maybe they will be better once they actually move…

  2. I have a friend whose mother now needs a live-in companion and had difficulties keeping things in order (we did this? I thought we were going to do this tomorrow?). Wonderful, lovely lady, so sorry to see the failings. What my friend has discovered is that her mother is most comfortable with things she does remember. She still enjoys listening to music so much, watching old tv shows–things that don’t require her to be responsible, but to still be able to remember.
    Perhaps you can find things she has enjoyed in the past (Ann loves gardening so the friend takes her gardening books and magazines and they talk about the pictures…not requiring specific memory, only the enjoyment of the subject.

    I’ve probably mentioned this before but do make certain she is getting a good amount of Bcomplex vitamins, they really do support the work of the brain, and esp memory…

    I hope you find someone for the dog…I can’t open the images but perhaps that’s for the best…one’s heart hurts for such animals…

    I love the mental images of Peaches with her minilights twinkling in the dark…magical creature!
    take care and good luck to JM too..

    • Thanks, Lynda. Mom mostly watches TV (we have Sky) and likes things like Dancing with the Stars, etc. I bought her a book on the old Automat in Philly and NY, and she loved that. My aunt and grandmother met my dad in one in Philadelphia and decided to fix my parents up, so it had good memories for her.

      She pretty much does live in the past, but I think most elderly people do. We don’t need a companion, since I’m here, but it does rather limit me as to my own freedom; but that’s life.

      Yes, another friend couldn’t open the pictures either. I thought they would just copy over. I may see if I can post them again later.

      Peaches is quite the fey little creature!

  3. Sending good thoughts to you and JM in re the parents. It’s never easy, but you two have done very well by them. And I want to hear the story about the ‘rents meeting at the Automat–I sense a Frank Capra moment coming on.

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