After visiting with Dad I usually leave with a mental note of things to bring with me next time.
After visiting with Dad I usually leave with a mental note of things to bring with me next time. No fault of his own, or the staff of his new home, but unless personal belongings are marked with your name, they may find a new owner.
Since residents are free to roam the massive two-story house, some of them frequently go on "shopping" excursions and "borrow" things from their neighbors and unless it's marked, there's no way to know who they belong to.
My handy-dandy boyfriend, who always has the answer for everything, brought out his labeling machine and we put Dad's name on everything from ChapStick to shampoo. He may not remember my name but he can recite his full name, military rank and the only address he has known for the past 60 years.
I carried in a cane, which I thought would help him get up from the sofa easier, nose trimmers because he has the hairiest ears on earth and a couple packs of smokes.
I'm saying I borrowed the nose trimmer from the boyfriend, not because he has hairy ears but more because I shouldn't admit to having hairs growing from my nose. I stowed the trimmers in my coat pocket, as hairy ears are a pet peeve of mine.
While in the parking lot, I became concerned, as there was a constant buzzing sound coming from somewhere in the car. I almost didn't go in for fear I would come out to find the battery dead because something was definitely running full mode.
Since I haven't a clue about what goes on inside or out of a car, I went on in and hoped for the best.
I didn't need the trimmers after all as someone must have noticed Dad was beginning to look like a werewolf and cleaned him up.
The cane didn't work out as he just kept trying to trip people as they walked by. Apparently he doesn't need smokes anymore as he's been temporarily banned after flicking his lit cigarette butts at people while sitting outside.
After he realized he wasn't going to smoke anymore he started to raid the community fridge. The staff often finds him standing in front of it with the door open, and when he thinks no one is looking, he'd swipe a cold can of pop to enjoy, with someone else's name on it. If he's going to have a vice, this is better than smoking, so I made a run to the store and brought back a case.
As I was heading home I made another mental note to have my boyfriend check out this buzzing noise inside my car. I was sure it was having some sort of an electrical meltdown and smoke would soon begin filtering out through the vents.
Not until I was inside the house and noticed the buzzing sound had followed me in did I discover the nose trimmers in my pocket had been on the entire time.
I can be a real "hair" brain at times.
Sandy Turner lives in the Kansas City area and writes this column for GateHouse Media.