Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dealing with pack rats

Old B. is a pack rat, always has been. Alzheimer does not change that, the objets collected just changed. He will save any , I mean any box, large or small. Empty TV dinner trays are washed and kept, coffee cups from the Bank are washed and kept, large boxes and small ones are all in his studio. Most of these vessels hold "something". The rocks from the driveway for one. He must have half a ton of rocks upstairs all in little containers. Sometimes the rocks are lined up nice and neat on the kitchen counter.
Some cups hold the tops of soda bottles, rubber band or two, a penny here and there, a toy taken from the grandchildren. There are probably dozens and dozens of these small cups in bigger boxes.

I kept his studio like a sanctuary for he always had this habit only with "good stuff".
Stuff he was going to put in a still life. Stuff he needed for his art.
The upstairs was his sanctuary together with dozens and dozens of records 5 machines to play them and not to count the tapes.

Now it is time to clean this up so son can have his old bedroom back.
No easy task. To explain that we are going just up the steps needs a lot
of words. But the artist in him is still there even if he no longer knows colors.
So he announced the other day that he will paint again and I am using this
excuse to get into the sanctuary.

I am overwhelmed but I will get help from the kids.
Being a pack rat is bad enough but being one with Alzheimer and you hide
everything is another matter.
One day I did not find my underwear, all my much needed spandex type of girdles had
gone. I wondered is cross dressing was going to be the next thing.
I was desperate , I went on a feaverish hunt and found my goodies in between his
shorts, he just did not know the difference.
When mail comes in with his name on (like our bills) he hides them.
We have a run for the mailbox when we see the mailman.
Now I have a new accomplice , young B runs faster than the two of us.

Got to go to work,
Au revoir

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