We got a dose of summer today. The high temperature went to 82F (28C). That's hot considering that less than a week ago we still had frost and the furnace went on over night. I should have been busy quilting my UFO, but I heard the garden calling to me. I decided to go to the nursery and buy some tomato plants.
It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine and smiled to myself every time I looked at my purchases of tomato plants and marigolds that overflowed my scooter's basket and sat at my feet, ready for my garden.
As I was getting fairly close to home, I spotted my elderly neighbour, trying to cross one of the busiest roads in our area. She has been displaying the early stages of Alzheimer's lately. I haven't talked to her since last fall, but something about the way she stood and walked made me take a second look. I wondered if I should interfere with her outing or just mind my own business. She kept pushing the button for the 'walk' signal, but it never came on, so she just walked across on a red light. It's three lanes of traffic in each direction, plus a turning lane in the middle. Luckily there was no immediate traffic, but several cars had to slow down so as not to hit her. I decided her outing had just become my business.
"Howdy neighbour", I said when she reached the side of the road I was on.
She looked at me suspiciously and then demanded to know who the heck I was.
I told her, "I'm your next door neighbour. Don't you remember me?"
"Oh for gosh sakes! Of course!" she said.
"Where are you going?" I asked her.
She told me that she was heading to a mall that was at least 10km from where we were. I asked her how she was going to get there and she said that she was walking.
"Why that particular mall?" I asked her.
She told me that she lived there.
So I decided to really interfere. I invited her over to my house for some ice tea! I was hot and so was she and according to her reality no one was home at her house. We made our way slowly down the street, with her stopping to talk to her shadow several times and also to an imaginary dog, that apparently comes by all the time. I rode my scooter, while she shuffled along. We finally made it home, but she did not want any ice tea any more by that time. She was just glad she had found her house! She climbed quickly up the front steps when her husband opened the door. He told me she had been sitting outside in the back yard and must have gone for a walk.
I really hated to interfere, but if something had happened to her, something that could have been prevented by me helping her get home, I would never have been able to forgive myself.
I took my plants home and planted them in my garden. New plants, new growth, new life, new harvests. It was comforting to think about those things after witnessing the ravages of old age.