Today my young visitor left and I found myself with a strange mixture of feelings and reactions. The first was Tiredness, not because the visitor was difficult, but because it was the first time visiting my house. There is a way in which those of us who don't see our child relations and who don't live with kids are ON, when we are hosting a child visitor. We want them to be happy and are Always trying to pay attention to their needs.
My visitor was polite, Very mature, and has a kind heart. But I still found myself wondering what would be said about me when the visitor went home. This visitor was fun to be with and Very Bright!
Last night there were two people sleeping in two different bedrooms for the first time since my partner Ann died. It filled a little cranny in my mind which said "home". Something just felt a bit more right.
I decided that if I ever let another person live here I could store my Braille materials in the garage on shelves, clear out the desk which Ann used, and Let someone else use that room as a bedroom.
But I was Very ambivalent about whether or not I ever Wanted to live with another person, on a permanent basis.
I also found out I don't eat American, although I'm not a vegetarian. My visitor's mom eats hummus, salad, and many veggies. And fruits. My visitor, it turned out, didn't want salad, like peaches, did not want to try mangos which I had bought for smoothies, and did not like overly spiced food. I did not have flour tortillas to make home made burritos like her dad, or burgers, fries, milk, bananas,desert, or starchy veggies. Like corn, or peas. But we both like to snack on baby carrots and my visitor does like strawberries.
When I asked what was eaten at home I was told spaghetti, steak, home made burrritos, milk and chocolate milk, ice cream, potatoes,pizza, macaroni and cheese. Woops, we had to go to the store!
I eat deer meat, when the kind people who hunt (do the hard work) can get a deer for me (formerly for Ann and me) in late Fall. But I have Learned to Love fresh veggies, broccoli, peppers, tomatos, squash, cauliflower, kale, collards, dark greens. Tonight I ate kale, baby carrots, broccoli, and green pepper dipped in chipotle pepper hummus, with a few blue corn chips. Yep, that Does sound like the dinner of a health nut!
If I had thought of it at the time, I Could have just bought flour tortillas, put more rice or something in a dish already cooked, and rolled it up in the flour tortillas, Instant burritos!
But I had Mexican casserole (basically inchaladas with more veggies.,) probably too spicy. And mild Indian curry, too spicy. And a jello salad with walnuts, peaches and apples in it, and fresh peaches to go with vanilla ice cream. No Peaches.
I think at home my visitor is made to eat some of everything. But I am a relative who is getting to enjoy spending time with the kid for the first time, what to do? This is an act of trust on the part of visitor's parents, as I have a Buddhist group meeting at my home and they know it. They have seen the Buddhist altar in the living room, where we meet. Luckily, no questions were asked about the statues, though I know they were seen. So, no questions to answer and a Christian book brought from home to read, written by someone Very dear to my visitor.
One thing I've learned about living with or taking care of kids for any length of time, start tough, and relax as they learn the rules. But I don't know how often I'l see this person, so we ordered pizza. I care much More about restoring relationships than monitoring the diet of someone else's child.
When I was alone later in the day, I realized this is a nice place to live, but Not home. Home, after 20 years of living with Ann has come to mean sharing a space With someone and Interacting with them on a daily basis. When I lived alone earlier in my life, Home was a safe place, no one allowed in unless I said so, Safety! And I don't know if I will or can come to feel that I am Home while living alone again.
I was tempted to ask my visitor to come outside with me when taking out the dog. I was tempted to say, "If I'm not back in ten minutes, come looking for me, ok?" But I didn't. These are the kinds of things Ann and I did for one another. And it is unfair to place upon a child, even a sighted hearing child, anything I can do for myself. I just took out the dog as always.
When thinking about someday maybe sharing this place with someone, I understood that the Difficult part would be that I have staked out the back room for my computer, Braille writing and teaching stuff, and supplies for a Tiny business I hope to start. Every person has personal junk, hobbies, etc. Where would these fit?
My bed shaker-alarm clock broke. A friend is kind enough to call and wake me. I cannot hear my alarm clock with hearing aids out. The Only thing I can hear is the amplified phone in my room. If the windows were open, it's possible that neighbors a quarter of a mile away would know every time I got a phone call. Wonder if they'd call law enforcement to ask me to turn down the phone?
So I use an unpleasant alternative, at least until one gets used to it. It can be placed between the mattress and box springs, or underneath a pillow to shake me awake. After leaping out of bed cursing for a while, I Did get used to it. Not the New Madrid Fault, just my (cussing) Alarm Clock.
I am having trouble finding a clock which I can set with Braille numbers, or which talks and can be set with hearing aids in, and Also has a bed shaker.
It's embarrassing to be an adult and need someone to Call to wake me up. I have E-mailed the company I purchased the broken one from and hope to hear from them soon, as it is still under warrantee.
Interesting times and changes.
When I have time I will contact the blogger management team to see if they can get me subscribed to a blog I want to follow. An IMwidget, I am told, is an icon. But it sounds like a tiny Physical tool for tinkering with a devise that needs repairing. I don't know whether to do the keyboard equivalent of "clicking on it with a rodent" (mouse) or not. And if I give the equivalent keyboard command, will it work? On some websites yes, on others, no.
I had fun with my visitor playing "bopit Extreme" and another game with audio cues which I can hear with hearing aids. We listened to music, watched TV, (I showed her the "Pocket Talker" and I wrote her out a Braille alphabet and a Braille story about the dog and cat. She Very Quickly figured out the story from looking at the alphabet, after printing letters under each Braille letter. She made us chocolate milk shakes with milk, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate syrup. We danced to old music.