Saturday, August 27, 2011

Color My World

Dad moved into an apartment at a continuing care retirement community late last fall. I really liked the apartment he selected. In many ways I like it better than his previous place and it's only slightly smaller.

The apartment has tile floors in the halls, living area, bathrooms and kitchen. The bedrooms and an office are carpeted in beige. The kitchen is small, but for Dad, that's not an issue. The previous tenant had upgraded to cherry cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless appliances by Frigidaire. Dad was pleased. Most of the apartments we toured have GE appliances and for whatever reason, Dad thinks GE appliances 'stink'. The walls throughout the apartment were white. Stark white. I suggested painting. Dad said no. He said he likes the white walls. Along comes Barbara. She is the resident move-in assistant and decorator. She is young and cute. Barbara suggests picking out some colors for the walls. Dad readily agrees! So, now you know where my opinion ranks next to that of others cute girls!

We met Barbara at the apartment. I've brought some pillows from couches and chairs that Dad plans to move. We pick out a soft, light moss green for the walls in the living area. The color is the same as his sofa, just toned down a few notches. We pick out a light beige for his office. Most of the time Dad has been saying the colors Barbara or I suggest are too strong. Too bright. Too much. We walk into the kitchen. Dad flips though the color wheel book and points to a red. "How about this?" he asks. Had you been there you would have heard two thuds as both my jaw and Barbara's hit the floor. We settle on a brick red, sort of paprika, to go on the two walls with the cabinets. Dad agreed that the two other walls would look nice in the same beige as his office. On to the bedrooms. Again, Dad surprises us with his choices. He picks a bright spring green for his bedroom. He selects a 'Pepto-Bismal' pink for the guest room. I suggest that he may want to think of something more along the melon side of the spectrum as his rugs and furniture are all soft green, beige, gold and/or peach. So, he picks out a shade of pumpkin orange. I thought it looked great on the color chip...

Dad's apartment was painted before he moved in. What an improvement over white! Unbelievably, every one of his rugs fits somewhere in the apartment. The rugs and his upholstered furniture coordinate well with the wall colors - how uncanny! One of his rugs has designs that exactly match the bright, spring green of his bedroom. Another rug has features that actually mimic the orange in the guest room.

So, Dad has settled in. I've had the opportunity to spend the night a few times. The only question that remains is just where do I purchase eye shades so that the neon bright, glowing orange of the bedroom doesn't keep me awake by pulsing through my closed eyelids?!! The guest room is wild! It glows! I joke with Dad that he will effectively cut his electric light bill in half, as the bright color lights up the rest of the apartment.

Color Dad happy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Getting Up To Speed

Oh, I have failed miserably at keeping up my blog - and I do have lots to say, I just don't get around to it. Maybe I can do a better job from this point forward and get a weekly post published. I would love to do this so that looking back I'd have the stories of Dad in one place, and I can chronicle his later years.

So... here's what's happened:
  • Dad is living in an independent living community and he loves it. He likes the fact that there is food available, people to talk to and things going on. He finds it hard to call maintenance to deal with minor issues and he has yet to relinquish his huge tool box crammed with just about every tool imaginable.
  • Dad is still dealing with legal issues over his divorce from my step-mother. 
  • Dad has found a girl friend, in her mid-70's, and she is going to relinquish her apartment in the community and move in with him. We like her a lot, but wish they would take a bit more time to make sure this is what they both want. My dad reminds me that he doesn't have time! 
  • I purchased Dad's car from him. He occasionally comments that he misses driving, or more likely, he misses the independence of driving himself, but he is basically quite content. My life has been very hectic as of late, but things should calm down a bit so I can spend more time with my dad and his 'girl'!
  • Dad's mental status seems to be on hold. He has his good moments and his bad moments. Some days he understands that he isn't firing on all cylinders! Some days he can't hold onto a piece of information for even the briefest moment, while other days he is much sharper. 
  • My husband and I have finished (for the time being) renovating a house we found closer to my dad. We moved in recently and our former house has just sold. We are busy moving the remaining furniture and household goods and preparing the hold house for its new owners. 
We brought Dad and his woman-friend out to our new house last night for a picnic. My son and his girl friend came as well. We all had a great time - despite the disarray at our house. The movers came the day before and we have boxes and furniture, unpacked items, and pictures all over the place. But, it was fun to entertain and fun to spend some time together as a family! And, as my son pointed out, we finally have more than three chairs - we have so many chairs now, our guests have choices!