Last week was our 39th wedding anniversary, we usually spend the day doing something like a day at the beach or a quiet stay at the cabin enjoying each others company. But my twin brother was in town for the first time in many, many years so we both set our day aside and had the whole family over for a very nice evening in the garden.
|While my brother was here our parents drove him to Morro for a bit family history, but the trip|
proved exhausting for our mother
Originally the plan was dinner at a local restaurant but my mother's health is so poor that she tires quickly and becomes difficult to handle, so MeMa suggested they all come to Menagerie Manor and feast at tables set in the garden with the lovely weather we have been having.
|Lucy puckers up for GG Ma|
|Our eldest son Nathan and his beautiful family|
|An independent child, Lucy preferred to ride alone|
|Taeya and Brooklyn|
I turned 60 on the fifth, yep that's me and my twin, a couple of delayed fire crackers. Anyway after 60 birthdays I would really rather spend the day puttering in the greenhouse. I have had every kind of birthday celebration including two surprise parties, one being on a train that was rented for just the occasion unbeknownst to me. I have had big grand parties with gifts that would spoil anyone, birthdays that were intimate, birthdays, birthdays and more birthdays. On my 60th instead of puttering in the greenhouse MeMa, myself, the Crazy Cat Lady (without her litter box) and two other neighbors were asked to appear at another neighbors competency hearing before a judge whose job it was to decide if she was truly a danger to herself or to let her come home, home next door to Menagerie Manor, by herself to terrorize the neighborhood again at all hours of the night and day. Paranoid schizophrenia is a difficult condition to deal with when there is no one to monitor whether you take your med's or not, in her case, not! Having lived next door for about ten years we were very sympathetic at first but after the last couple of years being awakened in the middle of the night by her ringing the door bell over and over at least twenty times because she imagined someone in her house. Or finding large amounts of spoiled food sitting on our doorstep. She would often ask to use our phone only to find that she had left with it and then have strange people calling our house asking to speak to her. Before long everyone in the neighborhood lived with their draperies closed tight day and night because they were as tired as we were of having the living shit scared out of them after discovering her peering into their windows with both hands cupped around her eyes. The topper was the announcement of a "week long garden extravaganza with live music until night fall." We found her stopping strangers in their cars and inviting them to the party. Fortunately for all of us at 04:15 in the wee hours of the morning she had another episode of paranoia that brought her to the street screaming at the top of her lungs that someone was in her house. The police were called who in turn called for medical and she was sedated after some very nasty slaps and attempted bites issued to all those involved in her rescue. A peace fell on the neighborhood, everyone slept soundly for the first time in many months and the next morning all the draperies were drawn back to let in the light and fresh air. The week long garden extravaganza was thwarted.
So you can understand my frustration as I drove the hour and some minutes to the city of Forest Grove on my 60th birthday with a van full of neighbors to a facility for the mentally unstable where the hearing was to be held. Her social worker and two police officers were called in first as we waited in the hall. After three and a half hours an officer came out and told us that our testimonies would not be necessary as the first three were sufficient. There was never a thank you for your time or kiss my ass. The door was unlocked and we were directed outside. It was a long hour and some minutes drive back to Portland.
Two days later was the annual neighborhood BBQ which is always a nice evening with friends, great food and drink supplied by all households. As I was sitting back enjoying a rather nice single malt scotch a small band of neighbors approached me carrying a blazing sheet cake and singing Happy Birthday, they sat it in front of me and even though the heat from all those candles was pretty intense I managed to blow them all out. The cake was shared and I was handed a card signed by all. You know after 60 years of birthdays the party is still fun.