Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

I just got back from vacation. But I don’t have a tan. I don’t feel smarter after Chautauqua. I don’t feel rested from a cruise. I don’t have sore muscles or feel in tip top shape after cross country skiing. But my daughter Kara gave me the gift of her time and her undivided attention for 4 solid days. Words don’t do justice to the care and love I received last week, but I’ll give it a try.

She came alone, prepared to tackle my to-do list that kept growing, the more I thought of what I needed to accomplish while she was here. Kara is a very perceptive person. She could tell that too many tasks that I couldn’t get done because of the pandemic and the winter storms were weighing heavy on my natural tendency to keep my life in order. I needed help, and she resolved to leave her family for 5 nights and take 2 planes and an Uber to walk through my front door with a smile and her sleeves rolled up.

Day 1: Top on our agenda was a trip to Meijer. Even though I normally use Shipt to have my groceries delivered from Meijer, it was pure luxury to walk up and down the aisles, touching products I was considering, examining them for the features I wanted, and doing a little impulse buying too, which is hard to do when somebody else is shopping for you. I hadn’t been shopping like this for 2 years, and while it was refreshing, it was just the beginning. Because we had taken Uber to Meijer, we loaded up our back packs and walked through parking lots to our next destination. Who needs hiking in the mountains when you have piles of snow to navigate with purchases on your back?

Our next stop was the $ store, where Kara selected all the birthday cards I would need for the year, plus a few other greeting cards to have on hand. Later, she would address them each and put them in order of when they should be mailed. I had resigned myself to not sending cards this year, but I was delighted to get that job done after all. She also picked out bright yellow daffodils for my window boxes, another task that would have to be skipped this year. Later, she would plant them and set the boxes in the window, so that my neighbors would know I was alive after all.

Our last stop that day was to have lunch in a sit-down-wait-on-you restaurant, a treat I hadn’t enjoyed since the last book club I attended in 2021. We even split a bowl of warm peach cobbler, since we had a half hour before our next Uber was to pick us up and take us home.

Days 2 and 3: You might not consider cleaning out an office much of a vacation, but to me, it meant cleaning out the clutter in my life. Like my mother before me, I was starting to buy duplicates of items I couldn’t find. Mom’s items were scissors and shoe horns and hundreds of other things. Mine were ear buds and batteries and other gadgets of technology. I also had several gadgets I needed to learn how to use. Except for having dinner with my son and watching a movie with him, we spent the entire weekend working our way through my list. In addition, Kara volunteered to take Dora for a walk, even though it was bitter cold, but it simply wasn’t safe for me to attempt it.

Day 4: Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places to shop, but most of my friends who help me have not returned to shopping for food inside a store. Because Kara shops at her TJ’s at home, she was able to introduce me to even more than what was on my list. But before that happy experience, we had 2 other impulse purchases to make on our retail therapy trip. To make it a true shopping spree, I needed to buy one piece of clothing. Kara knew exactly where to look for the fleece sweater I wanted, and then our last little kick-our-heels-up stop was to buy a fancy doughnut to have for later. After paying for my TJ treasures, we loaded them once again in our back packs and waited for our Uber. How I wished she could have stayed for just one more day. They say that’s the way it should be, so I’ll get back to life as I used to know it, thanks to my getter-done daughter.

Mary Hiland


Author of

The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: a Daughter’s Memoir


Insight Out: One Blind Woman’s View of Her Life

Available from Amazon


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