Shades of perky

Source: humblicious.blogspot

Source: humblicious.blogspot

When I was young I was very perky. You know that kind of annoying perkiness that comes with youth. It was natural. No need for drugs or booze. If it were bottled, I’d buy a case or two because I used up my lifetime supply long ago.

Perky is what gets you through a lot of things, turning mishaps into peals of laughter. (Yeah, even I can hardly remember that.) Fortunately I have a blog where I can turn mishaps into posts. I can’t guarantee peals of laughter but I sure feel better afterward.

Yesterday I could have used some perky. We visited a relative in an assisted living home. He has dementia but can still remember who people are – at least we think he can. He’s happy and smiley but I wasn’t sure if the synapses were snapping. Today he may not remember we were there.

The drive was over eight hours (that included an interstate closure for a major accident with a fatality). That’s long for my butt in many ways. It also drains my perky. I have IBS (go ahead and google it – it means that I use the bathroom frequently and when I have to go, get out of my way). It was a challenging ride.

While the beloved husband is plotting the route, I am plotting the bathroom stops. Most interstates have nice ones these days. Our local interstate even has a Starbucks in the rest stop but I don’t drink on the road. Just makes more stops. Let’s see — dehydration or bathroom spots, what to do.

We spent some time with our relative and his wife. These situations are tough on a spouse or partner. After years of care-taking, she lives by herself. You are not a widow but not quite a full-fledged spouse. These situations always make me pause and reflect on what may happen to us.

Everything is fluid. The best you can do is plan your financial resources and make agreements between you on how to handle the situation before it happens. Then you go on with life because everything may change. Dwelling on it is a perky-drain.

Our relative was very lucky. He was not adept at handling money but has a wife who could make things happen. He resides in a place that is high on the niceness scale. There are activities and many rooms he can visit including an atrium that is all glass and overlooks the beautiful outdoors. I could see myself reading there with a cup of coffee.

There were many older residents who did not appear to be mentally impaired. Some used canes or walkers but they were with friends chatting away (with some level of perkiness – I can always hope).

Instead of chatting over a margarita, they were chatting over a tea or coffee or knitting. Things change. Perkiness can resurrect with the right group of friends.

I can only hope.





49 thoughts on “Shades of perky

  1. Perkiness is an art. I’ve been down a few quarts.

    As far as visiting your friend, you make me think of Mimi who is still so with it, yet they said, she was on the cusp. I don’t know. She reads the Times every day. Listens to books on tape. She’s almost 90…can’t someone that age have a slip? I’m just saying. Nice your pal still knows who his friends are.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not perky… wasn’t perky as a kid. I heard my Dad always telling me to “smile”… ! I do have a sarcastic kind of funny. CH and I have had several talks about the state of our future with regard to health. No kids here and family that would not be interested in our well being… too wrapped up in their interests. Having children is never a guarantee that they will take care of you. Nice that you made that trip, Kate. That is a long time to spend in a car!

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you come up with a plan for your demise, post it. I’m intrigued at what people in our boat are doing. My childless aunt developed dementia. Two of my cousins (male) moved in and took care of her for many years. When she died they inherited her farm. They deserved it. Not sure anyone does that anymore.


  3. You’re perky, eh? Uh huh. I’m more of the snarky sort. Of course as I’ve gotten older I’ve lost much of my snark, and even occasionally lean toward a bit of perky. Perhaps where we all meet in the end, over coffee & knitting, talking with those of us who still have our faculties intact. Interesting observations from your very long drive to see your relative.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my gosh, I smiled and nodded my head and cringed while reading this. My mom has dementia and lives in a beautiful assisted living place like your relative. It’s a 7-hour drive for me to visit my mom. I go over a weekend and spend the night in a hotel when I go down – every two months or so. It’s a horrible drive, the restrooms are incredibly ugly and crowded (like the highways), and my mood plummets as I prepare for the visit with my mom, who is not herself any more. Yet, she loves me, and she knows how much I love her, so that helps my perkiness factor. It’s so much easier to be perky when we’re young and have our futures ahead of us (and truly, we don’t think we’ll ever get ‘old’). It’s harder to be perky now as our parents and relatives age into dementia and illness and death. But perhaps, this is the time when perky is most helpful. :-0

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s my belief that with reasonable health, and that’s my goal, a long history of perkiness is what it takes to move into those later senior years with a modicum of grace. You are both perky and KIND, Kate. To travel that distance, and with IBS as a traveling partner, is a very thoughtful and considerate thing to do. I hope those kindnesses also count in our favor when we get to that stage of life!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Me too. He has a good life considering his condition. The place is very nice and he has friends who are accessible. No worries about getting anywhere as everything is there yet there are enough lovely hideaway spots to enjoy life.


  6. A visit that that is always difficult to take and it certainly would drain one’s perky supply, but I am sure the spouse appreciated the effort. It should make us grateful to be up and moving about! I confess that I have to work just to be positive most days. A thoughtful post for all of us. Cheers! Sorry to hear of your IBS.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is tough getting older but planning is important. For instance, I have told my daughters that if I am ever mentally “absent” and in a home, I want them to give me a doll. I read that it helps patients engage. And I always loved dolls.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m not a perky person.
    I spent many long hours in hot cars going to see ancient ancient relatives. Some in nursing homes, some still in old houses or farms. And sat there quietly and made polite conversation.
    It took so long. Mandated appearances. But somehow it was nice. They were always so happy we came by and paid close attention to whatever you said. And they often had lemonade. Real lemonade not the powered kind. And porch swings. Sometimes they did get names mixed up but it didn’t matter. It made them happy.
    Before we were married, I spent hours on long car rides to see boyfriend’s ancient grandmother and elderly uncle. Visiting them was important to him – that’s when I was sure he was a keeper.
    Old people are delightful – even can manage the cranky ones. Even if they complain, they are glad to see you in their own way.
    Hope I can be as good an ancient person as all our relatives turned out to be and some younger person appreciates an old one for what he/she is.
    HUGS for you

    Liked by 2 people

    • Awwww! The time was short, mostly because of the interstate closures, but it was good to see him. It’s been about 2 years and although he was more frail, he was very smiley. He may not remember we were there today but yesterday he was very happy to see us. Besides that, he told me I was the perfect wife. Even if you aren’t perky, you are a good person.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Also childless, we worry about our later years too. Hopefully money won’t be an issue (but one never knows…), but having the right people set up to manage our affairs will be a challenge. We all would love to live to a ripe old age, mentally and physically healthy, then just keel over in our sleep. Unfortunately, that will only happen to a very lucky few. How nice for you friend that he had a wife who took – and still takes – good care of him. Perky is good, but being responsible and planning well is key.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Glad you had a chance to see your relative situated in a nice setting after such a long ride.

    I met a very perky 90-year-old woman the other day. She announced “I love life.” And you could tell that she did. She has a glass of vodka every night before bed while watching the stars over head . . . to get her daily dose of “7th heaven.”

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I was born with a huge dose of perky, too, but my levels vanish as I age. I look forward to getting some back.

    Seriously, though, you’re right that we all have to make plans and then get about our normal business. What else can we do???? Worrying changes nothing. But planning? That makes all the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Perky…haven’t thought of that word in years. I agree that it is great to add more ‘perky’ to our lives…if only I could find the energy!

    Liked by 1 person

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