July Rains

The First Saturday of every month we have an 8am prayer breaky at Frances and Bill’s home.  It’s lovely getting together to pray for the nations our own included.  There are usually from 15 – 30 people attending with tables, during the summer, both inside and out in the garden.  We have an array of food and topic of conversation to start off then finish with prayer on a chosen nation till around 10am.

Bill and Frances also do an amazing job of picking up the surplus bread from several bakeries.  This bread is distributed to those who are not so well off including an African pastor who takes it to refugees and struggling members of his community, as well as families in the housing estate near the church.  Because both Bill and Frances were going overseas I was asked to help out on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.  The bakery I was asked to collect bread from is just around the corner from me which is very convenient.  The first weekend I had Jan’s van which was a real help as there was quite a load.  It was a bit difficult, juggling mum’s dinner and the pickup but I managed to feed us early before picking up the bread at 5pm and dropping it off at the pastor’s home on Friday for him to deliver on Sat and Sunday.  The Saturday and Sunday bread I was able to drop at church.  The following weekend I had a volunteer pick up the bread then the third week Jan, who was back from Indonesia offered to give me a hand as I had dropped the van back for her use. Thank God I had as that Friday she rang me to say she had been pulled over by the police who kindly informed her the van was out of rego and had been since 2014!  With a quick prayer to the Lord for His favour and leading, I waited for help to arrive for the bread run as I only had Mum’s car which may not have been big enough.  No obvious help arrived before 5pm so I took Mum’s car and was surprised to find there was only one to two large bags of bread which easily fitted into the car.  Thank you Lord!  I was also very relieved that it wasn’t me the cops had pulled over when I had been driving the van.

Sunday of course is church.  Occasionally a group of us go out for lunch sometime to a café at Warwick, down to Trigg Beach or somewhere else close by or to Yum Cha which I always enjoy. I have also been to friend’s homes with a group of friends.  Last Sunday I was invited out for lunch but this time I suggested we go to my place instead.  When I got home I thought I’d better rush off to the shop as my pantry in bare.  I do all my cooking at Mum’s so there’s not much other than breakfast foods and bread at my place.  I thought my guest was right behind me in her car so waited for her to arrive.  I didn’t want to go shopping before I told her my plan.  I eventually called her but by then she had just pulled up with a cooked chook, salad and some blueberries!  I was surprised but delighted.  To this I added my home grown tomatoes and bread and invited her back next month when I would be better prepared.

Mondays my Bible study group meets at church at 9:30am for a chat before prayer and bible study.  This month we have asked members to give their live story so that we can get to know members better.  I was asked to start the ball rolling.  It was a delight going back through the amazing life the Lord has blessed me with.  I feel so privileged to have done so much travel getting to see places and experience many cultures and cuisines.  During the term break we all met together for a coffee at Warwick shops.  Mum joined in and got to know some of my friends two of which she already knew, one from her pottery classes many over 15 years ago and another from the Naturalists Society which Mum had also attended, they care for the local bushlands.  Another of my friend knew a couple who had known Mum from the 1950’s at Christmas Island.

Tuesday’s I have been helping out at church with the barista.  For many years now the church has been serving coffees to the teachers across the road at the North Beach Primary School.  I was asked if I would like to help with the coffee making which I enjoy as well as the chats with the volunteers and mothers who come to mothers group at the church.

During the school term our Bible study group and the Tuesday coffee shop is closed as was the Friday art and crafts.  This term Mum, who took a while to get use to the cards, has returned to her painting class as creative cards is taking a break. This means she is no longer in the main auditorium and although it is a requirement to attend the ‘Think Spot’ talk Mum hides away refusing to attend saying, at her age she can get away with anything!

NAIDOC week was also in July and as Jan was still in town I suggested she bring her grandchildren who were staying with her. She picked me up on route for a mornings outing.  We had a lovely time wandering around the Aboriginal exhibits, my favourite table was native animals.  They had live animals, birds and reptiles including a dingo, snakes some of which could be handled, a blue tongue lizards and a Mopoke. They are a funny looking owl.  I remember as a kid we had one in an old gum tree in our back yard in City Beach.

Winter had finally come to Perth.  People keep telling me that the weather has been cold but I haven’t felt it.  I suspect it’s because I have only actually worn my gloves a couple of time when out jogging in the mornings.  While in Sydney when jogging I had to wear a T shirt and knee length pants instead of the singlet and shorts I’m still wearing here.   I have also been blessed with very little rain on my jogs even thought I have heard it pouring during the night or just before I get out of bed.  I count myself very blessed.

Unlike June, July has seen days of rain which has filled my water tank to overflowing several times. It’s been lovely having fresh rain water to drink and use around the house.  I love washing my hair in rainwater it makes it so soft.  My garden has also been flourishing.  The blue Hyacinth and Jonquil bulbs have sprung up and flowered. I have planted more ground cover my sister, Trish, gave me.  I have also planted some more natives, some as a windbreak to help shelter my garden from the fierce southerlies.

I’m not sure if many of you know about Bunnings plant exchange.  I know many of you would be surprised to hear some of my plants actually die but they do.  I’m know to have a green thumb like my mother but I think it’s really just the Lord’s blessing upon His creation that I’ve been enjoying.  Anyway the pink lavender after flowering so profusely, I think was over watered while I was in Sydney and suddenly died.  As I had kept the docket Bunning very kindly replaced it but unfortunately it wasn’t the same lavender and the one I put in the ground also died!  Maybe too much rain I’m not sure.  I’m hoping I can take this one back as well. Maybe exchange it for some fertilizer instead.  The hardy lavender I have grown from seedlings collected from the same suburb have mostly survived so I think I’ll keep with the hardier variety.

Another weekend I took Mum back to Lulfitz native nursery for some more bargains.  On route home I thought we should stop off for dinner to use Mum’s Dome voucher which she had received for her 90th birthday.  Unfortunately these vouchers can only be used at the place of purchase.  I had forgotten this and pulled in to a place on route home.  After seating I went to the counter to order with the vouchers and was told they weren’t valid for that store.  Blow!  Fortunately the other store was not that far away but we had to retrace our steps slightly to the west.  After a bit of a roundabout way to get there we were finally seated, our order in and meal served.

I’ve visited Freo (Fremantle) twice this month.  Both in regards to shoes.  Kat’s friend Nikki is selling an amazing shoe which is great for those with bad knees.  Not that I have bad knees but I thought it may be a preventative measure.  The shoes have springs in the heels. The first time I went down I caught up with my friend John beforehand.  We were so intent on our conversation, creation verses evolution that I totally forgot the time and ended up being over an hour late for Nikki!  The second time I took Mum along for the ride.  Unfortunately I had to return the shoes as the stitching on the right shoe irritated the bunion on my right foot.  Thank God for the 30 day risk free trial!  I was disappointed but relieved.  Both Kat and Vi-Lay loved their shoes.

From here we went for a bit of a drive around the harbour as Mum had been quite despondent that morning.  She often wakes muddle headed and confused which makes her quite depressed.  It was a lovely day to get out and although the wind had a bit of a bite in it the sun was warm and the skies clear.  Mum wanted to drive to the end of the south pier where we parked the car before going for a walk around the lighthouse.  There was a very large cargo ship approaching the headlands so we sat and watched as the barges directed it in.  I was amazed at the speed it approached and steamed between the headlands.  From here we drove back up the coast stopping for a coffee at City Beach before visiting my older sister, Trish and husband Trevor.  I then dropped Mum home for a bit of a rest before I returned in the evening to cook our dinner.

One morning Mum rang me to ask if I had seen her beanbag.  I said I hadn’t for a few days, she was in one of her moods, just before she hung up on me she muttered ‘I don’t believe you’.  I thought of ringing her back but decided it was best not to.  She rang back a little later saying she had rung everyone but felt very shaky and confused.  I asked if she wanted me to come around which she agreed to.  As I walked through the house to where she sat on the back veranda I looked for the beanbag.  It had to be there somewhere!  I was sure it would be in her bedroom as it was where the dog slept, usually in the lounge room.  Sure enough there it was on the far side of her bed yet within view from where she sat outside.  Poor old thing she really does get in a pickle with that fuzzy head of hers.

While Kat was here she took Mum out on her gopher several times.  Mum was quite confident and even went on her own with the dog but recently she rang me to say she couldn’t get it to work.  Once again I went around to see if I could work it out and found she had forgotten to use the key.  I have also been trying to remind her to take her mobile phone with her.  This is a bit tricky as she often doesn’t know what it looks like or that it is hers.  Fortunately before going out she often remembers to call me to let me know she is going for a walk with Suzie (the dog) so I remind her to take her phone.  On one occasion I try to call her on mobile but she wouldn’t pick up.  I then call her back on the landline to ask her if she found the mobile phone.  She describe to me something which she had in her hand which I later realise was her emergency response gadget.  I doubt if she was ever in an emergency she would remember to press the red HELP button!  She had no idea what it was for! After this I stuck a note on her mobile saying ‘Jane’s Mobile Phone’.  On another occasion she had wandered down the passageway looking for the mobile while it rang several times and eventually when I called her back on the landline.  I suggested when I called the mobile next time she closed her eyes to see if she could hear the sound then open her eyes to see which direction it was coming from.  I then called the mobile again, she answered it and laughed the mobile had been in her pocket all the time!  Mind you sometimes she forgets to take the phone with her which is a bit of a worry.  I have started calling her mobile while she is still on the landline call to me.  At least then I can hear the mobile ringing and then ask her to answer it by flipping it open.

On most occasions now Mum goes for her walk with her mobile phone in her pocket.  This is very helpful as I can call her (no credit for her to call me and she has no idea how to anyway).  I give her about half an hour to get to where she tells me she is going, call her to see how far she is or if she has gone a different direction and where to pick her up.  On a few occasions she has been caught in the rain with me scurrying as fast as I can to collect her.  Sometimes she makes her way towards the beach but after the very steep hill between the house and the beach she often only makes it as far as a local coffee shop where she takes a rest and waits for my arrival.  I’m very surprised at how far she can walk.  She has been walking a lot further than she did when she had the car.  Unfortunately she has also misplaced two of her walking sticks.  The first was when she was still able to drive, she left behind at the oval when walking the dog. The second has disappeared recently.  Never mind she has made her own, picked up some long sturdy sticks from the bush.  In the meanwhile I’m looking to where I can pick up a few second hand ones, I think I will get a tracking devise for the next ones!

One evening I arrived at Mum’s, the gopher was parked at the top of the drive.  She had been out with Suzie and was just dropping her home to take the gopher out to see how long it would take her to go around the block.  She must have forgotten where she was going as she was back in five minutes parking it in the garage.  She then came in and asked me where the other one was the one that didn’t have an engine?  I thought she meant the wheelchair but no she meant the one she had parked at the top of the driveway. I said it was the same one she had just parked but she said no it was another.  It was the one she usually parked next to where it was plugged in to recharge. She was very upset she couldn’t find it. I thought if I reparked the gopher and plugged it in she might see it was the same one so I asked her for the key which she still had in her hand and moved the gopher from where she had parked it to where she usually parks it and plugged it in.  I think this helped her to see it was one in the same.

Later that evening she brought up the heater which Kat removed because of the pending danger with gas.  She wanted to buy another one as she didn’t like the big ugly oil heater we had replaced it with.  She went wandering off looking for a blanket to keep her warm but couldn’t find what she was looking for and accused someone of taking it.  I told her to sit down and I’d look for it.  I thought I knew which one she was looking for so hunted around where I thought it might be and eventually found it on her bed.  I quickly replaced it with another blanket which I hoped she wouldn’t notice and took the one she had been looking for to her.  She gave me a big hug for finding it.  Please Lord, help Mum to not notice I exchanged the one on her bed.  Dementia is such a curse!

Photos:  1. South Pier lighthouse,    2. Breakfast prayer group,     3. Jan with grandkids,     4. Aboriginal dances,     5. Mopoke  owl,    6. Kangaroo Paws,    7. Watching the boats pass by

Prayer & Praise Points:
Praise the Lord for the rains, full water tanks and lush gardens.

Thank you Lord for patience to help Mum through these challenging times.

Please continue to pray for the new business, Senior’s Benefits and Rewards and for both Grace and myself that we will make the right contacts to move forward and to have the wisdom for all the challenges that go with starting this new business.

Praise the Lord for mum’s on going good physical health.  Please continue to pray for her as she adjusts to her life with dementia and the daily challenges this bring.

Thank you for your continued prayers as I learn how to manage the challenges dealing with dementia and for the Lord’s patience and wisdom as I learn to grow in love guarding my heart and zip my lip.

Thank you to all my supportive friends and prayer partners, knowing you stand with me in prayer is a real encouragement and strength.