Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Our trip back to California from Bariloche was long, almost 26 hours total travel time via Buenos Aires and Dallas but needless to say, well worth it. There is, quite frankly nothing like being with family at the holidays. Since Tom’s mom had already been moved into his sister Kathi’s home, we were able to stay at mom’s place. Tom’s mom was certainly frail but knew and recognized us and was aware that we had come home from Argentina. However she is now extremely forgetful and it was obvious that she can no longer live alone. That first night, we were joined by Jeanne and Bruce, Kathi and mom and went to Bruce’s favorite Chinese restaurant. My choice as Asian food, specifically Chinese and sushi, are the ones I miss most during our travels. The next day, Danny flew in from Utah for a week and after picking him up from the airport, we shopped and Tom did some cooking for a Christmas block party to be held at Jeanne and Bruce’s home. It was so exciting to see everyone and it seems like everyone came home this year. Our nieces: Erin who lives and works in Paris, Alyssa who just graduated from the University of Arizona, Haley who attends USC and Amanda who goes to UC Santa Barbara all came to the gathering as did Brigid and Jordan who are still in high school. Nephew Ryan and Nicole had to work unfortunately so we won’t see them until Christmas Eve. And we will have to wait to see the gold and silver Olympic medals that Alyssa and Haley won in London, they forgot to bring them! The party was a huge success with what must have been about 150 of Bruce and Jeanne’s neighbors visiting, some bringing appetizers and all enjoying the wine and drinks that were provided. Bruce made an excellent eggnog batter that we enjoyed. Yummy. We spent the next couple of days before Christmas shopping and visiting our favorite restaurants. Nicole got her time off from work and drove down from Redding and we took her and Danny shopping for clothes. Christmas Eve, we took mom to mass and then the party was at Colette and Randy’s home where we finally got to see, hold and wear the Olympic medals. Alyssa had won the gold as part of the women’s 4 x 200 relay team and Haley, silver in the 10K open water marathon. They are bigger and much heavier than I had thought they would be. Everyone is so proud of them, Alyssa and Haley that is, not the medals! Christmas Day we spent at Jeanne and Bruce’s home once again and once again ate and drank our fill. Mom held up really well throughout the festivities but it is obvious something needs to be done. Kathi and Jeanne have already acquired the help of an agency to come in and stay with her whilst Kathi works and Tom and I helped out as much as possible but with everyone’s busy work schedule and Tom and I leaving again some other sort of long-term care is necessary. After lots of research by Jeanne and Kathi, they found a residential care home, Eskaton that seemed like it was a good fit. Very close to all of Tom’s sisters and it looked well managed and clean and the people there seemed happy and well cared for. She would have here own small studio apartment but with 24 hour care and anyone can visit whenever they please. The three weeks home flew by and in January it was time for me to leave and return to Bariloche. Because of some prior commitments that Tom has in February, he will stay in Sacramento until March but that is too long to leave Winston and the motorhome so I will spend the next couple of months in Argentina with only Winston for company. Hopefully Mariano and Marcella will break the monotony and visit me. It was sad leaving everyone but we are coming back again in May and I was looking forward to seeing Argentina again.