<   Seventies Journal: 2000   >


January 2, 2001

As I reviewed the year 2000 in this journal, I noted the important highlights to begin this year's journal.

— Through almost every entry Bob's health loomed as the overriding factor. In the first months of the year his walking became worse, and his mental faculties seemed to slide. Juggling his drug intake helped some, though when he fell in May he was in a wheelchair for a few months. Physical therapy helped immensely, and so did midsummer sessions with Dr. Gerleman at St. Mary’s Ozaukee. It seemed as if he went from one problem to another, and toward the end of the year his breathing was so bad Paul and I were frantic — though Bob seemed to survive better that we did. No doubt his, Bob's, health has declined, and I have become a full-time caregiver.

— My winter project was scaled down this year, to repairing the dining room ceiling's water damage, then repainting and cleaning the room. Later in the year I bought a Creek Carpet Cleaner, which worked beautifully, and got rid of those pesky Adelman Carpet Cleaners for good.

— My volunteer job with Jeanne continued during the early part of the year, but after Bob became worse I had to stop. The sale of her house and moving to an apartment kept me involved with her, and her friendship still continues to be an ongoing joy.

— Barbara has also been a close friend throughout the year, popping in and out, and cheering everything up with her upbeat personality.

— Peter, Mykaila, and Brinkley came in early spring, and I delighted in having a chance to play and get to know my grandson better.

— My history discussion group at UWM continued during the early part of the year, but I had to give it up later. Nancy and I took a short class in Greek Drama: Medea. She and I get together less often than other friends, though our talks are usually quite involved, about deep subjects.

— For much of the year we had a caregiver from Interfaith on Wednesdays, first the much-liked Kathy, and later Shirley — well meaning, but quite aggressive in her talk and in taking over my domain in the kitchen.

— The Presidential election caught our attention a great deal during the last months of the year, particularly the battle over the Florida electors. Now Bush will be President — and I'll hate every minute of it!

— Paul’s search and purchase of a house kept us interested too. His choice was a house in need of renovation in Ipswich, to which he applied himself vigorously throughout August and the rest of the year. He has made it a beautifully serene refuge from the busy city and hospital dominions.

— After a wait of several months the landscaper Mike … (The computer turns his name into The-it can't take the backward spelling!) finished replanting the front landscape, just in time for a major freeze and snow. The December snow was certainly major – 49+ inches, a record.

— The cortisone shot for my knees that Dr. Smith gave me late in the year boosted my psyche. Despite my early ankle sprain, I get around better than I have for a long time. My health seems quite good to me; I'm rarely sick or even ailing.

— Paul’s annual Christmas visit ended the year, with an outstanding Christmas tree, and the usual joy of having him here. This morning I went back down to St. Monica's for the 7:30 Mass, a soothing time for me. Bob is in bed, panting slightly less than usual, the roof is full of snow and ice dams, yet my state of mind is in its usual optimistic mode. It occurs to me lately that I do enjoy my own company more these days — so the prospect of 2001 promises to be a pretty good one no matter what!