This week started out with several parties and visits to friends and family. On Sunday, we went to St. Michael Lutheran Church in Canton, Michigan. Our friend Susan was retiring as the music director/organist and there was a concert followed by a retirement party. We drove the hour to Canton, arriving at the church a little after twelve noon. I served there as the assistant pastor of evangelism for nine years, leaving in 1999. Although a lot of things have changed, we still had a number of friends who worship at St. Michael.
The concert was just starting as we walked in, so we quietly found a seat and enjoyed Andria and Sue’s organ, piano duet. They played classical music, hymns, and contemporary praise songs. The congregation enthusiastically responded after each musical piece. Following the concert there was a luncheon in the fellowship hall. We filed out of the Sanctuary and slowly made our way to the reception. Harriet was moving slower than the crowd and seemed to be having quite a bit of pain. One person after another came up to greet us with hugs, stories, and questions about how we were doing. Harriet seemed to be enjoying herself in this atmosphere of love and support.
We found our table and watched as congregational members put on skits and songs, having to do with Susan’s name; (Oh Suzy Q, Peggy Sue, Wake up little Suzy, etc.). There were testimonials about Susan’s servant heart and how much she loved to worship and praise the Lord.
Following that it was time for lunch, which was wonderful. When people finished eating, they began moving from table to table speaking with old friends. Harriet loved our time at St. Michael and the people in the congregation. Things began to break up around 3:30 and so we took our leave and returned to Adrian.
After an hour nap we went over to Joshua’s house to celebrate my 69th Birthday. Dinner was great and it was followed by Banana cake. After dinner we went out behind the house where there is a stand of trees. Josh had started a fire and the grandkids couldn’t wait to make smores. There were cattle out in the field just south of their house. They added a certain charm to the evening. I was concerned about Harriet making her way across their back yard to the fire pit. Like most lawns, this one was bumpy with branches and dips in the yard. Harriet had her cane and of the grand kids walked beside her and she was able to navigate without any trouble.
After we had enough smores to make everyone nauseous we returned to the house. The kids wanted to show us a funny video on television. It was fun watching the videos that the kids enjoyed so much. However, it made for a long evening; it was past 12:30 am before we got home. It was sometime after 2:00 by the time we finally got into bed.
Monday was Dad’s 94th birthday and I offered to bake a cake. Dad responded that he didn’t like cake and wanted me to bake an apple pie. I figured with a good cookbook, and Harriet’s help, I could make a homemade apple pie. I went to the grocery store and bought Granny Smith, and Golden delicous apples. I cheated and bought a box of premade pie crusts. Harriet has about four shelves filled with cookbooks and, while I was at the store, she picked out a couple to help with the baking. While she did pick the books out, she was too tired to read over the recipes. When I came home, she was sound asleep in the recliner.
The recipes in both cookbooks were identical. Because there were going to be so many people at dad’s for dinner, we decided to make apple crisp instead of apple pie, which meant we had to double the recipe. We took a 9 x 13 inch glass pan and, forgetting to grease it, Harriet put the crust in the bottom and popped it into the oven. While Harriet was getting the crust ready, I mixed the dry ingredients together in a big bowl. During the time that the crust was baking, and then cooling, we pealed, cored and sliced apples. We stirred, or more correctly, folded the apple slices into the dry ingredients. Harriet put the mixture into the pan while I mixed the ingredients for the topping. When that was done, everything was put into the oven to bake.
This was the first apple, or the first pie of any kind, that I have ever made. I had no idea how much work goes into baking an apple pie. I want to say a great big, THANK YOU, to anyone who has ever made a pie that I’ve enjoyed. If you blessed me with homemade pie, I’m sure that I didn’t thank you enough for all the work you did. Please forgive my ignorance. Thank you again.
We got to Dad’s around 5:45 pm. Debbie had made pot roast for dinner and we all ate way too much. After the food had settled, I stuck candles into the apple crisp and we all went out on the patio to watch the deer and eat dessert. The candles were lit but dad couldn’t blow them out because he is on oxygen. We all enjoyed the pie with ice cream, and it must have been passible because some folks took two servings. Following dessert, Dad opened his cards and gifts. We had a lot of fun, but it was quite late by the time we got home.
All of these parties have been too much for Harriet. She has slept most of Tuesday and Wednesday. It is really common for people with FTD to exhaust themselves at an event and need two to three days to rest afterwards. It seems that it takes a huge amount of energy to interact, in a normal manner, with people.
Harriet continues to complain about feeling foggy headed. She seems to have difficulty thinking things out. Also, her short-term memory is almost nonexistent. She will ask me the same question ten times and still not remember the answer.
It also seems like Harriet is having difficulty with reading and writing. She has been working on and off for about four weeks on her journal. She cannot seem to pull it together. This could be a problem for her in September. Her driver’s license is up for renewal and she has been notified that she will have to take a test in order to renew it. Please pray about this.
I will attempt to update this next week. Please continue to pray for us. We will be praying for you.