Chinese New Year Celebration
We joined mom, and the community, early this evening for their Chinese New Year celebration. When we arrived I ran into the life enrichment director and, while handing her 10 yards of fleece, asked how mom was doing. She took me to the sports club where mom was playing black jack, and grinning from ear to ear. Erin told me mom is happily participating in everything they have scheduled on the activity calendar. We didn’t interrupt mom and the card sharks, but went to find Daughter #2.
The place was abuzz, getting ready for dinner and the demonstrations that followed. We sat down to a puzzle until we saw mom come up from the sports club. She was delighted to see us, and we made our way into dinner. Daughter #2, and her fellow directors, were helping the dining room staff serve dinner. It’s a way they connect with their residents, and was comforting to observe. The entire staff truly know each resident, and make an effort to know family as well.
Mom ordered a glass of wine. We’re continuing to keep her on the alcohol-free variety. She still seems to enjoy it as much as the full octane sauce. We took our time over dinner. Mom ordered carefully (the community catered from a local Chinese restaurant), and then wanted a piece of my beef! I am still getting over her 99.5% lack of complaining about food.
Dessert was served in the living room, where the demonstrations and lion dance would take place. Mom suddenly got grumbly about what was served for dessert: Green tea ice cream, and an egg tart. I likely precipitated some of her attitude by saying the tart looked lovely, and asking if it was lemon. Her whole demeanor shifted, this after honestly not caring for the ice cream. She grumbled, “I hope it’s not too sweet” and then took a nibble. She all but tossed the tart onto its plate and said, “It’s a lemon tart and doesn’t taste at all like lemon!” I suggested that it might not be a lemon tart (my bad…), to which she said, “Well, it should be!!” It was at this point I excused myself to use the restroom, and retreated to the dining room for 12 minutes. Daughter #2 brought me a glass of wine, and said, “Wow she IS saving it all up for you! She’s being practically perfect for us!” Deep breath!
The Kung Fu demonstration, complete with a history lesson on Kung Fu’s origins, was wonderful. Mom really enjoyed it. The Lion Dance, also with lots of historical and cultural reference, enthralled her. The evening concluded with residents, if they wanted, having their names written in Chinese characters. Mom, of course, did this. While the calligrapher worked on writing her name, mom helped grind his stick of ink (sumi) onto his pallet, because she thought his ink was too watery… He was very gracious about her assistance.