Ups and Downs

14 Aug

Closeup of Sargent pie

Apple Pie

How can it be so long since I have written?  It’s hard to believe how much time has gone by!  But to be honest, these past few months have been among the hardest of my life.

What that means is that my grand plan to figure out a way to “take care of my Dad” as he was on the road to recovering from his stroke has not been what I envisioned.  On the plus side, I have been able to get him some great medical help.   I’d heard from many folks that we have  good resources here in the Rogue Valley and have found some WONDERFUL health care professionals to assist with his many needs. To begin, I would like to offer my thanks to Dr. John Sager for he has been a tremendous help to us both.

Dad has also been fortunate to be able to work with therapists like Brandon and Marilka from Providence Hospital and they have helped him to gain some strength back (and though I did bring them a pie for their kind efforts but have no photo to show!).

Lastly, my friend Barb Street has patiently worked to select hearing aids that would help my Dad hear.   Like many folks that grew up in the Depression era, my Dad is very careful with his money.  For years he has tried to “make-do” with “hand-me-down” hearing aids but they never worked.   Last week Dad was fitted with a brand new pair that fit his ears perfectly and he could hear me when I spoke normally (not shouting).   It was amazing!

That said, I don’t know what to do next.  Dad has moved into a senior living environment for a short stay so that I can work on some catering projects but I can tell that he his not happy.   And why would he be?  His life has changed in so many ways and his daughter seems to be “bossing” him around.   Stay tuned as the journey continues….

Jonah's gluten free cake

Gluten-Free Wedding Cake

Through all of this, I want to tell you that one of the activities that has kept me grounded has been baking… such as the pie for Brandon and Marilka… and a gluten-free wedding cake for my friend Judith Anne’s son.  I’ve also experimented with a gluten-free/vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe from Babycakes and it is DELICIOUS!!!  (Please try them as soon as you get the chance… you won’t be sorry!)

Finally, yesterday I decided to bring a pie to the Sargent family of Buckhorn Springs.  This weekend, their daughter Lauren is getting married and I am spending this week helping to cater her wedding.  I wanted to thank them for putting their trust in me and allowing me to be a part of this very special time in their lives.

Sargent family pie

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook  — try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.”  Julia Child

7 Responses to “Ups and Downs”

  1. Mary Danca August 14, 2013 at 9:41 AM #

    I have been thinking of you and wondered how everything was going. It must be a difficult time for both you and Dad and I know that your love, pies, and commitment to him will all work out in making him happy.

  2. Donna wright August 14, 2013 at 9:56 AM #

    You are such a wonderful daughter Karen. Many thanks to John Sager for his help for your Dad.

  3. Grush August 14, 2013 at 10:30 AM #

    Oh Boy! It’s hard, really hard. I’m not sure your dad is able to actually “be happy” in any setting, given all he’s been through in his life. It’s hard to say what a realistic goal is: maybe knowing that you’ve done the wisest, most reasonable things to provide him a healthy safe and caring environment for his last years. Hope to see you in 10 days. Fondly, Ellen

  4. Wendy August 15, 2013 at 11:20 AM #

    What wonderful energy you bring to this daunting time of life. It is a journey for both generations (I remind myself of this often, as I am also assisting with elderly parents), one that is full of opportunity and challenge. Your spirit of creativity shines through. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • pieadaygiveaway August 16, 2013 at 6:09 AM #

      Thanks Wendy… I wish you the strength you need to handle the challenges that come.

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