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After several days of overwhelming heartache and hurt, I would like to turn my focus to the simple pleasures of life. It’s not the expensive, elaborate things that mean the most in life, but rather the simple things.

Last Sunday, on the spur of the moment, I stopped in the deli at Publix, and picked up some snack items, for an informal picnic with my mom, at the nursing home. She had mentioned that she would love some potato salad, and Publix has terrific potato salad. My favorite is called “Southern Style.” It tastes just like homemade! I also picked up some sliced Havarti cheese, some fresh fruit, and 2 small slices of cheesecake. Even though my mom is a diabetic, at the end of the day, she will always have a snack to ensure that her blood sugar does not go low in the night. (So we considered the cheesecake her bedtime snack.) Okay, that’s stretching it a bit, but if you can’t live a little every now and then, what’s the point, right?

I bought one of the Publix green tote-bags for $.99, and put all the picnic items in it. I had already made up a bag of drinks, utensils, plates, and napkins.  So bearing food gifts, I headed toward the nursing home.

This nursing home has almost no decent places for a family to meet, outside of the room. And my mom looks forward to getting out of the room whenever she can. But we discovered a “get-away” made in heaven. The Senior Living Residential area has a lovely atrium, and it just so happens that there are actually hidden away doors, far down at the end of the hall, that connect the two. Bingo!!!

It was almost 7:00 p.m. when I arrived. I called for the CNA to transfer my mom to her wheelchair, and I kidnapped her! We ran away to the atirum. (Okay, I did stop at the nurse’s desk, and tell them where we would be.) I’m too law abiding not to. LOL!

The atrium is beautiful. It looks like a huge courtyard, and it even has lights on poles, that have fans on top of them, near each sitting area. You can adjust the brightness of the lights, and the power of the fans, by an easy to reach switch. The atrium also has lots of tables and chairs, and game areas, etc., and most of all, lots of green plants. Can you imagine how good this seemed to us? We were away from the unpleasant smells, and the heartbreaking sights of the nursing home, and we pretended (for a little while) that we were together again, on one of our “girls nights out.”  I put a lace tablecloth on the table, and added a battery-operated flickering candle that looked so real!We laughed and talked, and squealed about how good everything  tasted (especially the cheesecake.) One older lady, who lived in the apartments, and was strolling by with her walker, stopped to see what we were doing. (She thought the picnic wasdelightful.) We had so much fun!

We actually forgot about the time, and finally realized that we had better get back to the room, as the nurses did their nightly “drug pass” between 8:00 and 8:30 p.m. It was a little after 8:30. (However, my favorite male nurse (who only works my mom’s hall sporadically) said it was okay for us to go, and that we could stay as long as we liked, and he would leave her room for last.) It pays to have connections! LOL!

As we rushed back to the nursing home part, we saw Snowball, the cat, prancing down the hall towards us. Snowball is a declawed cat that lives in the nursing home. How cool is that? (D. J. The Golden Retriever visits every week also.)

We told everyone that we passed that we had “run away” for awhile. They all smiled and nodded with delight. We smiled too, until we remembered that the nurse would be taking Betty’s blood sugar before bedtime. LOL! Oh well

We have so many of these precious times to recall in the “outside world”, and we are making memories still, even in the nursing home. And so we find happiness in the simple things, and in just being together…

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